Why Do Whippets Shake?

Just like human beings, our pets require special attention, especially when they are acting abnormally.

If you are a dog lover and, in particular, own a whippet, you definitely know that they do exhibit a peculiar habit of constantly shaking.

If you have noticed your whippet shaking and wonder what could be the problem, this article is just for you.

We will discuss why whippets shake and how to know if your whippet is nervous.

We will also suggest how you can calm your nervous whippet and why your whippet could be shaking. Lastly, we will guide you on what to do if your whippet’s shakes don’t stop.

I hope that this article is informative enough and helps you take better care of your whippet, making it feel as comfortable as possible in your home.

Why Do Whippets Shake?

There could be many reasons why your whippet is shaking. Sometimes it is normal for your dog to shake, but other times there could be serious underlying health issues.

It is important to keep in mind that even though other breeds of dogs shake, it may appear more visible on whippets due to their build.

Whippets are a crossbreed of the greyhound and the terrier/spaniel.

why do whippets shake?
Image: Darien and Neil

They are, therefore, slim and slender, with much of their muscles being on the flanks. Their shaking could be excellent for building and warming up their muscles.

Is My Whippet Nervous?

Dogs have emotions just like human beings, and whippets are not an exception. Since they can’t talk, their body will tell you if it is comfortable or otherwise.

Whippets also tend to be more sensitive than other types of dogs since they have a nervous and sensitive disposition.

Therefore, they may communicate to you through shaking that they are unhappy with a situation that they are in.

How Can I Calm A Nervous Whippet?

As a whippet owner, your primary job is to create a safe and secure environment for your dog.

You should observe if it is stressed or nervous and be able to calm it.

It would be best if you do not force your whippet to be in situations it does not want or try to get it used to uncomfortable situations.

This will only make the worsen your whippet’s anxiety and make it to start acting negatively.

For instance, it may become violent or get other destructive behaviours.

I recommend that you make them comfortable and secure first before trying to introduce them to new environments.

Once you have mastered how they react, you can gradually try to get them used to spaces outside their comfort zone.

You can use rewards as incentives for stepping out of their comfort spaces.

Reasons Why My Whippet Could Be Shaking:


Just like other dogs, whippets do feel cold. They are also not covered in much fur and have very little body fat, making them more vulnerable to extreme weather conditions.

Therefore, a whippet’s body needs to work very hard, especially during the colder seasons, to keep it warm.

Extreme cold is not suitable for whippets as it makes them suffer injuries easily.

They could also experience chills, respiratory, and even sinus problems, which could be detrimental to their health or even lead to death.

Therefore, I suggest that winter and the colder times find you well prepared with a few clothes picked out for your whippet.

whippet shaking
Image: Deanna

You can get a well-insulated winter coat as well as warm blankets and bedding, especially if your dog has other underlying health issues.

You should ensure that your whippet is always warm, whether indoors or when going for a walk.

Keeping your dog warm is essential and will also help you prevent your dog from suffering from severe hypothermia conditions.


As mentioned before, your whippet may use shaking to communicate to you that they are uncomfortable in a specific situation.

Therefore, you should avoid putting your dog in an unfamiliar territory that makes then uncomfortable.

You should also not force them to get used to it. Instead, always ensure that you create a safe and comfortable space for them.

If there are situations that your whippet is uncomfortable with that you need it to get used to, I suggest that you do it gradually.

This will help avoid aggravating its anxiety and prevent it from exhibiting violent and dangerous behaviours.

You can also use an incentive such as rewarding them each time they respond calmly to new and uncomfortable situations.


Your whippet’s shaking may be due to excitement. For instance, if you arrive home and your whippet welcomes you while shaking and with a wagging tail, this is no cause for alarm.

Just like with anxiety, the only way for it to express its emotion is through shaking.

Warming And Building Muscles

As we stated above, whippets are a crossbreed and have a different body build than other dogs.

They have an athletic and slender body, with most of their muscles being in their flanks.

They may shake often, and this is perfect for warming and building their muscles.

Shaking in all kinds of dogs is common and should not be a concern as long as it is not constant.

However, it tends to be more noticeable with whippets due to their build.

Stops Whilst Walking

Do not let the grace and sophistication that whippets have to fool you as they can also be quite mischievous.

While going for a walk with your dog and meet a friend on the way and stop for a quick chat, it may start shaking and shivering for absolutely no reason.

However, as soon as you cut your chat short, seeing that it may be feeling cold, it gets back to normal, and you continue with your walk.

This may just be a playful way of saying that it doesn’t like getting its walk interrupted.

Underlying Health Issues

While it may be expected for whippets to shake now and then, the shaking may, at times, be caused by other underlying health conditions that your whippet may have.

Therefore, you should always visit your veterinary doctor for consultation and assistance whenever you feel like the shaking is getting out of hand.

Shouting At Your Whippet

It would help if you learned to control your emotions and anger while around your whippet.

If you are in a bad mood and end up shouting at it in anger, it may become withdrawn, cast its face down, and even look at you with sad eyes.

The whippet may also start shaking uncontrollably and may take some time to calm down or stop the shaking.

I recommend that you find ways of correcting your whippet without being too harsh so that they can be comfortable with you.

This will also help prevent them from being anxious or aggravating their anxiety.

Bathing & Grooming

Like many other pets, not all whippets love bath time, and some may shiver and shake a lot during bath time to express their displease.

Others do not like or enjoy nail clipping at all, which may cause them to shake.

whippet shaking
Image: andy carter

I suggest that you find a way of making the process fun for them to be comfortable through it as grooming is essential and not something that you can choose to pass on.


It is important to note that dogs can also be affected by epilepsy. This may cause them to fall on one side and shake violently.

This is serious, and you should be concerned and get your whippet immediate medical attention.

What To Do If Your Whippets Shakes Don’t Stop

As we have discussed above, there are so many reasons why your whippet may be shaking.

Whereas some shaking may be expected and do not need you to worry as the dog owner, sometimes the shaking may be due to the environment created for the dog.

If you notice that environmental factors cause the shakings, you should immediately remove your whippet from there and create a safe and peaceful environment.

However, when the shakings do not stop even after doing everything you deem necessary, you should seek immediate medical attention for your whippet.

A vet will be able to quickly tell if the shaking is normal behaviour, or is there is an underlying problem.

If the shaking is due to a medical condition, then your whippet will be in the safest hands for that.

Final Thoughts

I hope that this article has helped put your mind at ease concerning your whippet’s peculiar behaviour and helped you learn something more about your dog and how you can make it more comfortable at home.

If you have more concern about the shaking or it is usually sudden and accompanied by other signs and symptoms such as vomiting, I still suggest you see a vet immediately as you could save your whippet’s life.

I would highly advise that you learn your dog to help you quickly decipher the signs and body movements it experiences.

However, do not always think that your whippet’s shaking is regular.

Hopefully you now know the answer to why do whippets shake, and have some clear guidance on how to make your pet more comfortable.

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