Why are my Greyhound back leg’s shaking?

Greyhounds are intriguing dogs that make for great pets. They are social, affectionate, and easy to care for pets that quickly become a favorite addition to your family. Super-fast is the best way to describe this exceptional dog breed. With their strong legs, a greyhound can easily outrun a horse if need be. Their legs are not only strong and fast, and they are sensitive too. Consequently, some owners have raised concerns over the dog’s back legs shaking when putting on extreme tests.

Greyhounds’ back legs are prone to shaking, and it may look quite dramatic and worrying. For greyhounds, there are two types of shaking; voluntary and involuntary shaking. Ideally, whenever your dog’s back legs shake, it is always in response to either an emotional or physical feeling.

Why do greyhounds’ back legs shake?

There are many reasons why your greyhound is shaking. When the dog starts shaking, you need to take time and figure out the cause. 

Let us explore some reasons why your dog’s back legs are shaking voluntarily and involuntarily:


A greyhound may be so afraid to the point of trembling. If you notice your dog becoming timid and fearful of something or someone, there is no reason to be concerned. If it is a situation you can avoid, do so gently. You should reassure him by first acting normally yourself. According to Greyhoundgang.org, some of the common triggers that can get your dog afraid include gunshots, fireworks, and thunder. Others include vet visits and smooth, slippery floors. Some are also fearful of stairs, the dark, or anything new and unfamiliar.


If your dog misjudges a new situation, he may end up being apprehensive. Your dog can be afraid of situations and objects like statues, an object left in an unusual place, dried leaves in motion, and walking through narrow spaces.

Emotionally upset

If you expose your dog to uncomfortable environments, they may get upset and start shaking. For example, if you put your dog in a small, uncomfortable crate, he will be scared and start shaking. Greyhounds are emotionally sensitive dogs, and you need to pay close attention to their living space. Besides, if you want to discipline the dog, make it short, controlled, and right to the point. Yelling at the pet will only make things worse.

Prey sightings

Greyhounds have an incredible chase instinct. They love to race after small animals like rabbits and squirrels. If he is inside an enclosure and spots a prey, the dog will get into violent tremors. The tremors, in this case, are a natural consequence due to excitement that should not worry you. However, teach your dogs to leave small animals alone. You can also use a leash and move him along and out of sight of the prey.

Physical weakness

The dog’s back legs can also shake whenever he settles in an awkward position. If he is climbing uphill or up the stairs, his weight may shift to the hind legs causing him to shake. Some dogs may also become shaky if they have been standing for too long in public. It is hard for a greyhound to sit down if he gets tired standing. However, if this kind of shaking happens too regularly, there could be a sign of physical weakness that indicates an underlying condition like arthritis. You may need to take your dog to the vet for a check-up


A greyhound may tremble when ill. However, if the dog is shaking because of a disease, the shaking should accompany other symptoms. The signs to watch out include trembling, loss of appetite, vomiting, and dullness. Conditions that can cause your dog to shake include arthritis, distemper, seizure disorders, neurological diseases, and kidney diseases. If you suspect an illness is causing the shaking, you should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. You should carefully track your dog’s activity level, appetite, and behavior to help you figure out the illness as soon as it occurs.

Defective genes

The root cause of some trembling problems in greyhounds can be attributed to faulty genes. The gene causes an imbalance and an increase in calcium in the dog’s cellular level. This will cause repeated muscle contraction that makes the muscle mass to contract uncontrollably.


Some dogs will also get excited about getting ready for a walk or when they sight a treat. An excited dog will also keep chattering their teeth. This kind of shaking should not be a cause of worry because it only lasts for a few minutes.


Sometimes the dog could be shivering from cold. If you suspect cold to be a cause, relocate your dog to a warmer spot and get rid of draught. Younger and older greyhounds are susceptible to chilly conditions. Young and old dogs should wear warm sweaters when out in the cold weather.

Old age and pain

As the greyhounds get older, they may develop tremors in the back legs. The tremors may not, however, affect how the dog walks or moves. Although it is easy to assume the shaking is due to the dog’s advanced age, it could well be a sign of other issues like pain. Check out the dog’s legs for signs of injury and talk to the vet about the tremors once they start developing.

How do I handle my greyhound’s back legs shaking?

How you handle your dog’s shaking will vary depending on the underlying cause. The following are a few tips to put into practice to stop a greyhound’s back legs from shaking:

  • Warming up and calming– A dog that shakes because of cold or excitement should be warmed up or calmed down. Never punish the shaking behavior. Instead, stay calm yourself and provide a calming state for your fearful shaky dog. You should also provide a peaceful and secure environment for the dog. If possible, sit down with the dog while calming him until the shaking subsides. If this is not helping, it is time to see a vet.
  • Treatment– If you suspect the dog is shaking because of injury or sickness, you need to take him to a vet. The vet can prescribe rest, massage, medication, or surgery.
  • Help the dog vomit toxins– If the dog is shaking because of toxins ingested, he may just need to vomit. However, before you induce vomit, be sure to double-check with the poison control center.
  • Exercise-You should also keep the dog well exercised to stop him from shaking. Greyhounds are active dogs that need regular exercise to strengthen their legs and release pent-up tension.
  • Feeding– you should also feed the dog well balanced, high-quality dog food with all essential nutrients. The right diet guarantees a healthy, active, energetic, and happy dog.

What should I feed a greyhound with shaky legs?

Greyhounds are elegant dogs with unique blood chemistry and very low body fat levels. Although the dogs thrive on commercial dog foods, quality dried kibble suits the pets the most. Before you buy dog food, pay close attention to the list of ingredients on the labels. The ingredients should be free of artificial flavors and cheap fillers. All the primary ingredients should be of high quality to guarantee that the dog remains healthy, active, and happy. An ideal dog meal should contain quality meat sources, healthy fats, vegetables, fruits and vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

The following are the best options that guarantee your pet receives all the nutrition it needs for a healthy body functioning:

Orijen High Protein Dry Dog Food

Orijen High Protein Dry Dog Food is a quality product made from carefully selected fresh and original ingredients. The food comes with raw, fresh, and dehydrated ingredients that don’t contain any rendered meal fillers. The product is packed with over 85 percent eggs, fish, and poultry. It also contains adequate amounts of vegetables, fruits, and botanicals as well as plant-based protein content that guarantee your pet receives all the essential nutrients to prevent shaking. The formulation is also grain-free to make this product an ideal food for greyhounds with allergies. It is free of potato, plant protein concentration, or tapioca and other elements that can harm your pet.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo comes with natural ingredients fortified with essential minerals and vitamins to guarantee your pet enjoys the best health. The food is packed with enough proteins to support the bodily needs of your pet. It is also a grain-free diet making it ideal to old greyhounds that are prone to shaking. The food boasts of recognition from leading veterinarians and nutritional experts from across the globe. The recipe, which was developed by nutritional experts, is custom made to fit the diet of wild greyhounds. The key ingredients, including protein, fats, and carbohydrates, are carefully blended and balanced to provide your greyhound with balanced and all-around nutrition. The protein is sourced from de-boned salmon, fish meal, and chicken meal. Peas, sweet potatoes, and potatoes provide carbohydrates. Carrots, cranberries, and blueberries provide the much-needed antioxidants. The dog food also contains a unique blend of minerals and vitamins. The food contains no corn, soy, preservatives, or chicken by-products.

Solid Gold Potato and Pumpkin Dog Food

 In case you are looking for natural and nutritionally balanced dog food for your adult greyhound that is sensitive to commercial food, choose this product. The food contains 23 percent protein sourced from turkey meal, eggs, and venison. It also comes with 4 percent fiber content and plenty of omega oils sourced from ocean fish meal. The omega oils will boost the dog’s immune system and help him fight an illness that may cause shaking. The food also contains superfoods such as kelp, broccoli, pumpkins, and blueberries. It is free from corn, wheat, or soy that may trigger allergic reactions. The recipe also is free from any meat by-products.

Ziwipeak Air-Dried Lamb Food

This dog food is 96 percent meat-based and will provide all the nutrients that a healthy and active greyhound needs. The ingredients forming this product are uniquely air dried to remove pathogens and preserve all the essential nutrients. Greyhounds are carnivores and receive a big junk of their nutrition from quality meats such as raw lambs. The lamb meal provides an excellent balance of energy and a good amount of fat that helps the greyhound heal quickly from injuries that may cause shaking. The food is also a quality source of chondroitin and glucosamine that helps protect the dog’s joints and support his immune system. Besides, this food is entirely free from less nutritious fillers like soy and corn. It is also devoid of artificial flavors and colors.

Taste Of The Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Recipe

This exceptional dog food is packed with quality proteins and healthy fats. It is made from smoked salmon that is a good source of energy and protein. This food provides your dog with adequate energy and plenty of nutrition that guarantee healthy muscles and bone structure free of shaking. The food is also packed with fresh fruits and vegetables to provide essential minerals and vitamins for a healthy immune system. Additionally, this dog food contains chelated minerals that are key to strong bones and dried chicory that help the digestive system. Besides, it comes with probiotics and prebiotics for digestion and a robust immune system.

Blue buffalo Tasty Turkey Fare

 A cooked meal is ideal for a picky greyhound. If your dog is also susceptible to allergies that may cause the back legs to shake, it is advisable to feed him cooked meals. However, the idea of cooking for their dogs is not appealing to most owners, especially if you have a busy schedule. In such instances, Blue buffalo Tasty Turkey Fare dog food comes to the rescue. The food is made from recipes provide by leading veterinarians. It is made from a healthy dose of turkey, vegetables, and fat sources that provide your dog with adequate energy to condition the joints and prevent shaking. Besides, the food is packed with enough vitamin blends to support the dog’s immune system and help prevent conditions that may cause the shaking of the hind legs. It is a hearty, irresistible mouth-watering stew with no chicken or poultry by-product meals, and no corn, wheat or soy.

Signature limited ingredient kangaroo recipe

 This outstanding dog food will help your dog build muscle tone and healthy skin. It made from meat-based ingredients and healthy fats. A single protein source, fish, provides stable energy and helps build muscle tone to prevent shaking. It also contains a balance of carbohydrates and healthy fats that provide your greyhound with enough energy for all-day activities. It is an ideal food that helps your dog get rid of allergies and boost his immune system. The recipe also helps your dog deal with digestion problems. Besides, the dog food comes with no fillers and artificial ingredients.

What happens if my greyhound’s back leg keeps shaking?

There will be warning signs that will let you know it is time to see a vet if the dog’s back legs keep shaking despite all your efforts to stop the shivering. Visit your vet immediately if you notice one or all of the following:

  • If your greyhound’s shaking is accompanied by other symptoms like vomiting, limping, diarrhea, anxiety, and lethargy.
  • If the shaking is interfering with the greyhound’s normal behavior like sleeping or playtime
  • If the dog starts shaking after ingesting a strange object or new food type
  • If the dog appears overly stressed as he shakes. The vital distressed signs to watch out include lip licking, ears that are pulled back, and stress panting. The dog may also appear agitated and start whimpering as he shakes.

FAQ about greyhound’s back legs shaking

Why do greyhound’s legs shake much?

A greyhound has a nervous and sensitive disposition. The dog can shake his legs to show that he is excited, not happy, or that he is not comfortable. You may also notice him shaking in excitement when you come home or when he anticipates an activity he enjoys. However, some shaking can be a sign of an underlying condition. Your vet will know what to look for in terms of common diseases that may make a greyhound shake.

Can my dog walk for long distances?

Greyhounds don’t need too long walks or a lot of exercises. However, you need to make it a habit to regularly walk your dog for at least 20 minutes. Regular exercises help the dog built his stamina over time and stop unnecessary shaking.

Why do greyhounds shake when climbing stairs?

When climbing upstairs, the dog’s body weight tends to shift to the back legs. As he struggles to move his weight, the muscles may contract and cause the dog to shake involuntarily. If you overdo the distance, your dog may flop down and refuse to move.

Can you train a greyhound to get excited over a prey?

Training your dog not to get excited and chase after prey is a tall order. However, you can achieve better results if your dog is a puppy. A puppy is receptive and eager to please, and you may train him not to chase after small animals in under two weeks. However, if the dog is older and stubborn and is used to chasing, you may need up to six weeks of intense training.

Is shaking a sign of pain?

Shaking or trembling could be a sign of pain or a symptom of a more severe condition like poisoning or illness. Establish the cause of shaking before you apply the right solution.

What are the common illnesses that may cause shaking in greyhounds?

Some of the common illnesses that cause shaking in greyhounds include:

  • Distemper– is a viral disease that often affects dogs that were not fully vaccinated. Other symptoms of this disease include coughing and eye and nose discharge. Treating distemper involves providing enough supportive care that enables the dog’s immune system to kick in and fight the virus. Other treatments include physical therapy, the use of antibiotics, and dehydration fluid.
  • Generalized Tremor Syndrome (GTS) – GTS affects dogs of many sizes, colors, or breeds. Nobody knows the cause of the disease. It tends to affect dogs between 9 months to 2 years. The condition can be treated using medications such as prednisone. The drugs are highly effective and will give promising results within a week.
  • Kidney or liver disease– a dog suffering from kidney or liver problems will shake a lot. They will also become listless or start vomiting. Other signs of the illnesses include lip-smacking, swallowing, yawning, and hiding.
  • Poisoning– several poisonous substances may cause tremors in the back legs of the dog. Some of these items include cigarettes, sugar substitutes common in chewing gums, xylitol, and metaldehyde in snail baits. Symptoms of poisoning include shaking, seizures, diarrhea, vomiting, drooling, disorientation, and weaknesses. Call your veterinarian if you suspect poisoning to be the cause of shaking.
  • Seizure disorders– epilepsy is a common neurological disorder that causes shaking in a greyhound and other dog breeds. Some of the main symptoms of epilepsy include drooling, loss of consciousness, muscle twitching, and stiffening, jerking, and collapsing. Other signs to watch out include tongue chewing, foaming at the mouth, chomping, and tongue chewing. Your vet will treat the condition using medications such as Keppra, potassium bromide, and phenobarbital.

A Greyhound is such a lovable and loyal furry friend. Shaky legs may be triggered by nervous disposition that needs simple solutions like cuddling or warming up. However, if the condition persists, you need a vet’s help to confirm that your dog has no significant underlying health issues. It is important that you feed your greyhound a healthy, well-balanced diet and take him for regular vet checks. Sound knowledge of the breed is also helpful in providing the ultimate care for the pet.

Recent Posts