Aggressiveness While Playing – Why Dogs Shake Their Toys

July 21, 2019

If your pooch is chasing, tugging or shaking his toys while playing, this means one of their basic instincts is coming to the surface.

This kind of behavior is simply carved into their DNA and its origin can be traced back to your dog’s ancestors who simply had to hunt in order to survive.

Even the youngest pups will shake their toys, even though they themselves don’t really know why. This behavior imitates the act of their wild canine ancestors killing a small prey.

The pulling and the shaking action were used to instantly break the neck or the back of the prey. Your pooch may be cute and cuddly, but he still holds those basic instincts to attack his toys, or whatever looks like it might run away from him. If you haven’t yet given him some toys, it is probably a good idea to do so. Your dog has this ancient need inside of him, and he will try to satisfy it, one way or the other.

Get him toys that will match the size of his imaginary prey. A small pooch will need, let’s say, a toy the size of a mouse, while a larger dog will need something bigger, let’s say a cat-sized toy.

If you are playing fetch and your dog won’t let go of the toy he’s just brought back to you, that means the basic instinct has kicked in.

If you let the toy go and put an end to the tugging game, he might start shaking it again in order to tease you and lure you back into another round.

When your ball of fur is ready to play, he might take the toy not allowing you to have it and he will start shaking it aggressively. This is his way of luring you to pay attention to him and play with him. Although the initial trigger for the behavior lies in hunting for survival, dogs later continue to do it simply because it is fun.

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