Why Does My Dog’s Lip Quiver? What To Do & When To Worry (14 Reasons)

Have you ever taken a glance at your dog and found its lips quivering suddenly? Have your heart dropped a little and many scenarios crossed your mind all at once? 

The good news is, Quivering dog lips is not something out of this world

So why does my dog’s lip quiver? Your Dog’s lips may quiver due to excitement & experiencing inner sensations, or something more serious like a bacterial or viral infection. In most cases lip quivering is not alarming however, you may pay a visit to the vet just for assurance.  

so keep on reading to know when lip quivering is something to just brush off and when a visit to the vet is called for

14 Reasons Why Do Dogs’ Lips Quiver

dog quivering to show why does my dog's lip quiver

Lip quivering is not something off the wall that dogs can show. If you have noticed that your Dog’s lips are quivering, here are the most common reasons why:

Feeling Chilly

Check the temperature, is it too cool? Your dog might be feeling a bit cold – similar to us humans when we shiver whenever we feel the cold. Of course “too cold” could be quite different from one dog to another, so you should learn a bit about your dog’s breed to be able to tell if that’s really too cold for your dog.

For example, dogs like Golden Retrievers are cold-loving, and so too cold from them is going to be very different from dogs like king spaniels, for example. You can learn when is it too cold for goldens here, btw.


Did you just call your dog a bad boy for something that he did? Dogs can sometimes quiver their lips as a sign to show sadness. The causes of sadness can be many, and you can learn why your dog could be sad here.

Yielding to a leader

Dogs are naturally pack/ tribe animals, they either yield to a leader to act like one, so lip quivering may be because your dog is submitting to you or to another dog.

Feeling excited

Dogs can sometimes get too excited that their lips quiver, ain’t that adorable? In this case, you may only record a video of this adorable sight!

Intense delight

Have you given your dog a belly rub? Or rewarded him with his favorite treat? Maybe your dog is feeling so delighted that his lips start quivering.


Lip quivering may happen if Is there something that he wants but isn’t getting, so check if maybe his favorite toy is out of reach and help him get to it. 


Dogs are much more sensitive to heat than humans because they pant rather than sweat. Their lips may tremble if they are feeling a bit hot. Similar to the cold, “too hot” can be wildly different from one dog to another.

Feeling exhausted

If you have just gotten back from a long walk, or your dog has spent the day out playing then lip quivering can just be your dog expressing how worn out he is.

Other more severe factors that contribute to lip quivering may include:

Dental Problems

Check your dog’s set of teeth for anything unusual or even a strange smell, your dog might be suffering from teeth problems and lip quivering is his way of showing it.

Ear Problems

If you spot other symptoms like ear scratching, a foul smell, or discharge then you should get those little ears checked right away. You can learn how to check your dog’s ears and clean them here.


Do you notice a loss of appetite accompanying lip quivering? Dogs’ lips may quiver as a sign of a bacterial infection that should be quickly treated.


Is your four-pawed partner in general discomfort? Do you notice anything unusual? Because lip quivering can be a sign of pain sometimes so make sure everything is normal and there are no alarming signs.


Dogs may shiver, pant loudly, or get quivering lips whenever they are are terrified or concerned about something they are unfamiliar with So, calm down your dog, pet it and make him feel protected.


Dogs lips may quiver due to illnes, and that ranges from generally feeling unwell to something extreme like poisonings.  

What to do when you see your dog with quivering lips?

  • First things first; pay close attention
    • You always want to be sure that lip quivering isn’t a sign of something alarming, so keep your eyes on your dog and follow their actions and general behavior
  • Pay a visit to the vet to keep your worries at bay.
    • Better safe than sorry, so what harm can a full check-up do?
  • Brush it off
    • If everything turns out to be alright, then just let them be, they may grow out of this tendency after a while, or they may not; after all, if it’s nothing dangerous then all is good.
  • Use Training Techniques
    • Lip quivering can sometimes be a habit that your dog just adopted and is doing on purpose, you can use training techniques to alter this behavior. 
    • Training techniques can take one of two forms, either positive Reinforcement or negative Reinforcement; you’ve guessed it! Positive Reinforcement is our better alternative.

Why Positive Reinforcement is always better than negative reinforcement

Positive Reinforcement uses rewards that your Dog is willing to go the extra mile for, like treats, praises, toys, petting, or even belly rubs – anything the Dog finds as an incentive for certain behaviors or just something they cannot resist. 

Positive Reinforcement is our go-to option as these four-pawed fluffy creatures tend to be most affected by rewards. 

This makes them more willing to repeat the behavior; positive reinforcement is one of your most potent and practical techniques to enforce a particular behavior or change your Dog’s current one.

Why do some dogs chatter their teeth when they smell something?

As you know, Dog’s smell sense is extremely powerful and what they most depend on while getting exposed to their surrounding environment.

So, when dogs chatter their teeth when they smell something, it is because as if they almost taste what they smell or nibble on it just to keep it memorized for future encounters.

Why do some dogs’ mouths quiver after licking something? 

A quivering mouth after licking something actually never fails to make our hearts melt (as if every other action they do doesn’t!). 

If you have given your Dog something to taste and notice his mouth quivering right after, you can bet he enjoyed it, so keep that in mind the next time you try to offer an incentive to get your Dog to do what you want! 

As you know, Taste and smell senses are strongly related in dogs, and both play an important part in how he perceives and recalls his surroundings and experiences; this is nothing but an indication of a new taste added to the list of favorites.

Related Questions 

Why is my Dog’s lip trembling? 

Dogs’ lips often tremble either due to excitement or any intense feeling, whether delight or despair. It may also be due to feeling chilly, exhausted, or experiencing discomfort in their jaws or bacterial infection. In most cases, it’s nothing to dread, but it’s always better safe than sorry.

Why does my Dog’s mouth quiver after licking? 

Dogs’ mouths often quiver after licking or tasting something; this is nothing to be alarmed or worried about – it is just their own way of engraving this particular taste and smell in their minds to recall it afterward.

What causes a dog’s bottom jaw to quiver? 

A dog’s bottom jaw quivers due to excitement, feeling chilly, or something which that requires medical attention including: nervous system disorders, Anxiety, or Dental issues. it is one of many odd yet intriguing habits that dogs can have, and it’s something to not worry too much about.


If you notice that your dog’s lips are quivering more than usual, it may be due to various feelings or emotions that are expressed with trembling lips. While it adds a sense of adorableness, if you doubt that it is chronic or you can sense the discomfort in your dog’s overall behavior – this may point you to believing that these little actions may be red flags or signs that he is suffering from a health issue that needs medical attention, so head over to your vet to examine your dog and assess the case and you can after that rule out any possible medical causes or reasons to be worried or frightened for your dogs well being. 

Dogs are adorable partners that we care about and love with all our hearts, yet communicating and understanding what they are thinking of feeling may be difficult for us at times; we may even find ourselves thinking, “why can’t you just tell me what is going on so I can fix it?” (If only that could happen anywhere other than the cartoon and fictional movies).

 With the time spent daily with them, we can understand that there is never a sole reason behind an action displayed by dogs; most of the time, a particular behavior can be an indication of many things, and we, owners, always tend to worry deeply about our four-pawed partners/ kids and never seem to find peace of mind until sure.

Our golden rule remains the same in almost all cases: It is always best to first do some research, get your fair share of previous experiences from people around you, dig and delve more into the matter, and based on that, we either rest our heads and brush it off or seeking those who know better to ensure things going back to its typical ways.

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Helpful Resources 

Canine Body Language: A Photographic Guide Interpreting the Native Language of the Domestic Dog
by Brenda Aloff
(A great book which you can also check on Amazon here).

The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs by Patricia B. McConnell (another great book which you can also get on Amazon here).

Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources


Hey there, I'm Matt, the author behind Retrievershub.com. With a deep love for dogs and a dedication to strengthening the bond between owners and their retrievers, I've created a hub of resources for enthusiasts like you. Through engaging articles, training guides, and product reviews, I aim to provide practical advice that makes a real difference in your life as a dog owner. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of retrievers, my approachable and informative writing style ensures that you'll find valuable insights. Join me on this incredible journey of discovering what makes retrievers tick, unlocking their potential, and creating an unbreakable bond with your furry companion. Let's embark on an adventure of dog ownership together. Thank you for visiting Retrievershub.com and being part of our vibrant community.

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