My mom has a female chihuahua, about 4 to 5 years old.

While everyone is sleeping (at night, of course), she will cry (whine) outside of either my mom's door or my brother's door.

They both do not like it, yet have no clue how to go about making it stop.

Is there a way we can make this stop? Is there a quiet activity that can keep her distacted long enough to allow a full night without whining?

Edit: Letting the dog in the room is not an option. My family has work in the morning, and as much as we would love to let her in, the playful behavior is not suitable for sleep.

She does not give in. Even when it comes to hearing leaves move outside, she barks for hours upon hours.

She does not react well to being put in a room alone. She will continue to cry until she is let out.

She has never been crate trained. She has never been trained in any way. She is spoiled rotten. She can poo on my mom's couch and still get a treat.

My family's reaction to this behavior is yellong "STOP". They have no clue how to go about it. I'm the only one who seems to care enough to try and figure out the right way to handle this situation /:

  • 1
    Some quick questions: Do they ever end up giving in to the whining? How do they currently react to it? And has the dog ever been given any kind of crate-training? How does the dog usually react to being alone? Can you put him in a room alone for a few minutes, door closed, with no issues?
    – Layna
    Nov 10, 2015 at 9:30

5 Answers 5


You coud consider crate training, to reinforce the dog's undetstanding of where its own bed is.

You could try earplugs for a while. I'm serious. The best way to discourage an unwanted behavior is generally to not respond to it. Since it sounds like you're finding that difficult, make it easier.

You could take Frisbee's suggestion. Let the dog come Into the room so it can check that you're still there, but make very clear that the bed is Not For Pup. That might stop the whining. Or yoh might need to combine this with earplugs.

Or you could move out and let it be Mom's problem...

But this is very much a training problem. One of the humans has to be the Alpha and set -- and enforce -- clear rules. A dog training class is as much about training the human in this skill as it it about training the dog; this might be a good investment of your family's time. A spoiled dog is generally less happy than one that knows its status in the pack.

  • (And if you didn't wsnt a demanding pet, chihuahua may have been the wrong breed. I've known very few well-socialized chihuahuas..)
    – keshlam
    Nov 10, 2015 at 15:09
  • Was not my choice :( Thanks for the great answers, though. We have tried letting her in the room but keeping her off the bed, doesn't work /: I am fully aware my mom has spoiled her dog rotten, I am just unaware of the right tactics to use for training. I cannot stop my mom from giving them treats. My mom isn't the most logical person. If I told her "this is what contributes to the spoiled behavior", she'll jump off that topic and start talking about how if I were a dog... As in if she were a dog, she would want people giving her treats for no reason. Thus, she treats her dogs that way
    – Dioxin
    Nov 10, 2015 at 17:55

This is a training problem, so most of the "annoying" attitudes of your dog are your and your family's responsibility. The dog doesn't know what bed time means, I encourage you to look for a trainer if you don't feel like training the dog yourself. If you teach the dog what bed time means, having it inside the room won't be a problem. Our dog is allowed to be wherever she wants, and she has a bed in each of our rooms plus one in the living room, so she can come and go as she pleases and whichever room she is in, she knows its bed time, so she goes to sleep. This is the kind of behavior you nourish since a pup. And ask your mom to stop giving her treats all the time, treats should only be given as a reward.

  • Okay, so no training advice? I'm just on my own?
    – Dioxin
    Nov 10, 2015 at 15:33
  • Yes, teach her that night time means bedtime. No treats, stay with the dog in its bed so she knows its not playtime, and also if the dog stays awake for that long she might have a lot of energy she hasn't burned yet, so walking the dog and getting it tired might help as well
    – Just Do It
    Nov 10, 2015 at 15:36
  • 2
    A tired dog is a happy dog. Much less likely to 'act up'.
    – Sobrique
    Nov 10, 2015 at 17:42

Most dogs like to be with 'their' human - even when sleeping. Now, it's possible that's just "wants to snuggle up on the bed". It's up to you if that's acceptable or not.

However assuming that's not, then what you need to do is train 'bed time'. First - when starting - remember the old adage - a tired dog is a happy dog.

So start with a good long walk. You don't always have do to this - it makes the initial training easier though, and honestly makes dogs less problematic overall.

Acquire a treat that will occupy the dog. We quite like the kong variety of toys, which are basically rubber things that you can stuff with treats. Whatever works best for your dog - but we found a mix of biscuits and meat paste, then freeze it works best. (Note - meat paste must not contain things harmful to your dog like onions and the like - some do, depending on where you get it).

After your good long walk, train 'bed time' - tell your dog to go to bed. Guide it if necessary, and when it's there, reward with the kong, and a couple of biscuits or similar.

Then go to bed. Close doors, turn lights out, etc. Do not react to the dog crying. (Not at all - ignore it. Even if you have to go into the same room for another reason, you should not give any attention at all - but you should avoid this if you can initially).

What you should find is that the attention span of your dog isn't too long - what you're trying to do is distract it long enough that it can forget that you've 'gone away and left it' which is likely the cause of the crying.

You should also find that you've build a positive association - going to bed at bed time means treats, and you go upstairs and that's fine too.

This may have worked a little too well with our doglet, because she definitely knows when it's bed time, and will huff and sigh meaningfully when it's time for us to clear off. We do still give her a couple of bed time biscuits, but the kong is now for particularly special occasions.


Dogs are pack animals. They want to be with you. Let the dog in the room. Dog does not need to be in the bed. Just reach down and pet the dog before you go to sleep. If they can get to you then to them it feels like they are with you. Outside a door feels a long ways away.


The other answers may help if this dog is 'simply' misbehaving: ie, the dog is untrained and underexercised, and needs to be given exercise and taught when to go to sleep.

However, the fact that you report this dog will bark and cry for hours on end, and if shut in a room will cry for a long time, worried me, as it suggests that the dog may have a more serious issue, separation anxiety.

If this is the problem, then ignoring it is unlikely to help. Exercise will not help. The problem will not go away, because it's not a training problem, it's more like a phobia. Imagine someone with arachnophobia who is forced to spend time every night in a room full of spiders. Separation anxiety is like that.

The treatment is to take away the long periods of alone time and instead work up very gradually to being alone, starting at just seconds at a time. The dog will probably need to sleep with someone while this is being worked on, and that is where exercise might help: it is abnormal for a dog to want to play all night. A well exercised dog that is not stressed will want to sleep. The fact that your dog wants to play all night again suggests that this little dog needs help.

A qualified behaviourist could help you diagnose whether this is really the problem for this dog, and come up with a treatment plan for this condition.

Here's a blog from a behaviourist that specialises in this condition, it may help you understand. http://malenademartini.com/blog/

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