Why Do Dogs Shake Themselves? – The Dog ‘Body Shake’

Dogs shake themselves (the same shake they do when they get out of the water) to ease tension or to signal they are moving on from one thing to another.

It’s like a re-set button.

You’ve probably noticed your dog shaking his body immediately after meeting a new dog, after ending a play session or after returning from a walk.

If you watch two dogs at play, the wrestling and tumbling and chasing might escalate until one lets out a growl or a yelp. Then, both dogs will do the body shake. Play might end completely as they walk off to find something new. Or, they might start to play again but with less energy.

In many cases, the body shake is a signal that says, “Well that was fun, what’s next?”

Dogs shake themselves as a stress reliever

Why do dogs shake themselves

If a dog is faced with something overwhelming or confusing and he’s not quite sure what to do, he’ll offer the body shake. This is a way for the dog to shake off stress!

The body shake is not necessarily a conscious behavior; it’s more automatic.

Humans do similar behaviors. It’s the same as letting out a sigh of relief after meeting a new person or taking a deep breath before plunging into something a bit scary.

For me, a good comparison is in sports. I was a competitive swimmer in high school. Before stepping up to the starting block before a race I would take a deep breath and actually do a slight body shake. It was my own little transition or re-set button to enter into race mode – a way of coping with stress.

Or, as another example, if I’ve been staring at my computer for 90 minutes I might lean back in my chair, brush my hands over my face or actually wiggle my head and shoulders a bit – “Whew! Time for something else!”

So really, we’re not that different from dogs. We have our own versions of the body shake.

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So what does a dog shaking himself have to do with dog training?

If your dog shakes himself, it’s important to be aware of it when you are working with your dog.

For example, you tell your dog to sit, he does. But then he does “the body shake” and instantly breaks from sit.

You tell him to sit again. He does. Then he does the body shake again and gets up.

What the heck is up with your dog? Why isn’t he listening?

Often, it’s just because the dog is distracted or overly excited. See our post: Why isn’t my dog listening?

So, when you are training your own dog, be aware of this.

When your dog does the body shake after you’ve told him to sit, all you have to do is gently push him back into a sit. Or, you may need to take a step back and work around fewer distractions for now so your dog can be successful.

It’s totally normal for a dog to attempt three or four body shakes, especially if you are in an exciting environment or about to do something really fun or if you’re challenging your dog a little too much.

I wouldn’t consider the body shake deviant behavior. I’m not sure dogs are even aware they’re doing it.

However, you can teach your dog some self control.

The dog body shake

Teach your dog that sit means sit. No matter what. You can’t get up just because you wiggled your body around. You get up when I say OK (and if you don’t have a release word or signal for your dog, you should).

I am hyper aware of the dog body shake. I see it every day with a number of dogs. If you look for it, you will see it too. Watch for it at the next dog obedience class you attend or the next time you visit the dog park or the next time you ask your dog to sit when something “exciting” is going on.

Why do dogs shake their heads when they get up?

My dog Ace shakes his body every time he gets up from lying down.

Ace will also shake his body if he breaks from the stay position before I have released him.

For Ace, one of the hardest moments to remain in a stay is when someone comes to the door. He will almost definitely do a body shake and then get up as I answer the door. (2019 update: Ace has passed away.)

If Ace doesn’t do the body shake, he will likely scratch himself around the collar, which is another behavior dogs will do in order to release themselves from the task at hand.

I have even noticed Ace will do the body shake on a walk to release himself from heel! I’m learning to catch him when he does this and tell him “no.”

Be aware of your dog’s level of stress

I know it’s important to be aware of my dog’s stress levels. The body shake is often a calming signal meant to show other dogs they mean no harm or even an attempt to defuse some energy. See our post: Signs of stress in dogs.

If Ace keeps doing the body shake, it could be that he is a little too stressed and needs to take a break from what we’re doing. I can be pretty strict at times. I expect too much.

It’s one thing to push your dog a bit in order to increase his self control. It’s another to push him so far he is feeling overwhelmed, stressed or even fearful.

Dog shaking off stress

Ace is a sensitive guy, and it’s up to me, his owner, to be aware of his stress levels. Doing the body shake, scratching around his collar, excessive yawning or avoiding eye contact are examples that he might be mildly stressed.

Sometimes we could stand to do our own body shakes and move on to something more fun!

Dogs tell us a lot. We just need to pay attention!

Why do dogs shake after fighting?

The final issue I want to briefly address is that you might notice your dogs shake themselves after a mild fight with another dog or even after sniffing another new dog or meeting a new dog.

This is a normal behavior and it’s a way that the dogs are “cooling off” or letting out a “sigh” of relief. They’re saying, OK, we’re done here! Moving on!

It’s usually a good sign if both the dogs shake themselves off after a greeting.

Do you notice your dog shaking himself? When does your dog do this behavior?

Let me know in the comments!

*If you like this article, we’d love to send you other helpful training tips in our weekly newsletter. Click Here.

Related posts:

What to do when your own dogs fight

How to introduce dogs

106 thoughts on “Why Do Dogs Shake Themselves? – The Dog ‘Body Shake’”

  1. Funny timing! Was in the middle of reading this… meandered out to play with the pooch. And he got too excited, I had him lay down and do some simple obedience then said “ok!” as a release from him laying down. He then shook himself off and gave me the “play?” face.

    As always, I learned from just about all posts of yours, this was no exception. You had mentioned this in another post too and I have been watching for it. It’s funny, he always shakes when he wakes up. We know he’s on the move when we hear his ears flapping against his head. I’m not sure if it’s just shaking out the sleepy (though he does stretch just like a cat…), or if it’s “ok done with this… time to find some one to play with”. 🙂

  2. My dogs do the body shake often (after playing, when getting up sometimes, and so on).

    When do I really notice? When I get thwapped with a floppy ear during the body shake. Feels like a wet towel slap!

  3. I love watching my dog, Duke, do the body shake. In fact, I feel like doing my own “body shake” whenever I see it or sense it is about to occur. Just like a yawn is contagious, Duke’s body shake is contagious for me!

    Great article!

  4. I haven’t really thought of this before but my pooch will keep doing the body shake when I put his backpack on. Even during our walk. I was wondering if the backpack makes his muscles tense and he does the body shake for releasing tension or is it because he doesn’t like it and feels stressed. Any ideas?

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      My dog does the body shake constantly when he wears his vest. I think it’s partly because his body thinks he can shake it off and partly because the vest stresses him out. It makes him feel restricted and submissive. I’m not saying this is the case with your dog, it’s just what I’ve observed with mine.

      1. Tarski shakes with his sweater on, and also his jacket, but less so. The sweater fits over his front two legs (just at the top) and under his belly, and has a velcro strap along the back — I don’t think he likes that it surrounds him like that. His jacket, on the other hand, goes over his head, but then has just a strap that goes under his belly, and otherwise just sits over him (like a horse’s blanket). He seems to shake less with it, and I think it’s because he finds it less restrictive.

        1. Lindsay Stordahl

          Makes sense. Ace shakes with his vest on. That fits over his whole body and very snug. He doesn’t shake with his backpack on, which fits more like a horse blanket and is less restrictive.

      2. Hi my dog is a Italian Greyhound named Fidelity. Fidelity shakes her head really bad when she wakes up cause she sleeps alot it is really looking when she shakes in the middle of the night. I think it could have to do with her ears?

  5. My dog does the body shake right at the start of a walk, right after we go outside. I think maybe going outdoors is stressful for him. He also does it when strangers are close to us (like when a stranger has just passed us, walking from the opposite direction). Since he routinely does it when something mildly stressful happens, I keep wondering if I could capture this behavior and have him do it on command when he’s over-excited. Would it calm him? Or does it have to be “automatic” to have this effect?

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      You could probably capture the behavior with a command. I don’t think it would calm him, though. Dogs do the body shake when they are excited. I notice most dogs shake after we pass someone on walks or right after we get outside.

    2. What my dog Monk (min pin/chihuahua mix) does seems more like a shiver – like he’s cold. Is that what’s being discussed here? I’ve only had him about nine months – he’s a rescue, about two years old. I got another rescue, Kipp (min pin/yorkie mix), three months ago – he’s about seven months now. Monk definitely shivers more now. He is 9 lbs and temperature sensitive, but it seems to be more than that. The yorkie is rather playful and likes to lay on or near Monk. They play together well, but I will notice Monk shiver after play, after being outdoors and sometimes, seemingly, for no reason. No other symptoms (i.e., vomiting, diarhhea). Is this just stress? If so, what can I do to help calm him?

      1. I was referring to a shake like what a dog does when he jumps out of the water. Not a continuous shake as you describe. Your dog might be fearful or cold or overwhelmed as well. I don’t know what would be causing it. If he seems overwhelmed by your other dog, make sure to give him breaks from him, especially when the playing gets really intense.

        Does he wear a sweater for the cold? You could also consider the Thundershirt to help him feel more secure.

  6. Interesting! I have often wondered why a dog named Shane that I walk with a dog backpack will shake with it on a few times. I have to agree with you Lindsay that partly they try to shake it off, but I really don’t want to think it stresses him out. I think it may be restrictive, but my goal is to tire a very high energy young dog. I don’t want to think that I am causing him stress. I will pay attention. You sure got me thinking. Love your dog blogs!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I agree! Backpacks are a wonderful tool to help a dog by giving the dog a job to do and helping that dog build confidence. And it also tires them out!

  7. My pup does the shake when I come home. As soon as I come in the door she races to me, shakes, then gives me a sniff. I call it the happy shake (or welcome home shake).

    1. It’s amazing how people actually find this funny. It’s really annoying and it’s sad that it’s being embraced rather than helped.

      1. I just found this blog after googling why my dog shakes his body so often. I totally agree with Brii….it’s SO annoying and I’d like to make him slow it down.

      2. I agree! Very annoying and would like to know if I can get him to stop or lessen it. One day his head’s gonna fly off one way, his butt the other.

  8. Hi — great blog. I have been reading regularly since we adopted a dog from the SPCA about a year ago (he looks alot like Ace!). I would love if you could post sometime about teaching a dog to run. I would love to run with my dog, but he is easily distracted. He will run for a few minutes, but often stops to sniff around, or to try to meet another dog, or if he wants to take a different route than the direction I am taking. If I try to pull him along with the leash, he resists. I would love to know what you would do in this situation. Thanks again for the great blog!

  9. I absolutely love your blog. Also, funny enough since reading about the shake, I keep seeing (being aware) my dog doing the body shake whether during our walk, most often as I ask him to sit. Btw, thank you for your tips and post on how to run with a dog. As the weather was nice today, I went for a jog with Curl. Following your advice, it worked well. I would also suggest you tie a leash to your waist. I did this today after searching for a running leash (too pricey). It worked just fine, tying leash around my waist and it definitely made a difference.

  10. My dog doesn’t do the doggy shake so much as the scratch around the collar. Well…she doesn’t even do that…she just swings her hind leg towards her front half like she’s attempting to scratch without ever making contact. We always just thought she was a little uncoordinated until our recent agility class with her when she did the scratch in the middle of a routine. Of course I stopped to let her scratch and that was when the instructor told me to push through with her and that it wasn’t that she really needed to scratch, she just knew that scratching would let her stop what she was doing. Very interesting and something I’m sure most people don’t know about their dogs!

  11. I’ve just recently noticed how often my dog does the body shake. I notice more because I have a newborn, and when my dog (Chloe) does the body shake it startles my newborn. The body shaking has gotten irritating. One time, she did it 3 times in 5 min. Can it be allergy related also?

    1. My dog shakes all the time….he had an ear infection and they told me they do that when their ears ache…now I wonder if he’s still got ear infection?
      And scratches a lot…………….can’t find fleas…..he’s 1 and a half years old…

  12. Thank God someone could say something about this… thank you! My dog Kisa I adopted last week from the shelter and it seems to me that she does this all the time, she even wakes me up doing it! I have never in my life seen a dog do the body shake as much as this one does. I thought something has to be neurologically wrong with my dog.

    1. I was amazed something popped up from the search engine because i didn’t really know how to word my concerns. I was glad to read the comments because i was worried, about 2 months ago my dog Chloie (pug) started messing with her ears n shaking her head so i figured it was a ear infection so the vet give her some ointment, that didnot work so she prescribed a antibiotic to go in her ear seemed like it got better but during this time is when i noticed when i took her out to walk she would shake like they do when their getting water off their body n i thought it was stange she shakes her body a couple of times while i have her out walking.

      1. Lindsay Stordahl

        Just a stress reliever for them! Not necessarily a bad thing. Kind of like a sigh of relief. We do it all the time, without realizing it, even when the “stresser” is very slight.

    2. Lindsay Stordahl

      It helps to take their collars off at night so they are less noisy when they are flapping their ears around like that.

      1. Yes that’s what bothers me the most the collar jingles every time…..drives me crazy because he does it a lot……….

  13. We have noticed our Lab giving just a light head shake when we correct her and tell her not to do something … she’ll stop, look at us and sorta shake her head in protest as if saying, “oh, alright” and then go on to something else. She does always shake when she gets up though. Or after a good roll in the grass (or dirt >:o(

  14. In obedience class tonight, Pete did the shake, the yawn and the jump up and hug my leg tonight. Ugh! Do you think he was a little stressed, he also whined through most of it! It was one of our worst nights.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Yeah, he could’ve been a little stressed. But that’s why you’re there, to help him feel more comfortable. I’m sure you are both doing great!

  15. My dog Baby girl is a pit and lab mix. We live in apartments so she’s mainly an inside dog. She either just started the body shake or I just haven’t noticed. But she always shakes as soon as I take her outside. Like shake, pause shake pause. I don’t know why she does that and I’m just curious. I also have a small chihuahua named Ducky, he always shakes. Somebody told me that its normal for them to shake. Something about it runs in their breed? Is this true?

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Lots of dogs shake once they get outside. Seems to be out of excitement!

      With your Chihuahua, does he shake out of fear? Or being cold? Or is it similar to the behavior your larger dog does?

  16. My 1 year 4 month Maltese, Mischa, does a lot of body shaking, specially at night. I absolutely loath this because this wakes my baby up! Is there a way to stop this?

  17. Lindsay Stordahl

    I wish there were an easy way to stop it! I usually don’t have my dog sleep in my bedroom because his shakes wake me up. We call it ear flapping. It helps if the dog has his collar on. I try to tell my dog no when I anticipate his shakes during that time when I am awake but my husband is still asleep. I do think they can learn not to do it in certain situations but it’s difficult for them since the shaking is such an automatic response. They don’t even know they’re doing it, kind of like when we stretch or yawn or sigh. It can be automatic.

  18. One week ago today my 3 year old Maltese, Lui, was groomed. His hair was quite long and he was groomed down to almost nothing. I have a groomer come to the house to minimize his stress. I noticed that since then he has been body shaking excessively, more than normal. I thought maybe he had an ear infection, perhaps water in his ears so I checked it and nothing they’re pristine. He does not seem to be uncomfortable or in any pain. I can’t understand why he is doing this? It happens when he gets up to do anything, its been a week now and like I mentioned earlier it started after he was groomed last week. He has had the same groomer ever since I’ve had him for the past 2 years and the same cut.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Lots of dogs do this, and I wouldn’t be too worried about it. My dog shakes his body every time he gets up from lying down, even time he stops playing, every time he comes in from outside and so on.

      If something seems off with him, you could take him to the vet just to be sure, but it sounds like typical dog behavior to me – as annoying as it might be!

  19. My dog is part dachsund and part….corgi??? Anyway, she is extremely active and athletic and appears to look “fat” to some people, but I think it’s the corgi in her. Recently, the vet told me to reduce her food intake by 1/3. She was nibbling all day, but considering how active she is, I think she was doing okay. For about 2 or 3 wks, we have noticed her doing the body shake very often. No fleas, no scratching, took her to the vet and they gave her ear drops. Now after reading this, I’m wondering if it has to do with her not getting enough food? I think she is hungry, but that doesn’t make sense. Any thoughts?

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Yes, or maybe it’s because her routine is off. When my dog is ready to eat, he will start “acting busy” by chewing very loudly on a bone or scratching himself at the collar very intensely and then shaking himself. It seems to be a way to try to get my attention and also his way of trying to transition to mealtime.

  20. I have two small poodles. Both of them shake after I have given their little bodies a massage. They both love to be scratched and rubbed all over but as soon as they get up they shake.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Not sure if you mean your dog is trembling or your dog shakes as though he has just gotten out of a lake?

      There is a difference. Trembling constantly is often nervousness or fear or just being cold.

      The other is out of excitement, stress or just as a way to transition from one thing to another.

  21. Years ago, when my (now 30 year old) son was about 3-4, he pondered why a dog’s skin was so loose. He came up with the idea that if it wasn’t, when they shook, they’d fall over! Although we never scientifically proved this out, he could have been on to something!

  22. Muffin, my 7 year old pekingese gets real excited when I take him outside. Just when I reach down to put his leash on he has to have a real good shake. I often wondered why he did this, now I know.

  23. I would like to know how to train my dog to do the body shake. They come in with snow on them and don’t always shake it off.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      You would probably have to capture the action when they naturally shake, like when they get up from lying down or when they transition from one thing to another. Use a clicker to mark the behavior and eventually add a command. It would be a challenging behavior to train, but I think you could do it if you put in enough time.

  24. I feel much better after reading this! I have had my rescue dog Rufus a Shiba inu x Shar-pei mix for a year now (at a guess he’s probably 2 years old) and I’ve never known a dog shake so much! I thought he must have some sort of ecto/endoparisite infection but his skin is fine and there’s no scratching with it. He gets up he shakes, out for a walk he shakes every 5 mins or so, after dinner he shakes and when we play he has a good shake, I’ve never met a dog like him!

    1. when my Lexi shakes in house I tell her “no shake” she is starting to realize that if I am around i don’t want her doing it..so when we are outside brushing her after I am done I tell her “shake” she almost has it down and does it almost immediately..I am hoping it teaches her that shaking outside is ok.

  25. OMG….My dog is an autralian shepherd and she shakes CONSTANTLY!! Everytime she gets up, everytime she does anything… it drives me crazy because when she shakes all her fur flies alllll over the house, even on my counters and tables! I even shave her now but now it is little pieces of hair everywhere in the house. I would love any advice on how to get her NOT to do this. She just started doing this about a year ago and she is 7. PLEASE HELP!! I am going crazy…

    Buried in dog hair.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Good luck getting her to stop shaking! I wish I could get my dog to stop as well because it’s noisy and annoying when he flaps his ears, jowls and drool everywhere.

      It’s hard to get them to stop because it’s so automatic for them. I don’t think they even know they are doing it. We have similar behaviors ourselves. For example, I noticed I let out a small sigh pretty much every time I transition from one thing to another – similar to the dog’s shaking.

      You could try catching her in the act and saying “no” and rewarding instantly for standing still. I think it would take a lot of patience and time, though.

  26. I never thought this would be the reason why my Lexi shakes so often. I just assumed she was bored, it was starting to annoy me especially now during her big shed!!! I have said “no” to her right before I notice she is going to do it and she does stop. Thanks.

  27. I just picked up my Coton de Tulear two days ago from two months of boarding between houses, so we are in a different house…he’s an very calm, happy,gentle easy going type of dog. Follows me around everywhere. He only barks when someone comes to the door, until we open it, or when we’re playing as normal. He was a little freaked out by a rabbit in the yard, but other than that… I haven’t seen any adverse behavior from boarding, but he’s constantly doing this whole body shaking thing, like they do after a bath. He does have some mats that are going to have to be addressed, though they don’t seem to bother him, could that be why? He’s never done this before. Everything else seems normal. I have two cats, but they’re still in one room, they’re a little afraid to come out and explore the entire house. Maybe that’s a little different for him.

  28. I have a Border Collie-Blue Heeler mix, named Panda. He constantly shakes when he is indoors. This causes his fur to constantly shed. I know he is a dog and he does what is natural to him but its getting rediculous! Is there anything I can do to stop him from shaking his body every 10 min?

  29. My 6 month old puppy does not shake his body at all, he is happy and seems healthy, but when he gets out of water he does not shake it off? I’m a little concerned about this, does not seem normal.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      He probably just doesn’t mind being wet. I’m guessing he’s just a silly pup. Not much to worry about in my opinion.

  30. So glad I found this blog. I have a rescue Chihuahua that is not quite 2 yrs old and when I walk her, she stops and does the body shake a lot. I have only had her 6 wks and she has had to learn leash walking, her new environment and living with my 12 yr old Corgi all in that time. When I walk the two together, she does not shake as much as when I walk her alone. She also scratches in the collar area, although that is not as frequent as it was at first. I thought she had fleas but after bathing and flea treatment, she still did it. This explains a lot! Thanks!

  31. My boxer does the body shake all the time when out walking whilst on her harness unfortunately I have nowhere to let her off the lead to run free from other people or dogs and is so excitable when approaching other people jumping up at them. Is there any way I can limit the amount she body shakes ?

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      It’s tough because the shaking is an automatic response. You could look for ways to help her feel more calm around other dogs on walks. Maybe by carrying treats and teaching her to “watch.” You could also try a different type of collar. It could be that the harness itself is annoying to her and she shakes a little more often in attempt to shake the harness off.

      Just some thoughts.

  32. I just brought a rescue dog home, she is 7 and seems to do the body shake a lot. She also has been scratching some around the collar and yawns a bit as well. Is there anything I can do to ease her stress level?

  33. I have noticed that my dog does this shake all the time lately. It’s really to the point that it’s irritating me. He does it all through the night and day but at night its so loud that it wakes me up. I’m not sure what i can do so that he doesn’t do it so much.

  34. I have a 7 year old beagle and he does that amusing full body shake with the floppy ears like most hounds do. However, he suddenly started doing it a lot and we are wondering if there could be something causing it. Sometimes, when he gets up from one of his frequent naps, he may shake 10 or 20 times within 5 minutes. One shake after the other with an occasional pause. Sometimes he acts normal and may do it once or twice and that’s it. Occasionally, we put a Bark collar on him and I wonder if this is causing stress and the shaking is some kind of nervous reaction. He also shakes when we go someplace in the car and I put his seat belt harness on. But he has been this way since he was a puppy. He doesn’t like having anything on his coat.

  35. My boxers shake whenever they get up and go to another room. It’s only a concern because the noise of the tags hitting the collar is very loud, and I end up with a woken up and very angry 7 week old baby. I covered ones tags with a thick layer of tub and tile sealant. It’s muffled, but can still wake up baby. I wrapped the other dogs tags with duct tape to keep them together and offer some padding. Same result: muffled but wakes up baby. Any ideas?

    1. Take the collars off unless the dog is going outside?? Also, microchip your dog! Problem solved. I got tired of finding chewed up collars. So unless they are going to leave the house, collars come off (leave it attached to a leash!!). It’s like putting taking off shoes…




  36. I’m found your article, as my dog does the “body shake” every single time he gets up. And the only reason I’ve become super conscious of it is because 1.) he sheds a lot (he’s a German Shepherd) so hair will go flying everywhere and 2.) the sound of the “body shake” is really loud. He once had an ear infection and when the vet prescribed him some ear drops he shook his body a whole lot less, but that would only last for however long the medicated ear drops lasted. Surely he can’t have an ear infection ALL the time? I check his ears to make sure to keep them clean and that’s there’s no kind of redness, and he hasn’t had any redness for while, but yet without the medicated ear drops the body shake continues. Sigh.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I think my dog probably does the body shake every time he gets up, too. Or at least a good 75 percent of the time. I also find it annoying, but it’s just what they do.

  37. Russell Chadwell

    I have a service dog who started doing the shakes . If I tell him to come , tell him to get a item, go for a walk, if I open the car door and he gets out and I grab his harness for balance he will shake. I give up on why he does it, but I cant use him like that, I need to find another dog to use.

  38. I have a pit bull mix. And she has a tendacy of doing this throughout the day , but mainly at night! I am usely awaken by that sound which I find to be extremely annoying and pisses me off. I think she also does it when she’s angry or pissed off her self. Or rather a sign of tension. But whatever the heck it is , is extremely loud and mainly 1-2 am in the morning. I wish I could stop her from doing that but I doubt I’ll have any luck!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I know, it is so annoying! Can you take her collar off at night? (Or maybe you do already and it’s still loud!)

  39. My dog, Bella, does her full body shake when I go to put the leash on her for her “pee-walk” outside or after I have given her a good brushing or combing. These are the times that she does most of her body shaking.. It used to make me annoyed, but I am used to it now and I did think that she had a good reason for doing this full body shake.

  40. One of our dog Mac is a very anxious dog. His bark intimidates & he will stood up like a person for a long time that it was hard for me to correct him with his prong collar to sit down. But once he put his paws down he will make this body shakes multiple times & then he remembers what I said before wchich was to sit.
    He is very loving dog. I had frustrations sometimes walking him outside. He’s afraid of every moving objects( bike, skates, golf carts) & loud noises fr lawnmower & big cars & motorcycles. I thought the whole time he was cold & body shaking is trying to make him warm. ( He is our first pet.. sorry ) but now it justifies why he acts like that. Thank you for all educational info you sharing. I love reading your blog.

  41. Dagmar Eva Bernitt

    My dogs does the body shake after the walk, when I take his harness off or sometimes even when we wait for the lift and it is still on. Is he sorry that the walk is over and stressed to go back to the apartment? Otherwise, as soon as he steps outside, he sneezes. I thought it was because of the pollution in Paris because he does not do that when we are in Normandy, not even when the fields are recently sprayed.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I don’t think he’s stressed, just “shaking it off” like, “Well that was fun, what’s next?” Like a little sigh you might do after accomplishing something.

  42. My supposition on the waking up shake is related to yoga and habits of horses. My Bostons both do the wake up shake, then proceed to rolling and stretching on the floor. I think this relates to the way we “reset our spines” during yoga, and the way horses will lay down and roll sometimes to realign their backs.
    Neither of my dogs seem to be stressed when waking up, nor are they the type to wake and immediately pester us for breakfast.

  43. We adopted a very anxious dog a few months ago. She goes bananas excited when she sees the lead. It’s quite a challenge to get it on her. When I get the lead on her, she calms down incredibly for the walk. As we start the walk, she gives a shake and I thought the shake was to adjust where the lead sits as her collar shifts to position the lead at the back of her neck. With some very cold nights, I’ve put a coat on her, as she sleeps outside in a kennel. It only has velcro tabs and she shakes a lot when it is on her. It is usually off her by morning. Should I get a coat with better fasteners or just be OK with her getting out of it by herself?

  44. Last night after I fell asleep my dog was wandering the house and giving herself a shake every few seconds or minutes for a long period of time. I’m not sure if it was that or the cold that woke me up.

    There are a few temporary changes in her life right now. I’m wondering if this could be stress or something more serious.

    She’s on an anti-inflammatory, and the vet also recommended she not use the stairs for a while, so I’ve got the stairs blocked off. I’ve been sleeping on the couch so she isn’t left alone at night when she’s accustomed to sleeping upstairs with us.

  45. My service dog does this when we are training out in public. Often times when we are doing something really hard like a downstay with me out of sight and then if she gets up or when she gets up when I get back she will shake after getting up. Is this normal?

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Yes, that’s normal. It might mean she is being challenged a bit too much or could be that she just doesn’t want to do it. I would just keep putting her back so she knows she is expected to listen. Maybe make it a bit easier for her by decreasing the distance or length so she is successful and slowly increase the challenge.

  46. Rustin Lee Haase

    My border-collie/aussie mix will shake as an alternative to barking when he is trying to get my attention. For him it clearly is not a reset when he is doing that, he’s just being his usual pushy self without subjecting us to his intense “power-bark”. Ah the joys of living with a strong-headed dog. 🙂

    The same dog will shake at the end of a long scritching session. I know he loves being rubbed because he makes the silliest sounds and writhes about in pure pleasure, but eventually he’s had enough and stands up and shakes. It may be his way of telling me his puppy-love battery is fully charged. At least that’s the way I’m interpreting it. It’s like “Wow!!! that was great, now what are we going to do?” Then he runs and get the squeaky toy. 🙂

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