Why Do Dogs Shake Their Body When They Get Up? Explanation

It is still a mystery: Why do dogs shake their body when they get up? Don’t worry, as it is just a normal habit.

But what are the explanations for this phenomenon? Have your puppies done some random shake-offs?

This article will provide a satisfying answer to these questions. Stay tuned, and let’s get started!

Why Do Dogs Shake Their Body When They Get Up?

why do dogs shake their body when they get up

It is normal to see your canine stretching its body after a sleep or nap. Like humans, it shakes their body to warm up the muscles and get ready for a new day.

This practice could be traced back to the time when every day was a battle for survival.

Dogs, as fighters and hunters, did not know when their territory was invaded and whether they got enough food to feed on that day.

Therefore, stretching and shaking after a wake-up seems not a ritual but more than a preparation for an upcoming hunt for food and brawl for territory.

This evolution has remained in later generations, acting as a good preparation for dogs to tackle the day’s exertions.

Why Do Dogs Do Those Random Shake-Offs?

Here are some common reasons why puppies often shake their bodies:

  • The water shake
  • He’s stress
  • Normal socializing manner
  • After strenuous exercises
  • Feeling uncomfortable
  • Skin irritation or ear infection
  • Feeling cold

Let’s take a closer look at each case.

The Water Shake

why do dogs shake their bodies

When your dog gets wet, it will do constant shake-offs to dry itself. A surprising fact is that a typical puppy could get 70% excess water off its fur within four seconds after shaking.

You can easily notice this habit when showering your canine.

I have already washed my dog with cold water in summer, and when I go to grab the towel, he beats me and finishes the shake-off in the blink of an eye. Maybe, it hates being wet.

When He’s Stress

Stress in dogs can be manifested by shaking/trembling.

Your puppy is probably suffering from physical pain or neurological disorders, and shake-off is the only way it relies on to escape from this predicament.

Some specialists regard the phenomenon as an adrenaline flush, which means a strong feeling when someone or something has got too strong emotional arousal.

Regardless of whether it is positive or negative, take your canine to the clinic for veterinary care if it displays some shaker syndromes or signs of pain.

When He’s Socializing

When a puppy engages in social situations with humans or canine friends, you can easily come across its excessive head shaking. 

This is a perfect outlet for muscle tensions and emotional anxiety, no matter how exciting or stressful the interactions turn.

I have witnessed my 9-week-old puppy humping and shaking his tail towards my neighbor’s dog. This confused me a lot, but now I’ve got an answer.

After Taking Strenuous Exercises

High-energy exercises could beat your dog up by filling him with extra excitement and sending its muscles into spasm. As mentioned earlier, shaking is the best way to relieve these tensions.

Your furry friend might often do vigorous shake-offs when you return home and unlock the front door. This is an outstanding example of the high-energy rush. 

And your pet shakes to not only welcome you but also release that energy before moving into a calm state.

Feeling Uncomfortable

Shake-off is also helpful to sway the discomfort by providing a respite to get rid of uncomfortable feelings. This practice can be followed by pawing and scratching. 

In this case, you should stay away from your puppy if you don’t want to get injured.

Skin Irritation Or Ear Infection

Shaking also tells you about your canine’s diseases, commonly skin itch and ear infections.

My dog has experienced this case. At first, I felt quite confused, as he just did the constant body shake.

Then, I took him to a reliable pet clinic, and the veterinarian checked his medical condition before reaching a conclusion.

Feeling Cold

Like humans, dogs will all shake when their bodies are freezing.

Shivering is a common reaction to an undesirable temperature, helping facilitate the blood’s circulation and gradually warm up the entire body.

This is especially true in some small and short-haired breeds that don’t have a good body mass, and their insulation capacities are not good.

Frequently Asked Questions

what does it mean when a dog shakes his body

Why Do Dogs Shake Themselves When They Are Not Wet?

Under most circumstances, dogs shake their furs with the purpose of removing dirt, debris, and dust which have been lodged in their coats.

Besides, shaking is also a clear sign of your puppy facing up with stress or trying to overcome fear. Although shake-off is normal, you had better keep a close eye on your canine to avert worse scenarios.

Why Do Dogs Shake Their Bodies After You Pet Them?

Cuddling a dog is undoubtedly a soothing experience that many people favor. Yet, this practice could greatly raise a dog’s emotional arousal by stimulating and making it feel more excited.

To counter the pent-up energy rushes, shaking is an optimal choice. With strong and constant movements, it would gradually sway these tensions before calming down.

When Should I Be Worried About My Dog Shaking?

Shaking could turn into other forms, like shivering and trembling. They are symptoms of something serious, including kidney diseases, ear mites, injuries, muscle weakness or poisoning.

In addition, other dangerous diseases, such as diarrhea, limping, and vomiting, can be the main causes that you should pay close attention to.

Suppose your canine displays medical issues, have a certified vet do the overall check-up immediately.

The Bottom Line

Why do dogs shake their body when they get up? Don’t let this question bother you. It’s normal, most of the time.

But I also explain the random shake-off phenomenon among puppies and note some symptoms telling that the canine health condition is jeopardized.

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Thank you for reading this article, and have a nice day!


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Hi I am Mitchell. Dog Growth is a blog about dog caring and training where I share my experiences to my community. Hope you enjoy it!

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