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Why Does My Doberman Shake So Much? 8 Vet Reviewed Reasons

Written by: Oliver Jones

Last Updated on April 25, 2024 by Dogster Team

doberman dog in late autumn

Why Does My Doberman Shake So Much? 8 Vet Reviewed Reasons


Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg  Photo


Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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While some shaking is normal in dogs, if you have a Doberman, there’s a good chance that you’ve noticed that they shake more than many other dogs. It’s common for Dobermans to shake, until a certain point. But why is that the case, and is it something that you should worry about?

We answer both of the questions for you here and help you understand when that shaking is something that you need to reach out to a vet about.

divider-dog pawWhy Does My Doberman Shake So Much?

Dobermans shake far more than most other dogs, and one of the primary reasons for this is that Dobermans often have idiopathic head tremors, sometimes referred to as “head-bobbing syndrome.” It’s a common condition that doesn’t seem to have many adverse side effects, but there are still a few unknowns about it.

The head tremors may last about 3 minutes and occur twice daily. However, it’s typical for them to go months between episodes.

Doberman jumping over water
Image Credit: Purino, Shutterstock


The 8 Reasons That a Doberman Might Shake

There are a few different reasons that your Doberman might shake. We highlighted eight of the most common ones here. Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about many of them.

1. Idiopathic Head Tremors

This condition is seen frequently in Dobermans, and it ranges anywhere from mild shakes of the head to all-out tremors. Some Dobermans will outgrow this condition, while it’s a lifelong condition in others.

It’s quite common and likely completely harmless. If your Doberman exhibits the symptoms associated with this, you do not necessarily need to reach out out for medical attention.

2. Cold

When a dog is cold, they shiver and shake! If the weather is on the chiller side or you have the thermostat in your home turned down low, this might be why your Doberman is shaking.

doberman training
Image Credit: Yama Zsuzsanna Márkus, Pixabay

3. Pain

If you notice that your Doberman is shaking while whimpering or favoring a certain part of their body, they might have an injury. Shaking is a normal pain response for dogs, so if it’s a new thing for your Doberman, give them a quick lookover to ensure that they’re all right.

4. Anxiety/Stress

If you’ve ever had a nervous breakdown, you know that shaking is a normal response. Dogs can respond the same way if the anxiety and stressors in their life get too high. If there’s been a significant change or stressor in your Doberman’s life, they might start shaking.

doberman on dog bed
Image Credit: Aysun Kahraman Öktem, Pexels

5. Illness

Illnesses can create all kinds of symptoms, and depending on what your Doberman has, they might shake when they get sick. If the illness gets too severe or the shaking gets too bad in these situations, you should take them to a vet for further testing and treatment.

6. Boredom

Dobermans need exercise and mental stimulation, and if you’re not meeting either of these requirements, they can display a physical response. In these situations, a Doberman shaking is them asking for something to do.

Doberman Pinscher Sitting
Image Credit: 1790316, Pixabay

7. Medication

Medications can have side effects, and sometimes they can make your dog shake. If it is a more prominent shake, you might need to reach out to the vet to find a better prescription with less pronounced side effects

8. Excitement

When dogs feel excitement, they just can’t hide it. Their tails wag, they jump up and down, and even when they’re trying to stand still, they shake. Their excitement shines through, and that’s just how they communicate with us when they see something that they want!

Doberman Pinscher Dog
Image Credit: YamaBSM, Pixabay

divider-dog pawConclusion

If you have a Doberman, there’s a good chance that it’s only a matter of time until they shake. It’s a common occurrence for dogs in general, and it’s even more common with Dobermans.

Now that you know about normal and abnormal reasons for it, you can make an informed decision about when you should or shouldn’t seek out further treatment for a shaking Doberman.

Featured Image Credit: elis aksenova, Shutterstock

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