3 min read


Why Do Dogs Quiver Their Lips



3 min read


Why Do Dogs Quiver Their Lips




You are with your dog on a Friday afternoon and everything seems great. You had a wonderful day with your dog visiting the park and spending time together. She seems as happy as a dog can be. Yet, all of a sudden you notice she begins acting a bit different than normal. She seems fine for the most part but her lips begin to quiver. As an owner, you panic a bit and then you begin to wonder why your dog may be acting this way. Understanding your dog’s actions can help you care for them in times of need and in times of love. 

The Root of the Behavior

Dogs act in odd ways all the time and sometimes that odd behavior has a reason whereas other times, it is simply just a behavior they have adopted and is unknown to their owners. When your dog’s lip quivers, there may be a few reasons as to why. The simplest and most common reason would have to relate to normal behavior. This could mean they are simply cold, nervous, or they may even be submitting to a pack leader, whether that is another dog or their owner. Most dogs will view their owner as their leader since they rely on them for everything. Lip quivering most times also can relate to an emotion such as excitement. This is the most common reason for lip quivering in dogs and most of the time this may be why your dog is displaying this behavior. It could also be due to sadness or extreme happiness. There are other reasons that may relate to this issue such as heat and exhaustion or if something is happening with their mouth. Most of these basic concerns are common but should not be something that is an everyday common behavior. Some dogs will even outgrow this behavior, while others may not. Due to this, you want to make sure their lip quivering is not something of a more serious issue. Just as dogs may have their jaws quiver, their lips quivering can be of something of more serious origin. It is something that each owner should watch if they spot it within their dog. Lip quivering can be from simple causes such as nerve twitches or it can be something more serious such as a bacterial or viral infection. If you feel your dog’s lip quivering is from something that is more serious and is a problem, it may be wise to take them to the veterinarian. 

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Encouraging the Behavior

If your dog has a quivering lip, it is suggested that you watch over them as well as the behavior. Most times, your dog will be quivering their lip due to an emotional response. This action is completely normal. Most dogs will have a wide range of emotions everyday just as humans do. If this is the case with your dog, it is fine to let them quiver their lip. Yet, it is not suggested to push them to quiver their lip or praise them for doing it. If it is a behavior that your dog does more often, it is not suggested to encourage and to teach your dog to quiver their lip but more to allow it and learn as to why they are participating in the behavior. If you feel like their lip quivering is something of more serious nature, you may want to get them checked at the veterinarian. It is extremely important to help your dog develop healthy habits. Although lip quivering is not necessarily considered a negative habit, it is still suggested to understand their habits, what is healthy for them, and how to help them adjust and express whatever is needed through lip quivering. 

Other Solutions and Considerations

If you come to understand that your dog’s lip quivering is due to an emotional response or a normal behavior, you may want to pay more attention to your dog and give them what they are in need of. If they are excited for something, help them have what they are excited for. If they are sad, it may be wise to help them receive what they need or understand their sadness. Beyond this, lip quivering is not something to be fearful over. It is a natural behavior in dogs. You may also want to do a little bit of research on your dog’s breed and how they act in certain situations such as hot weather. 


Dogs are beautiful creatures and sometimes they express themselves in ways that seem a bit peculiar to us. As we grow with them, we can begin to understand and communicate back with them, helping them be their healthy and happy selves even if their lips quivers once in a while.

By a Shiba Inu lover Patty Oelze

Published: 02/09/2018, edited: 01/30/2020

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