Why Does My Dog Shake When They See a Squirrel?
There are many reasons your dog might shake when they see a squirrel. It could be due to internal pain, something caught in their intestines, or other external causes. Regardless of the reason, the shaking is likely due to pain. Your dog may also be shaking due to their emotions, such as fear, excitement, or anxiety. If you find your dog shaking when they see a squirrel, it is most likely due to fear.
Prey drive in dogs
Many dogs start their prey drive when they see a squirrel, but most will not make it this far. Dogs who have a high prey drive often chase cats around the house. They may also chase small children, which is a serious danger if you have small children or cats. Herding dogs are especially good at this and may run around chasing small children in circles. Fortunately, they will usually avoid these situations if they are kept with other pets.
If you notice that your dog is showing signs of prey drive, it is a good idea to start training it to ignore it. You can use games of fetch, flirt poles, or other hunt/chase activities as rewards. Fetch sessions are also excellent ways to practice recall, which can be a useful training technique. If your dog is always going after prey and trying to avoid you, try working on your recall instead.
Licking as a natural action
Licking is an important animal behavior, and you might have noticed a squirrel licking your fingers or nibbling at your food. In addition to licking your fingers and mouth, squirrels have massive fangs, and they are constantly growing them. The act of licking protects their teeth and keeps them healthy. Licking is also an expression of love, and you might even be surprised to discover that a squirrel will lick you!
The RSPB community forum has a great discussion about squirrel behaviour and why it’s so common. Interestingly, the behaviour began after Fiona Turner replaced her balmullo gravel with Douglas Muir quartz. Other readers have observed that the squirrels often choose quartz/quartz-like stones, suggesting that a mineral deficiency is the underlying cause. This could explain the discerning nature of their stone choices.
Identifying the trigger
It’s not always easy to pinpoint the exact cause, but many dogs tremble when they see a squirrel or another animal. Some dogs shiver out of excitement and anticipation, while others shake when they see a squirrel because they think it’s a good time to eat. Fortunately, there are ways to calm your dog when they show signs of anxiety, such as providing comfort and gradually desensitizing them to the fear.
Treating your dog’s fear of squirrels can be a difficult task. It can result in upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea. But don’t give up just yet. There are some simple treatments that can help your dog learn to leave the squirrel alone. Here are some of the most effective ones. To start, give your dog a treat every time she breaks her focus on the squirrel. Once your dog stops showing her attention to the squirrel, she should be left alone.
A shaken-up dog is often a sign of anxiety. This behavior can be a result of pain or excitement. When a dog gets excited, it might start shaking to burn off all its energy. Some common causes of doggy shaking are chocolate, cigarettes, xylitol, and squirrel bait. Metaldehyde in snail baits can cause severe muscle tremors in your dog and even convulsions.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.