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Why is my dog barking and growling late at night? Watch

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    During the night when at least one us (me and my parents) in the house is asleep, my dog, for some unknown reason, would growl and bark.

    My dog would enter one of the bedrooms and start growling and barking non-stop whilst he is facing toward the empty side of the bed.

    He would even go to my sister's bedroom and growl/bark at my sister's empty bed (my sister no longer lives with me).

    My dog has never behaved like this before and it's now got to the point where his strange behaviour has gotten on everyone nerves.

    This happened for at least 3 nights.

    I want to ask if anyone might have an idea what's going on?

    My dog is a 12 year old shih tzu.

    Thank you.
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    What exercise is your dog getting? Has he ever displayed any form of separation anxiety before? Has he got something to keep him occupied such as a kong? Where does he sleep?
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    (Original post by converselove)
    What exercise is your dog getting? Has he ever displayed any form of separation anxiety before? Has he got something to keep him occupied such as a kong? Where does he sleep?
    He doesn't go out for walks because he would simply refuse to let anyone in the house put a leash on him. Whenever we do he would growl/bark and move his head away from it. He would even bite us if we persist. It's only when my sister comes home that he would will it.

    I don't think he ever displayed separation anxiety before, not that I'm aware of at least. I can say that he does go a bit quiet and a little sad when my sister leaves the house, but it's nothing serious as he usually brightens up the next few hours or day.

    He has toys and several treats, such as bones.

    He usually sleeps in my parents' room. Some times he would sleep in my room. When my sister comes home to stay for a bit, he would sleep in my sister's room (in the bed). And during afternoons, he would sleep in his own bed which is in the living room.

    To put things into context, he wasn't originally our dog. He was originally my other sister's (I have two sisters). Because of a job opportunity, my sister had to leave him behind so that my sister could move abroad. That's how he ended up with us.
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    (Original post by lalalalalalamember)
    He doesn't go out for walks because he would simply refuse to let anyone in the house to put on a leash on him. Whenever we would try he would growl/bark and move his head away from the leash. He would even bite us if we persist. It's only when my sister comes home that he would will it.
    Has anyone tried putting a harness on him?
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    (Original post by lalalalalalamember)
    He doesn't go out for walks because he would simply refuse to let anyone in the house to put on a leash on him. Whenever we would try he would growl/bark and move his head away from the leash. He would even bite us if we persist. It's only when my sister comes home that he would will it.

    I don't think he ever displayed separation anxiety before, not that I'm aware of at least. I can say that he does go a bit quiet and a little sad when my sister leaves the house, but it's nothing serious as he usually brightens up the next few hours or day.

    He has toys and several treats, such as bones.

    He usually sleeps in my parents' room. Some times he would sleep in my room. When my sister comes home to stay for a bit, he would sleep in my sister's room (in the bed). And during afternoons, he would sleep in his own bed which is in the living room.

    To put things into context, he wasn't originally our dog. He was originally my other sister's (I have two sisters). Because of a job opportunity, my sister had to leave him behind so that my sister could move abroad. That's how he ended up with us.
    Seems like he has some underlying issues. I'd deal with the lead aggression first. If you go in a room with him and introduce him calmly to his lead. Don't put it on or anything. If he goes near it, give him a treat. If you put it near him and doesn't react, treat him. Make sure he knows he's done good (lots of "good boy", affection etc).

    When he has built up some trust with the lead, try and distract him with someone else putting the lead on. Then just put it down. Allow him to be familiarised with the lead on without it being a restraint. Then pick up the lead and make him follow by putting a treat in front of him.

    Sounds like baby steps but I think if he gets regular exercise, it may sort out the problem. A well exercised dog will want to sleep and hopefully he will sleep the night. Even if that isn't the issue (it could be he hears a noise that disturbed him), the exercise will be good for him
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    (Original post by OU Student)
    Has anyone tried putting a harness on him?
    It makes no difference. As long as my sister isn't around, he would not allow any of us put a hardness/leash on him.
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    Also, sounds like he has a lot of underlying problems with aggression that you need to sort out. You must become top dog.
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    (Original post by converselove)
    Seems like he has some underlying issues. I'd deal with the lead aggression first. If you go in a room with him and introduce him calmly to his lead. Don't put it on or anything. If he goes near it, give him a treat. If you put it near him and doesn't react, treat him. Make sure he knows he's done good (lots of "good boy", affection etc).

    When he has built up some trust with the lead, try and distract him with someone else putting the lead on. Then just put it down. Allow him to be familiarised with the lead on without it being a restraint. Then pick up the lead and make him follow by putting a treat in front of him.

    Sounds like baby steps but I think if he gets regular exercise, it may sort out the problem. A well exercised dog will want to sleep and hopefully he will sleep the night. Even if that isn't the issue (it could be he hears a noise that disturbed him), the exercise will be good for him
    I'll do this. Thanks for your suggestion.
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    Any sudden behaviour change in an adult dog needs a vet. In a 12 year old dog, I'd suspect canine cognitive dysfunction. No training will help with that, but there are medications than can ease the symptoms.

    Absolutely do no try to be 'top dog', that's outdated with most dogs but it sounds like yours is suffering, and needs to see a vet.


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