Why Do Shih Tzus Sleep So Much?

The Shih Tzu breed originated in Asia. A member of the Lhasa Apso breed, the Shih Tzu has been bred for centuries as a companion animal. They tend to be active and alert and require reasonable daily exercise.  However, they must also take time to rest and sleep.  In fact, their heavy need for rest is what led to the name Shih Tzu which means “little lion” in Chinese.

Shih Tzus are loveable lap dogs that enjoy spending time with family members of all ages.  However, they require a moderate amount of care and attention on a daily basis.  This includes regular feeding, grooming, and exercise. Shih Tzus are generally healthy dogs, but they can be prone to some health problems. The average lifespan of a Shih Tzu is between 10 and 12 years.

Sleeping Habits

Shih Tzus need anywhere from 12 to 14 hours of sleep per day. This is due to the fact that they are a brachycephalic breed, which means they have a short muzzle and face. The shorter muzzle causes them to overheat easily and limits their ability to pant which helps keep them cool.

Their love of sleep is also due to their laid-back personality. Shih Tzus are not as active as other breeds, and they prefer to take things slowly. This means they often like to take a nap after a long walk or playtime.

Shih Tzus are definitely a breed that needs plenty of rest in order to stay healthy and happy. So if your Shih Tzu seems to be sleeping more than usual, don’t worry – it’s just their nature!

Shih Tzus are very intelligent dogs who tend to become bored with the same routine.  They also need a lot of attention from family members on a regular basis in order to stay healthy and happy.  Without proper mental stimulation, Shih Tzus can become depressed or anxious.  This is why they often sleep so much – it’s their way of taking a break from the world and resting their minds.

As Shih Tzus get older, they tend to sleep even more. This is partially due to their increasing age, but it’s also because they are very comfortable in their surroundings. An adult Shih Tzu is content to relax and sleep for most of the day. Although they may seem lazy, Shih Tzus are actually quite content and happy when they get plenty of sleep.

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What Can You Do To Help Your Shih Tzu Sleep Better?

It is important for pet parents to establish a consistent sleep schedule and environment while their Shih Tzu adjusts to their new home. This can take anywhere from one week to several months, depending on the dog and how quickly they adjust.

  • Create a relaxing sleeping place that is inviting. Setting up a quiet area in your home where the Shih Tzu can rest, stretch out, and relax is key.
  • Make sure to provide plenty of toys and interactive playtime to keep your Shih Tzu occupied and mentally stimulated.
  • Keep a regular schedule and adhere to it. Try to feed, walk, and play with your dog at the same time each day. This will help them stay on track and sleep more easily.
  • Give them enough of a workout. If you do not have time to walk your Shih Tzu every day, consider hiring a dog walker or taking the dog for short walks around the block on days when you’re busy.

As Shih Tzus age, they may begin to show signs of separation anxiety. They become more attached to their owners and often refuse to sleep anywhere but in their owner’s beds. Over time, this can cause the dog to develop obesity, which leads to a multitude of other health issues. Be sure that you are home as much as possible to avoid this problem.

What you must not do:

  • Never punish your Shih Tzu for sleeping.  They are not napping or being lazy on purpose.  Punishment is highly stressful and can have adverse effects on the dog’s health.
  • Do not make the mistake of over-exercising your Shih Tzu in an attempt to tire them out and get them to sleep more. This can actually lead to health problems such as joint pain, obesity, and other issues.

Should You Let Your Dog Sleep with You? 

Shih Tzus are family dogs who love spending time with their owners wherever they are.  This includes in the bedroom which is why it’s not unusual for Shih Tzus to spend time napping or even sleeping in bed with you at night.

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While some pet parents are against the idea of allowing their dogs to sleep on the bed, Shih Tzus often view it as a privilege.  After all, they are pack animals that enjoy bonding with their family members.

However, there is a fine line that pet parents must be careful not to cross. While some Shih Tzus can sleep comfortably in a crate or bed next to their owners’ beds, others may become stressed and begin showing signs of separation anxiety. If your dog starts excessively licking themselves or chewing at their fur while you’re away, they are probably not happy sleeping alone.

In addition, if your dog starts having accidents in the bedroom, it’s not a sign that they think of your bed as their potty place.  Instead, it’s usually a sign that they are feeling anxious and do not like sleeping alone for some reason.

Be sure that you set up a sleeping area for your dog in an appropriate location before allowing him to sleep on the bed with you. If the dog begins showing signs of separation anxiety, it may be time to relegate the Shih Tzu to a different place where they feel safe and comfortable.

How to Crate Train a Shih Tzu Puppy at Night?

If you have a Shih Tzu puppy, it’s important to start crate training as soon as possible. Placing a pup inside a crate at night can help them learn the boundaries of their sleeping area and provide a safe zone should they show any signs of separation anxiety.

To successfully house train your Shih Tzu using this method:

  1. Put the crate in an area of your home where the puppy can’t see or hear people or other animals.
  2. Gently place your puppy inside the crate and close the door.
  3. Talk to your puppy in a soothing voice and provide a few treats through the wire mesh on top of the crate.
  4. After a few seconds, open the door to let your pup out of their crate.
  5. Once the puppy is outside the crate, return them to playing or sleeping in another designated area.
  6. Repeat this process each night until it becomes routine for your Shih Tzu to go straight into their crate without any resistance.
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Never leave your Shih Tzu in a crate for too long. They are intelligent dogs that quickly grow to hate their crates if they are only opened when the owner leaves. Never be forceful or aggressive with your pup during training. Your dog will begin associating this negative energy with the crate and will be less likely to want to sleep in it.

When To Worry

If your Shih Tzu is sleeping more than usual and not displaying any other signs of illness, it is likely just due to their personality. However, if the dog is showing any other signs of illness, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy, take them to the vet for a check-up.

Insomnia in dogs can be caused by many things, such as anxiety, pain, parasites, and other health conditions. If your Shih Tzu is having trouble sleeping, take him to the vet for a check-up to rule out any possible medical issues.

Anxiety or stress is another common reason that dogs sleep a lot. If your dog shows any signs of separation anxiety or seems excessively tired during the day, give them a couple of days to rest and see if they start feeling better.

Having a Shih Tzu that sleeps a lot is not much cause for concern. However, if the dog only wants to eat a little bit, then it may be due to sickness or another issue that should be checked out by a vet. Just as people can suffer from hypersomnia or excessive sleepiness, dogs can experience it as well. If your dog is excessively sleeping during the day and not displaying any other signs of illness, take them to the vet for a check-up.

Overfeeding a Shih Tzu is another common reason for excessive sleeping.  If you feel that your dog is always hungry and never seems satisfied, talk to your vet or a veterinary nutritionist about feeding them high-quality food at the proper dosage level.

Always remember that each dog is different and even if some of them sleep a lot one day, there is no guarantee that they will continue this pattern. If you feel like something is wrong with your pet after noticing an excessive amount of sleep, take them to the vet for a check-up.