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Old 09-09-2020, 06:26 AM   #1
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Default Uncontrollable barking, shaking, and anxiety in an otherwise perfect dog

I have an almost 2.5 year old male Morkie. He is the smartest little guy ever and seemingly perfect EXCEPT for a few issues that, for the life of me, we cannot figure out! We live in a large neighborhood and a lot of people and dogs are constantly walking in front of our home. He will bark nonstop at anyone who is walking by and if they are running then it's on a whole different level. He doesn't just bark.....he shakes and whines and screams and jumps on the wood blinds (hasn't broken them yet but it's coming) and absolutely loses all sense of anything he knows. It's like we aren't even in the picture when trying to calm him down or get his attention. It's literally like a switch flips and he becomes a different dog and we can do nothing to get him calmed down. We've went to him and told him "No", removed him from the window, took him to time out and made him stay until the people are gone, scolded him, ignored him, went to him and picked him up and "thanked him" for letting us know someone is out there, asked him to come and gave him a treat, made him sit and watch someone walk by and tried to recondition his brain with treats that this is a good thing when people walk by, etc. I've done everything I literally know to do and I am aware I've probably done too much and have confused him in the process. Shutting the blinds does not help either. The little guy can literally be in a a dead sleep on the sofa and he can sense that someone is walking down the road and will jump up out of a dead sleep and run to the window and if the blinds are shut he just pushes his little self in behind them and throws the blind out of his way and starts jumping and screaming and carrying on. I have a lot of windows and I cannot keep him from every window in my our home. And I do NOT like my blinds shut but have found myself for the past 2 years having to keep them shut moreso than not. So the same person that he is barking at and going crazy over walking in front of my house, could literally come in our home and he would lick all over them and want to play and lay in their lap. He doesn't act this way to people in our home. He does get overly excited when someone comes in but he's not crazy or defensive to them. And I can take him to TJMaxx and Marshall's and places like that and for the most part he doesn't bark at anyone there either even if they try to pet him. On occasion, he has barked at a few people and honestly I think he just senses that some people are not good people. But, it doesn't matter who is walking in front of our house or through the neighborhood.....if he sees them, he's going to go crazy. He's even been at home with my husband and my daughter and I are on a walk and he will see us way up in the distance and he barks at us and goes crazy just like we are strangers. When I take him on walks, he picks and choses the other walkers he wants to bark at. I never know who he is going to bark at and who he isn't. But, if they have another dog with them he will go insane 100% of the time.....big dog or little dog. And, if we are ever at TJMAxx or Marshall's or anywhere that another dog is, he 100% loses it each and every time. A neighbor brought her dog for a walk in front of our home one time and we tried to let them socialize and he barked constantly in this little dog's face to the point that the other little dog felt the need to start defending herself. So we couldn't allow that to continue obviously. Does anybody have any advice on what I can do to make him know that he does not need to bark at everyone who walks by? Honestly, if he just went over and barked to notify me, I wouldn't mind but as I've said he literally flips his switch and it's like he's a totally different dog. I feel as though he is trying to protect us but I don't know how to change his mindset. I have even tried CBD oil and while he LOVES it and I don't mind giving it to him, it didn't make a difference in the barking. Also, my neighbor, whom he loves is constantly out back at her pool with all of her grown children and grandchildren and he sits in front of the window and watches them with no problem. He does not know the children or the grandchildren.....only my neighbor. And, they are loud. I don't mean that in a bad way.....just saying they will be playing and yelling and having a huge party and he just sits and watches them. But, let this same neighbor be in front of her house going to the mailbox or watering flowers and he goes ballistic! I can tell this is a huge anxiety-ridden problem for him but I don't know why it is a trigger or how to help him. And, I hate to just throw him on an anxiety medication when at all other times he's a perfect little dog. He just lays around and sleeps or plays toys with or without us, chews his bully sticks, etc... just a perfect little dog until he hears a noise and thinks it may be someone walking by. He will even sit on the back of the sofa or in front of a side window just "on guard" waiting and watching for someone to walk by like it's his job. Even with the blinds shut, he will sit there and just watch and wait. Obviously, when I see him doing this I will redirect his attention and play or do something else with him to get him out of that mode.....sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Someone please help.....I am willing to try anything that is humane!
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Old 09-09-2020, 07:59 AM   #2
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This sounds to me like territorial barking, which is pretty normal behavior except that your pup “goes above and beyond” with it. And you are probably correct that, while you meant well with your numerous efforts to stop the behavior, you’ve actually confused — and even at times rewarded — him.

I do have one suggestion you might not have tried. Can you put “privacy films” on the front windows where he gets so agitated and then leave the blinds open? That way, when he runs to the window to check out the possible intruder, he won’t see anything out there, and he might not react so strongly. I’m guessing he’s a fairly small dog, so you could just put the films on the lower portions of the windows, so even if there are quite a few, you wouldn’t need so many films. And you would have the added bonus of being able to see out the windows at your level, instead of always having the blinds closed.
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:30 AM   #3
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Thank you for your reply! If I could just figure out how to let him know that once he "warns" us with his bark that he can stop and we have it under control from there, I believe we would be in good shape. I know he isn't doing it to be a burden or anything.....you can tell he truly feels as though it's his job. I just don't know what we've done incorrectly to make him feel as though he has to protect us and not the other way around. The film sounds like a great idea and may work; however, he sits up on top of the sofa even and looks out the upper parts of the windows. And our sofa is in the middle of the floor, not up again a wall or window. He sits there on guard like it's his mission in life just looking out the dining room windows that are in his view or the side living room windows. So, if I did the films, I would have to do them on top too. But, thank you for your excellent idea and it just may be something I consider to maybe help him "break a bad habit".
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Old 09-09-2020, 02:50 PM   #4
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I think a dog behaviorist should be consulted. They will give you the right tools to work with.

As for you being invisible to him when he's in these frenzies, you are. Terriers have tunnel vision when it comes to prey or like your guy protecting his family, they hear nothing because they are so focused at doing their job.
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Old 09-09-2020, 05:31 PM   #5
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My dogs bark at anyone walking down the street also. They donít shake but they will pounce on each other and growl and bark. We have been able to tell them thank you or ok and generally deescalate the situation. So itís very normal for him to bark at people walking buy and he probably shakes from excitement. Is he neutered? Barking at the other dogs sounds like maybe he hadnít been socialized with other dogs or possibly small dog syndrome. Can you use a gate made for toddlers or something to go around the window so he canít get to it? Honestly I think a trainer that uses positive reinforcement and can come to your house is probably the best option. Right now to break my youngest s train of thought when he is to rough with his sister or constantly barking at the floor cleaner is I have him come to me and sit an praise him a lot for sitting there. If he leaves to go bark I call him back and keep doing that. Can you lure him away with treats and tell him leave it? If if he does it and comes to you for a mi Ute that is a good starting point.
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Old 09-10-2020, 05:38 AM   #6
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I feel your pain! Our problem is Jazzy barking at other dogs on walks and at the campground. We have also tried everything and look forward to suggestions from others.
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Old 09-10-2020, 05:58 AM   #7
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I feel your pain! Our problem is Jazzy barking at other dogs on walks and at the campground. We have also tried everything and look forward to suggestions from others.
Jazzy is a little puppy, she needs to be socialized with other dogs. I realize in this pandemic it's kinda hard to get close to other ppl walking their dogs, but this is what she needs. She needs sniff and greet meetings with dogs of all sizes. Suggesting puppy schools may be out of the question with this distancing now. You can call some puppy training classes and see what their protocol is. But she needs to be socialized with other dogs.
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Old 09-10-2020, 06:16 AM   #8
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Whoops, got you mixed up with another member that recently got a puppy and Jazzy is a year old. When you got her the pandemic had just started. In any case, it is still socialization that she needs. They have dog training schools you may want to check into. The older she gets the harder it will be to get her to be friendly around other dogs.

As an ex camper that camped with 3 wild tom boy girls that were very well socialized, they loved all dogs of all sizes. At the camp ground they would bark at other dogs, even the ones they knew. But it was friendly barking. I use to call them in the trailer and wait for the ppl to pass by before letting them out.
So there is a question for you. When Jazzy barks at dogs, are you able to get her under control and stop her barking.
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Old 09-13-2020, 12:14 PM   #9
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Your pup might have a reactivity, it might be fear based due to insecurities, or he is resource guarding (you, house, the territory around your home etc.). My suggestion is to look into working with reactivity and counter-conditioning using clicker. And protocols for rewarding calm behaviors. What you describe as a flip switch is when they are over threshold, in a fight-or-flight mode, can't listen, won't take food, etc. While you are training you have to minimise his chancing of practicing the bad behaviors. If he barks even when he sees you at the distance, you can start working with that. If he is barking at dogs, then introductions should be only on leash and from distance at first.. There is so many different options on how to approach it. I spent two years thinking my dog was just ill mannered and not properly socialized, and oh he is a yorkie, and oh all small dogs bark at everybody etc etc only to then tap into learning about reactivity. He also barked at some people and dogs outside and not others, and I never knew why.. But then I started seeing it - he'd bark at people who were talking loudly, or men walking fast towards us, or people holding their arm up talking on the phone, or people making eye contact with him.. We worked with a behaviorist this summer and by ourselves for three months and I can't tell you the difference we've seen. He now gets an occasional compliment for being well behaved and calm in public and I'm so proud of him. If you don't have an option of working with a behaviorist full time, even few sessions will be useful - a professional will be able to identify his specific issue and will give you tools and explain how to use them, so you can then proceed to do the training yourself. There are Facebook groups, websites and some books I can advise you, feel free to send me a PM.
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Old 09-13-2020, 12:16 PM   #10
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Also, due to the pandemic, I've seen on Instagram dog trainers/behaviourists offering affordable online sessions, so this might be an option too if you can't do the face-to-face training. The professional might just help you understand your dog, his triggers and response and give you guidance for training.
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Old 12-02-2020, 07:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mike_and_Me View Post
Also, due to the pandemic, I've seen on Instagram dog trainers/behaviourists offering affordable online sessions, so this might be an option too if you can't do the face-to-face training. The professional might just help you understand your dog, his triggers and response and give you guidance for training.
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Old 11-18-2022, 10:24 AM   #12
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I wanted to ask how you are doing with the dog because I recently went through exactly the same period with my Yorkie. To be honest, I understand you perfectly, I was already in ness when I heard every time my baby tears his voice because he barks at everything and everyone at the window. It's unbearable, it's true. But everything has recently changed in some strange way. I was leaving on a business trip and I had no one to leave Pete with, I called the KC Knine dog walking. A very good and kind woman works there. She had been walking Pete for two weeks. When I came back, Pete seemed to have changed, does not bark out the window, and does not bark at passers-by and other dogs when we walk. In general, it seems to me that this woman is a witch and she did something to him.
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Old 11-20-2022, 11:25 AM   #13
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Did you ask the dog walker if she did anything special that ended your pups bad behavior.
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Old 11-20-2022, 03:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by britanyweel View Post
I wanted to ask how you are doing with the dog because I recently went through exactly the same period with my Yorkie. To be honest, I understand you perfectly, I was already in ness when I heard every time my baby tears his voice because he barks at everything and everyone at the window. It's unbearable, it's true. But everything has recently changed in some strange way. I was leaving on a business trip and I had no one to leave Pete with, I called the KC Knine dog walking. A very good and kind woman works there. She had been walking Pete for two weeks. When I came back, Pete seemed to have changed, does not bark out the window, and does not bark at passers-by and other dogs when we walk. In general, it seems to me that this woman is a witch and she did something to him.
Hopefully she didnít harm him.
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