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Why do dogs shake their fur when they get up?

Updated on February 17, 2012

It is quite understandable for a dog to shake its fur after it had been swimming or after it has had a bath. By shaking its body the dog will remove the excess water from its fur. The pet is actually helping the master in drying up. Towels will no longer be needed to dry the fur of the dog. But what can be the reason for a dog to shake its fur when it gets up? Unless the dog has been sleeping under a downpour shaking rainwater off the fur will not be necessary.  Dogs though are creatures of habit and the behaviors that are somewhat perplexing to us humans are instinctive to a dog.

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A waking up ritual

What do you do after the alarm clock pealed? Depending on the schedule for the day, humans would either scramble on his/her feet or stretched luxuriously.  Long haired people would swing the head to shake the hair. Short haired people would run their fingers through the hair. A dog on the other hand would start the day by stretching and shaking its fur. Basically, both humans and canines do this motion to wake up the body.

To settle the hair

Who would ever think that dogs like some of some of their masters are vain too? A dog that shakes its fur after getting up is rearranging the hair that was mussed while sleeping. Because dogs don’t have hands, they cannot brush their hair but these intelligent animals have an ingenious way of putting the hair back in place. They simply have to shake and presto the hair will be effectively and cleverly rearranged to its proper alignment.

To remove foreign objects

The habits of present day dogs were all rooted from the habits of their progenitors, the wolves. Wolves would bed on pile of leaves, on grasses and even on the hard ground. Dirt, dust, water, snow, mud and other objects can get lodged on the fur of the wolves. By shaking the fur, all foreign objects will be removed. Domesticated dogs are provided with comfortable beds. There is no need for the dog to remove bits and pieces of dirt form its fur but the primitive habit will kick in from time to time, the dog is seen shaking it fur after getting up.

To change the mood

The dog’s habit of shaking its fur after getting up was attributed by dog behaviorist to the dog’s way of changing gear – from the passive mood while the dog is sleeping to an alert and energetic mood that will be assumed by a wide awake dog.

Time Warp - Dog Shake Short


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