One advantage to being a quadruped is the ability to do a full body shake. I’ve watched my dogs shake and it looks like a full body shake feels really good. I suppose shaking feels good because the dog is removing whatever is in his fur and fluffing out the hair. Being able to remove rain and snow so efficiently is handy too.
The all-furry team seems to use shaking as a form of personal expression as well. For example, I just took them all outside. As I was putting on leashes, there was some shaking, some sneezing, and general milling around to express the joy of the outing moment.
As anyone who has ever washed a dog knows, a full-body shake begins at the nose, moves through the midsection to the rear and ends with tail flapping. A word to the uninitiated: if you are washing a dog and he begins to shake, if you can stop the head movement, sometimes you can avoid getting soaked.
Leto the Large has the most impressive body shake of our four dogs. Perhaps because he’s the largest dog in the pack, it’s easier to see the entire shaking process as it moves down his body and through his tail. He sort of looks like a furry zipper or something. The final tail wiggles are particularly amusing.
I’ve been trying for years to teach my dogs to shake on command, but so far no dice. The idea is that you say, "shake" when the dog is wet and is going to shake himself anyway. So far my dogs have never made the connection. Oh well, at least they look really happy when they do it. Sometimes it’s good to just let a dog be a dog.