Why does my dog shake when he sees my boyfriend? Get Your Pet Thinking

Your dog is trying to dry off

If you haven’t experienced a wet dog shaking its whole body to dry off, you haven’t lived (or aren’t a dog owner). It’s impressive. It’s also been said to remove anywhere from 20 percent and 70 percent of the water on your dog. Jealous? Us too. We advise letting her shake a few times before going at her with a towel.

Generalized Tremor Syndrome

Generalized tremor syndrome (GTS) is also commonly called steroid-responsive tremor syndrome or white shaker dog syndrome. Unfortunately, the exact cause of this syndrome is not known, though the Animal Neurology & Imaging Center theorizes that it is caused by “mild inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord (meninges) that produces fine tremors of the head and whole body.” Most commonly, you see GTS in small, white dogs who may be prone to this disease (particularly Maltese, Poodles, and West Highland White Terriers).

“This may show up as localized tremors or full-body shaking,” Dr. Bonk says. “Either way, GTS is thought to be an immune-mediated issue and should be treated by a veterinarian.”

If your dog is exhibiting shivering, its important to rule out this potential medical cause. Dogs who have GTS may also exhibit other symptoms, too, such as high-stepping, an uncoordinated gait, abnormal eye movements, and even seizures. You may also notice that the tremors completely come to a halt during sleep. Either way, be sure to consult your veterinarian if you think this could be the cause of your dogs shaking—or just to rule it out as a reason.


Anxiety is not “normal” for dogs, but it certainly is incredibly common. In fact, according to Medical News Today, more than 70 percent of doggos suffer from some kind of anxiety—whether its separation anxiety or otherwise. If your dog is prone to anxiety, this—or general fear and stress, even—may be at the root of your dogs shaking.

“The emotions of fear, stress, or anxiety can be just as intense in dogs as they are in humans and they can manifest as shaking,” Dr. Bonk explains. “Thats because stress hormones—such as cortisol—are released when a dog is anxious, fearful, or stressed, which can lead to muscle-shaking as the body prepares itself for fight or flight. You may also notice that your dog seems jumpy, is hiding, not eating, or has become aggressive if they are feeling these strong emotions.”

Not sure what to do if your dog is experiencing anxiety-related shaking? Get to the source, Dr. Bonk says; after all, the shaking, in this case, is just a symptom.

“Try to find out what is causing your dogs fear or stress. It may be an approaching storm, fireworks, a strange dog in the neighborhood, or a houseguest,” Dr. Bonk suggests. “Try to reduce these stresses or give them a safe spot to be. For dogs with chronic stress or anxiety, behavioral therapy or medications may be necessary.”

14 Signs Your Dog Doesn’t Love You (Even if You Think They Do)

If you have noticed that your dog is shaking, trembling, or shivering frequently, you may be worried about your pets health. While there are many things that can cause shaking in dogs—from the benign, like coldness or over-excitement, to medical issues, like a virus or nausea—it can be tricky to discern whats causing your pups discomfort.

“There are many reasons why a dog might shake, some more serious than others,” Dr. Chyrle Bonk, DVM and veterinarian expert for Hepper.com, tells Parade. “You’ll know that your dog’s shaking needs immediate attention if they are showing any other signs.”

Not sure whats causing your dog to inexplicably shake? Keep reading for all the reasons—medical and otherwise—why dogs might be trembling, according to veterinary experts.