I love when a wet dog gives a big hearty shake. It’s like time slows down and all of a sudden, watch out! Your dog turns into a head-banging, furry tsunami, and you’re square in the splash zone. But what does it mean if your dog shakes when he’s NOT wet?
If your dog isn’t wet but they’re vigorously shaking, then…
1. Your Dog Might Have Irritated Skin
Dogs will often shake if their skin is irritated or itchy. Unlike their lucky human buddies, dogs don’t have handy-dandy arms that can reach all their itchy places. Other go-to scratch strategies involve rolling on the floor or rubbing against furniture.
2. Your Dog Might Have Ear Issues
Your dog might have itchiness or infection in one or both ears. Dogs with long ears that hang low to the ground, like a Dachshund or a Bassett Hound, are especially likely to pick up ear infections. Check your dog’s ears, in case some foreign object (say, a blade of grass) has gotten in there and given your dog a case of the itchies. Another irritant might be parasites.
3. Your Dog Might Be Chilly
It’s the same reason you might vigorously rub your arms together on a wintry afternoon. Your dogs shake themselves to warm up in cold temperatures.
4. Your Dog Might Be Stressed
Dogs might shake away the bad feelings, if they’re nervous or uncomfortable. It’s kinda like when you let a little shiver run through your body before you gotta give that big presentation (or in your dog’s case, catch that big tennis ball.) This behavior is not even necessarily planned- it might be automatic. And just so you know, the body shake in this case is a signal that your pup is calming himself down. So a shake is not always a bad sign.
5. Your Dog Might Be Jealous
Other than a T-Bone steak or a well-thrown frisbee, there’s few things your dog loves quite as much as attention. And if your dog isn’t getting the attention she wants, she knows a big huffy display might do the trick. So maybe your dog doesn’t have an ear infection or a case of the willies. Maybe she’s just a diva with a hankering for some cuddles.