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Why dogs shake their toys

Approx. 3 minutes read

Why do dogs shake their toys?

Why do dogs shake their toys and what does it reveal about your dog’s personality?

If you have a dog, you have probably had quite a few good laughs when you see your dog run around shaking its toy with a powerful whipping action, which gets your dog’s whole body involved in the shake, shake, shake. This type of behaviour goes all the way back to your pup’s ancestors who had to hunt to survive.

The “Attack”

Why dogs shake their toys

When your dog “attacks” its fluffy toys, it is mimicking the same action as what a wolf and another wild canine animal would do to kill its prey. The shaking action done by these wild animals is to snap their prey’s neck or back instantly. Your cuddle fur buddy might be the sweetest thing on earth, but it still has that urge to “attack” it’s dog toys. When shopping for a toy that your dog would love to play with, get one that will suit your dog’s size, for instance, get a small squeaking bear for a small breed and a bigger toy like a hare with a squeaker. This will make “attack” playtime so much more fun.

“Let’s Play”Why dogs shake their toys

Although your dog shakes its toys due to survival instincts, it also does it because it is a lot of fun. What’s more fun than having a game on with their favourite person EVER! Don’t be surprised if your pup grabs it’s favourite toy, dives in front of you and shakes the toy around. It is your fur babies way of saying “Hey, look at me! Let’s play!” Your dog might even shake its toy when you throw it away for him/her to retrieve it, making the game even more fun. Your dog might even shake its toy into your hand to make you carry on playing the game.

“Destroy the toy”Why dogs shake their toys

Most dogs shake their toys around in a playful manner, but some dogs show aggression towards their toys. Pay close attention to your dog’s body language when it shakes a toy. If your dog is bouncing around playfully, with the front part of the body lower to the ground and back part of the body in the air with the tail wagging, your dog is out for a bit of fun and games. However, if your dog jumps up and shakes its toy with its body in a more firm right up position, the tail is straight up in the air (not wagging) and hair raised, the behaviour might be more aggressive. This behaviour can lead to your dog shaking smaller pets or even young children. Stopping the aggressive shaking behaviour is essential. Work with your vet or try and find an animal behaviourist to help you prevent this behaviour.

Do you come home to fluffy bits all over your home? “Ruffus!! What have you done?” When your dog shreds its toys into small bits and pieces when you are not around, most of the time it means that your dog is either under stimulated and needs a lot more exercise than it is currently getting, or your dog might be suffering from anxiety. Take your pet for long walks and games to eliminate any frustration or boredom. If your dog continues to shred its toys and items in or out of your home, then take your dog to the vet to get assessed.

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