Dogs who “Shake Off”

Dogs can shake off to remove water from their coats. However, why do they shake off when they are dry?

Shaking off when their coat is dry, is a type of stress response. Have you ever been in a stressful event or been unsure of your surroundings, then when it's finished you notice all your muscles are tense? You then roll your shoulders and take a deep breath and sigh. Thus release the tension in your muscles?

This shake off is the same for dogs, when the muscles get tense, the shake off for dogs can help release the tension and re-frame following events.

So what does this mean? It means it's an indication, that the moments proceeding this dry shake off, might have been stressful for your dog. So if your dog greets a person or dog, then shakes following, that interaction might not have been positive experience for your dog.

This is especially important if you notice patterns of dry shaking off, following repeated events.

If you ever unsure if your dog is stressed or unsure what a behaviour means, your welcome to contact us for advice.

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Forrest Animal Behaviour