Jack Russel

Why does my jack russell shake?

by Lucie
(Devon, UK)

She is getting on a bit now...but she will just randomly start to shake..

Why is this and is there anything I can do to stop this?

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Aug 25, 2014
Jack Russell Shaking
by: Anonymous

I had two Jack Russell Terriers until recently. My old one has been shaking for about a year he's 16 a bit deaf and his hearing is going he's got slow and can't jump on furniture or stairs his shake don't seam to bother him but he dose look a bit vacant some times we just think he's got the dog version to Alzheimers.

His partner was 15 and she was like a puppy till the last week when a growth had turned to cancer and went to her belly and had to be put to sleep. We were not going to get any more but he missed her so we got a little rescue dog to help with the loss and he seams a little bit more happy.

Jul 10, 2014
Shaking Jack Russell
by: KatiesBuddy

I was worried about my little JR shaking , it was going on for months and I finally pinpointed the problem, she is scared of wind, even if there was a slight breeze out side she would sit and shake.

The only way we found to ease her panic was to make her a bed in our wardrobe and leave the door open a tiny bit, there she would ride out the "Storm" and come trotting out happily when the wind had gone. This from the little dog that would throw herself into a fight with anything!

They are funny little critters but it could be something as simple as a draft, you just have to find it : )

Jun 23, 2014
Shaking because of thunder
by: Steward Bertrand

Louie is our 2nd jack and he is very scared of thunder. I am very glad to find your site!

Nov 16, 2013
loud noises
by: Anonymous

My jrt is 4 yrs old and he shakes when there's loud noises i.e.; like thunder, guns on television, fireworks,drills, and I feel so sorry for him and get upset seeing him so distressed.

Is there a plug in thing that can keep him calm like they have on sale for cats ???

Aug 02, 2013
My Jack Russell shakes.
by: Anonymous

My Jack Russell is about 14 yrs old, has lots of pep still (can jump onto the couch from standing position), but has these 'shakes', like Parkinson's disease or something. It's not from having to go to the bathroom, it's not from being excited or scared (he vibrates like a vibrator when it's thundering, that's different).

But this is where his legs start shaking, like, and old man's Parkinson disease. When he's lying down on his belly, no shaking. When he's excite about something, no shaking. But when he is just standing there, he will shake in one/several/all his legs, but he doesn't seem to be in any pain.

Jan 21, 2013
by: Anonymous

I was so worried about my jrt shakes. he is 13 yrs old and acts like he is still a 3 yr old. Runs like a deer and can jump a fence easy. Shakes alot and is totally a one man dog. Love him soooo much.

Nov 28, 2012
jack russell
by: marie

i have 2 jack russells and 1 of mine shakes when he needs a wee.

Nov 24, 2012
by: Anonymous

My jack shakes all the time. I asked my vet and he said its all to do with digestion. They all do it and its nothing to worry about!

Jul 08, 2012
hind legs shaking
by: TheFieldFamily

We have a 12 year Parsons Jack. She would always shake when she got excited or frightened, but recently her hind legs seem to shake for no apparent reason and have given out on her a few times as she walks across the room. She will be seeing her vet this week but wondered if anyone else has had this experience. Thank you!

Feb 12, 2012
JRT going around in circles in the earlier morning hour
by: Anonymous

I have a JRT,she's 10 year's old,and in the last couple of months she started doing this weird behavior. She jumps out of her bed in the earlier morning hours and goes around in circles.It seems to me that she looks uncomfortable,almost like there's something bothering her,but then it passes and shes fine? Is this normal?

Please give me some feedback. Thanks!

Jan 14, 2012
1 year old JRT shakes with tail bent
by: Milo

My one year old JRT has begun shaking with his tail tucked under him. We thought he was cold since he just got his hair cut down, but we live in Hawaii where it is always warm. He also pants with his tongue out while he is shaking, is this normal?

Jan 12, 2012
by: Judy

Our Jack Russell is 8 years old and has always shaken. She does this in times of stress i.e. dramatic change like moving the house, thunderstorms, firecrackers or if she is growled at for being naughty.

She also shakes when we are about to go on a walk due to excitement.I have been told by other JRT owners that this is totally normal for this highly intelligent and energetic breed.

Dec 29, 2011
by: Anonymous


Dec 04, 2011

My Jack (Parker) Fears Nothing . He is 10 yrs old and has the same energy and stamina as when he was only one. I play hard with him at least 1 hour every day. He's extremely more intelligent than any other dog I have ever had.

The only problem is he shakes terribly when I put on my shoes or shave or leave him and go outside. He can't stand it. Nothing calms him except me being with him constantly.

Any suggestions because I can't always be near him but it bothers me.

Oct 30, 2011
5.5months old in heat + shaking
by: Vlad V

My JRT is heat, just entered her first period 3 days ago. I'm good with her flow and all, but she's been shaking today as if she's got shivers, and at the same time she looks to be in hot (panting, tongue out). Any ideas about the shivers/shaking? My dad has a male JRT 5yrs old, and thus I'm not new to dogs, but I am to a female in heat.

Thanks for any help!

Oct 26, 2011
by: Anonymous

It is NORMAL for this breed...

Aug 30, 2011
As tight as a guitar string
by: Anonymous

We have had several JRTs over the years and they all shake. When they sleep they don't relax, their muscles are always tight...like guitar strings. Even when we play, in anticipation of the ball flying across the front yard, or as a previous post mentioned, in anticipation for a ride in the car, or when you get down the leash and put on sneakers ...they know it is time for a walk. All four of our JRTs have done the same thing, but to differing degrees.

Aug 02, 2011
My jack russell shakes
by: Anonymous

My JR is nearly 10 yrs old and he gets scared during thunderstorms or even a gentle rain. Last week he started acting that way & we have had very dry weather here in Texas so I did not know what was wrong. About an hour after he started shaking we got a brief rain shower. I guess he sensed it. Afterwards he was ok. When he is scared like that he wants no one but me. He is generally more my husbands dog but when he's scared no one else will do but me.

Apr 15, 2011
Dog Hiding under the table
by: Sue

Over the past couple of days my 4yr old jack russell seems to be mad lol. One minute he is laying in his bed or on sofa and then for no reason he sits bolt upright and stares at the walls and then bolts so quickly underneath my dining room table and refuses to come out even for his favorite treat. Then he comes out and a while later it happens again. Its mainly happened of a evening when my kids are asleep in bed and its quiet just me and my jack on the sofa. Can anyone shed any light on this please xx

Editor Comment

It sounds like your dog was fearful of something in the past, and that this has translated into a phobia, where fear is triggered by everyday events. One idea to try would be to build your dog's confidence back up. The goal is for you to express confidence at all times, allowing the dog to rely on you to deal with whatever is causing the fear. The way you do this is to use a retraining program where the dog has to work for all of the things it enjoys. For example, have your dog obey a command to sit or do some other action before eating. Also the use of a head halter can help, as it puts you firmly in control. As your Jack builds even more faith in you, it will let go of some of its fears.

If this doesn't work, or in addition to this approach, you can try a homeopathic that helps calm the nervous system and boost confidence such as PetCalm.

Apr 13, 2011
Jack Russell Shaking
by: Anonymous

My Jack is going on 13. At the age of ten, there was a horrible, 8 hour thunderstorm. This was the first time he became frightened, and started shaking severely and panting. Then he began doing it when it rained, in anticipation. Now, if he senses rain coming, he begins. He also began shaking (little tail tucked in) for unknown reasons, such as when we were sitting outside. I think noises, such as traffic noises that we don't even notice, bother him. I started him on some natural canine anxiety meds (very difficult to give him the pills--he is s darned clever) and that has helped tremendously with the normal anxiety and shaking. NOTHING, including the Thundershirt, helps with his anxiety during storms. After reading these comments, I can see that this sort of anxiety must be inherent in the breed. If he's shaking, panting and his tail is tucked, I guarantee he is not excited--he's scared or anxious.

Editor Comment

There is a general belief that dogs that were bred to herd or hunt like our Jacks without biting are susceptible to anxiety disorders or fear phobias such as thunder storms.

There is another explanation that would explain your dog's behavior. Dogs that have heavier coats might actually experience static electricity in the coat during a storm. This very real electrical shock could induce fear of coming storms. Some dogs seek areas of the home such as the bath, shower or sink, where the plumbing can help to ground the dog and reduce the incidence of the static electricity charges. There is a growing amount of evidence regarding this theory.

To eliminate static electricity you can try spraying your dog with a water mist before storms, placing your dog in the car which acts as an insulator and drive them around (or keep in car with ventilation of course), or keep your dog on a tile or linoleum floor during a storm. One easy thing to try is to wipe your dog down with an anti-static dryer sheet. These are inexpensive and could provide a quick solution.

Another approach is to desensitize your dog to thunder sounds by playing a recording of these sounds at low volume, and then increase the volume over time. As the dog will see no negative consequence, they become more comfortable with thunder storms. This method is hit or miss, with many dogs relapsing.

Feb 20, 2011
JRT shaking
by: Anonymous

Chiropractor said its because the back is out. They are so energetic, and this happens when they play. So mine sees a chiropractor or I massage him my self.

Feb 11, 2011
Jack Russell Terriers Naturally Shake
by: Susan

JRTs shake...that's what they do and it's normal. They have a lot of energy. They need to run and play, and if there is a rabbit or squirrel outside the window it will become worse. If there is people food nearby it will become worse too. My Jack Russell Terrier shakes in the car because he loves it so much, he's excited to be there!

Dec 22, 2010
by: Anonymous

I have the same problem with my 1 year old jack rat I thought it's was because she was cold but I keep her warm. Can any 1 help????

Nov 04, 2010
My dogs shakes or quivers
by: Anonymous

My Maltese/Lhasa shakes or quivers when shes standing or sitting on my lap,mostly on her hind legs..what could be her problem?Is this a sign of Arthritis?Seems to stop when I rub her legs

Oct 31, 2010
my jack russel shakes too, but this is what stops it
by: Anonymous

Hello, my Jack Russel is 12 years old, always had the shakes, nothing found wrong at the vet, but I did notice that if I take her for a walk, or we play together it stops. Anytime she was shaking very badly, I'd take her for a quick paced walk for about a mile or so and the shaking would stop. I think it is somehow related to pent up energy, like she can't contain it and it results in "the shakes"

Oct 21, 2010
by: Anonymous

My jack russell, Molly used to only shake when she was scared, now she shakes alot of the time. It has only started in the last 2 months. She is 16 years of age, she isn't cold, and there is never anything happening that could frighten her.(She is only scared of one thing fireworks). It is worrying. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

Sep 09, 2010
by: Anonymous

I am 12 years old and I want to know why my 4 year old Jack Russell terrier shakes all the time for no reason. she sits on my lap or any were and shakes.

Jul 29, 2010
Jack Russell Shakes
by: Anonymous

My JRT is three months old, she shakes a lot everyday around seven o'clock in the evening, but when i wrap her in her blanket and rub her back she feels better and fall asleep. she shakes also when she smells our food.

Jun 10, 2010
Shaky doggies
by: Anonymous

My friends dog always shakes and she wants to know why so someone tell me!!!

Feb 14, 2010
Shaking Jack Russells
by: Anonymous

It may be particular to the breed. From the time mine was a pup, he shakes when he is standing or sitting. Walking and lying down, he doesn't shake. Now that he's 16, he does it even more. Everyone always asks me "Why is he shaking?" I don't know. He does it when he's calm and happy, too. I wouldn't worry about it (after checking with a vet, of course.)

Dec 02, 2009
Jumpy dog
by: Anonymous

Jacks are a jumpy watchdog. they will shake, usually their hind quarters and sometimes their front legs too. This could be a sign of them having to pee. (you've done the pee pee dance too admit it) also yes they do shake around human food sometimes, this could be true. They get excited so it's common. Also they very well could be cold. Wrap them up in an old towel watch TV together and help him or her calm down.

Nov 27, 2009
Jack Russell Shakes
by: Anonymous

Our Jack, Missy, is 1yr 5 months old. Lately, in the past 2 months or so, she continuously shakes once we drive about 10 mi in our car. Then she tries to hide under the driver seat (she can do that in the semi, but hard in our other cars). She is not afraid of anything....isn't abused, and loved driving in any car prior to this. If I leave her home, she gets sick! Any answers?

Editor Comment

While it is difficult to know for sure, dogs actually can get motion sickness, which is one possible explanation. Another is that something happened to cause a fear reaction in the car. If this is the case (or just to try), attempt to desensitize the behavior. For example, sit in the car with your Jack with the engine off and do something pleasurable such as play or providing a snack. After a few times, do it again with just the engine on and do not move. Then during a short drive, then longer drives. This will re-associate the car with a positive experience.

You can also try a homeopathic formulated to calm anxiety and motion sickness such as EasyTravel. Again its effectiveness will depend on the underlying cause of the problem.

Best to you and your Jack.

Aug 08, 2009
Answer to Jack Russell Shaking
by: Anonymous

Your dog shakes because they hear smell or see something and get excited. Sounds cute but it takes a small amount of their life span. try and calm them down.

May 31, 2009
Why does my jack russell shake
by: sue

I would like to know why my Jack Russell Renee shakes all of the time. She is loved and no children are involved.

Mar 27, 2009
7 month old Jack Russell Terrier Shakes
by: Anonymous

My Jack Russell is about 7 months...lately he has been shaking too...right now actually on my lap...I have him under my blanket he seems warm....but tired...and shaking ...strange...maybe he is just not feeling well..and has the chills.

Feb 28, 2009
by: Anonymous

Sometimes they shake if they are around food, they love human food. It's normal a lot of dogs do it.

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