Why do dogs shake their fur when they get up?

April 13, 2012

Dogs are creatures of habits. It is natural for a dog to instinctively do a certain movement or action. Dog owners would know that their pets manifest some disconcerting habits. These habits are linked from the traits of the dog’s ancestors. Dogs for instance have this unaccountable fondness to roll in smelly things. This habit was attributed to the wolves’ predisposition to cover their natural canine smell to evade their predators. By covering their natural smell, the wolves can easily sneak up to their prey. Unlike other disconcerting habits, a pet that shakes its fur after getting up would not upset a dog owner. Nevertheless, the habit would still be perplexing. What does a dog get from shaking its fur? It would be understandable if the dog has been running in the rain or if the pet has been swimming. Dogs that are bathed by their masters are seen shaking their fur too. Obviously, by shaking the fur, the dog will be able to remove the remaining drops of water from its body. What then can be the reason why a dog that has been sleeping in its comfortable well padded bed would shake its fur after getting up?

When we humans got up from our beds, our hair will be all mussed up from tossing and turning while sleeping. So what would we do? Instinctively we would either toss the head or to finger comb the hair. The action is done to put some semblance to the disarrayed hair. Don’t you think this is also the reason why your pet shakes its fur when it gets up? Dogs are not restless sleepers. In fact most of these animals sleep all curled up. But this does not mean that their hair will not be disarrayed. Dogs are great sleepers. These animals spend more than half of their lives sleeping. This means that a dog would lie down anywhere and whenever the opportunity to sleep is presented. The dog would lie down in the dirt, in the snow, on a mound of grasses and leaves. When the dog awakens, it would shake it fur to remove the dust and the dirt that clings to its fur. A sleeping dog is on a passive mood. As soon as the dog awakens it would stretch its body and shake the fur. These motions are believed to be the dog’s way of changing moods. The inert dog is now switching on the alert and active mode.

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