Why Do Whippets Shake?

Whippets are gentle and affectionate canines that have earned a reputation for their calm demeanor and incredible speed. However, one curious behavior often raises questions among owners and admirers alike – the occasional shaking or trembling displayed by these beautiful dogs. In this article, we delve into the reasons behind “Why do Whippets shake?” to uncover the secrets of this intriguing behavior.

Brief Overview of Whippets

Before we explore the peculiarities of their shaking behavior, let’s gain a general understanding of Whippets. Originally bred for hunting and racing, Whippets belong to the sighthound family, and their lineage traces back to Greyhounds.

They possess an elegant and streamlined physique, which allows them to reach astonishing speeds in short bursts. Their friendly nature and adaptability make them cherished companions in many households.

World of Dog Shivers

Breeding and Genetics

Like any other canine behavior, Whippets’ propensity to shake or tremble can be attributed, at least in part, to their genetics. Over generations of selective breeding, certain traits, including shaking behavior, may have been unintentionally accentuated or carried over from their ancestors.

Environmental Factors

Apart from genetics, the environment also plays a significant role in a Whippet’s behavior. A dog’s surroundings and experiences during its formative years can influence its tendencies, including trembling or shaking. Stressful situations, sudden changes, or even the presence of new people or animals can trigger such behaviors.

Why Do Whippets Shake?

Whippets shake for various reasons, and understanding these motives can provide valuable insights into their emotions, health, and overall well-being. Below, we’ll explore some common explanations for this behavior.

black whippet

Temperature Regulation

Whippets have thin skin and short fur, making them susceptible to temperature changes. Shaking can be their way of regulating body temperature. In colder conditions, shaking helps generate heat by contracting muscles, while in warmer weather, it aids in dissipating heat through increased airflow between their fur.

Stress, Anxiety, and Nervousness

Similar to humans, Whippets might shake to release pent-up tension or stress. This is especially true after an intense play session, a visit to the vet, or exposure to unfamiliar environments. Shaking allows them to unwind and restore emotional balance.

Excitement and Happiness

Interestingly, not all shaking is related to negative emotions. Whippets can exhibit trembling when they are excited or overjoyed, especially when anticipating playtime, treats, or the arrival of their beloved human companions.

Muscle Stretching and Exercise Recovery

Whippets are agile and athletic dogs. Their shaking may be a natural way to stretch their muscles, enhancing flexibility and promoting faster recovery after physical activities.

Fear or Anxiety

Whippets can be sensitive souls, and shaking might indicate feelings of fear or anxiety. Loud noises, thunderstorms, or unfamiliar situations can trigger this response. Understanding their triggers can help create a safe environment for them.

Urination Excitement

Young Whippets or those with little control over their bladder may involuntarily shake when excited, leading to minor urine leakage. This behavior usually subsides as they mature and gain better bladder control.

Health Issues and Pain

Occasionally, shaking can be a sign of an underlying health issue or pain. If your Whippet is shaking persistently and shows other concerning symptoms, it’s essential to consult a veterinarian for a thorough examination.

boxer whippet mix
A cute Whippet mix outdoors

Health Concerns and Medical Conditions


Low blood sugar levels can affect a Whippet’s overall well-being and may lead to shaking episodes. Ensuring they receive a balanced diet with adequate nutrients is crucial to avoid hypoglycemic episodes.

Pain and Discomfort

Whippets may shake in response to physical discomfort or pain. Owners must be attentive to signs of distress and seek prompt veterinary care when necessary.

Neurological Issues

In some cases, shaking can be indicative of underlying neurological problems. Observing the frequency and severity of the shaking episodes can help identify if there is an underlying medical condition that requires attention.

Managing Whippet Dog Shaking

Regular Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Engaging Whippets in regular exercise and mental stimulation can help reduce anxiety and stress levels, positively impacting their shaking tendencies.

Providing a Safe and Comfortable Environment

Creating a safe and comfortable environment at home can make a significant difference in managing Whippet shaking behavior. A familiar and secure space can alleviate stress and promote calmness. A comfortable dog bed that acts as a sanctuary is a great place to start.

Balanced Nutrition

A well-balanced diet tailored to the Whippet’s nutritional needs is crucial for their overall health and well-being, reducing the likelihood of health-related shaking.

When to Seek Veterinary Advice

While occasional shaking is normal for Whippets, persistent or severe trembling episodes should not be ignored. Seeking advice from a veterinarian can help rule out potential health issues or provide appropriate treatment if required.

whippet and owners
Happy Whippet, happy life!

Embracing Whippets’ Unique Behavior

Rather than considering shaking behavior as a problem, Whippet owners need to embrace their pets’ uniqueness. Each dog has its own quirks and habits, contributing to the special bond between pet and owner.

Source of Endearment

For many Whippet owners, the occasional shake or tremble becomes an endearing trait that enhances their companionship. Embracing this behavior with love and care fosters a deeper understanding of their furry friends.


The question of “Why do Whippets shake” is multifaceted, with various contributing factors ranging from genetics and environment to emotions and health conditions. While shaking may be inherent in some Whippets due to their breeding history, it can also be a response to various situations. As responsible owners, it is vital to recognize and respond appropriately to their shaking behavior, ensuring their well-being and happiness.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it normal for Whippets to shake?

Yes, it is normal for Whippets to shake occasionally. As we’ve discussed, they shake for various reasons, including temperature regulation, stress release, excitement, and communication. However, if you notice excessive or continuous shaking, it’s advisable to consult a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

Should I be concerned if my Whippet shakes occasionally?

Occasional shaking is generally not a cause for concern. However, if the shaking becomes frequent or severe, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian.

How can I help my Whippet if they shake due to anxiety?

Creating a calm and secure environment, providing regular exercise, and considering behavioral training can help alleviate anxiety-related shaking.

Can Whippets outgrow their shaking behavior?

Yes, in many cases, Whippets outgrow excitement urination as they mature and gain better control over their bladder muscles. Patient training and positive reinforcement can aid in the process. While some Whippets may outgrow shaking tendencies, others may exhibit this behavior. Understanding and managing the triggers can help improve their well-being.

Are there specific treatments for Whippet shaking?

The treatment for shaking in Whippets depends on the underlying cause. Behavioral interventions may be helpful if it’s related to anxiety or stress, while medical conditions may require specific treatments prescribed by a veterinarian.

Can Whippets’ Shaking Be Prevented?

While some Whippet dog shaking is natural and normal, ensuring their physical and emotional needs are met can reduce its frequency. Regular exercise, mental stimulation, a balanced diet, and a stable routine can contribute to a healthier and happier Whippet, potentially minimizing shaking episodes.

Evan S. Conaway

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