Why Do Boston Terriers Shake?

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When you spend a lot of time with your dog, you will start to notice things it does that you may not have noticed before. You will try to find as much information as possible about it. One of the things you may witness you will see is your dog shaking. In this article, I answer the question, why do Boston Terriers shake?

Why Do Boston Terriers Shake?

Boston Terriers can shake for several reasons, including excitement, stress and anxiety, old age, cold temperatures, pain, or medical issues due to ingesting something toxic. Some reasons are normal, while others can cause you to be alarmed.

A white and black Boston Terrier with winter clothes walking on a snow

In the case of normal causes such as excitement, after a while, when the excitement is no longer present, you will notice that the shaking has stopped. In cases where the cause is serious, such as ingesting something toxic, ensure that you take it to the vet as soon as possible.


Boston Terriers can become hyper over something as simple as seeing a loved one, eating its favorite meal, or just playing around. You will also notice the shaking from urinating, barking, and jumping. When this is the cause, there is no need for medical attention.

However, you need to control the situation from getting out of hand. You can do this by doing the following:

  • Trying soothing techniques such as aromatherapy, soothing sounds, and the calm hold technique.
  • Extend exercise time so it can get its energy levels down.
  • Give it some form of entertainment, such as interactive toys throughout the day.
  • Get an expert to train it in obedience so it can become disciplined. The trainer can also train you to “ignore” its attention demands.

Getting your furry friend out and about doing various things and managing its behavior is a great way to stop it from being over-excited. With time, you will notice that the shaking has reduced drastically or it has stopped.

Stress and Anxiety

When your dog is anxious or stressed, it may start shaking as a way to deal with the stress. When you find out what is causing the stress and anxiety, you can be able to solve the problem. Some of the causes of stress and anxiety include:

A black and white Boston Terrier with a red collar being taken on a walk on a road
  • Separation anxiety
  • Fear of loud noises
  • Nervousness

You can ask your vet to prescribe something for your dog to help manage or treat the anxiety, address whatever is causing them to be stressed, and also seek the help of a dog trainer who can work with it to manage some of the causes of the stress and anxiety.

Old Age

This dog breed is one of the breeds that have a longer lifespan compared to other dog breeds. This, however, comes with some age-related problems as they get older. Most of the time, the shaking in old age is caused by the joints becoming weak and having tremors as they can no longer support their body weight comfortably.

When it happens, there is usually little that can be done to rectify the situation. However, you can talk to your vet to prescribe meds or supplements to prevent or stop your dog from having joint pains that often come in old age.

Cold Temperatures

The average body temperature of this dog breed is between 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. They also have a thin and short coat that makes it difficult for them to deal with temperature drops. Their body will begin to shiver or shake as it responds to the colder environment.

There are a few things you can do for your furry friend if you notice that it is shaking due to temperature drops:

  • Keeping its room warm
  • Avoid giving it cold baths
  • Dress it in a dog jacket
  • Avoid letting it out of the house when it is cold
  • Do some simple exercises with it to warm it up

If you do the above and notice that it is not getting warmer, take it to the vet.

Medical Issues

There are medical problems that can cause your dog to start shaking. They include the following:

A side view of a black and white Boston Terrier with a red harness walking in the park
  • Toxin consumption –  When your dog eats something that is toxic to it, it can start shaking, as this is a sign of poisoning. Due to their size, the poison reaches their systems fast. Some toxic substances to your dog include nicotine, xylitol, actual poison, and human food such as chocolate.
  • Generalized Tremor Syndrome (GTS) – Also known as shaker syndrome, this is a syndrome that affects small dog breeds. It causes them to start shaking, and the causes are not very clear, and the symptoms can be different for most dogs. Your vet can prescribe meds that can reduce the shaking.
  • Seizure –  Shaking can be an indication that your dog has Epilepsy. Although seizures are not painful, if the dog falls or hits something when it falls it can cause damage. Other signs to look out for to determine if your dog has seizures include foaming in the mouth, stiffening, drooling, tongue chewing, and jerking.
  • High Fever – Fever can cause your dog to start shaking. Fever is an indication of another problem that has fever as a symptom. This includes parasites, the body’s response to vaccination, poisoning, and infections.
  • Distemper – This virus attacks pups that have not received all their vaccinations. It can be lethal to respiratory, gastrointestinal, and neurological systems. Other signs of this virus include eye and nose discharge, lethargy, vomiting, and coughing.

Related Questions

Other questions you may have are answered below.

When Does Shaking Become Dangerous for Boston Terriers?

The shaking becomes dangerous for Boston Terriers when accompanied by the inability to breathe and extreme fatigue. If the shaking is also caused by a medical reason, not a behavioral one, you should be concerned.

Why Does a Boston Terrier Shake in Its Sleep?

A Boston Terrier shakes in its sleep when the brain sends signals to the body to relax in a bid to prevent it from jumping to chase whatever it is dreaming about.


If you have observed your dog and cannot tell why it is shaking, taking it to the vet would be the safest option. It is better to be safe than sorry. The vet will find out what is wrong with it and recommend solutions that are tailored to the cause of the shaking.

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