Why Does My Dog Shake When I Pet Him?

Dogs are generally sweet creatures. However, understanding their behavior can be extremely difficult. It has been hammered on many times; it is essential to learn about dogs’ attitudes.

However, when you do not understand your dog, you can sometimes exaggerate the effect of what they are doing.

Why does my dog shake when I pet him

It might have happened that you are petting your dog, and suddenly you notice it shaking. It doesn’t mean anything serious; it might be because it is tired.

Good knowledge of the concept of dog behavior will help put your mind at rest in such situations.

Reasons Your Dog Shakes When You Pet Him

It’s Their Fur

It Fur – Dogs like to play with their owners. They, however, have a preference of how they would like you to do that. They do not like it when the fur on their body is being ruffled.

Just like with humans, when someone ruffles your hair, you do not like it. You tend to arrange your hair immediately after it is being ruffled.

The same applies to dogs also. Regardless of how much they love their belly being rubbed, they love it a certain way.

They like you to rub their fur in the direction in which it is growing. So when you rub its fur in the opposite direction, it is expected that it will shake when you pet it. It is just to arrange its fur. It should not worry you.

It Might Just Be Tired

Dogs will always create time to play with you. Regardless of how sick they are, they will always let you pet them. However, they can sometimes get tired after a while.

Even as humans, when cuddling up with someone you care about, you can get tired. Yes, you love them, but it is just a bit too much at times. Suddenly you can decide you want your space.

With dogs, they will always give you minor little signs when they are tired. They will not growl because they do not want you to think what you are doing is terrible.

Sometimes they will turn their head away from you, hold their shoulders down or place their tail in between their legs.

This is not personal; it is just that your dog has had enough already. So if you ignore the earlier signs, it will try to shake you off when you are petting it.

It Is Excited

Then confusion between the signals we get from dogs is precisely why you need an extensive understanding of their behavior.

You can be petting your dog, and then it shakes. This can be read as it wanting you to leave it alone. However, most times, the dog is just excited it is being played with.

This excitement leads it to shake when you are petting it, in order to reduce the excess energy in its body.

This does not mean you should stop, and it is not something to worry you either. It is healthy for dogs to shake when you are petting them.

This helps them to regulate their body energy level and also keep their body warm.

They Want Attention

In the paragraphs above, it has been said that dogs always want some form of your attention. They do not mind, even sitting with you while you read or watch a movie.

It must have been noticed that it makes you care for it more when it shakes while you are petting it.

It must have happened a couple of times when you pet your dog, and suddenly you decide to leave. The dog must have shaken a bit, and that caught your attention.

You probably thought something was wrong with it and wanted to check it out.

Dogs always notice even the littlest of gestures and the reasons behind them. They are very intelligent creatures.

It would have noticed you did not leave because you thought it was sick or something. Now it is just using that same situation to blackmail you into staying. When you notice this, it would seem cute to you.

Nevertheless, this is not the sort of behavior you should be encouraging. It would be best if you did not let your dog blackmail you.

It shows you have a weakness it can exploit; you are supposed to be the alpha dog. If you keep letting it happen, your dog might challenge your authority.

My dog shakes when I pet him

It Might Be Cold

Dogs hate cold. They do not like the excess cold; you can almost say they prefer to be hot than cold. Your dog can shake while you are petting it due to cold palms.

It is simply trying to let you know your hands are too cold. Some dogs will get up and leave. It can sometimes not be your fault; it can just be down to the weather.

It does not mean anything, really; it is just not a good weather condition to pet the dog.

It Is In Pain

As much as your dog wants you to play with it, it also wants you to respect some boundaries. You might not be aware that it has sustained an injury or it is feeling some pain somewhere.

However, immediately your hands go close to the injured area, it tends to try and shake your hands off. It is hoping you will understand and just let that area be.

When you do not let that area be, it could gnash its teeth if it is a slightly aggressive dog. It could even bark a little.

This is not a sign of wanting to hurt you, it is just that it wants you to let that area of its body be. “yes, I appreciate you rubbing my body and all, but I have an injury there. Can you leave it?”

It Might Be Stressed/Scared

Humans are not the only creatures that get stressed. Sometimes dogs get stressed from playing other games like throw and catch, long walks in the park.

Dogs do not like being touched when they are stressed. They mostly like to be left alone – so when it shakes while you are petting it, it wants you to stop.

However, sometimes it might be that it is scared. When you have an anxious dog, this can be the issue. Regardless of how much it wants to be touched, there is always that fear inside.

Better still, you can be petting it, and something it does not like passes by. It is natural for your dog to get anxious and shake; you should observe your environment.

Comfortability is vital for your dog, especially a K-9. You should make sure there is nothing around that can scare your dog or make it anxious.

What To Do When Your Dog Shake During Petting?

These situations are nothing serious. When you experience any of these situations, just let the dog be. For someone with extensive knowledge of dog behavior, it will not be an issue.


The reason that your dog shakes might not be related to any of those mentioned above. It could be that the dog is sick and needs medical attention.

Your observation of the whole situation and reaction of the dog to some things should tell you that. Ensure always to keep your dog in a relaxed environment. Do not expose them to too much cold.