Why Do Dogs Shake Their Toys?

Dogs do a lot of strange things leaving owners to wonder about their odd behaviors. If you’ve been wondering why do dogs shake their toys aggressively, I’ve got the answer!

Humans domesticated dogs between 20,000 and 40,000 years ago.

Through selective breeding, humans have been able to change just about every aspect of a dog’s genetic makeup.

We have created bigger, stronger dogs than ever before. We’ve also created smaller breeds than ever before.

Faster dogs jump higher, and even dogs that don’t shed have been developed by selective breeding over hundreds of years.

Certain natural instincts have withstood the test of time, which is where some of our dogs’ strange behavior comes from.

Why do dogs shake their toys? Maybe it’s an instinct, or maybe it’s a learned behavior. Let’s examine the research.

Why Do Dogs Shake Their Toys?

why do dogs shake their toys

Dogs shaking toys is natural and normal behavior. However, it can become an obsessive habit.

When a wild dog catches prey, he grabs it by the back of the neck and shakes it around aggressively until it is dead.

Your dog shaking his toys around is just that natural instinct rearing its head.

After thousands of years of domestication, your dog only uses this behavior as a form of play now.

Your dog may also shake his toys out of boredom. If he’s not getting enough mental stimulation, he may vent some of his frustration on his toys.

If your dog shakes his toys out of boredom, it probably won’t stop there.

In an effort to entertain himself, your dog will probably shred the toy to pieces – or at least try to.

Is Dog Toy Shaking A Problem?

Usually, this behavior is not something to be concerned about. However, if your dog chews toys obsessively or if he is aggressive when playing or guarding his toys, then you have a problem.

If left untreated, your dog could exhibit this behavior towards other animals in your home or small children.

If you’re worried about your pooch's aggressive behavior, it’s best to consult a trainer who has experience with this type of behavior.

If you feel that the behavior is mild and you train your pup yourself, you’ll need to work on command training. Your dog will need to be taught the ‘drop it’ command.

When he picks up something he shouldn’t, train him to drop it. When he starts vigorously shaking his toy, tell him to drop it.

If your dog has an issue with resource guarding, it’s important to start training immediately. Be consistent!

Any leeway will have your dog thinking he can get away with aggressive behavior sometimes.

He needs to learn quickly that this type of behavior is unacceptable.

If command training isn’t working or your dog is becoming more aggressive towards you, other family members, or other pets in your home, seek professional help immediately.

Find a dog trainer who is skilled in dealing with aggressive dogs. They can help you learn to train your pet safely and with confidence.

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Samantha’s biggest passion in life is spending time with her Boxer dogs. After she rescued her first Boxer in 2004, Samantha fell in love with the breed and has continued to rescue three other Boxers since then. She enjoys hiking and swimming with her Boxers, Maddie and Chloe.