Why Do Dachshunds Shake?

Why do dachshunds shake? A shaking dachshund laying on a bed looking anxious

Are you wondering if it’s normal for your dachshund to shake when it’s not cold? There are actually quite a few reasons your dachshund might be shaking – it’s really important you’re aware of all the possibilities so you can help your little sausage dog as best you can!

Why do dachshunds shake? Dachshunds shake for various reasons. They could be excited, afraid, nervous or just trying to get your attention! They could also be cold, so make sure you wrap them up and keep them warm. Shivering could also be a sign of pain so take your dog to a vet if you’re at all concerned.

Read on to find out why dachshunds shake, how to keep them warm, how to calm any anxious or nervous trembling, and whether shivering could be a sign of a more serious health condition.

This article is based on research and personal experience as a Dachshund owner of 10+ years. I’m not a Vet or qualified dog behaviourist.


Why do dachshunds shiver and shake? 

This is why your dachshund shivers and shakes:

  • Your dachshund is cold
  • Your dachshund is nervous
  • Your dachshund is over-excited
  • Your dachshund has too much energy
  • Your dachshund is trying to trick you
  • Your dachshund is injured

This is what you need to know:

Why Do Dachshunds Shake? dachshund stood in the snow
A cold dachshund shivering outside in the snow

Your dachshund is cold

Dachshunds shiver and shake when they’re cold. Their small, long bodies get cold really easily, especially when outside. If you feel your dachshund’s ears and they’re cold, it means his whole body is cold. Dachshunds (just like people!) shiver as a reaction to feeling chilly – their muscles are trying to warm up as fast as possible, and as the muscles heat up they get tight and loose really quickly, which makes their body shake. 

Your dachshund is nervous

Has something happened to scare your dachshund? Shaking and trembling can be a clear sign of fear – if he’s got too much nervous energy building up he’ll probably start to shiver. It’s pretty common for dachshunds to shiver if they hear thunder or loud bangs outside, or if they’re having to make that dreaded trip to the vets!

Why Do Dachshunds Shake? nervous and anxious looking dachshund sat on the floor
A nervous, trembling dachshund

Your dachshund is over-excited

When something exciting is happening, your dachshund might get over-enthusiastic and start to tremble. Maybe it’s dinner time and he’s running round in circles trying to get your attention! Perhaps there’s a squirrel outside and he’s crazy excited waiting for you to open the door so he can run full speed into the garden. When dachshunds get a sudden burst of excited energy, it can come out as shaking. 

Your dachshund has too much energy

Sometimes dachshunds shake because they have way too much energy. It’s not unusual for them to use up that extra energy by shivering. Exercising your dachshund daily by walking or playing can really help with this.

Your dachshund is trying to trick you

Why Do Dachshunds Shake?  Dachshund shaking for attention
A dachshund shaking to get his own way

Hard to believe, yes, but dachshunds are masters of manipulation! If your sausage dog realises he’ll get love, attention, cuddles and food when he’s shivering, he might try shaking to get his own way. Dachshunds are smart dogs and they’ll do anything to get what they want! So you need to know the difference between them shaking for attention and shaking because something’s really wrong. Don’t ever pacify your dachshund with treats. You don’t want to accidentally train him he’ll be rewarded for shaking, or it may become a naughty little habit!

Your dachshund is injured

Your dachshund’s shaking could be a sign of illness or injury. You must take him to the vet immediately if you see other serious signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, whining loudly or squealing, or any problems with moving. Shivering can be the beginning symptom of a serious back injury Intervertebral Disc Disease – IVDD, poisoning, or kidney disease. If your dachshund’s shivering becomes really severe and he’s struggling to stand up or look at you, take him to the vet straight away. You can never be too careful.

How do I keep my dachshund warm?

This is how to keep your dachshund warm:

  • Dog coats
  • Dog fleeces
  • Dog booties
  • Dog Blankets

Dachshunds aren’t built for cold temperatures. They lose body heat quickly if it’s chilly outside. This is how to keep them warm:

Dog coats

Dog coats are super cute, but they’re also practical. The right items will be really useful for keeping your little sausage dog toasty. It’s worth getting a warm jacket for your dachshund if you’re going for walks in cold weather, especially during winter. That’s if you can convince him to go out for a walk in the cold weather! it’s also good invest in a raincoat so he stays warm and dry – if he gets wet, he’ll get cold really fast. 

Why Do Dachshunds Shake? Dachshund wearing a raincoat on a walk
A dachshund wearing a raincoat to keep his body warm and dry

Dog fleeces

Cosy fleece-lined jumpers are really popular with dachshund owners and they’re practical too. Once worn, you can pop them in the washing machine or run them under the tap. When choosing one for your dachshund, check it fits properly. The better the fleece fits, the more it’ll protect him from the cold. Before buying anything, it’s worth measuring your dachshund’s length, height, and chest girth so you can get the fit right first time.

Dog booties

Believe it or not, you can even buy booties for your dachshund now! This may be a bit extreme, but if you’re in a place where it gets really cold and icy outside, these small shoes will cover his feet and help him stay warm on the ground. The best boots will be durable, grip well on the ground, and be lined with a soft fabric so they’re comfy to wear. It’s also worth going for ones with Velcro straps which are easy to get on and off.

Dog blankets

Your dachshund might shiver from cold when he’s inside the home too. And if he’s smooth-haired, he’s even more likely to feel the cold. Dachshunds are natural burrowers and they LOVE going under a blanket. So snuggling him up in fluffy, cosy one is definitely the way to go!  

Why Do Dachshunds Shake? Dachshund laying under a cosy blanket
A dachshund under a warm and cosy blanket

How do you calm an anxious shivering dachshund?

This is how you calm an anxious shivering dachshund:

  • Keep calm and don’t smother your dachshund
  • Calmly stroke your dachshund
  • Give him some exercise
  • Play music
  • Dietary supplements

The world can be big and scary for a little sausage dog. Luckily, you’re there to help! If your dachshund starts shivering because of a thunderstorm, the best thing you can do is stay calm. Dogs pick up on anxiety, so if you get stressed he’ll get stressed too.

Why Do Dachshunds Shake? Nervous, scared and anxious dachshund sat on a chair
An anxious, shivering dachshund

This is what you need to do:

Keep calm and don’t smother your dachshund

If you’re frantically trying to calm your dachshund down, you’ll probably freak him out more. Don’t overreact to his trembling or make it seem like there’s a problem. If there’s loud sounds outside scaring him, don’t react to them. Just act normal!

Calmly stroke your dachshund

Without acknowledging your dachshund’s fear by picking him up and fussing over him, gently stroke his head and tickle his ears to give him some extra support and reassurance.

Why Do Dachshunds Shake? Nervous dachshund laying on a bed
A shivering dachshund being comforted

Give him some exercise

When your dachshund’s really stressed out, sometimes energy builds up and this’ll make his trembling even worse. It might be worth taking him out for a gentle walk (as long as there’s no thunder outside!) or play with him at home to get rid of any nervous energy.

Play music

If your dachshund is shivering or trembling, play music or put the radio on to help calm and comfort him. Classical music or strings seem to be a popular choice for dogs of all breeds.

Dietary supplements

Some dachshunds tremble a lot more than others. If your dachshund gets anxious and trembles in fear all the time, take him to the vet. They may prescribe some supplements to help him stay calm. Your dachshund won’t need his prescription forever, but it can be really useful while he’s gaining confidence and getting used to scary things.

A nervous dachshund on his way to the vets

So, there you have it. Shivering could be a sign that something is wrong with your dachshund so take it seriously until you’ve figured out what’s going on. Some dachshunds shiver a lot more than others, and over time you’ll learn what makes your sausage dog tremble and the best ways to help him stop, whether it’s a coat, warm blanket, some relaxing music, or play time!

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