Sometimes it's really clear why dogs shake their bodies. Other times, not so much. Read on to find out the top five reasons dogs shake their whole bodies.

Why Do Dogs Shake Their Bodies?


I don’t know about your pooch, but when it comes to my two canine cuties there’s always a whole lotta shakin’ going on! Not the shivering or scared type of shaking. I’m talking about a deliberate it’s time to shake my whole body kind of shake. Sometimes it’s really clear why dogs shake their bodies. Other times, not so much. Read on to find out the top five reasons dogs shake their whole bodies.


1) The Water Shake

Did you know that a dog can shake off 70% of the water on his body in just 4 seconds? I’m sure we’ve all been witness to the water shake. Fido gets wet and you know full well that you better jump out of the way as he twists his head, neck, and body to initiate the shake. So, the next time you have your canine kid in the bathtub and you go to grab the towel, don’t be surprised if he beats you to it and has already done the shake. For me, I’m always ready with one hand on my Diego’s body and the other on the towel. I’ve been showered one too many times by the water shake. He’s quick, but I’m quicker (well, sometimes)!

Sometimes it's really clear why dogs shake their bodies. Other times, not so much. Read on to find out the top five reasons dogs shake their whole bodies.

If you want to see the mechanics of how dogs shake water off of their bodies, watch the following video by Discovery. They had three dogs at the beachall different breeds with various fur/hair types. It’s definitely informative and it’ll give you big smiles as well. 

Video Via YouTube/Discovery

2) The Rise And Shine Shake

I have to say, from the moment I wake up, I see a canine around me shaking—whether it’s after a good nights sleep or a midday nap. Upon waking, the shake is a way of getting a dog’s body ready to move. It’s a way to warm up the muscles, just like when we wake up and stretch.

3) The Time To Be Done And Move On Shake

Many dogs will give a shake when they are finished doing something and are ready to move on. My Diego and Gigi are forever rolling around and playing, but when their play session is over, you can bet it’ll end with “the shake.” 

4) The Stress Relief Shake

If little Fido is stressed or anxious then he’ll more than likely give a shake when the stressful event is over. Maybe you’re taking a stroll through the neighborhood and happen to meet up with an unfamiliar pooch. After the meeting, you may notice your dog shake his body. Or Fido may be feeling stressed by the stranger walking near your house. When he’s done barking, he may shake. It’s your canine kid’s way of letting go, very similar to how a human may self-calm by taking a deep breath. 

5) Skin Irritation, Feeling Itchy, or Ear Infections

This is the only one on the list that may need some follow-up care with the vet. If your fur baby is doing the body shake continuously, he may be uncomfortable and trying to relieve himself. He could be itchy and unable to scratch the itch. Check his skin for any rash or irritation and assess whether you need a follow up with the vet. Additionally, if you notice your pooch shaking his head a lot, he may have an ear infection. If this is the case, he will definitely need a vet check. 


Whether it’s to shake off excess water on their body or to decrease anxiety, I think we can all agree that dogs love to do the body shake. Does your fur kid do the shake a lot? Tell us in the comment section below what makes your pooch shake his body.