Have you ever had a wet dog on your hands (after a bath, or a walk outside in the rain) and just wished he would “shake” his fur on command? You know, to knock most of the wet dripping water off.
Or, what about when your dog rolls on the ground and collects bits of leaves, grass and who-knows-what-else in his fur? If only he would knock much of that debris out with a good “shake” first. Then you’d feel better about him jumping in the car or entering the house, right?
We taught our dogs to “shake” (their fur) on command.
To get our dogs to “shake” on command, we started in the bathtub.
Our mission was simply to not let them get out of the tub UNTIL they shook!
Shaking Wet Fur Is A Natural Behavior
Of course, at first, they didn’t have a clue what we were so excited about. But this reaction paid off for us in the long run.
Usually, each dog would feel the urge to “shake” at least twice during their bath — on their own. So that gave us two times to praise them for performing such behavior — without us even asking for it!
Shaking On Command Isn’t
The harder part was getting them to “shake” at the end of the bath, and on command.
How’d we do that?…
Naturally, I was right there coaxing them… “Shake…Shake…” all the while, staring impatiently at them while they looked completely bewildered.
Eventually, however, they would instinctively feel the urge to do just one more shake — which got them lots of praise and a free pass out of the bathtub!
That’s pretty much how we did it.
Extending “Shake” Outside of the Bath
For example, any time the dogs would be in the backyard or playing indoors and they would “shake” (after roughhousing, or rolling in the grass for example), we would immediately praise them: “Good Shake!”
Eventually, they began to put together the words “Good Shake” with the behavior, and they would do it on command — for praise and/or a treat.
Why This Is A Great Dog Trick
This particular command (or dog trick) has been valuable to us at the following times:
- when they’re dripping wet from a bath — indoors or outside
- when their fur is full of freshly fallen snow
- after they’ve just been bathed, and there’s a lot of loose fur that’s fallen out
- when they’ve just rolled in something
- after they’ve just been brushed, and there are a bunch of loose flyaway hairs