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Why Do Dachshunds Shake, Shiver & Tremble? (11 Reasons)

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Seeing your dachshund shake, shiver or tremble can be quite concerning. It’s important to know why they’re shaking so you can know if it’s harmless or quite serious.

Why Do Dachshunds Shake?

Dachshunds can shake for harmless as well as serious reasons. Some of the more harmless reasons a dachshund shakes are over excitement, old age, or they’re feeling cold. Some more serious reasons are distemper, excessive pain, or generalised tremor syndrome.

In this post we dive deep on 11 reasons why a dachshund would shake. 5 of the reasons involve negative health conditions that should be looked at by a vet.

You’ll also discover tips to help your dachshund shake less often or stop completely.

Let’s jump right in.

11 Reasons Why Dachshunds Shake

Old Age

As your dachshund starts to enter their senior years, you may notice them beginning to shake or tremble more.

This is because their body isn’t as strong as it once was. Muscles start to become weaker and simple things become harder for them to do.

Weak muscles are a big reason for an older dog to shake.

It’s also not uncommon for a senior dachshund to have unknown illnesses or injuries. And if they do have something going on inside them, it will take a lot of their body’s energy to fight it off.

Leaving them less energy for daily activities, which results in their body shaking.

Regular visits to the vet are a good idea as your pup gets into their senior years to ensure there’s nothing serious going on.

[Nothing brings peace of mind quite like speaking with a vet – click here to chat with a vet online now]

Overly Excited

Shaking from being too excited is nothing to worry about. It’s actually quite cute.

Similar to children, your dachshund may not be able to hide their excitement and shakes because of it.

If their shaking happens right before you feed them, right before they get a treat, or when you’re getting closer to the park which is their favorite place to be, they’re shaking out of excitement.

If these are the only times you’re really noticing your dachshund shake there’s nothing to worry about.

Embrace their cute over-the-top excitement and know they’re extremely happy.

Related Reading: 9 Reasons Why Dachshunds Get So Hyper + How To Reduce It


why do dachshunds shake

When your dachshund, or any animal for that matter, is overcome with fear their body will produce more adrenaline and naturally tense up.

This added tension and adrenaline happens without the individual even being aware it’s happening.

When more adrenaline enters a dog’s system their heart rate will go up as well as their blood pressure.

Also, when muscles are contracted for extended periods of time, once the contraction is done, the muscles’ response is to shake.

Much like after a long workout lifting heavy weights and then the muscles shaking after you’ve finished your workout.

The muscles have been contracted for longer than what they’re used to, so they shake.

When you notice your dog starting to shake or tremble, pause for a second and take a look at their surroundings.

Do your best to find the trigger behind what’s causing their fear/nervousness.

If you can find the trigger you can do your best to avoid putting your dachshund in situations where their trigger is.

Related Reading: 7 Ways To Eliminate Your Dogs Anxiety, Shyness Or Fear


If your dachshund has caught a chill, they’ll definitely start to shiver or shake as a response.

If you live in an area where the temperature is quite cold most of the time, you may find your dachshund shaking pretty often.

The two major reasons why dachshunds shake more easily when it’s cold out is because their body’s are close to the ground, and they have a quick metabolism.

Let me explain.

When the temperature gets colder, the ground stays at a much colder temperature than the air above it.

If you were to lie on the ground you’d feel colder much quicker than if you were to stay standing.

And it’s because of this that your dachshund finds it much colder than you do, and starts shivering.

Since their legs are so short, their body hovers much closer to the ground which gives them a chill.

Their body then shivers as a response in an attempt to warm themselves back up.

Now, let’s talk about their quick metabolism.

Because of their small size, they burn calories up to 3 times faster than larger dogs.

Which also makes them burn their body heat off quicker, making them colder and resulting in shaking/shivering.

If you live in an area where it’s always cold or has periods of rather low temperatures, it wouldn’t hurt to get your dachshund a jacket or sweater to help keep them warm.


dachshunds scared in barn

Anxiety produces similar results in dachshunds that being scared or nervous does.

The key difference is anxiousness is usually caused by an emotional feeling.

Whereas nervousness or being scared tends to come from a potential physical threat.

However, they both produce a rush of adrenaline to help your dog either fight or run from whatever is causing their negative feelings.

And again, adrenaline increases heart rate, blood pressure, and contracts muscle fibres which when relaxed again can result in shaking.

Separation anxiety is the most common form of anxiety in dogs and can be because of a variety of triggers.

If your dachshund has had anxious tendencies for as long as you’ve known them, they likely had some traumatic experiences when they were a pup.

If the shaking is new and you believe it could be anxiety, their potential triggers may be, grieving over the loss of a loved one, new people in their safe place (home), change in schedule, or a change in where they live, to name a few.

Related Reading: The 15 Best Dog Toys for Separation Anxiety

Low Blood Sugar

Your dachshund might have low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia, which is causing them to shake.

Small dogs, like a dachshund, get hypoglycemia because of their high metabolism which burns through their food too quickly.

And if they aren’t taking in enough calories because of their higher metabolism, they may develop hypoglycemia.

Which can result in muscle tremors or even seizures.

Smaller dogs actually need more calories (per pound) than larger dogs because of their higher metabolism. 

So to avoid shaking due to low blood sugar it’s important to feed your dachshund calorie dense meals a few times a day.

Sick To Their Stomach

There are many reasons why your dachshund might be sick to their stomach.

They could have eaten something that didn’t agree with them, are taking medication that’s not sitting well, they have a bug/parasite, etc.

If they’re aggressively vomiting or aren’t able to hold any of their food down this could cause them to shake.

Since their body is lacking nutrients and are likely at a calorie deficit, their body will shake.

If your dachshund is vomiting often or isn’t able to have a solid poop for too many days in a row they should be looked at by a professional.

Related Reading: 16 Ways To Know If Your Dog Is Sick + Helpful Tips


If your dachshund is excessively shaking, they could be having a seizure.

A few reasons why a dog may have a seizure are they ate something that’s poisoned them, low or high blood sugar, kidney disease, or a head injury.

You may also notice after their seizure that they may still shake, but much less.

This is because having a seizure takes a lot out of them and is a shock to their system.

If your dog has recently had a seizure it’s best to take them to the vet right away.

Canine Distemper

If your dachshund isn’t up to date on their vaccinations they could be showing symptoms of stage two canine distemper.

It’s a virus that could be potentially fatal to your dog.

A couple symptoms of the second stage of distemper are muscle twitching or seizures.

So if your dachshund is missing some vaccines and is shaking, they may unfortunately have canine distemper.

Generalised Tremor Syndrome

PetMD says that generalised tremor syndrome (GTS) is easily mistaken for anxiety or low body temperature.

GTS is most commonly developed from having a mild central nervous system disease.

If you feel it’s not super cold out, or that your dachshund hasn’t shown signs of anxiety in the past and isn’t scared or nervous, it would be a good idea to take them for a check up.

Extreme Pain

If your dachshund is in an extreme amount of pain, they may shake.

Whether it’s an external wound or an internal wound, if there’s enough pain, it could cause a shock to their system which results in them shaking.

The more pain they’re in the more they’ll shake.

Again, this is their body responding to what’s happened by producing more adrenaline in their body to help them cope with whatever is hurting them.

If you didn’t think their wound was super serious, or didn’t notice it but now see your dog shaking from the pain it’s important to take them to the vet.

dachshunds shaking at vet hospital

Final Thoughts

Your dachshund could be shaking for a wide variety of reasons. The only reason that doesn’t require any action from you to help solve is over excitement.

Each of the other reasons should be dealt with by figuring out the trigger causing their shaking, making necessary changes or taking them to see the vet.

[Nothing brings peace of mind quite like speaking with a vet – click here to chat with a vet online now]

Other posts you might find interesting:

12 Best Dog Beds for Dachshunds

17 Surprising Reasons Why Dachshunds Lick So Much + Tips

8 Surprising Reasons Why Dachshunds Sleep So Much

Top 9 Reasons Why Dachshunds Smell + 8 Ways To Stop It


Shaker Syndrome in Dogs

Nutritional Differences for Small, Toy, and Large Breed Dogs

Distemper in Dogs – Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

Separation Anxiety