Why Do Yorkies Shake?

why do Yorkies shake

Why do Yorkies shake, pant, and tremble?

What are the reasons? Is it cold? Afraid? Stressed? Or anxious? Is there something wrong with my pet? Is it hurt or injured?

These are just a few of the fearful thoughts that race through a Yorkie parent’s mind when they see their Yorkie shaking.

You see, Yorkies are known for shaking and trembling and there are myriad reasons behind it.

In this guide, we will cover:

  • Why do Yorkies shake?
  • When should I see a doctor for my Yorkie’s shaking?
  • What can I do when my Yorkie starts to shake, tremble, or pant?
  • Some more effective home remedies to control a Yorkie’s shaking
  • FAQs

Why Do Yorkies Shake? Root Causes Behind a Yorkie’s Shaking and Trembling

why do Yorkies shake

When a Yorkie shakes, you might notice that it trembles from head to toe and all the way up to its tail.

Some might refer to the shaking as ‘shivering’ but it can also be a full body vibrating or shuddering. It can be pretty distressing seeing your Yorkie like that.

However, not all types of shaking in Yorkies warrant a trip to the vet’s clinic.

Here are possible reasons why your Yorkie shakes:

1. Unable to regulate body temperature

Dogs with double coats can easily regulate their body temperature when they get chilled.

In our Yorkies, there is only a single coat. Resultantly, they get colder than most dogs and could shake when it is chilled.

That is also the reason why you might see your Yorkie shaking uncontrollably after a bath or when it gets wet in the rains. This is more common in younger puppies or weaker and susceptible Yorkies.

2. Low blood sugar

Yorkies are known to suffer from hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.

This occurs when their blood sugar levels drop dangerously when they go without meals for a long time.

Avoid this type of shaking by feeding your pet 2-3 small meals every day.

3. Fear

Yorkies are small dogs and they are aware of this fact.

They often feel vulnerable due to their tiny sizes. As a result, you might find your Yorkie shaking and trembling when it feels afraid or overpowered.

In yorkies, fear can stem from many factors like loud noises due to vacuum cleaners, fireworks, thunderstorms, etc. Your Yorkie might even be afraid of car rides, vet visits, or other dogs.

Thankfully, early socialization to these events can prevent this type of fearful shaking.

4. Excitement shaking

Yorkies, like other small dog breeds like Chihuahuas, Maltese, and Poms, also shake when they are excited.

You might find your Yorkie shaking uncontrollably when it greets guests or even when you come home after work in the evening.

Sometimes, this shaking may be accompanied by excitable urination.

Again, this type of shaking can be countered with early socialization and training.

Moreover, excitement shaking is more common in younger Yorkies or another dog breed and it does go away or considerably reduces with age.

5. Anxiety and stress

Like excitement, anxiety and stress are some other causes of Yorkie shaking and trembling.

Many Yorkies are prone to separation anxiety and might shake uncontrollably at the prospect of being left alone.

Other factors like stress in a new place, or in the presence of other (larger) dogs, can also cause stress-related shakes and trembling.

A few of these issues are common in Yorkie puppies and tend to reduce with age.

Some of these behavioral issues can also be curbed through early training and socialization.

Also read: Can Yorkies Be Left Alone

6. Pain or illness

Excess shivering or trembling can also mean pain or illness. Illnesses such as Addison’s disease, inflammation of the brain, fractures, distemper, parainfluenza, bordetella, etc. can all cause extreme shivering in dogs.

Please look for a sign of illness of injury and have your pet examined by the vet.

Also read Yorkie Vaccine Schedule so you can immunize your pet against canine distemper, severe pain, muscle weakness, patellar luxation, parainfluenza, parvovirus, and other deadly diseases.

7. Attention seeking

Some Yorkies might also learn to fake shakes when they know it gets your attention.

If you are in the habit of picking up your Yorkie all the time or each time it shakes and trembles, then it might shake when you are ‘scolding’ it for bad behavior or when it wants to avoid exercise, walking, etc.

Some Yorkies even ‘get’ the shakes when they want to beg for food or treats!

However, excessive panting should be checked by your vet, and if your dog’s shaking is giving you some stress and anxiety too.

Also Read: Do Yorkies Like to Cuddle

8. Weakened leg muscles in senior Yorkies

Old Yorkies often shake and the shaking might even increase progressively with age.

This is mainly due to weakened muscles of the legs and lower body.

Arthritis, luxating patella, and other joint related issues can also cause such shakes and trembles.

Senior dogs are prone to joint pains. If you are a new Yorkshire terrier owner and want to avoid muscle problems with your pet, you can check out this article below.

Also read: Best Luxating Patella Dog Supplements

When Should I see a Doctor for My Yorkie’s Shaking and Shivering?

why do Yorkies shake

To an extent, shaking, trembling, and shivering in Yorkies are common. Your dog panting on several occasions should not be a cause of panic.

As stated above, Yorkies shake when they are afraid, excited, or even cold. Most of these are normal behaviors and you need not be worried.

Make sure your pet is warm and immediately feed it something in case its shakes and trembles are due to hypoglycemia.


There is a huge difference between normal shakes and seizures. In a seizure, your dog’s entire body will involuntary convulse and it won’t know where it is.

Its eyes might even roll back in its head. If this occurs, rush your pet to the vet right away.

Constant shaking or shivering

If your Yorkshire terrier dog continues to shiver continuously despite you providing food and warm blankets, then see your veterinarian immediately.

Shakes accompanied by other abnormal behavior

If your Yorkie is showing some other signs of abnormal behavior like hiding, crying in pain, refusing food, or vomiting/diarrhea, then too you must take the shakes seriously.

If your Yorkie is still young, check out for teething symptoms. If his puppy tooth is starting to fall off, your terrier might be undergoing gum soreness and his adult teeth are soon coming out.

Your pet might be in pain or could have some injury/disease which warrants immediate veterinary care.

What to do When Your Yorkie Shakes, Shivers Or Trembles?

Let us consider different scenarios as to why do Yorkies shake so we can tell you exactly what to do in each situation:

1.  Shaking due to feeling cold

If your Yorkie is shaking or trembling due to the cold or wet conditions, warm it right away.

Take it to a warm spot in the house, preferably by the heater or the heating vent.

Place plenty of blankets over its body. You can also dress it up in sweaters or some warm clothing.

Make sure you dry your Yorkie immediately after its bath or after it gets wet in the rain.

2. Shaking due to low blood sugar

A drop in blood sugar levels can also cause shaking and trembling.

That is why you need to feed your Yorkie 3-4 times a day.

Always keep some honey on hand and feed a little bit to your Yorkie if it starts shaking due to hypoglycemia.

Check out our guide on Best Dog Food for Yorkie where we have discussed many tips on how often to feed a Yorkie puppy and an adult Yorkie as well as the best food for different life stages.

3. Shaking due to excitement

If your Yorkie is shaking from excitement then it is best to ignore this behavior.

If you rush to comfort or pick up your pet, it will only get used to the attention and might even learn to ‘fake’ the shakes.

Understand that there is no danger to your Yorkie in most situations. If you stop paying attention, chances are that it will stop shaking too.

4. Shaking due to fear or stress

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In such a case, it is best to calm your pet.

If your Yorkie is afraid of thunder, fireworks, or other noises that cause stress-related shaking, then try to minimize these noises by closing the doors and windows.

Use some white noise machines to drown the sounds out. You can also redirect its attention away from the sounds.

Make sure you are also calm since dogs can easily pick up our emotions and can also mimic them. Ignore the stressors around you so your Yorkie also learns to ignore them.

We also recommend using calming treats for relieving stress for your Yorkie.

NaturVet Quiet Moments Calming Aid Dog Supplement – Helps Promote Relaxation, Reduce Stress, Storm Anxiety, Motion Sickness for Dogs – Tasty Pet Soft Chews with Melatonin – 65 Ct.

Most of these supplements are complete natural and hemp-based. They reduce shaking, trembling, urination, and excess barking caused by stress and fear.

5. Shaking for attention

If your Yorkie shakes for attention and wants you to pick it up, then you must ignore this behavior.

Failure to do so will cause your pet to repeatedly turn on the shakes.

Never treat your pet or give it any food when it shakes or trembles. It is best to ignore this ‘dramatic begging for attention’ even if it may be hard to do so.

6.  Shaking due to pain or illness

Shakes caused by pain, injuries, or illness are often characterized by other out-of-the-normal behaviors like refusing food, hiding, placing the tail between the legs, limping, etc.

If you know your otherwise playful and happy Yorkie is suddenly shivering or shaking for no reason, see your vet right away.

As stated before, also know the difference between shakes and seizures.

7. Old-age shaking

Older Yorkies might start shaking due to weakened leg or back muscles. Take your Yorkie for regular vet checkups and rule out serious underlying issues.

Make your pet as comfortable as possible with optimal room temperature, the use of comfortable orthopedic dog bed, and regular exercise.

Also Read: Best Dog Beds for Yorkies

Some More Home Remedies for Yorkies Shaking

The SPCA or the Central California Humane Society recommends these proven ways to ease your dog’s anxiety or stress induced shakes:

1. Tire your pet out

You must exercise your Yorkie at least 2 times a day for 15-20 minutes each so it will be too tired to be anxious.

Regular exercise relieves stress by reducing cortisol/stress hormones and stimulating endorphins or feel-good hormones.

2. Use physical contact

Never underestimate the power of touch.

When you pet your Yorkie, cuddle with it, or simply kiss it, you can greatly reduce its anxiety. So spend time grooming your fur baby, or even massaging it.

Use long strokes from its neck to the base of the tail. This will alleviate tension. Do this before leaving and once again after coming back home in the evening.

3. Use music therapy

Dogs are known to like classical music and it can go a long way in alleviating stress or anxiety related shaking.

Some kinds of music like harp music can even induce sleep in pets.

4. Give it a time out!

If your Yorkie shakes for your attention, then you must ignore it.

You can crate your pet or place it away in a safe, dog-proof area where it cannot see you.

It will soon learn to associate these time-outs with its attention-seeking behavior and also understand that these ‘tactics’ do not get him any attention or treats.

5. Anxiety calming dog vests

Comfort Dog Anxiety Relief Coat, Dog Thunder Vest Calming Anxiety Wrap, Reduce Stress Thunder Jacket Shirts for Dogs (XS, Light Grey)

The SPCA recommends using anxiety-calming dog vests like this one .

 It could be useful in preventing anxiety caused by fireworks, vet visits, car rides, thunder storms, and even separation anxiety.

6. Alternative remedies

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Some other natural remedies for preventing shaking and trembling in Yorkies include:

  • Bach Flower Rescue Remedy – This is a completely safe homeopathic remedy that has no side effects. It can help by relieving anxiety in dogs.
  • Pheromone/aromatherapy diffuser – Adaptil Calming diffuser releases fear, separation anxiety-related barking and shaking, excitable urination, etc.

Adaptil Dog Calming Diffuser Refill (1 Pack, 48 ml), Vet Recommended, Reduce Problem Barking, Chewing, Separation Anxiety & More

FAQs on Why Do Yorkies Shake?

1. What to do if my Yorkie shakes and pants?

The first thing to do is assess the reason behind the shaking. If your pet is cold or wet, dry it right away and warm it with blankets. If the shaking is for attention seeking, then you must ignore it.

In case of fear-related shaking, divert your pet’s attention or take it to a safe area away from the noise or source of fear.

2.  What are Yorkies scared of?

Yorkies can be scared of many things. No two Yorkies are alike and what scares one may not necessarily scare another.

 In general, most Yorkies are scared of loud noises, fireworks, thunder, being left alone, children, other dogs, going up or down the stairs, car rides, and vet visits.

Also read: Can Yorkies Be Left Alone

3. Why does my Yorkie need so much attention all the time?

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The key is early socialization and training – without these, your pet is bound to become clingy and attention-demanding.

If you have unknowingly ‘trained’ your Yorkie puppy to receive attention all the time, it is likely to demand attention in adulthood as well.

Furthermore, you must not forget that this breed is highly energetic and intelligent. They need plenty of mental and physical stimulation.

So exercise your pet and give it a job to do so it won’t demand as much attention.

You can give your Yorkie some entertaining chew toys or puzzle-based toys to keep its mind occupied.

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4. How to tell if my Yorkie is happy?

A happy Yorkie is a calm Yorkie.

It will sleep, play, eat well, and have a cheerful disposition. You can see a happy expression in its eyes and there won’t be any destructive behaviors like chewing slippers, barking etc.

Conclusion – Why Do Yorkies Shake?

Why do Yorkies shake?

Yorkies might shake due to a variety of reasons such as excitement, fear, anxiety, stress, pain, injury, hypoglycemia, etc.

Many times, the shaking may be due to the cold or even pain or injury. Sometimes, it may be for attention or treats.

We hope this guide helps you find the exact reason behind your Yorkie’s shaking so you can come up with the best solution to remedy it.

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