Get rates for your pet:

See My Rates »
Retrieve a Saved Quote

Why Do Chihuahuas Shake So Much?

By Cuteness Team
published: November 19, 2019 - updated: March 22, 2022 • 2 min. read
Chihuahua puppy

Key Takeaways

  • Chihuahuas may shake because of their naturally high metabolisms.
  • Cold weather can make a Chihuahua shiver and shake due to cold sensitivity.
  • Chihuahuas don’t typically shake unless they are cold or stressed out.
  • It is important to train and socialize your Chihuahua early to prevent fearfulness.
  • Healthy Paws provides additional information about Chihuahuas to help you take the best care of your pet.

While Chihuahuas have a reputation as nervous, shaky dogs, they typically only shake if they have a good reason. That reason can be physiological or emotional, so if you notice that your tiny friend has a case of the shivers, take stock of both his environment and his general behavior. By giving him the care he needs, you can help keep his shaking under control.

High Metabolism

Chihuahuas naturally have high metabolisms, which can make them shiver when they get excited or anxious. It also affects their ability to regulate body temperature. When an animal has a high metabolism, he burns off body heat quickly. This means that even when you don’t feel cold, your Chihuahua might.

Cold Weather Woes

Whether your Chihuahua has short or long hair, he’s sensitive to cold weather. These dogs are not particularly robust, and with their tiny frames, general lack of body fat and high metabolism, they aren’t able to withstand the cold. If the weather is as cold as 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit, your Chihuahua is likely to shiver, and should be dressed in a sweater or wrapped in a blanket to help him stay comfortable.

Shaking Myths

Though these dogs have a reputation for nervousness, this is likely a product of their shivering — not a cause of it. Chihuahuas generally are well-tempered, sociable dogs who aren’t necessarily intimidated easily. A well-trained Chihuahua may be as calm, self-assured and well-behaved as any other breed of dog, and won’t habitually shake unless he is cold or in a particularly stressful situation.

Nerves and Care

Like many dogs, Chihuahuas must be trained and socialized from a young age — otherwise, they can grow up maladjusted and fearful. Because these dogs may shiver and shake when experiencing extreme stress or anxiety, a poorly socialized Chihuahua may tremble more than is typical. Despite their small size, Chihuahuas also need daily exercise and mental stimulation. Neglecting your Chihuahua’s needs can leave him anxious, and when he becomes anxious, he may shake.

The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical diagnosis, condition, or treatment options.

If you love your Chihuahua, you’re a great candidate for pet insurance. Find out more about cat insurance, and start by getting a free quote. Bonus: Each quote means a donation is made to pets in need.

cuteness logo
By Cuteness Team

Cuteness is the place for pet people. Whether you’re looking for adoption guides, in-fur-mation on your pet’s weird habits or showcases of pure pet cuteness, we’ve paw-sitively got it all. At Cuteness, we’re committed to working only with experts we’d trust with our own pets. We’ve done the legwork for you so you can focus your energy on loving and caring for your furry friends. We’re passionate about all things pet and fostering a community of pet lovers. Caring for pets isn’t always a walk in the park – but we’ve got you covered! Cuteness and Healthy Paws Pet Insurance had a content sharing agreement until 2021.

Show more