Take a Shake Break!

February 8, 2010

Start observing how often your dog shakes after an interaction!  Whenever dogs need a “reset button” to calm or restabilize their internal emotions, they will shake themselves off.  When dogs are playing or wrestling, for example, this action, known as a “calming gesture,” also serves to tell the other dog, “Ok, quick break, let’s take five,” and prevents their play activity from escalating into something more serious.  Dogs will frequently shake after basically any new or unfamiliar encounter with another dog, human, or situation.  Each time our Husky-mix Tasha alerts us that someone is at the door, as soon as we ask her to sit, tell her “Thank you!” open the door, speak to the visitor, then close the door again, Tasha will shake and then go lie down to relax.  It has become so predictable with both her and her sister Sadie that we’ve been able to put “Shake!” on cue, which really helps during brushing and grooming sessions!