Why Do Dogs Shake In The Bath?




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Imagine you’re giving your furry friend a much-needed bath, and as soon as the water hits their adorable doggy body, they start vigorously shaking themselves. You may be wondering, “Why do dogs shake in the bath?” Well, this article is here to uncover the reasons behind this quirky behavior and provide you with valuable insights into dog care best practices, nutrition, training techniques, product recommendations, and reviews of American dog brands. Whether you’re a seasoned dog lover or a first-time pet owner, this informative and engaging article is tailored just for you. So, let’s embark on this journey to understand our four-legged companions a little better and ensure their bath time becomes a stress-free experience.

Why do dogs shake in the bath?

Why Do Dogs Shake In The Bath?


Bathing your dog is an important part of their grooming routine, but have you ever wondered why they shake vigorously when they’re wet? It’s a common sight for dog owners, but the reasons behind this behavior may not be immediately obvious. In this article, we’ll dive into the various factors that contribute to dogs shaking in the bath, helping you understand your furry friend’s behavior a little better.

Instinctive behavior

One of the primary reasons dogs shake in the bath is an instinctive response embedded in their DNA. As descendants of wolves, dogs have inherited survival mechanisms that help them cope with wet fur. When a dog shakes, it helps to remove excess water from their coat, preventing the discomfort of being wet for extended periods. This natural behavior is rooted in their wild ancestors’ need to stay warm and dry in their natural habitats.

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Water sensitivity

While some dogs may enjoy swimming or playing with water, others are naturally more sensitive to it. This sensitivity can be attributed to their breed or individual temperament. Dogs with thick or double coats, such as Siberian Huskies or Bernese Mountain Dogs, may find the sensation of water on their skin uncomfortable. Consequently, they may shake intensely in an attempt to alleviate the discomfort they experience during their bath.

Temperature discomfort

Water temperature can play a significant role in why dogs shake during a bath. Dogs, like humans, have a preferred range of temperatures that they find comfortable. If the water is too warm or too cold, it can cause discomfort and prompt shaking as a response. Ensuring that the water is lukewarm, making it neither excessively hot nor cold, can help minimize any distress your dog may feel during bath time.

Why Do Dogs Shake In The Bath?

Fear and anxiety

Just like some humans, some dogs experience fear and anxiety when it comes to bathing. This could be due to a traumatic experience in the past, unfamiliar surroundings, or a general aversion to the process. Dogs who feel anxious or fearful during baths may shake as a physical manifestation of their emotional state. It’s important to approach bath time with patience, reassurance, and positive reinforcement to help alleviate their anxiety and build trust.

Unfamiliar sensations

For dogs who are not accustomed to the sensations of water, shampoo, and being handled during a bath, the experience can be overwhelming. The feeling of water cascading down their bodies, the sound of running water, and the unfamiliar scent of shampoo can all contribute to a dog’s urge to shake. It’s important to introduce these sensations gradually and acclimate your dog to the bathing process over time to reduce their discomfort.

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Why Do Dogs Shake In The Bath?

Drying off

After a bath, dogs instinctively try to dry themselves off as quickly as possible. The shaking motion helps to remove excess water from their fur, preventing it from weighing them down and potentially causing discomfort. While it may be a bit messy for us humans, this behavior is a natural and necessary part of the drying process for dogs.

Preventing shaking

While it may not be possible to completely eliminate shaking during bath time, there are a few strategies you can employ to minimize your dog’s discomfort. First, make sure the water temperature is ideal for your dog’s preferences. Additionally, using a gentle touch during bath time and speaking to your dog in a soothing, reassuring tone can help to alleviate any anxiety they may be experiencing. It’s also important to ensure a positive overall association with bathing, offering treats or praise throughout and after the bath to create a positive reinforcement loop.

Positive associations

Creating positive associations with bath time can go a long way in reducing your dog’s urge to shake. Using treats and verbal praise as rewards during and after baths can help your dog associate the experience with something enjoyable. It’s important to make bath time a calm and pleasant experience, devoid of any force or negative interactions. By doing so, you can help your dog feel more comfortable and less inclined to shake.


Understanding why dogs shake in the bath can help us be more empathetic and responsive to their needs during this grooming process. Whether it’s an instinctive behavior to remove excess water, a sensitivity to the sensations of water and grooming products, or a result of fear and anxiety, there are steps we can take to make bath time more comfortable for our furry friends. By creating positive associations, using suitable water temperatures, and ensuring a calm, soothing environment, we can transform bath time from a stressful experience to an enjoyable one for both you and your dog.

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