Dogs are great shakes at drying themselves

A good shake dry
A good shake dry

Before you can wrap your dog up in a towel after his bath, or when he’s just run out of the sea, you can find yourself drenched by a doggy monsoon.

Why does that happen?

Research reveals that a dog can shake nearly 70 per cent of the water from his fur in just four seconds.

Why shaking is such a highly effective method for dogs to dry their fur was a mystery until a few years ago.

American professor Dr David Hu was intrigued when he saw his fiancee’s miniature poodle perform the damp dog shake and took the poodle into his lab for a closer look.

Dr Hu and his students turned hoses on different breeds, recording their responses with high-speed cameras and mathematical analysis.

They found dogs calibrate how quickly they shake to the size of their bodies.

A bigger dog with a larger body radius will perform a slower shake than a smaller one. Dogs have very loose skin and as they shake their skin is actually swishing 90 degrees in either direction.

What’s more the skin whips far faster than the backbone, generating a force of between 10 and 70 times that of gravity.

Scientists found the shake and dry trick is performed by other furry mammals from mice to bears. Dr Hu suggests that it confers an evolutionary advantage for animal ancestors, getting wet in a freezing winter could be fatal.

Water destroys the insulating properties of fur and with nothing to preserve body heat they could perish from hypothermia.

So furry animals including dogs evolved their own energy efficient way to dry; the great shakes of the four legged spin dryer.