Can Poodles Have an Underbite? Should You Worry?


We want our four-legged friends to be in the best physical health they can be, and dental health is one part of it. You may suspect your poodle or a poodle you want to bring home to join your family has an underbite. What do you do if your poodle has an underbite?

so, can poodles have an underbite? Yes, Poodles can have an underbite. If the bottom jaw is protruding and the bottom teeth are showing, your Poodle may have canine malocclusion, the medical term for a canine underbite. Cases of canine malocclusion vary from mild to severe and are mostly harmless; however, in some cases, medical attention is needed.

If your poodle appears to have an underbite, we understand that may be alarming. You don’t need to panic. In this article, we have everything you could need to know about underbites in poodles. Hopefully, this will answer any questions you may have, give you the information you need, and put your mind at ease.

Should You Worry if Your Poodle has an Underbite?

Underbites are quite common in all breeds of dog; the poodle is no exception. If you have a miniature or purebred poodle, the chances of your dog having an underbite are significantly higher. However, there is no need to panic. This is a common feature, and in most cases, it is entirely harmless.

Some poodles have underbites so mild that you can barely tell they have one. The chances are you have seen many poodles with an underbite and never even noticed.

If your poodle is struggling to eat, then it may be time to seek help. However, if your dog seems to be happy, eating well and not showing any signs of sickness, then there is no reason to think there would be any harm. Try not to worry as this is common; however, if you are worried, a trip to the veterinarian is never a bad idea. 

Causes of an Underbite in Your Poodle

There are two main reasons as to why your poodle may have malocclusion, one is skeletal, and the other is dental.

  • Skeletal malocclusion happens when a dog has an abnormal facial or skull structure. This means that the upper and lower jaws do not fit together correctly, nor do the teeth, which results in an underbite. This is usually the reason for underbites in pedigrees.
  • Dental malocclusion is when a dog has a standard structure of the skull and face, but their teeth are out of place or overcrowded. This causes the bottom teeth to protrude. The teeth usually look crooked, angled, or jagged.

Sometimes underbites are intentional breeding practices. Other times, it is a result of genetics. Dogs with ‘flat faces’ and short muzzles seem to be more at risk. Injuries or infections in puppies can also lead to development issues, causing an underbite.

How Will an Underbite Affect My Poodle?

Most cases of canine malocclusion are very mild and barely noticeable. Many dog owners find this feature attractive. In the bulldog breed, this is probably the most distinguishing feature on their faces. However, in poodles, it is not quite as common.

Depending on the severity of the underbite, there can be some issues that surface. However, if your dog can eat and groom themselves, they shouldn’t have too many problems.

With misaligned teeth, however, your dog can develop discomfort and damage to their mouth’s soft tissues and gums. This can lead to infections, nasal disease, and pain. An infection could get worse if not treated and can cause organ failure eventually.

It is imperative to look out for any signs that your dog is struggling with an underbite. Signs to look out for include:

  • Abnormally bad breath
  • Difficulty eating and drinking
  • Blood in their saliva
  • Not allowing you to touch their face
  • Seeming ‘under the weather’
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Unable to close their mouth
  • No longer chewing toys

As long as the effects of the underbite aren’t severe, your poodle will lead a very normal, healthy life. Check with a veterinarian to put your mind at rest. It is recommended to have any dog with an underbite checked over anyway.

Can my Poodles Underbite be corrected? What can be done?

You need to take your poodle to the vet if you suspect an underbite. At this visit, the vet will determine the severity of the malocclusion and the steps to take from there. They may suggest treatment depending on the severity. However, the majority of the time, no treatment is needed.

If you are told that the underbite is mild and there are no issues, it is always important to keep an eye out for any changes or sensitivity around your poodle’s face. If this occurs, you should bring your dog back to the vet.

As for treatment, underbite correction can come in many forms. For mild cases, the vet may suggest no longer giving your pet chew toys or hard food. However, for more severe cases, there are more intense treatments.

Here are just some that your vet may consider, depending on your case:

  • Tooth extraction is more than likely if your poodle has an infected tooth or a tooth that is causing pain. If there is a particular tooth that is grinding against another tooth or pressing on gums, the vet may take it out. 
  • Canine braces can be given by an animal orthodontist. It turns out braces aren’t just for humans. Dogs can also get braces to fix a severe underbite.
  • Other dental surgeries to move, modify or shorten teeth to create a more comfortable bite.

Treatment will more than likely be carried out by an animal dental specialist or orthodontist. Although this isn’t very fun for your dog, it will help alleviate pain and risk of future infection. 

The cost of surgeries is likely to set you back anywhere between $1500-$4000. This is considering anesthesia, surgery, and weekly/bi-weekly visits to the vet. Surgeries should only be done if they are medically needed, not for cosmetic reasons.

Poodle Puppies with an Underbite

Maybe there is a poodle pup that has caught your eye; however, they have an underbite. What are things to consider before bringing them home?

  • The vet bills may be larger than you thought later down the line. Consider affordability to treat the pup and health problems they may develop.
  • Usually, the dog’s teeth alignment is permanent from 10 months old. Before then, the underbite may correct itself. 
  • Dogs with an underbite are still unbelievably adorable!

Remember, the wellbeing of your poodle is the most important thing. Try not to let an underbite steer you away from bringing home the perfect pup!

In Conclusion 

You should not worry! If in doubt, check with a veterinarian. Always look out for any signs of discomfort or pain and report to your vet. Remember that some people have dogs with an underbite and never know as it has never caused any problems.

As a poodle-owner, you will more than likely have no problems with your dog having an underbite unless you were thinking of putting your dog in a dog show. 

Remember, dogs with an underbite may cost you more in the long run, but they deserve just as much love as any other dog! Please do not be discouraged from adopting a dog with an underbite. Just try to make sure you can afford to take care of them. People will be stopping in the street to say how adorable your dog is!

Brent Hartman

I'm Brent Hartman. I've been a dog lover my entire life and have owned many animals over the years. When my black lab Angus passed away, I was looking for another friend to share my life with. As a result of my research, I've come to love poodles and wanted to share some of what I've learned with you. Whether you're looking to adopt a poodle, or already own one, I created Poodle report to be the ultimate guide to help you find the answers you need.

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