Who Needs Towels…or Shake Shake Shake That Booty Dry!


pic attibuted to John Heller/Pittsburgh Post Gazette

I’ve been studying EmmaLou, Golden Destroyer, for almost 7 years now and if I’ve learned anything, I’ve learned that this 75 pound dog can shake off enough water after a bath that you could fill a swimming pool.  Not only that, it’s the amazing rotating motion from her head to her tail that totally fascinates me — so much so I never get a towel over her before she soaks the entire bathroom (and me) as I’m so busy watching the show.

I read an article the other day and there is quite a science behind this water-logged-doggie-spraying.  It’s called wet dog shake physics. No, I’m not making this up – they’ve really studied it. In fact, dogs are so efficient at de-watering themselves, the folks who make washing machines are studying them.  Really.  A washing machine that could get your clothes wrung out enough that you don’t have to toss such heavy wet laundry into the dryer — I’m liking this science stuff.

I did my own study of EmmaLou and the wet dog  shake physics.  I got out of the shower the other day and I started at the top of my head and I whipped my head around shaking all my very long hair and then I tried to get the shake part to naturally follow through the rest of my torso. I ended up twisting too far and hurt the dickens out of my neck and I liked to never get my legs pointed in the right direction again. Oh, I tried to turn my head a full 180 like EmmaLou can when she shakes, but all I got was shades of The Exorcist and a tremendous headache.   And I was still wet. 

Turns out…on top of the amazing ability to turn their heads 180 degrees, dogs also have lots of loose skin which increases the amount of water they shed. Now I know I’ve lost alot of weight…but my skin just isn’t loose enough to flop around and shed water.  It only jiggles if I do my “bat-wing” impression, but that’s another story.   

This experiment did nothing but make me dizzy and EmmaLou, Golden Destroyer, was on the bathroom floor with her back paws crossed trying hard not to pee she was laughing so hard.  Dumb dog and her bright ideas anyway.  Shake the water off. 

Here’s a very cool video from the Time Warp people and it explains the science behind the dog shaking in detail and slow motion -it’s about 5 minutes long but well worth it.  Trust me, though, DON’T try this at home – it really hurts and you’re still wet!  And here’s a tip from a vet for you — after you wash and rinse your dog, quickly grab their muzzle and hold on until you can towel them off — holding the muzzle keeps the dog from shaking because the shake starts at the head.  Cool, huh?  If I grabbed EmmaLou’s muzzle I’d probably pull back a bloody stump…so I’ll just stick to having lots of towels on hand come bath time…sigh