I'm hoping someone might be able to offer some ideas or suggestions on this new dilemma. I have a 7-month black lab mix that was a rescue and I've had him for 2 months. Miles is the sweetest dog and never really had any barking issues until recently. (He did find his "bark" around 6th month). He always sleeps in my room in a covered crate and that has worked out very well since I got him. For the last two weeks, about 3-4 times a week he would just randomly start barking in the crate, often about 2-3 hours after we had gone to bed. Sometimes it would just be a few barks, but sometimes it would be like he saw a squirrel (but no squirrel, at least I hope not). And without an obvious cause, like people walking outside or my cats harassing him.
Also, lately he's been barking at certain men, like police officers, men in black jackets, motorcyclists with helmets on. I'm not sure if he's trying to be protective, but it just caught be off guard at how much we would growl at them. Most of the time I try to bring him up to "say hi" and sometimes he would warm up to them and be back to his normal self.
But I really don't know where the random barking, sometimes with growls, came from, or what I should do to redirect him or correct this. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!