If you’ve been on the internet for the past few years, you’ve probably seen numerous viral videos of owners giving their dogs eggs and seeing (some) dogs gently handle them.
This is known as the dog egg challenge (more on this later).
While this is adorable, it begs the question:
Why Are Dogs Gentle With Eggs in Their Mouths?
Dogs are gentle with eggs because they were bred to have “soft mouths,” so they could gently carry objects, such as hunted animals, without causing damage.
Dog breeds such as Golden Retrievers and Labradors are more inclined to be “soft mouth” dogs.
This article will discuss which breeds are typically gentle with eggs, which breeds aren’t, and why.
I’ll also go over whether or not it’s safe to give your dog eggs and the dangers of doing so.
Which Dog Breeds Are Gentle with Eggs?
While you might want to grab the eggs out of your refrigerator and see what your dog will do, it might not always be the safest thing to do.
While some dog breeds are more likely to hold an egg gently, not all dogs will react the same way.
The dog breeds that are gentle with eggs are breeds bred with “soft mouths,” such as Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, and Gordon Setters.
Conversely, dog breeds that most likely aren’t gentle with eggs include Jack Russell Terriers or Mastiffs.
Despite certain breeds being more inclined to carry an egg gently, dog owners online have decided to test their dogs of all breeds with what is known as the “egg challenge.”
Check out this adorable YouTube video from Insider showing dogs holding eggs and explaining the challenge:
If you didn’t catch it, along with the cute clips, this video discusses why certain dogs are more gentle with eggs than others due to their soft-mouthed nature.
I’ll discuss what the term “soft mouth” means below.
NOTE – You might also want to read this blog post asking the question: why do dogs like ice cubes?
What Does the Term “Soft Mouth” Mean?
The term “soft mouth” refers to a dog’s behavioral tendency to carry objects gently.
This term was invented by breeders who trained hunting dogs to gently carry hunted animals back to their owners.
Only specific dog breeds were bred with the soft mouth tendency.
The soft mouth can also be called bite inhibition. Although many factors go into which dogs are soft-mouthed, testosterone is a significant factor.
Dogs with abundant testosterone tend to act more aggressively, which means they’re less likely to be soft-mouthed.
While you can train your dog to practice bite inhibition, it’s more difficult for specific breeds to learn later in life.
NOTE – You may also like to read this post looking at the question why do dogs like bones so much?
What is the Dog Egg Challenge?
The “dog egg challenge” involves giving a raw egg (still in the shell) to a dog to see how gently they can hold it in their mouth without breaking it.
The goal of the challenge is to see which dog can hold the egg without breaking it, and people are having lots of fun with it on TikTok and YouTube.
While the challenge may seem harmless, it’s important to note that giving a dog raw eggs can be dangerous as it can lead to salmonella or biotin deficiency.
Additionally, if a dog accidentally swallows a piece of the shell, it can cause injury to their digestive system.
Click here to see some gorgeous pups attempting the dog egg challenge:
NOTE – You might also like to read this post asking the question: why are dogs gentle with babies?
Is It Safe to Give My Dog an Egg?
If you want to try the trend of giving your dog an egg to see what it will do, you should first consider the dangers that come with it.
It is safe to give your dog an egg. However, you must take precautions, as your dog could easily choke on the egg’s shell or eat the raw egg, which poses other risks, such as salmonella or bacterial infections.
Therefore, before you run to participate in this cute trend, it’s best to consider the dangers.
I’ll go over these dangers in the next section.
The Dangers of Giving Your Dog Eggs
The number one priority of dog owners is to keep their dogs safe and happy.
So, while trying the cute trend of giving your dog an egg could be fun, it’s essential to consider the risks of doing so.
You might think you know how your dog will react, but dogs can be unpredictable.
It’s important to note that giving your dog cooked eggs is perfectly acceptable and even recommended by many veterinarians, as they provide many essential nutrients, such as:
- Vitamins: Including vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.
- Minerals: Including calcium, magnesium, and iron.
- Fatty acids: Help build and maintain body cells.
- Amino acids: Including lysine, arginine, and valine.
However, raw eggs are controversial and can cause many issues. I’ll discuss these issues below.
Raw Eggs Can Give Your Dog Salmonella
Like with humans, eating raw eggs poses the risk of salmonella in dogs.
While your dog won’t always contract salmonella from raw eggs, it’s still possible.
When a dog eats a contaminated raw egg, it contracts Salmonellosis.
While some cases are more severe than others, this disease can cause your dog to experience some of the following symptoms:
- Weight loss
So, even if you think your dog will be gentle with a raw egg and not eat it, it might be best to skip this challenge.
Raw Eggs Can Be a Choking Hazard
Participating in the egg challenge could result in your dog choking on the egg.
Even if your dog bites on the raw egg, the shell could pose a choking hazard to your pet.
So, be cautious if you’re going to test to see if your dog is soft-mouthed.
You’ll want to ensure that your dog can’t run off with the egg (and possibly choke).
Raw Eggs Can Cause a Biotin Deficiency
Raw eggs can cause a biotin deficiency.
This is because the egg whites in raw eggs contain an enzyme that prevents the body from absorbing biotin, called avidin.
Biotin is essential to healthy skin and digestion. Although this deficiency is rare in dogs, eating too many raw eggs can risk it.
Final Thoughts About Dogs Being Gentle with Eggs
Dogs are gentle with eggs because they have a “soft mouth” behavioral tendency.
However, not all dogs are considered soft-mouthed, as only certain breeds, such as Golden Retrievers and Labradors, were bred for this reason.
Despite this, many dog owners have taken to the internet to test their dogs’ gentleness with eggs.
Although this is extremely cute to see, it does pose some risks, including the possibility of choking or contracting Salmonellosis.
As long as you take the necessary precautions, it’s typically safe to test your dog for a soft mouth tendency.
Tim is a proud, vetted, and experienced dog foster carer for a charity helping dog owners escape domestic abuse.
He has years of experience training and caring for dogs, both his own and other people’s.
He is an expert in canine behavior and is highly skilled in dealing with all dogs but specializes in the difficult ones that other people may struggle with.
When he isn’t fostering dogs, he is making friends with other people’s pups!