Why Does My Shih Tzu Hide Under the Bed?

why does my shih tzu hide under the bed - shih tzu lying in a window sill
Depositphotos ID: 39876621 Copyright: chaoss

If you’re wondering why does my Shih Tzu hide under the bed, there are a number of reasons this happens. They may just want a little alone time, they could be sick or injured, or something could be scaring them. Find out why your Shih Tzu may be hiding and what you can do about it.

Top Reasons Why You Shih Tzu is Hiding Under the Bed

There are a few reasons your Shih Tzu might be hiding under your bed, but these are the most common.

They are Injured or Sick

If your Shih Tzu isn’t feeling well or has been injured, they will seek out a place that makes them feel safe and secure. 

Because dogs are pack animals that live in dens, when your Shih Tzu is unwell, it will want to go to a place that feels like a den. Your Shih Tzu will find comfort being in this den-like place. 

If your Shih Tzu is hiding under the bed, the first thing you need to do is make sure that it isn’t sick or injured. 

A trip to the vet is a good place to start in this situation just to rule out any possible health issues.

This is especially true if this is new behavior for your Shih Tzu.

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shih tzu with sad face laying down
Depositphotos ID: 47569901 Copyright: cynoclub

They Are Depressed

You might be surprised to learn that dogs, just like people can get depressed. This might happen if someone that is normally in your Shih Tzu’s life has left the household.

It could also happen if you have a second dog that has died and is no longer there to be a pal to your Shih Tzu. 

Dog depression symptoms are very similar to those in people, said John Ciribassi, DVM, past president of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior. “Dogs will become withdrawn. They become inactive. Their eating and sleeping habits often change. They don’t participate in the things they once enjoyed.”

They are Afraid

Dogs can be scared of a lot of things. When they fear something it is normal that they want to retreat to a place that makes them feel safe.

I know that my Truman is terrified of loud noises and especially thunder.

It wasn’t always the case. As a puppy and young dog storms never bothered him. Then one day when we’re living in South Carolina a violent thunderstorm came our way. I know I’ll never forget it. 

I was sitting in a chair by the front window with Truman on my lap. Just then, a bolt of lightning hit an 80-foot tall oak tree in my front yard. The tree was about 15 feet from the window. A 5-foot wall of fire blew up from the ground at the base of the tree.

All of the bark was blown off the tree and hit the house or ended up all the way in the back yard. The transformer in front of my house exploded as well.

I can say it scared the heck out of me. I jumped up, holding Truman, and screamed. Needless to say, poor Truman was scared to death.

He hid under my bed for two days and ever since he has been terrified of storms. 

Nowadays, all it has to do is start to rain and he runs under the bed. (You can learn more about Truman here)

There can be other reasons your Shih Tzu is scared as well. So check out your living environment and see if there is something there that is spooking your little guy.

They Are Looking for Privacy

Sometimes your Shih Tzu is just looking for a little alone time.

Just like us, there are moments in a dog’s life that they just want to stretch out and have some time to themselves. 

This is especially true if you have a busy household. 

Not to mention, dogs do like to find a den-like place and hang out. It is in their DNA. This is a place they feel safe and comfortable.

Another reason the space under a bed can feel comforting is that it is always there and never changing. It’s the one place they can count on as their bed might be moved to a new area or their other spaces may change from day to day or month to month.

shih tzu on the floor surrounded by towels
Depositphotos ID: 151602252 Copyright: chaoss

They’re Being a Little Naughty

Let’s face it. Our Shih Tzus are super cute but they can get themselves into a little mischief from time to time.

For example, let’s say your Shih Tzu found some forbidden treat – food-related or otherwise – that they aren’t supposed to have.

There’s a good chance they will take it under the bed so they can keep it and so no other animal in the house can take it from them.

My Truman is crazy for tissues. I try to keep them from him as he not only rips them apart but he will eat them as well.

If he gets one and I try to take it from him he will fight to the death for it. 

So, if he does score a tissue, he will run under the bed where I can’t reach him. He thinks he is pretty smart.

They’re on the Hunt for Food

Okay, I’m going to admit something here. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but when I do, I usually watch it in bed before I go to sleep. I also, sometimes, have a little snack. Think crackers or the like.

It has happened that I drop a chip or Cheez-It or cracker on the floor without realizing it. It ends up under the bed or near there.

Truman has figured this out, so after we go for our morning walk, he will run back in and go under the bed to see if I’ve dropped anything the night before that he might like.

Most of the time he is disappointed, but there are occasions that he is rewarded with a little treat. 

They are Stressed Out

Dogs can easily get stressed out. They are creatures of habit and they don’t really like change. 

If your house is normally pretty quiet and then you invite a few friends or family members over for the day, your Shih Tzu will really enjoy all the extra attention and excitement up to a point.

Once the initial excitement is over, your pup my decide they need a little downtime. 

This can be especially true if some of your guests are kids and your Shih Tzu is not used to being around small children.

After a while, your Shih Tzu might just need a time out and goes to a place where they know they can’t be bothered.

Typically once everyone leaves, your Shih Tzu will come back out to be with you again.

How to Break the Habit

Your Shih Tzu spending time under the bed isn’t the worst thing it could do, but if you want to try and break the habit there is a way to do so.

This is especially true if your Shih Tzu is under the bed because it is scared.

The worst thing you can do is give your Shih Tzu attention when it is under the bed. Don’t yell at it or try to force it out from underneath the bed. 

Instead, ignore the behavior. Then when your Shih Tzu is laying in its bed or at your feet or next to you, give it a treat. Over time, it will figure out that when it is under the bed nothing good happens, but when it is near you good things do happen.

Related Questions:

Why Is My Dog Hiding in Small Places?

Dogs are den animals and they feel safe and secure in small places. This goes back 1,000’s of years and is normal for the most part. 

If your dog is feeling stressed or afraid, they will retreat to a small space to feel safe. 

If this is not normal behavior for your dog, then you should see your vet to make sure your dog is not sick or injured. 

Why Is My Dog Hiding Under the Table?

Your dog is pretty smart and they know where the food is. If your dog is spending a lot of time under the table, the most common reason is they are looking for food.

They know that food gets dropped to the floor and they also know that they might get a few treats when you’re eating at the table as well.

To Sum it All Up:

Shih Tzus hide under the bed for a number of reasons including being sick, afraid, or stressed out. If it is a new behavior you should take your Shih Tzu to the vet to check its health. If it is normal behavior for your Shih Tzu, it might just like the feeling of being in a den-like place. 


Please Note:

This article is informational only and does not substitute for veterinary advice. Always check with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your Shih Tzu’s behavior. This article should not be considered in any way as veterinarian advice.

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