Why Do Dogs Shake?

Why Do Dogs ShakeYour pooch is absolutely a member of your family, and it is only natural to ascribe human traits to his behavior. But there is still a bit of the wild in your dog, and there may be more “doggie” reasons for his actions than human ones. One important example of this is the infamous and potentially annoying “shaking off” to which so many dogs resort. Why the frequent shaking?

Of course, the most obvious reason—and the one that causes the biggest mess—is that your dog is wet. After a particularly wet experience, like a good wash, your dog shakes the water off in a way that seems to say, “I’ve had enough of this!” However, the gesture is a useful instinct, serving as a way to shed the excess temporary weight and to avoid freezing in the cold. Instead of getting angry, make sure your dog has a safe place to shake off far away from your expensive furniture, and dry them off with a towel as much as possible after giving them a bath.

In addition to avoiding danger in the wild, the “shaking off” instinct in dogs serves another important evolutionary purpose: it’s a way to shed annoying and potentially dangerous pests and parasites from their coats. While that need isn’t as intense for a dog that spends most of his time in the safe confines of your home, old habits die hard. When your friend comes in after spending some time outside, his shaking off might be keeping some unwanted little critters from using your pet as an avenue to enter your home. Regular brushing and grooming can keep your dog’s coat cleaner and sleeker, giving them less reason to have to shake things off.

Sometimes, shaking can be a way for your dog to deal with emotional stress. After a close encounter with a stranger or the constant prodding of a loving (but pestering) child, a quick shake off can act as the doggy equivalent of a de-stressing sigh. While it can be annoying to humans, this type of shake-off is actually a healthy way for your dog to cope with the irritations of daily life. We all have our own way of doing that, right?

Often, it’s wise to just accept your dog’s behavior at face value and appreciate their ability to shake off excess water, annoying pests, and stressful emotions. Perhaps we humans could learn a few things from our canine counterparts and their ability to “shake it off” and move on.

For more pet grooming tips, or for pet grooming services in the Hillsborough, New Jersey area, contact The Grooming Rigg and set up an appointment today.

Written by The Grooming Rigg

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