Does your dog’s night activity drive you dotty? Maybe you are desperate for blissful silence but unable to shut that Shih Tzu up? Read on for help with the shouting Shih Tzu and to understand more about his barking behavior.
When you live with a Shih Tzu that barks at night it can be difficult to deal with the sleep disturbance. Yapping into the early hours is distressing for the dog, just as it is for you but why does it occur?
Take a look at three of the most likely reasons that your Shih Tzu could be barking at night.
Separation anxiety is a major reason of barking behavior when a dog is left alone. Other symptoms include chewing, howling, depression and toileting indoors.
In a recent study, separation anxiety was proven to be present in as many as 80% of dogs. John Bradshaw tells us (in the book In Defence of Dogs) that it may not be a specific dog behavior problem at all. It may be something that shows up because dogs are simply not ‘supposed’ to be alone.
Separation anxiety could be the result of part of the, physical and emotional,needs of a dog to be with others. Just as human beings, in the majority, need to be around others of our own species so do our dogs. Company may be as important to the welfare of dogs as food, exercise and sleep.
If you think that your Shih Tzu may be suffering from separation anxiety then it is important to learn about the condition and find an educated trainer or
behaviorist to help.
Needing to Get Outside
As a dog gets older, and particularly the Shih Tzu with such a small bladder, the need to toilet may arise more frequently. When the older dog is housetrained and conscious that he should only toilet outdoors, the need to pee in the night can be extremely stressful.
If your Shih Tzu has recently started to bark at night then he may simply be desperate to get outside. This could be due to age or another trauma on his bladder or kidneys and really should be checked out by the vet. A course of antibiotics could just solve the problem for you.
If the problem is irreversible, such as weakened bladder function due to age, then training your dog that toileting on specific puppy pads by the external door may just save your sleep.
The Dog Has Too Much Energy
If a Shih Tzu has not had the opportunity to use up his energy by bedtime then he may bark the whole night through.
Happy, tired and well exercised dogs are usually ready for bedtime just as tired humans are. If the dog has not been walked and given the chance to use up mental and physical energy then he may just use it up at night, whilst you are trying to sleep.
The Shih Tzu does not need masses of walking but he does need some, along with positive training such as clicker training. The correct amount of good exercise of both his body and mind will help your Shih Tzu sleep well until morning.
Guest Blog by Sally Gutteridge
About the author:
Sally Gutteridge is a member of the International Society of Animal Professionals. She is a qualified British Military dog trainer and trainer of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. She is soon to be fully qualified Canine Behavior Manager. With the rehabilitation experience of many broken rescue dogs and the careful training of many Shih Tzu dogs, Sally has written the definitive course on improving your dog’s behavior and your understanding of it. She shares her knowledge at Shih Tzu Web.