Skip to Content

Why Do Dachshunds Shake? What Is Causing It?

Why Do Dachshunds Shake? What Is Causing It?

Sharing is caring!

Seeing your dog shaking can not only be heartbreaking, but also downright scary. When this happens, most people panic and think that something serious is going on behind the scenes and call a specialist.

But, as you will learn in this article, you might be able to figure out what is going on before you seek professional help.

So, why do Dachshunds shake?

You should know that it is quite normal for both male and female weiner dogs to shiver, tremble, or do a full body shake. Some experts claim that such small dogs need an outlet for all that excess energy.
​Dachshunds tremble for numerous reasons, but not all of them are dangerous. That said, if you notice your Doxie shaking, you should pay close attention and try to work out what it is trying to tell you.

Dachshund puppies can shiver for a few days after being born, and it is normal. Meanwhile, adult Dachshunds tend to shake or shiver when they are feeling cold, scared, or excited. However, they have also been known to do the same when they are experiencing a more serious injury or illness.

Not only that, but these little sausage dogs can learn to tremble because they know that it’s a good way of getting attention. And, whether they are using this technique to get a few head scratches or to tell you something is unclear.

Read on to find out if there is a way to determine why your pup suddenly starts shivering and what you should do about it.

Why does my Dachshund shake?

As we’ve stated above, there are a variety of reasons why your Doxie might be shaking. Some of them have something to do with the health of your pup while others are just behavioral issues.

Whatever the case may be, we will go over all of the known answers to the question of why do Dachshunds shake.

Health issues

dachshund lies on a light blanket

Fighting a cold

Some experts claim that this is the most common cause of shaking. If you’ve ever experienced a fever that left you feeling both hot and cold, shivering and sweating, you might see why that is.

Since dogs can experience the same type of fever when they get a cold or the flu, they will get a little shaky. While this can be unsettling for Dachshund owners to see, it is usually not dangerous.

Healthy canines can fight off a cold or the flu relatively easily. But, like humans, they have to ride it out, meaning there really isn’t much you can do about it.

Cold symptoms are similar in humans as well as in dogs. If you notice your Dachshund sneezing or coughing, has nasal congestion and seems generally low, but a little shaky, this might be why.

In this case, make sure to keep your pup indoors, keep it warm, and keep an eye on its fluid and food intake.


Doggies can become nauseous for several reasons, such as taking medication, general illness, or simply by eating something that didn’t agree with their belly.

Shivering or shaking can be a symptom of feeling sick. Since dogs don’t have any other outlet for feeling under the weather, they try to show us their discomfort in any way they can.

If you suspect your dog is nauseous, look for other signs such as depression and loss of appetite. Since these signs can also mean a more serious issue, it is probably best to give your vet a call.

Kidney disease

Kidney problems can range from mild to serious. In the worst-case scenario, it can lead to kidney failure. But, any kidney issue should be treated immediately, even if it doesn’t seem dangerous at that moment.

Besides trembling, other signs of kidney problems might include:

• blood in their urine

• weight loss

• loss of appetite

• drinking a lot more water than usual

• drinking a lot less water than usual

Kidney issues can come as a result of poisoning, or in some cases, poor oral hygiene.

sad Dachshund lying

Photo from @lola.thedachshund


Just as humans can suffer from epilepsy or other seizure-inducing neurological disorders, so can our furry friends. If the shaking is a symptom of a seizure, there will be other signs.

These signs can include losing consciousness, foaming at the mouth, paddling their legs, and falling over. If you notice any of these signs, in addition to trembling, take your Doxie to the vet immediately as they will need to be tested.

If your dog does suffer from seizure-inducing conditions, it will usually be prescribed a course of medication to control the seizures.

Physical pains

Older dogs can have a large number of joint pains in their senior years, and wiener dogs, in particular, are vulnerable to many complications.

With their short legs and long bodies, they can experience hip ailments, back injuries, tremors in their hind legs, and kneecap issues. To keep them in healthy condition, you should feed them nutritious, balanced dog food and give them plenty of exercise.

You should also try to discourage them from going up or down the stairs and jumping off of furniture. However, even with the utmost care, we all get old, and our four-legged friends are no exception.

If your Doxie starts to tremble a lot in its old age, it could be a sign of tweaking joints. There is not much you can do if that is the case other than check in with a specialist.

Generalized Tremor Syndrome

Being the least likely of all the health causes, some dogs can develop a medical condition called Generalized Tremor Syndrome or GTS.

This is a mild central nervous disease, and luckily, it is relatively easy to treat with corticosteroids. Although this disease was first detected in small, white pooches, it can affect any size and any breed.

GTS is usually diagnosed in young pups up to two years old, and it requires a few tests at a vet. Generally speaking, it is harmless when detected and treated early.


scared dachshund lying in a grey bed

Fear and anxiety

If only our pooches could talk, they would tell us what is bothering them. Sadly, they can’t speak to us, but they tend to let us know that they are feeling stressed out by trembling.

Like humans, dogs can find certain everyday situations quite stressful. Our furry friends can be particularly sensitive to loud noises, such as fireworks or vacuum cleaners, car rides, being alone, and unfamiliar dogs or people. In most of these cases, it should be obvious what the stressor is. Stress can also contribute to excessive shedding.

If your canine companion shivers when you put it in the car or when you put your coat and shoes on to leave, you will realize that they are feeling sad. Dachshunds are especially sensitive to being left alone and can quickly develop separation anxiety.

The good news is that there are some things you can do to reassure them in these situations. Consider giving your pup extra treats, having its favorite toy on hand, making a comfortable space for it, and exercising it before you leave so that it will soon crash out.


This is the best and least dangerous reason why your dog could be shaking. As we stated before, Dachshunds are small dogs with a high energy level and they need an outlet for it.

When these pups get excited, they need a way to shake off some of that energy that they can get when you return home, when you give them a treat, or before going for a walk.

Apart from jumping, barking, and generally running around, you may also notice your dog shivering. But, in this case, you don’t need to worry as your dog is not in any danger.

Learned behavior

Let’s face it. Whenever you see your Dachshund tremble, you bundle it up, give it some hugs and kisses, and tell it how precious it is to you. This is something your pooch undoubtedly loves.

The thing is, dogs are very intuitive and clever, and as such, they learn faster than you might think. If you give in to your pup every time it shakes, it will become aware that shivering is a foolproof way of getting some attention.

One vet had an interesting story to tell. He stated that one of his client’s Dachshunds would shiver outside whenever his owner was in sight. Curiously, the dog would stop as soon as its owner was no longer visible.

This is why you should watch out as your dog may be using shivering as a way to get love, attention, food, or their own way.

Why do Dachshunds shiver: other reasons

sad sick dog dachshund lying on the bed

Apart from the health issues and behavioral causes, there are some other reasons that can explain why Dachshunds shake. Let’s go over the most common ones.


Sadly, there are many opportunities for dogs to ingest harmful substances. These substances can range from mildly toxic to immediately life-threatening.

Sources of poison are numerous and range from food, such as chocolate, to medications, plants, and cleaning products. Xylitol, which is a sugar substitute found in many chewing gums, can also cause severe poisoning to dogs.

Shivering can be one of the symptoms of ingesting a poisonous item. If you notice your Dachshund trembling and you suspect that it might have gotten into your chocolate stash, it could be a tell-tale sign of toxicity.

If the shaking is accompanied by diarrhea, depression, and vomiting, then take your sausage dog to a vet or contact the local Animal Poison Control Center.

Feeling cold

​​​​Watching as your little sausage dog shivers can be a sad sight. Fortunately, if the reason behind its shaking is that your dog is feeling a bit chilly, you can do something about it.

If you take your dog outdoors on a particularly cold day, or if the temperature in your house is a bit low, you can expect to see your Dachshund shake.

When the shaking of your dog is caused by feeling cold, you will know it because it will otherwise seem its usual self. Because of their thin skin, Dachshunds can feel cold when humans don’t, even on summer days.

This is why some dog owners carry a blanket or a sweater for their dog, especially if they venture out on cold days.

When should I see a vet?

vet doctor examining dachshund dog at vet clinic

You should always be cautious and seek professional help whenever you think that something is wrong with your little pooch.

However, given their mischievous nature, a Dachshund’s shivering could be nothing to worry about. You can always call a vet who will ask you questions to determine the exact cause.

But, if you suspect something more serious, you might want to consider taking your dog for a check-up right away. There are some situations when you should make an appointment with a specialist, and they are the following:

• When you notice other symptoms present such as diarrhea, vomiting, limping, or depression.

• When the shivering is constant (it may not be anything serious, but you should still call your vet).

• When there is no obvious cause like excitement, nervousness, or coldness, and your pup still shivers.

These signs may be a cause for concern, and you should think about taking your dog to the vet sooner rather than later.

Why do Dachshunds shake their heads?

Brown dachshund lying in fluffy bed

Have you ever seen a dog shake its head and think to yourself: “why do dogs do that?” Well, you are not alone. Most people wonder about the same thing.

Although we can’t speak for all dog breeds, we can help you understand why Dachshunds shake their heads. So, let’s get into the most common reasons behind this occurrence.

Dirty ears

Doxies will scratch their ears and shake their head if their ears need to be cleaned. This is why it is recommended that you clean your dog’s ears every two weeks.

If your pooch is prone to nasty ear infections, you might consider cleaning its ears every week. If you are not comfortable with cleaning your pup’s ears, don’t worry. There are plenty of dog groomers who will be happy to take your little sausage dog in and give it royal treatment.

Ear infection

If your pooch continues to act as if their ears are bothering them even after they have been thoroughly cleaned, it is time to call your vet. Vets have powerful antibiotics that will help clear up the infection in no time.

You can prevent future ear infections by cleaning your pup’s ears more often. Try to make a routine out of it and clean them at least every two weeks. If your Doxie enjoys swimming, make sure you clean its ears out and completely dry them to prevent fungus or bacteria from growing inside.

Ear mites

Ear mites are small parasites that live in an animal’s ears. They eat the earwax, skin cells, and blood of their host. They leave their poop and lay their eggs in the hosts’ ear canal, causing serious infections.

Be on the lookout for the following symptoms of ear mites:

• Shaking its head

• A reddish-brown crust forming on the outer ear

• Constantly scratching its ear

• Brown chunks in its ears (similar to dirt or coffee grounds)

• Hearing loss


Your four-legged best friend may have itchy ears because it is allergic to something. You might notice inflammation and itching in its ears after they eat their food or after a certain treat.

If this is the case, then learning how to adjust your dog’s food can help reduce food-related allergies. A dog’s allergic response can happen when an allergen is eaten, inhaled, or absorbed in the skin.

Your Dachshund’s ears will then produce a large amount of earwax, which can ultimately lead to an ear infection. If your pup needs to visit the vet often for ear infections, ask your vet to do an allergy test. There are effective treatments that will help your pooch.

Serious health conditions

There are some medical conditions that can cause your Doxie to excessively shake its head. Some of these issues are neurological disorders, inflammatory diseases, or hypothyroidism.

It is vital to get your pup checked out by its veterinarian to determine whether it suffers from any of these serious health conditions.

Ear vasculitis is an ailment that causes inflammation of the vessels in the ear flap. This condition mostly affects small dog breeds like Jack Russel Terriers and Dachshunds. It can be caused by immune disorders or fly bites.

Don’t wait! If your Dachshund is constantly scratching its ears or shaking its head, it could actually cause more damage. Constant scratching can lead to ruptured blood vessels or hematoma.

Why do Dachshunds shiver: conclusion

Beautiful Red Long-haired grown up adult Dachshund dog

We hope that you now have a better understanding of the topic of why Dachshunds shake. As we’ve seen in this article, there are different reasons behind their trembling. Some are harmless while others can pose a serious concern for their health.

Dachshunds are clever little dogs and will take advantage of your love for them by shivering to get even more attention. But, sometimes their trembling can be caused by an underlying health issue.

By reading this article, you should be equipped with the knowledge to differentiate the two. Therefore, you can give them all the cuddles they need if they just want attention, or immediately take them to a vet if you notice any symptoms other than shivering.

Why Do Dachshunds Shake What Is Causing It

Why Do Dachshunds Shake? What Is Causing It?