Saturday, October 23, 2010

Blog Hop and today's science lesson: The Wet-Dog Shake

We typically don't cover physics lessons on our pet blog, but this one was too interesting to pass up.

You know that shaking motion dogs do to dry themselves off? Ever try to do that yourself with much success?  It seems you might as well stop trying.

According to the "Wet-Dog Shake" study conducted at Georgia Tech, that special oscillating motion that dog do to dry is just one more way that canines, and other animals, are somehow superior to us humans.

Andrew Dickerson, a graduate student and one of the authors of  the study, says humans can't possibly shake fast enough to dry, but that's not the reason the study was conducted.
He says in a recent NPR interview, "the original thought was that we could use what we find in this research to design a more efficient washing machine or design something that we haven't even thought about yet."

Whatever the reason, we found the following clip fascinating to watch. Dickerson's team used a high-speed video camera and fur-particle tracking to help determine how many shakes per second animals of various sizes perform to dry themselves.

The smaller the animal, the more shakes per second, or hertz (Hz).  So while a tiny mouse oscillates at 27 Hz, a Labrador Retriever records 4.3 Hz. By my calculations, that means Cosmo Havanese oscillates somewhere around 6 Hz . Any way you look at it, that's a whole lotta shaking going on.

And now let's shimmy on down to the Hop! 


  1. Did they study the reaction to the wet dog shake - the human jump out of the way of the wet dog shake?

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  2. He he!! Good question! Apparently the scientists had to endure a lot of wetness!

  3. Good question Yoda. I always figured the shaking was similar to the licking ones own butt. Humans were just not designed to do such things. I guess that is why the humans always want to use the loud blowwing monster on their fur. Sasha the wiener dog blog hopper.

  4. BOL! Just one up on da hoomans! I loves to shake during my bathtime! Its my way of say 'how much I love a bath.' Not!

    Hugs & smoochies!! XOXO

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