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Morning stretch „a lá” dog – why do they do it?
16:00 - 19 March 2019
We have all seen our dogs do long stretches after they woke up in the morning, often choosing the funniest positions, ending it with a good body-shake. Let’s talk about the reasons and the explanation.
Watching our furball wake up is always adorable and heartwarming, as they get ready for some fun, play or a walk whithin a few seconds. Getting up is usually not too hard for them, no matter how long or short their sleeping time has been. (Don’t we envy them for this?) There is one typical moment we can observe between waking up and getting ready for the day ahead: stretching, head-and-body shake. Does it have any function or is it simply something that feels good for our furbabies?
Well, it’s true for our dogs, too: stretching their body and limbs possibly numb from sleeping can feel good. But this exercise had always been of vital importance for their ancestors: muscles also have a rest during a long nap, they relax or sometimes get tensed, which makes it more difficult to react - fight or flight - to a sudden threat or danger, when they are asleep.
Stretching is a natural signal for the muscles: it’s time to wake up. It invigorates blood circulation, the heart beats faster, all to help the body to retrieve its mobility. Evolution serves individuals who are well-prepared: being numb or less awake means less power and capacity to find food, to mate and to survive. „Dogs are highly active creatures. Whenever they wake up, they are likely to move around and be ready for a nice walk, fun and play. But before all the action, they need to reboot the system – stretching is the best way to achieve it.” – told The Dodo dogtrainer, Jackie Cameron.
What about the head-and-body shake? This could also help the muscles to wake up – and surely feels good for our pets, right?
Index image source: volvoab.com
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