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Since my chihuahua/yorkie mix was 1 (now 7), he has had behavior issues I’ve tried to fix. Thankfully he rarely bites but the barking and possession is out of control. Examples: 1- freaks out when anybody comes into my apartment, 2- when someone stands up he goes nuts barking and follows them, 3- if someone is sitting on the couch (or bed) he barks when someone tries to sit 4- if my dog is in a room with someone and another goes to enter he flips out barking. Other helpful info: He is absolutely silent when we leave the home (I block him off with my yorkie), he always has been that way. If only one person is in my home (doesn’t matter who it is) he is nearly silent too. He does NOT sleep in my bed, he IS allowed on my couch, loves car rides and cuddling. My fiancé and I are moving into a 2BR (from 1BR) and I want to advantage of him being in a new environment. I want him to see me as his leader. I don't want him to have free range of the house. I'LL DO ANYTHING to help him get better
 

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Your dog isn't acting up because he's lacking a leader, or feels like he's the "alpha" or because you aren't "assertive" enough. Sleeping in beds and being allowed on furniture in and of itself isn't going to cause behavioral problems. Dominance hierarchies definitely exist in dog social groups, but overall research has shown they don't tend to be the driving force behind dog behavior, so to speak. At this point, science has shown dogs have complex thought processes complete with their own individual personalities and a wide emotional capacity. Dogs are also susceptible to a similar range of psychological problems, just as humans are.

In instances of behavioral problems, it is generally rooted in one of two things 1) psychological abnormalities that are leading to excessive anxiety/aggression/fear/etc or 2) the dog has done something, that behavior has been reinforced in some way and they've gotten something they wanted, they learn that this behavior works to get the resource they want, and they continue to do this behavior to get the resource (for example, jumping up on counters and stealing food, grabbing food from hands, barking because they want to go for a walk). Obviously there are other factors involved, but generally those two things are the things most in play in behavioral problems.

Old-school dominance theory trainers refer to pretty much any problem behavior as being rooted in "dominance". There are situations where behavioral problems may be rooted in the dog's sense of needing to control the environment they're in. Sometimes this is an expression of fear or anxiety, sometimes this is an expression of boredom or excessive energy, sometimes this is related to just a general need to control things- you see this kind of obsessiveness in herding breeds sometimes, dogs that get worked up when there's a lot of running/motion and will attack/correct people and dogs that are doing the running.

From this amount of information, and from over the internet, no one is going to be able to tell you why he is behaving like this. Most often, extreme reactivity is rooted in fear/anxiety, but not always. Knowing why he is doing this is a very important part of making hi stop doing this, especially in force free training. You probably could throw a prong on the dog and correct the crap out of the behavior and it would likely stop, but it also might get much worse or the dog would shut down because he realizes he can't escape the pressure of the correction and just sort of gives up, though his emotional reaction/discomfort with the situation won't change (called 'learned helplessness').

I would really strongly urge you to find a professional, force-free or good balanced trainer who exhausts force free options first to help you on this. This dog is biting people? That's not something to brush off so easily, even with a very small dog. A dog who bites is a liability and can be an intense strain on personal relationships, not to mention is unpleasant and sometimes dangerous to live with. At this point, it is beyond the point where a novice/inexperienced trainer (as most dog owners are) should be trying to fix the problem on their own. There is a steep learning curve in dog training, and at best with a dog like this you're just going to take a really long time to make any difference, and at worse you'll exacerbate the problem.

I would suggest either separating him from others or having him leashed when people are over for everyone's safety and comfort. In all cases, you want to work on changing the behavior to one you do like (teaching a new behavior) and changing the underlying emotional response to the stimuli that is bothering him (people entering/exiting, people walking, etc).

I would suggest you look into some good books on dog behavior. Feitsy Feido, Mine!, and the website "reactivedog" (Reactive Dogs | Information, Video, Books and DVDs for Owners of Reactive Dogs) are good resources.

I would familiarize yourself with the concepts of Counter Conditioning and Desensitization (Desensitizing and Counter-Conditioning: Overcoming Your Dog?s Issues) and Behavioral Adjustment Training (look into Grisha Stewert and her website).

While I don't adhere to most aspects of "dominance training" I will say that the one thing that I do think they have to offer is that structure and rules can help reactive or aggressive dogs, especially (as they so often are) when those issues are related to anxiety and fear. Offer food twice a day without leaving it out all the time and ask him to wait for his food while sitting, patiently, before you give the release. Play structured games with him that involve rules (I really like fetch, which my dogs both know I won't play with them unless they nicely give me the toy and wait for me the throw it, and tug, which I will only continue to play with my dogs if they drop the toy when asked and aren't overly rough). Also, make sure he's getting exercised in some way. Walks are preferable, but if its fetch and playing in the yard until he seems more tired because he's afraid of going outside, that's OK too. I mean, I would also want him not to be afraid of the outside, but that would be a separate issue to work through. Structure like this ensures the dog is practicing simple obedience exercises throughout the day, and gives the dog an outlet for mental and physical energy as well as reinforcing calm, controlled behavior. This is and of itself isn't likely to change the way a dog is acting if they're afraid or anxious, but it is a good compliment to more pointed behavioral modification training/techniques.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you!

@Moon -- thank you for your detailed reply. Rest assured he does NOT bite. I wrote that he rarely does and by that I meant he has only once or twice. I will follow all your suggestions
 
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