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Discussion Starter #1
I always had the perception that Small Dog Syndrome was simply a small dog that barked incessantly and may have the propensity to nip/bit.

From day 1, I trained my pup not to chew, to be gentle if a finger or other body part was in his mouth briefly, not to bark (too much). Whenever I take him into stores, that allow dogs, he is fine regardless of the crowd or the situation. I get alot of compliments from strangers who see him being calm in the store. I also take him to flea markets and walk him on busy city streets without problems.

But I have slowly realized and have to admit that my dog may have small dog syndrome. I need to stop enabling it and train him better.

Here is a list of his behaviors:

He jumps on me and other people - excited.
He pulls on the leash.
He does not nip at people but he will bark and lunge at strangers, unfamiliar children and other unfamiliar dogs.
He will refuse to listen to commands that he's already mastered.
He has mild separation anxiety
He jumps into my lap uninvited.
 

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I can say my chihuahua has a few of those problems (first two and second to last), some I haven’t solved because I think it’s okay because she’s small. But I agree with Peggy lol, if you can solve those let me know! Especially if your dog is as stubborn as mine.
 

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Yep, sounds like Being A Dog syndrome - all perfectly normal dog behaviours that don't quite fit human ideas of politeness. Best way of dealing with them is to work out the why (excited to reach hands and face in greeting; want to get to the fun stuff and sniff and run; make the scary thing go away, I am on a leash and can't escape; etc, etc) and then find another way of meeting the need. I found mine got much less jumpy when I sat down on the stairs to greet them - that way they could use the stairs to reach my lap or shoulder. Lots of safe off leash walking makes a short time on leash dawdling at human pace much more acceptable, especially if the human understands the importance of sniffing. And if you can convince your dog that you will always, always step in between him and the horrible dog or human before they get too close he may feel less need to protect himself and you - especially if you understand his need to walk in a wide curve to avoid head on contact, and his right to scold rude approaches.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
I sincerely appreciate all of your responses, insights and hilarious experiences :)

I don't feel like such a bad pup parent anymore.

The one thing I will focus on to try to eliminate is the lunging and barking at unfamiliar children. Many children want to come up and pet him.
If the child is calm and/or appears confident, and Rocky's tail is wagging or he remains submissive, I let them interact naturally.
Most of the time, since children can be unpredictable, I kneel down, scoot Rocky into my lap, turn his back to the child and have the child pet and touch his back. If he remains calm, and the child wants to pet him more, then I let the child interact with him more.

I feel bad when a child obviously wants to pet him but he is morphs from a calm dog into barking and lunging maniac. If the parent/adult as well as the child is unfamiliar with dog behavior and become tense, I'm holding onto an out of control dog while the child is backing away in fear or uncertainty and/or the adult is pulling the child closer to them. There are rare times when the adult properly reads Rocky's body language and barking and encourages the child to relax and still get close to Rocky. In those situations when the child steps toward Rocky, Rocky gets into playful mode and the child is able to pet him.
 

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I sincerely appreciate all of your responses, insights and hilarious experiences :)

I don't feel like such a bad pup parent anymore.

The one thing I will focus on to try to eliminate is the lunging and barking at unfamiliar children. Many children want to come up and pet him.
If the child is calm and/or appears confident, and Rocky's tail is wagging or he remains submissive, I let them interact naturally.
Most of the time, since children can be unpredictable, I kneel down, scoot Rocky into my lap, turn his back to the child and have the child pet and touch his back. If he remains calm, and the child wants to pet him more, then I let the child interact with him more.

I feel bad when a child obviously wants to pet him but he is morphs from a calm dog into barking and lunging maniac. If the parent/adult as well as the child is unfamiliar with dog behavior and become tense, I'm holding onto an out of control dog while the child is backing away in fear or uncertainty and/or the adult is pulling the child closer to them. There are rare times when the adult properly reads Rocky's body language and barking and encourages the child to relax and still get close to Rocky. In those situations when the child steps toward Rocky, Rocky gets into playful mode and the child is able to pet him.
I carry small treats in my pocket and ask the child if she'd like to give Normie a treat. I then have the child drop the treat near him. He loves children now!
 

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I always ask children to squat down and let the dogs come to them - if the dog don't want to I explain that they are busy doing dog things, and we move on. But because they feel in control, and humans crouched low are non-threatening and associated with nice things, the dogs usually greet politely and accept gentle petting. Squatting means no chasing, or grabbing, or looming, or any of the other things that make the dogs anxious.
 
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