I have a 16 month old shih tzu (or perhaps Lhasa Apso) mix. He has always had issues with submissive and excited urination and he is afraid of strangers. Though these issues have improved somewhat with age, they are still a problem. However, more recently, the biggest issue has been his barking. He has always barked a bit, but he learned quickly what "shhh" meant, and he does listen. However, it's that first bark that must stop. We can be sound asleep in bed, or relaxing watching TV and he'll just jump up from a dead sleep and bark. He has the most terrifyingly shrill bark, and he seems to be barking at absolutely nothing. He does it all day long. Every time he does it, it nearly gives me a heart attack. You know that feeling you get when someone pops up behind you and taps you when you're not expecting it? It's like that feeling, x10, 20 times a day! The only time he stops is when we put him in the bathroom to sleep (we have to, because if he's left out on his own, he continues to bark at everything and wake everyone up). It's so frustrating. It startles the hell out of everyone every time because there is seemingly nothing (or very little) precipitating the bark. He isn't doing it for attention, he seems to be startled by something we can't hear or see. He just pops up and barks and seems scared. He listens if we tell him to "shhhh" but that's not good enough. This is putting a serious strain on my relationship with my boyfriend. He says the dog is taking years off his life and beings him no pleasure what so ever. He really is a very sweet dog, he adores my boyfriend, and it's sad to see him ignore him all the time because he's so irritated by his behaviour. He's very "trainable" in the sense that he is so eager to please, but I'm not even sure how to "train" him not to do this. Everything I've read online says to teach them to hush or be quiet, but he already know how to do that. That doesn't not help this situation. it's that first bark that he needs to stop doing. Or at least only do at appropriate times (e.g. when a stranger is at the door).