Why do Yorkies shake? When to take action immediately!


Why do Yorkies shake?

When you see a dog shaking, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Probably that he is cold, right? However, there are many different reasons why your Yorkie is shaking or shivering. In some cases it’s completely fine, while in other you need to take an immediate action! Here is the short answer why your Yorkshire Terrier is shaking:

Yorkies can shake for several reasons, but the most common are these:

  • Hypoglycemia
  • Low body temperature
  • Severe pain
  • Feeling afraid or overexcited

All of them are dangerous to your Yorkie and you should definitely talk with a specialist as soon as possible. The best way is to talk with a vet online (that’s what I always do). It saves me a lot of time! You can also do this by clicking this link: chat with on-call veterinarians

If you want to know more about each reason and how to identify the cause of, read below. 


why do yorkies shake?
Hypoglycemia Yorkie Symptoms

Hypoglycemia is a sudden sugar drop in blood. When your Yorkie’s body is deprived of sugar it starts shaking. This condition is more common for baby Yorkies (up to 4 months), because they have not fully developed their ability to regulate sugar levels in their blood. Hypoglycemia can cause a loss of consciousness or at some cases even death. Be very cautious if you see any of these symptoms.

Low blood sugar is almost always a symptom of an underlying problem: lack of nutrients, parasites, cold environments and stress in general. First of all, thing about the food that you give to your dog. Does it have enough nutrients? It is an everlasting debate whether dog’s food is nutritious enough. My personal opinion it is not. I always give my Yorkie the food that I’m eating myself. He loves tomatoes, watermelon, tuna, sometimes even olives. I believe that you need to give all kinds of different food.

Hypoglycemia is serious a serious condition, that can do a real harm to your dog.

What to do about it?

If you think that your dog might have a hypoglycemia, consult with your vet immediately! You can also do this online: chat with on-call veterinarians


Low Temperature

Yorkies when cold

Unlike other dogs, Yorkies are single-coated breed. It means that they have only one layer of coat. For this reason it’s very easy for them to get cold. Strong wind, rain & winter can be fatal to your dog!

Yorkie puppies and senior dogs have less tolerance to lower temperatures, thus they need more care and attention when the weather conditions are bad. How do you know when it’s too cold for your dog? First of all, when Yorkies temperature drops below his normal temperature, the body starts shivering. Shivering reflex is the way of warming up. Yes, it’s the same as for humans.

What to do about it?

Dress up! There are so many different clothes on the internet: sweaters, jackets, coats, t-shirts & even shoes! They all are adorable, but don’t forget the main purpose of clothing – to protect from cold. Don’t buy clothes that are cute, instead, buy clothes that are cute & warm. If you live where the climate has harsh winters, you definitely need a good winter jacket and shoes.


Severe pain

Yorkie severe pain
Yorkie severe pain

Shivering or shaking because of severe pain is more easy to identify. Usually, it has some additional signs: mobility issues, changed eating habits, sleep changes, moaning. If you spot any of these signs + shaking/shivering, chances are your dog is in pain. Even if he doesn’t show any of these additional signs, he can also undergo severe pain. Mother nature build these dogs in a way that they can hide any signs of pain. They try to hide their pain, because in a wild environment they can be attacked by other rival dogs.

What to do about it?

See or talk with your vet immediately! You probably don’t know the cause of pain and you need to identify it as soon as possible. No one can do this job better than your vet, so you should stop reading now and talk with your vet now. Click this link to chat with a veterinarian online


Other reasons

Feeling afraid or scared:

There can be many different reasons why your Yorkie can feel scared or afraid. Some dogs are afraid of heights, so if you pick him up and he starts to shake – he is afraid of heights. He might also be afraid of other dogs, especially if they have ever been attacked. For example, my Yorkie was attacked by a Husky, when he was a puppy and now he is afraid of this breed. As soon as he sees a Husky, he starts to act nervous.

Feeling overexcited

When your dog is extremely excited he might start shaking or shivering. Again, I will use my own example, because it fits here so well. My dog is going crazy about two things: empty plastic bottles and squeaky toys. When he gets either of one, he starts shaking because of excitement. This is completely normal and you should not be concerned about it.

He missed you

If you leave your dog alone for a longer period of time, he will definitely miss you. When you come back, your dog might be so excited that he starts shaking. It is also completely normal.

If you want to know how long can you leave your Yorkie alone, you can read this blog post.


Is shaking bad for Yorkies?

When you know the causes of shaking, it’s easy to answer this question. Yes and no. 

It is bad if your Yorkshire Terrier:

  • has Hypoglycemia
  • Is cold
  • undergoing severe pain

It is completely normal if he shakes when he:

  • feels scared or afraid
  • feels overexcited
  • missed you

So, first of all you need to identify the cause of shaking. Once you know that, you can take all the necessary actions: see the vet or put some warm clothes.


My own example

Yorkie nutritional deficiencies
Yorkie nutritional deficiencies

I wrote this blog post, because a few years ago I was also looking for the same answers. I was wondering why does my Yorkie shake? Luckily it was because of overexcitement and not because of any health condition. Moreover, I can assure that Yorkies are very cold-sensitive dogs and as soon as temperature gets below 15 degrees Celsius I need put some clothes on my Yorkshire Terrier. Otherwise, when he gets outside, he starts shaking like a leaf. Moreover, in the winter time I never cut my yorkie’s hair and leave them a little longer. I don’t know how much it helps, but I believe it helps at least a little bit. Since I live in Europe, where winters are pretty harsh, a warm and water proof jacket is a must for me!



As you know now, there are so many reasons that can cause your dog to shake or shiver. Some of them are serious, while other are completely fine. Each dog’s character is unique, so there is no general truth and nobody else knows better than you about your dog. So, If you see any unusual behavior that leads to shaking, seek for the professional help. Do not try to make your own conclusions!


If you have something to add, just leave your comment below! 

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