Dogs look awfully funny when they shake their toys back and forth, but there is a reason that they do it, two actually. One reason has to do with instinct, and the other reason has to do with play.
Instinctual Toy Shaking
Before dogs were domesticated, they had to capture and kill their prey to eat. Once a dog would catch his prey, he would shake it violently from side to side to kill it. The process of capturing and killing is called the “prey instinct.” Domestic dogs shake their toys because it is part of their prey instinct.
Shaking Toys for Play
According to Vetstreet, veterinary behaviorist Dr. Margaret Gruen from the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine says that toy shaking is a component of enthusiastic play for domestic dogs, and that they like the feeling of a toy swiping the sides of their face.
- Photo Credit riksphotography/iStock/Getty Images
Why Do Dogs Shake Their Ears?
A list and description of several reasons that a dog might shake his head/ears, with information about veterinary treatment.
Why Do Dogs Shake Their Legs When You Pet Them?
Petting your dog and seeing that hind leg start to shake is bound to get a giggle or two out of yourself...
How to Correct Bad Behavior in Dogs
It's important to train your dog to fit in with the family. The key word here is "train." Dogs don't know what...
How to Play With a Chihuahua
Chihuahuas make the perfect pint-sized pets; however, they are one of the smallest breeds of dogs, meaning they need some special considerations,...