Boston Terrier TipsHealth & Diet

Why Does My Boston Terrier Shake? Find Out Why!

Obviously, our initial reaction when we see our precious pooch shaking, we can’t help but worry and become perplexed a lot. Especially when we see them shake like never before. With that, why does my Boston Terrier Shake? Answering this question can be quite hard to point out. There can be a number of reasons why your dog is shaking it can be for psychological or physical reasons. One thing is for sure, we can’t let bad things happen to our dear furry friend.

Is it because of anxiety or other distress that leads to the dog’s shaking? Is it because of a physical health condition? These are two common questions that largely points out the root cause as to why your Boston Terrier shake. So, without further ado, let us examine and identify each problem.

The Origin of the Behavior

Generally, pet owners attributed dog shakes as a sign of irregular behavior. Because shaking for us may have an underlying health condition, especially if the shaking is more than usual. Although there are some forms of a dog shaking in Boston Terriers that aren’t really problematic. Most often, the primary health issue for Boston Terriers is breathing, and when they play some strenuous activities and have difficulty in breathing, the dog might exhibit shakes.

Furthermore, Boston Terriers have smaller nostrils compared to larger breeds, though they have a similar amount of tissue in the nose and throat. But this can be a problem for smaller breeds like the Boston Terriers because the excess tissue can block the airway. This kind of problem known as Brachycephalic Syndrome which is a typical problem for most Boston Terriers. In some cases, this problem may arise to the point that it will need surgery.

In addition, Boston Terriers are also vulnerable to orthopedic problems like Patellar Luxation. This can cause extreme discomfort which can eventually lead to shaking due to pain.

Another factor is the matter of psychological concerns. Boston Terriers who have phobias in thunderstorms, fireworks, environmental changes will likely shake when they are experiencing such phenomenon. This can result in shaking. Also, this kind of breed is prone to separation anxiety. The fact that they are affectionate and lovely small dogs, their easy-going trait can lead to anxiousness. This is because Boston Terriers are not used to harsh treatments like scolding or any other cruel treatment.

Also, the cause of dog shakes is due to excitement or nervousness. Although this is the least shake that you should be concerned about, there’s no need to consult with your vet when your Boston Terrier has quivered mildly. But, what you must take caution about are the other examples that I have mentioned above. These kinds of problems need a consultation with your vet.

The Common Reasons for Boston Terrier Shakes and Shivering

Although some of the examples of dog shakes have been mentioned previously, these are just some and in brief. This time, I want to stress out some of the other causes why your Boston Terrier shake. Remember, if you think your dog is experiencing some of these, mild or extreme, don’t hesitate to bring them to your vet immediately.

Medical Concerns

One of the main concerns that lead to dog shakes is probably from medical concerns. Dog shakes can be a secondary symptom to underlying serious health issues. That’s why you should be wary of some of these causes.

Generalized Tremor Syndrome (GTS)

Generalized Tremor Syndrome (GTS) or also known as shaker syndrome is a type of condition where a dog might experience body and head tremors. Dogs may develop this type of condition when they are at least one or two years of age. The shaking or tremor in dogs will depend on the severity, from mild to extreme (difficulty of walking, eating, etc.).

In some cases dogs with shaker syndrome, it can worsen if they did some exercise or if they are excited. Unfortunately to this day, the root cause of the syndrome is still unknown. When it comes to treatment, usually vets administer steroids (Prednisone) in order to ease the tremor episodes. This condition can be resolved within one to two weeks of treatment.


Similar to humans, your Boston Terrier can experience nausea from medication, motion sickness, overeating, eating inappropriate things like toxic plants. Other conditions such as liver or kidney disease, as well as other diseases, can result in shaking. That said, Nausea is one of the factors that cause our dog to shake. Other symptoms include swallowing or salivating more than usual, vomiting, lip-smacking, and listlessness.

Treating nausea in dogs will depend on the cause. If poisoning is the cause and shown some symptoms regarding this, better call your vet immediately. Better be sure and always be alert if something is wrong with your furry friend.


Another medical concern regarding shaking in Boston Terrier is a seizure. Seizure or epilepsy is somewhat common to dogs brought by various diseases such as liver disease, anemia, head injury, to name a few. Mainly, dogs with seizures will experience shaking or trembling when it hits, the severity will also depend from mild to extreme.

Although this can happen in short periods it can leave a devastating condition to your dog. This neurological disorder can also make the dogs twitch, drool, and foaming at the mouth.

The treatment for seizures can be simple to complicate. Vets will examine the dog through a thorough physical exam and other lab works. The best possible treatment is giving them medicines for controlling seizures. Keep in mind, never let them miss a dose.


Other reason that might make your Boston Terrier shake is due to poisoning. Maybe you left your puppy go unnoticed and in an unfortunate event, your little pooch has ingested some of your cleaning products. Also, human foods (chocolate), medicines, plants, and actual poison is obviously dangerous to your pooch.

The evident symptom is shivering. If your furry friend has ingested these and shown some shivering, call your vet right away. Also, remember to keep your cleaning products out of your dog’s reach.


Distemper is a highly contagious disease and it can be deadly to most puppies and adult dogs who didn’t or haven’t vaccinated fully. Tremor or shaking is the common sign for dogs who have distemper. Distemper can be spread through direct contact between a dog showing symptoms and a vulnerable dog. This disease can also cause your dog to vomit, diarrhea, and others.

There are no specific treatments like any other viral infection. But the best possible way to prevent a distemper is through vaccination. That’s why it’s better to have your pooch get vaccinated as early as possible. Fortunately, distemper vaccines have been improving.

Why Does My Boston Terrier Shake? Other Possible Reasons

Emotional distress

Whether it’s anxiety, fear, or excitement, these can make your dog shake or tremble. If your Boston Terrier is shaking due to fireworks when it’s July 4th (which is a nightmare to every dog) or a loud and clashing thunderstorm in your region, it’s clearly emotional distress for them.

Also, excitement in dogs is usually nothing harmful but when it’s getting too shaky for your dog, you can help your dog to feel relaxed to avoid any further complications.

Good thing that there are Certified Dog Behavior Consultants to help you go through with your dog’s shaky and trembling experiences.

If you think it’s emotional distress you can go to any of these experts and consult right away. Also, it’s not a good thing to consult with an obedience trainer, the fact that they are better at teaching commands than examining emotions.

A dog who is experiencing emotional distress and are shaking may also hide their tails between their legs, flatten their ears, and even hide.

Probably Because of Cold Weather

If your Boston Terrier is shaking in the middle of the wintry night, chances are he is cold. I think this is the simplest reason as to why does your Boston Terrier shake. Just like humans, even dogs experience coldness to the point that they are trembling because of the cold environment. Smaller dogs such as Chihuahuas, Boston Terriers, and similar dog breed sizes are very susceptible to shivering.

The simplest way to prevent them from shaking due to cold weather, it’s important to let them wear a dog sweater or coat which can keep them warm. Also, put some blankets on their bed to alleviate any coldness in their area. It’s preferable to place a heating vent near your dog’s bed just to keep him warm and cozy.

Your Dog Have Suffered From Shock Trauma

Does your Boston Terrier have got into a fight or ran by a car? Incidents like these may result in trembling and even lethargy. Some other symptoms are anxiety, agitation, shallow breathing, and rapid heartbeat. Also, the intensity of shock will depend on the severity of the injury.

when it comes to treatment, the best thing you can do is to send them to your vet for the proper application of medicine. Also, you can put a blanket or a towel to maintain their body heat, and you should position your dog’s head slightly lower than his body.

Old Age

If you have a senior dog who shakes or shivers, particularly in the hind end area, your dog may be having joint pains like canine arthritis. Another reason is due to generalized pain due to injury, dental disease, and even infection. Depending on the severity of pain, your vet will possibly examine your dog or undergo further diagnostic tests.

You can even have your dog take a dog supplement that is specially designed for joint support.

Treating your Boston Terrier’s Shake

Of course, there is no unified treatment when it comes to shivering, trembling, or shakes in the dog. Given the fact that each shake will vary based on the health condition. For a dog that’s suffering from stress or anxiety, an anti-depressant administered by your vet is your best treatment.

If it’s cold, giving him a warm bed and a cozy blanket is all they need. But if it’s the other causes that are severe, your best option will be is to consult with your veterinarian.

Some of the warning signs that you need to take your dog to a vet:

Your dog starts shaking or trembling more than usual

Your dog looks uncomfortable and distressed when he’s shivering. You should look closely for the “calming signals“. These are lip licking, ears are pulled back, and excessive stress.

If your dog is not only experiencing shaking but other symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, limping, lethargy, and anxiety.

Commonly Asked Questions

Do Boston Terriers shake when left alone?

Not quite. Although if your furry friend is suffering from anxiety like separation anxiety, then it’s likely that your dog will become emotionally distressed. And some of those symptoms are shaking, and this is their coping mechanism. But in general, Boston Terriers are happy canines and filled with affection for their master.

If they are properly socialized and trained to cope with environmental changes, your dog will be fine. I also recommend to crate train your dog as early as possible and also engage him with outdoor games.

Can a Boston Terrier be left alone?

Absolutely! That is if your little gentleman likes it. Some other canine breeds are completely fine with it. In fact, some dogs need some personal space. Although you shouldn’t leave your dog for more than 4 to 6 hours. But if you are going to, be sure to have a piece of clothing or any of your personal belongings that has your scent.

Also, it’s advisable to have him an automatic feeder so if you’re away for too long, your furry friend is still well taken care of.

Final Thoughts

These lovely American Gentleman sure needs your undivided attention when they experience shaking. I think the best initial remedy for them to take is your cuddle. Because chances are, your dog needs warmth and a scent of you so that he can calm down. That is if your Boston Terrier is suffering from mild cases. But if it’s severe and needed beyond your cuddling, you know the drill. It’s better to bring him to your trusted vet to further examine the underlying cause.

So, why does your Boston Terrier shake? I can actually cause for a number of reasons. Keep in mind that you need to examine him closely and know the warning signs so that you are ready.

Are you going to train your little pooch? Check this: Are Boston Terriers Easy To Train? Let’s Find Out!

Leave a Comment