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Hello,
I would appreciate any thoughts or advice on an overshot jaw. I have a black 18week old puppy Labrador (show breed) who has an excellent parental health checks and pedigree and fabulous natured parents and half sister who we met before choosing the breeder ie we did all the right checks. In the last couple of weeks we have begun to notice a significant overshot jaw in our puppy, the upper jaw is so much longer than the lower. It is not obviously noticeably unless you lift her lips and is not causing her any problems. My husband can get his index finger comfortably in the gap difference so really quite marked now. I have done a little research but am unsure how much we need to get this investigated by the vet/specialist. I understand that until she is 9/10 months we won't know whether the jaws will grow and have the correct scissor bite. Obviously we do not want any intervention unless it is for her health. If anyone has any knowledge or experience or opinion I would be grateful to hear from you.

Many Thanks
 

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If she’s not having issues eating and her gums aren’t being damaged, I probably wouldn’t worry at this stage (only I would worry as I show my two youngest dogs). Do speak to her breeder, it can be genetic, a good breeder would or should let you know if any other pups in the litter have the same problem. The mating really shouldn’t be repeated. If you are worried speak to your vet. They will be able to help you monitor her development and, if it becomes a problem, recommend solutions.
 
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As you say, the head shape changes quite a bit with age, to the extent that a "Correct" scissor bite in a very young pup would likely end up becoming an incorrect level bite when adult.

But from what you say, this is probably a little much to come right. This would almost certainly be a genetic fault because the genes carry the blueprint of the dog, carrying literally everything about the dog from size and colour right down to the length of the tail! But really, no work much has been done on this front.

But dogs with an overshot jaw might have problems in the wild, such as scraping the meat off of a bone, or even tearing flesh. but dogs in the domestic environment don't have that problem. Your puppy will have no problem dealing with this. Over the years I've seen some horrendous bites, but in no case has it caused the dog any real problem. Dogs don't actually know there is anything wrong, they just work around any problem. He/she has been coping with it since birth and would have no idea that he/she is any different from any other dog. Yes it would count as a fault in the show ring, but if you don't intend to show then it really is unimportant.

John
 
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