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Why Are My Puppy’s Front Legs Shaking?

Your puppy’s front legs can be shaking for several reasons. Injury, stress, and anxiety are some of the most common causes of shaking in a dog’s front legs.

Shaking is a sign that something is wrong with your dog. It is your pup’s way of communicating with you. 

Occasional shaking is normal for dogs. They do it to remove excess water from their fur after a shower or when they are excited.

But leg shaking can also indicate issues that require attention. It can be as harmless as cold weather, or it can be a serious medical issue that must be addressed.

This article discusses the reasons why your dog’s front leg is shaking and the ways of stopping it.

Should You Worry About a Puppy’s Front Legs Shaking?

Stress and anxiety are two of the biggest reasons for shaking in dogs’ front legs. Your dog can also shake its front leg if it is excited about something. Observe your dog’s behavior and identify the root cause of the problem to provide it with proper care.

Leg shaking can hinder your dog’s walking and exercise. Your dog can shake its front legs if it is cold. Low temperatures lead to shivering in dogs. It is also possible that your dog is excited.

Notice when the shaking starts. If the shaking starts when you’re heading out for a walk, or at other exciting times, there’s nothing to worry about.

Related: Why Are My Dog’s Legs Shaking?

dog in fear

Puppy Leg Shaking When Sitting

If your puppy is shaking its legs when it is sitting, there can be a medical issue that requires veterinary care. Elbow Dysplasia[1] is a likely cause of the shaking. 

Other probable reasons for leg shaking when dogs are sitting:

  • Bone disorders
  • Excitement
  • Nervousness
  • Fear

Puppy Front Leg Shaking When Standing

There are several reasons why your dog’s front leg is shaking when standing. A common reason is that your dog’s bones are growing faster than its tendons. This means its tendons are unable to pull the bones efficiently, resulting in shaking.

Elbow dysplasia and injuries can also lead to uncontrollable shaking in your dog’s front legs when it’s standing. Consult a veterinarian to get a proper checkup for your dog.

Related: Why Is My New Puppy Shaking?

5 Reasons Puppy Front Legs Shake

Anxiety is one of the biggest reasons for shaking in your puppy. Pain, tremors, and poisoning are also probable causes of front leg shaking in your puppy.

Dogs shake their front legs for a variety of reasons. Some of them are environmental, while others are medical concerns.

Here are five reasons for front leg shaking in dogs:

  1. Anxiety and stress
  2. Tremors
  3. Poisoning
  4. Injury and pain
  5. Canine distemper

1. Anxiety and Stress

Fear of the Unknown

Dogs can develop anxiety and stress from several factors. When your dog encounters its fear, anxiety kicks in, which causes restlessness and shaking. Mistreatment by their owners or other animals in the house can make dogs stressed.

Separation anxiety[2] is also a common cause of trembling in dogs. If your dog becomes restless and starts shaking its front legs when you are leaving the house, it’s likely suffering from separation anxiety.

This condition can also cause your dog to become destructive. Identify what is causing your dog to develop stress and anxiety to take the necessary course of action.

2. Tremors

Tremors can cause dogs to shake their front legs when moving. Dogs can develop tremors at any point in their lives, whether they’re adults or puppies. Some dogs also inherit tremors from their parents.

Notice when the shaking begins. If it occurs when your dog is walking or standing up, tremors are the possible cause. Consult a veterinarian to get better insights.

3. Poisoning

Puppy Food Poisoning

Dogs love chewing. If your dog eats something undigestible or harmful, it can experience poisoning. Common food items found in the kitchen are toxic to dogs.

Chocolate, grass, or trash from the bin can cause toxicity in your dog which leads to shaking.

Symptoms of poisoning in dogs:

  • Vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased urination and drinking
  • Seizures

Visit a vet as soon as possible if your dog is suffering from poisoning.

4. Injury and Pain

Puppy Injury and Pain

Injuries and fractures can cause uncontrollable shaking in dogs. Shaking is a sign of discomfort and pain. 

Some dogs shake to grab their owners’ attention. Your dog can be exhibiting this behavior to direct your attention towards its injuries. Check for any signs of open wounds or fractures on your dog’s front legs.

You can use home remedies to cover up the wounds on your dog’s legs. For more severe cases, a visit to the veterinarian is required.

5. Canine Distemper

Puppy Canine Distemper

Canine distemper is a contagious disease caused by the paramyxovirus [3]. This virus affects the respiratory, immune, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems of dogs.

If your dog is not fully vaccinated, it is at risk of catching this virus. Look for the following symptoms of canine distemper:

  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Nasal discharge
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin sores
  • Muscle twitching
  • Excessive saliva

Take your dog straight to a veterinarian if you notice any of these symptoms or if the leg shaking becomes worse.

How to Stop Puppy’s Front Legs from Shaking

You can try to calm your dog down. Comfort your dog by patting it and cuddling. Tend to any wounds on your dog’s legs. Take your pooch to a veterinarian if you are unable to stop it from shaking its legs.

The first step to stopping your puppy’s front legs from shaking is to identify the main cause of the problem. Look for signs and symptoms indicating a medical issue. Check your dog’s body for any signs of injuries or fractures.

If your dog isn’t suffering from a medical condition or injury, look for signs of anxiety. 

Common anxiety triggers in dogs:

  • Firetruck alarm.
  • Other animals.
  • New people.
  • Fireworks.
  • Thunderstorms.

Take the following steps to stop your puppy’s front legs from shaking:

  • Calm your dog by patting it gently and reassuring it.
  • Train your pooch to remain calm when left alone. It is better if this training is given during puppyhood.
  • Keep an eye on your dog when it is roaming the yard so it does not eat anything unhealthy.
  • Give your dog its meals on time to prevent it from eating other things.
  • Check for any signs of injuries in your dog and tend to any wounds.
  • In case of a fracture, do not opt for home remedies and visit a clinic.
  • Get your dog proper and timely vaccination to reduce its chances of catching any life-threatening viruses.

Consult a veterinarian if you are unsure about the cause of front leg shaking in your dog or if the shaking becomes obsessive.


Front leg shaking can be annoying and painful for dogs. It can happen because of environmental or medical factors. 

Anxiety is one of the leading causes of shaking in dogs. Look for signs of separation anxiety and comfort your dog to solve it.

Another common cause is injuries. If your dog loves to play high-energy games, it can encounter accidents leading to injuries. Injuries can cause uncontrollable shaking in dogs due to pain. Identify the reason for front leg shaking in your dog and take the required steps to treat it.

If the condition worsens, contact a vet to provide proper care and guidance for your dog’s front leg shaking.


Why is My Puppy’s Paw Shaking?

Your puppy’s paw can be shaking due to an injury. Dogs love playing and running, which makes them vulnerable to injuries. If your dog hurts its paw while playing, it shakes due to pain. Check your dog’s paw and look for signs of a wound. If the paw looks fine but your dog whimpers when you move it, it’s a sign of a fracture. Visit a veterinarian to get proper treatment for your dog’s paw.

Why is My Puppy’s Front Leg Shaking When Sitting?

Elbow dysplasia is one of the biggest causes of front leg shaking in dogs while sitting. It is a condition that leads to swelling, inflammation, pain, and arthritis. This condition is usually hereditary and affects medium to large-sized dogs. Elbow dysplasia causes elbow bones to grow abnormally. This causes discomfort in puppies. It can cause extreme pain in puppies, which makes them shake uncontrollably.

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.

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