How To Stop A Shih Tzu From Barking At Night? Helps & Guide

stop shih tzu barking night

How To Stop A Shih Tzu From Barking At Night? Helps & Guide

How to stop a Shih Tzu from barking at night? We’ve all been there! The nightly symphony of a barking Shih Tzu can be frustrating, but fear not – there are simple and effective ways to bring peace to your home. In this guide, we’ll explore the reasons behind your furry friend’s nighttime barking and provide practical tips to help you both get a good night’s sleep.

Say goodbye to those sleepless nights as we embark on a journey to understand, address, and overcome the common challenge of Shih Tzus barking when the lights go out.

Understand the Reasons Behind Shih Tzu Night Barking

1. Separation Anxiety:

Shih Tzus are known for their strong attachment to their humans. When left alone at night, they can experience separation anxiety, leading to whimpers, whines, and yes, barks. They miss your presence and seek reassurance through any means possible.

2. Boredom and Lack of Exercise:

These playful pups need both mental and physical stimulation. If your Shih Tzu doesn’t get enough exercise during the day, they might channel their pent-up energy into barking at night. Think of it as their version of a midnight rave!

3. Sensory Stimuli:

Shih Tzus have keen senses, and even the slightest noise, unfamiliar scent, or shadow can trigger their protective instincts. A passing car, rustling leaves, or even a creaky floorboard might set off their barking alarm.

4. Medical Issues:

In some cases, persistent nighttime barking can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, such as pain, discomfort, or even cognitive decline. If you suspect something’s amiss, always consult your veterinarian to rule out any medical causes.

5. Learned Behavior:

Sometimes, unintentional reinforcement can lead to unwanted behaviors. If you’ve given your Shih Tzu attention in the past whenever they bark at night, even negative attention, you might have inadvertently taught them that barking is the way to get your response.

stop shih tzu barking night

Establish a Consistent Night-time Routine

Set Regular Feeding Times:

  • Establish a consistent feeding schedule for your Shih Tzu, ensuring their last meal is well before bedtime.
  • Avoid feeding close to bedtime to minimize the need for bathroom breaks during the night.

Create a Calming Bedtime Routine:

  • Engage in calming activities before bedtime, such as a short walk or gentle play.
  • Incorporate a consistent pre-sleep routine, like brushing your Shih Tzu or offering a small, comforting treat.

Provide a Comfortable Sleeping Environment:

  • Designate a comfortable and quiet sleeping area for your Shih Tzu.
  • Ensure the sleeping space is cozy with a comfortable bed or blanket.

Establish Bedtime Rituals:

  • Consistently lead your Shih Tzu to their sleeping area at the same time each night.
  • Use verbal cues or commands to signal that it’s bedtime.

Limit Stimulating Activities Before Bed:

  • Avoid engaging in high-energy activities close to bedtime.
  • Gradually decrease the intensity of play as bedtime approaches.

Maintain a Regular Sleep Schedule:

  • Stick to a consistent bedtime and waking time for your Shih Tzu.
  • Consistency helps regulate their internal clock, promoting a more peaceful night’s sleep.

Train Your Shih Tzu to Associate Nighttime with Sleep

Use Positive Reinforcement:

  • Reward calm behavior at bedtime with treats or gentle praise.
  • Associate the act of settling down with positive experiences.

Introduce a Designated Sleeping Area:

  • Choose a comfortable and quiet spot for your Shih Tzu to sleep.
  • Use consistent cues to indicate that this area is for nighttime rest.

Create a Relaxing Atmosphere:

  • Dim the lights in the evening to signal the winding down of the day.
  • Play soft, calming music or use white noise to create a serene environment.

Avoid Excitement Before Bed:

  • Minimize stimulating activities close to bedtime.
  • Encourage quiet behavior and discourage rough play as bedtime approaches.

Adjust Positive Associations:

  • Make the sleeping area a positive space by incorporating your Shih Tzu’s favorite toys or a comfortable bed.
  • Use treats or a small meal to create positive associations with the bedtime routine.

Be Patient and Gentle:

  • Transitioning to a new routine takes time.
  • Use a gentle and patient approach to avoid creating stress or anxiety.

Address Separation Anxiety

Understanding Separation Anxiety:
Separation anxiety is a common trigger for nighttime barking in Shih Tzus. This anxiety arises when dogs feel distressed or uneasy about being left alone. For Shih Tzus, known for their affectionate nature, being separated from their owners can lead to stress and vocal expressions, especially during the night.

Gradual Desensitization to Alone Time:
One effective strategy is to gradually acclimate your Shih Tzu to being alone. Start with short periods of separation, leaving the room for brief intervals, and then gradually extending the time. This helps them build confidence and learn that being alone doesn’t equate to abandonment.

Provide Comfort Items:
Offer comfort items such as favorite toys or a piece of your clothing. These familiar scents can provide reassurance and make your Shih Tzu feel more secure in their sleeping area, reducing anxiety-related barking.

Increase Physical and Mental Stimulation

Regular Exercise During the Day:
Ensure your Shih Tzu gets ample physical activity during the day. Regular walks, play sessions, or interactive games not only tire them out physically but also contribute to their mental well-being. A tired dog is less likely to engage in excessive barking and is more inclined to enjoy a restful night.

Mental Enrichment Activities and Toys:
Stimulate your Shih Tzu’s mind with interactive toys and puzzles. These not only provide mental stimulation but also keep them engaged and focused. Consider toys that dispense treats as this combines mental stimulation with a rewarding experience, making it an excellent pre-bedtime activity.

Avoid Stimulating Activities Close to Bedtime:
While exercise is essential, be mindful of the timing. Intense physical activities close to bedtime may have the opposite effect, revving up your Shih Tzu’s energy levels. Instead, incorporate calming activities in the evening to help them wind down.

Consider Environmental Factors

  • Evaluate Sleeping Space: Ensure it’s quiet, dark, and comfortable.
  • Use White Noise or Music: Drown out disturbances with calming sounds.
  • Darken the Room: Block external light for better sleep conditions.
  • Maintain Consistency: Keep the sleeping area stable to reduce stress.

Also Read: Signs That Your Shih Tzu Is Dying: Helps & Guide


Transforming your Shih Tzu’s nighttime barking into sweet dreams involves understanding their needs, creating a consistent routine, and addressing potential triggers. By establishing a bedtime routine, training them positively, and considering factors like separation anxiety and environmental elements, you pave the way for peaceful nights.

As you implement these strategies, you’ll not only enjoy restful nights but also strengthen the bond with your Shih Tzu. Embrace the journey, celebrate small victories, and savor the joy of quiet, serene nights with your furry companion. Sweet dreams await both you and your Shih Tzu!

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