Home /


/ Dog Shaking and Clingy: 5 Reasons & What to Do

Dog Shaking and Clingy: 5 Reasons & What to Do

Fear is the most common reason for sudden shaking and clinginess in dogs. Your dog shakes due to a fear of something or someone. Remove the stressor to calm your dog and stop its clinginess.

Shaking is a common behavior seen in dogs. Dogs shake to remove excess water from their coat after a swim or a bath, if they feel uncomfortable, or just because. 

But shaking without reason is not common among dogs. This indicates an underlying problem that requires attention.

If your dog is shaking and clingy, it can be due to boredom. Boredom makes dogs want to interact with their owners making them clingy. Excessive shaking and possessiveness are not normal behaviors and should be confronted.

This article explores the major reasons for shaking and clinginess in dogs and gives you solutions to tame these behaviors.

Why Is Your Dog Shaking and Clingy?

Dogs are pack animals and desire closeness with their owners. If the clinginess becomes obsessive and is accompanied by shaking, there may be a serious underlying issue with your dog, such as fear, stress, separation anxiety, and more.

Dogs love being with their owners. It’s in their nature. They often grab their owner’s attention by displaying weird behaviors.

If your dog acts clingy and sticks by your side more frequently than normal, you’ve got an issue at your hands. While they are pack animals and consider their owners a part of their pack, obsessiveness is a problem.

5 Reasons Why Your Dog is Shaking and Being Clingy

Dogs shake due to fear, stress, separation anxiety, sickness, or pain. Fear causes dogs to become possessive. Stress and anxiety are also probable reasons for your dog’s shaking and clinginess. Lastly, sickness and pain cause a greater need for comfort and closeness, resulting in clinginess.

Dogs’ loving nature and their pack behavior can make them possessive and clingy. Obsessive clinginess coupled with shaking is not common among dogs.

Here are five reasons why dogs shake and cling:

  1. Fear
  2. Stress
  3. Separation Anxiety
  4. Sickness
  5. Pain

1. Fear

Fear of the Unknown

Fear is one of the leading causes of shaking in dogs. If your dog is afraid of something or someone, it causes uncontrollable shaking. Your dog can also become clingy and stick by your side due to its fear.

Look for other signs of fear, such as your dog burying its head in you. This will help you differentiate fear from other causes.

Observe your dog’s behavior and notice when the shaking and clinginess occur. Several things can make your dog scared:

  • Firetruck alarms.
  • Drilling sounds.
  • Fireworks.
  • Thunder and lightning.
  • Loud horns.
  • Other animals or people.

Identify the fear and train your dog to make peace with it.

2. Stress

Stressed dog

Dogs get stressed. It is normal for dogs to develop ocassional stress[1]. A little stress is not something to worry about, but too much stress can cause behavioral changes in your dog. Stress can also cause shaking in your dog.

It is natural for dogs to seek comfort in their owners if they are stressed. Dogs cling to their owners to calm themselves down and to relieve the stored stress.

Several events can lead to stress in dogs:

  • Taking a bath.
  • Visiting the vet.
  • Car rides.
  • Confusion and disorientation.

Identify the cause of your dog’s stress and take the necessary precautions to remove the stressor.

3. Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety

Dogs can develop separation anxiety[2]. Separation anxiety occurs when dogs are left alone in the house. Some dogs turn destructive when you leave, but turn clingy as soon as you are back.

Common behaviors in response to separation anxiety include the following:

  • Chewing.
  • Digging.
  • Howling.
  • Barking.
  • Defecation.

If your dog exhibits any of these behaviors when you leave it alone, it is suffering from separation anxiety.

If you return home to find your house messed up and your dog shaking, your dog requires training to tame its anxiety.

4. Sickness

clingy dog with sickness

Dogs communicate with their owners via body language. Some dogs whine and cry when they are in pain. Others start shaking and clinging to their owners.

If your dog is clingy in response to a fever or other medical condition, it is trying to get your attention. Shaking is another sign of sickness, as dogs share due to discomfort. Observe your dog’s behavior and look for any other signs and symptoms of a disease.

Consult a veterinarian if you are unsure about what is causing your dog to shake and become possessive.

5. Pain

clingy dog in pain

Dogs love playing and running outside. Playtimes can lead to injuries that make dogs shake in pain. Dogs are excellent at hiding mild pain but can start shaking from discomfort.

Common causes of pain in dogs:

  • Bone fractures.
  • Slipped vertebrae discs. [3]
  • Popped muscles.
  • Damaged tendons and ligaments.
  • Head injuries.
  • Ear infections.

Dogs suffering from injuries often become clingy to get attention. They do this to make their owners tend to their wounds.

Look for signs of physical harm. If you notice any injuries or wounds, apply necessary treatment. Take your dog to a veterinarian if the shaking becomes violent.

How to Stop Dogs from Shaking and Being Clingy

To stop dogs’ shaking and clinginess, you have to eliminate the stressor that triggers your dog’s fear. Calming your dog and distracting it are also good ways to stop your dog from shaking and being clingy.

Dogs mainly shake due to fear or discomfort. There are certain steps you can take to tone down shaking and the possessive behavior of your dog:

  • Distract your dog by giving it something to keep its mind occupied.
  • Remove any loud noises which are scaring your dog.
  • Condition your pooch to become comfortable with other pets and people.
  • Calm your dog when it starts shaking, and give it its favorite treat once it stops shaking.
  • Get your dog used to remaining alone for long periods of time without becoming destructive.
  • Treat your dog with some OTC medicines if the illness can be treated at home.
  • Tend to any wounds on your dog and provide it proper care.

Consult a veterinarian if the clinging continues or if the shaking does not stop after a few hours.


Dogs are pack animals. They cling to their pack when they’re feeling uncomfortable, sick, scared, or anxious. Clinging and shaking in a limited capacity is not a cause for concern. Excessive shaking is not normal for dogs.

Identify the cause of obsessive shaking and clinginess in your dog and take the required steps to stop its behavior.


Why is My Dog Clingy and Panting?

Panting and clinginess is a signal of fear. Fear is one of the most common causes of panting, trembling, and clinginess in dogs. Your dog may be afraid of loud noises, other dogs, other people, or thunderstorms. Identify your dog’s fear and take the necessary steps to eliminate the source of its fear.

Why is My Dog Shaking and Climbing on Me?

Separation anxiety can make your dog shake due to stress. If your dog is climbing on you when you come back home, it is suffering from separation anxiety. Dogs with this condition also become destructive when they are left alone. Training for separation anxiety should begin during puppyhood, so your dog remains calm and is able to stay at home alone for a couple of hours.

About Dennis Stapleton

Dennis Stapleton has a passion for animals, especially dogs, and their relatives. He’s intrigued by their social structure and loves to write and teach about the world's most popular pet animal.

Looking for something?

Try searching our website!