Why Do Dogs Shake, Quiver and Jiggle

dog shake cover

Ever wonder why your dog does a little shake or maybe a quiver for no reason at all? Sure we’ve all seen dogs shake after the bath or when they finish swimming, in fact peeps do the same thing with their wet hair sometimes.

But dogs also shake when they wake up, after you hug them, when grooming is over, after play, or even after a little training. What is all this dog shaking all about?

5 Reasons Dogs Shake

After getting wet

dog shake water

Okay this is simple and you probably think you know why they do this and even know it’s going to happen. But it’s not what you think. Trust me we’re not trying to get you wet, even if we think that could be a good idea, we actually do it due to our survival instinct.

When we were were wild dogs, it could dangerous for us to stay wet. A soaking wet coat especially long-haired dogs, can weigh heavily on the body, which can make it difficult for us to quickly run away if attacked by a predator.

In winter, a wet dog can lose a ton of calories trying to stay warm while waiting for their fur to dry.

However a quick shake can get a dog up to 70 percent dry in just a matter of seconds.

stress reliever

dog shake head tilt

When a dog is faced with something confusing or overwhelming and is a bit confused on what to do, he’ll give his body a shake. It’s not a conscious behavior but more of an automatic response.

It’s the same behavior in peeps. For example taking a deep breath before a job interview or a few hand shakes before starting a sporting event.

Get it off

dog shake ground

Back in the wild dogs slept on the ground which could be filled with bugs, sticks, leaves, fleas and dirt which all could get stuck into their fur. A wild dog after waking would naturally shake to release all that debris from their fur.

Even thought today our dogs have the comfort of a doggy bed, or even perhaps yours, old habits are hard to break, especially our wild instincts that make us dogs.

Touch me all over

dog shakebelly rub

Now don’t get me wrong, we love our belly rubs and we also love a good snuggle, but sometimes it’s just a little too much for us to deal with. Also grooming us with all that attention can also pent us up and we really, really want to “shake” that experience away. Think of it as when you go “whew” after just finishing something intense, it’s a sign you release that triggers a job is finished and let’s move on.

That is why when you give your dog extensive touching, grooming or cleaning from you will result in some vigorous shaking after you’re done, usually with a wag of the tail.


dog shake embarrassed

Sometimes emotions can just get the better of us and we can even get the feeling of “flight or fight” and with all that emotional energy we need to let it out some how. So when we shake it’s just a way for us to release some energy and get back to a normal state.

You might see us do that after an altercation with another dog, we’ll huff, give a shake and move on!

For me, I will also shake when I get embarrassed.  For example I missed the sofa when I was jumping up and boy did it make my peep and her friends giggle. I was not amused, so I gave myself a little shake and walked on over to my comfy dog bed, simple as that.