I just read something that I think is pretty silly.
As background, this is what has been taking up a lot of my time for the last two months:
Louie was my Christmas present to myself. He’s a little ball of love. And a little ball of work. My schedule has changed, I had to hire a dog trainer to come to the house to help with housebreaking, we’re visiting a doggie day care tomorrow to see about him staying there two times a week so that I don’t have to get up and leave meetings every day of the week to go and let him out….
He’s worth it.
One of his little idiosyncracies is that he shakes a lot. As in starts at the head and shakes all the way down (I would say from his head to his tail but French bulldogs don’t have tails).
So, I did what anyone would do: I looked up “Why do dogs shake?” on Google.
The first article that came back was from Modern Dog magazine. The article proposes that dogs shake because humans are showing them love in ways that their canine brains can’t process.
Emotion is energy-in-motion, which is why the more emotional we feel the more animated we become and want to move. And as energy emotion has an internal dynamic of movement that works quite like the tides in that there is a rising and an ebbing effect. When emotion sweeps over us, we can feel it surge as if we’re a tidal basin being flooded with a wave, and then these effects slowly subside and in fact can linger for a very long time. So in the animal mind, when there is an input of love that falls outside this natural rhythm, the canine mind doesn’t necessarily process it as love, but rather as social pressure, which to a dog is equivalent to pain and since the emotional circuitry piggybacks on the most basic systems of physiology, the dog shakes it off.
WTF? The dog mind can’t process love, but it can process social pressure? PUH-LEEZE! Glad I haven’t subscribed to Modern Dog.
Then I went to the other most visited site for information: YouTube.
Another WTF moment. There has actually been scientific work on dog shaking water off its coat.
If you have time to watch this video — DO! The scientists involved actually videoed (in slow-mo, no less) a rat shaking so that you and I can see its skeleton during the process.
And I still don’t know why Louie shakes except that he just feels like it. Good enough.