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Yorkie shaking in the snow.

Why is my Yorkie shaking? Yorkies shake for a variety of reasons. A trembling Yorkie may be cold, sick, or perhaps he’s just super happy to see you. As a Yorkie owner, you need to learn to read your dog’s body language. In learning his natural behavior, you’ll be able to distinguish the difference between normal Yorkie shaking and shaking from illness or injury. In the event that your Yorkie is shaking from illness or serious injury, see your veterinarian.

Why Do Yorkies Shake?

Yorkies will shake under certain circumstances and sometimes for seemingly no reason at all. Which leaves many owners confused and worried. The best you can do is to familiarize yourself with the different reasons why Yorkies shake. Then, pay attention to your dog’s environment and all the factors within.

1. Cold Temperature

Many dog breeds have double coats. A double coat consists of a thick undercoat and a longer, thinner coat. Together, these two layers provide adequate insulation for cold weather dogs. Yorkshire Terriers do not have double coats. This breed has one single coat that doesn’t insulate as well as a double coat. This makes Yorkies more susceptible to colder temperatures.

When their core body temperature drops, Yorkies will shiver. This is an automatic reflex intended to warm up muscle groups around vital organs like the lungs, liver, and heart. Get familiar with the signs of hypothermia, which include, lethargy, shivering, and trouble breathing.

It’s recommended that you put a warm layer of clothing on your Yorkie at or below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 Celsius). Make sure that any protective winter clothing you provide your dog is comfortable and well-fitted. Dogs get cold, so don’t leave your dog outside for long periods of time during cold months.

2. Nausea

Dogs often shake when constipated or have diarrhea. In addition, nausea may cause shaking after car rides or when eating non-agreeable food. Symptoms of nausea include vomiting, drooling, and yawning. If your Yorkie shakes a lot, consider your routine and how your day-to-day may impact your dog. For example, that fun car ride you take every day may actually be the reason why your Yorkie trembles.

3. Stress

It’s in your Yorky’s nature to be lively. Dogs often shake due to changes in their emotional state. Your Yorkie may be shaking with happiness, shyness, anticipation, or fear. Though high-strung, you can help remedy his Yorkie trembling by introducing him to new things. In addition, socialize him with an occasional new person. Furthermore, ensure that he has a safe place to de-stress.

Excitement for play often stimulates Yorkie shaking. This is considered normal as long as the shaking ceases relatively quickly. If the excited shaking results in uncontrollable urination or other unwanted behaviors, consider playing a new, more calming game.

Fear is also often the cause of uncontrollable shaking. Every dog is different, and what causes fear in one dog may not in another. Toy group dogs like Yorkies are notoriously picked up and carried by their owners, but heights might be your Yorkie’s worst nightmare. It’s important to pay attention to your Yorkie’s environmental cues and make note of any possible fear factors.

4. Disease

Distemper in dogs is characterized by trembling and shaking. Symptoms include coughing, fever, and discharge from the eyes and nose. Other conditions such as kidney diseases, liver diseases, adrenal gland problems, and neurological disorders also display tremor symptoms. If your Yorkie seems to be shaking for no reason, he may be injured, or he may have generalized tremor syndrome. It’s common in smaller breeds and veterinarians typically treat the condition with corticosteroids.

5. Poisoning

Yorkie shaking could be the result of poisoning. Many chemicals, plants, and human foods such as chocolate, are toxic to dogs. Additional symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, and muscle weakness. Yorkies are small dogs so it doesn’t take much to trigger symptoms. If you suspect your Yorkie is exhibiting signs of poisoning, seek medical attention immediately.

6. Hypoglycemia

Yorkies have a predisposition to hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. This can occur if your dog doesn’t eat or is overstimulated. In addition, this condition can also be triggered by insulin for diabetes. Hypoglycemia is often characterized by lethargy followed by trembling. If left untreated, your Yorkie may have a seizure or even become comatose. You should call your veterinarian immediately if your dog is displaying these symptoms.

What Causes Hypoglycemia?

Stress is a common factor. New environments, new homes, and new people can trigger low blood sugar in Yorkies. In addition, an abrupt change in food is often the culprit. If you’re bringing home a Yorkie for the first time, ask the breeder what food they feed their dogs. This way, you can properly transition them to the food of your choice. Changing your Yorkie’s diet should take about 4 weeks.

Food deprivation is also a common factor. It’s recommended that you “free feed” your dog up to 3 months old. After 3 months, depending on how many snacks you feed your dog, you should provide 2-3 meals per day. Many dog breeds can get by eating once per day, but for Yorkies and other toy group dogs, you should provide a minimum of 2 meals per day.

What To Do If You Suspect Hypoglycemia?

Honey can be a useful aid in the event that you think your Yorkie is suffering from Hypoglycemia. It’s recommended that you rub a little honey against your dog’s gums to stabilize their state. At this point, you should bring your Yorkie to a veterinarian immediately so an IV solution can be utilized to stabilize blood sugar levels.


Yorkie shaking occurs for many reasons and as a dog owner, it’s your responsibility to understand these reasons. Socialize your Yorkie to new experiences but keep track of how they react to these new experiences.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. She was taken for grooming and had her hair cut all the way down to her skin which has never been and have never shake like she has been since

  2. My dorkie does a lot of shaking On a car ride shakes uncontrollably when she is excited it’s really at a high level What can be done to help her

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