why does my dog's bottom jaw shake

why does my dog’s bottom jaw shake

You have often wondered when you watch your dog’s bottom jaw shaking and must have asked a question to yourself regarding this. There are several medical and non-medical reasons behind why does my dog’s bottom jaw shakesYou may be glad to know that such quivering of the bottom jaw of your dog is completely normal and is common with most dogs. But there are also some genuine reasons behind it for which you have to take some precautionary steps. 

Over anxious breeds of dogs such as Jack Russell’s, Labradors, Poodles, and Chihuahuas tend to shake their jaw more than other breeds of dogs. Elder dogs tend to quiver their jaws more as they lose control over their muscles and experience pain too. Let us discuss some other possible reasons behind this act of dogs.

Non-Medical Reasons Behind Why does my dog’s bottom jaw shake

These are some of the good reasons behind the jaw shaking of your dogs in which you do not have to worry about. Such reasons are commonly categorized as behavior issues of your dog.


It is the fact that dogs get excited even about the smallest thing. For example, once you return from your work and meet your dog, they often quiver in such situations when you love them or bring their favorite treats. Your dog will also quiver even when they sense the presence of a female dog in heat. In short such quivering is temporary and due to their excitement.

Cold Weather Conditions:

Similar to humans, dogs also quiver when they are suddenly exposed to cold weather. Not only dogs other animals too quiver in extreme cold weather conditions. In such conditions, dogs usually sniff up their bodies but shake their lower jaws. Whippets, Terriers, and Greyhounds are some of the breeds of dogs that are sensitive to extreme cold weather.

So if you are an owner of such breeds of dogs, you may witness there quivering in cold weather conditions. In case you feel that your dog is quivering its lower jaw due to cold, maintain a warm temperature in your house, and if you take them outside, provide them with boots and a coat to save them from cold weather.

Practicing Displacement:

Displacement practice is a type of distraction in dogs when they feel unsafe and are about to get attacked. They will try to distract their enemy by doing abnormal activities, and quivering of the lower jaw is one of them. Such an act can also be seen when your house members suddenly scare the dog.

Nervous/Stress and Anxiety:

Nervousness is also one of the reasons why does my dog’s bottom jaw shakes. Humans, too, tend to shake their hands or legs when they are nervous or are in stress or anxiety. Dogs also show the same behavior. Separation anxiety, which usually occurs in dogs when you are about to leave them for a long time. Dogs’ lower jaws quiver in such times too. In such cases, you can manage to keep your dog in daycare or leave them with your friends or neighbor.

Nervous Stress and Anxiety:

Old Age:

Dogs at their old stage start to lose their strength. Their jaw may fatigue when they drink water or eat food or even at loud barking. Older dogs also suffer from pain in their jaws, due to which they shake their jaw to get relaxed. The best thing you can do in such a situation is to make them comfortable and provide them with soft food.

Medical Reasons Behind Why does my dog’s bottom jaw quiver

Above were the common behavioral causes which cases are quivering of jaws of your dog. Such quivering can easily be rectified if you keep your dog comfortable. Now let us discuss some of the medical issues which can cause quivering of the lower jaw of your dog in which you have to take help from your vet. And do not worry; there is only a 5% chance that causes shivering of jaws due to medical issues. 

Dental Problems:

Periodontal disease or cavity in gums is the most common reason that can cause shivering of jaws in your dog. The pain that is generated through this disease can cause chattering of the teeth and quivering of the jaws. Dogs also begin to tense up due to the pain, and the more they are tensed up more their jaws shake. To prevent such problems, get your dog to be regularly examined by the vet and brush their teeth daily with a good quality brush.


It happens rarely, but sometimes advent of poison in the dog’s body can cause their jaws and even complete body to shake. Other symptoms include trembling, in which you should contact your vet immediately. But if your dog is walking funny or vomiting, then do not worry about the poison as the effect of the poison is mild and temporary.


Seizures are also one of the common problems that can cause their jaws or entire body to shake. The best thing to do in such a situation is to calm your dog until he stops shaking. In this condition of seizures, the entire body gets locked up and shakes even if the condition is about to over. The jaw continues to shake for some period. If you suddenly observe your dog’s jaw shaking, then you can expect the seizure is about to end. But if you have never noticed your dog getting a seizure before then, a seizure has not caused such shaking of the jaw.

The Shaker Syndrom:

The condition of Idiopathetic cerebellitis or shaker syndrome occurs when the cerebellum in the brain is inflamed for some reasons that have not been still observed. The cerebellum controls the movement of the muscles, and once it gets inflamed, it causes the jaw to shake. The symptoms are similar to seizure, and the entire body of the dog will shake for some time, and in the last final minutes, the jaw shakes. You should also know the fact that dogs with white coats have more chances of getting shaker syndrome disease than dogs that possess dark coats.

Side Effects of Medicines:

Many people ignore it, but this is also one of the factors that can cause shivering of the lower jaw of your dog. The body response of some dogs to certain medications is different. So if you feel that your dog is shivering its lower jaw and is under medication, then consult your vet about the problem.

Side Effects of Medicines


This comes under an unknown cause of the shivering of the lower jaw of your dog. For such reasons, one will not be able to understand and so cannot find a solution for it. But as long as it is not affecting its health and quality of life, you can ignore the cause.

Should An Owner Concern Regarding Jaw Shivering:

In maximum cases, one should not concern regarding the jaw shivering of your dog as it is the natural habit in most dogs. You should worry about the jaw shivering only when you find any medical reasons such as dental problems. 

QUE: Why is my dog’s jaw shaking constantly

ANS: Stress, dental issues, or anxiety are some of the possible reasons behind the jaw shaking of the dogs. Constant shaking usually indicates medical problems, and so you must consult your vet.

QUE: What causes an underbite in a dog, and does it need to be fixed

ANS: Underbite usually happens when a baby tooth of your dog does not fall out and is still present along with the permanent tooth. Such conditions cause crowding of the teeth, and the tooth rows at an abnormal position. You can consult the vet so that he can find the appropriate solution to the problem.

QUE: Why do dogs shake off water next to their humans

ANS: Dogs usually shake off water next to the humans to show their love and affection towards you.

QUE: What are the most effective ways of opening a dogs mouth

ANS: The best way to open a dog’s mouth is to put your thumb and middle finger behind a canine tooth with your palm facing down. Make sure that they put normal pressure and do not give much stress to their mouth as it can injure the mouth of your dog.

QUE: What are the most common mouth problems from diabetes?

ANS: Gum-related diseases are common mouth problems that are related to diabetes. You can also see jaw shivering problems that occur due to pain in the mouth of your dog.

QUE: What’s Up With Dogs Chattering Their Teeth?

ANS: Emotions such as anger, fear, and excitement cause chattering of teeth in dogs. Extreme cold conditions can also cause teeth chattering in dogs; hence it is advisable to keep your dog in warm temperatures.

QUE: Why do some dogs’ mouths quiver after licking something?

ANS: An impulsive reaction causes a dog’s mouth to quiver just after licking something 

I hope that now you are aware of all the possible medical and non-medical reasons behind Why does my dog’s bottom jaw shake. If you feel that such a problem occurs more than usual, then contact your vet.

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