My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
I am not sure this is fear based aggression at all. In fact it seems to me to be dominance based aggression. The fact that he is ok with you when he wants you to play with him, or do other things that he wants to do but then will lunge or bite when he doesn't want you to do those things. Those are kind of classic ways a dog will react when they are attempting to reprimand you for not knowing what he wants you to do or if you try to get him to do something like get off of a couch or move out of the way or even if he thinks you might want to pick him up and he doesn't want to do that.
Many dominant dogs are described as well behaved until you try to get them to do something they do not want to do, and then they reprimand you either with a growl or bite if you don't heed the growl. Your husband is male and he may see him as the boss, while you are female and have in your words babied him and shown him attention when he did nothing to deserve it. Alphas get attention without earning it, so he feels that you see him as the boss so he is reacting accordingly.
Dogs that are allowed on furniture (even if put on the furniture) tend to feel that since they are elevated to your level or higher if on your lap, they mentally feel elevated as well in the pack order and thus are the boss. Keeping them on the floor can help lower them mentally back to a submissive position in the pack. So the first thing is to not allow him higher that the humans or even on the same level. In addition, humans shouldn't be on the floor with him either. A small short stool is enough to keep them higher than the dog when petting the dog. Attach a leash and use it to remove him from the furniture. Give a correction in the form of a quick tug and firm "NO" when he attempts to get on and a treat when he starts not trying to get on the furniture. Thus you are providing negative reinforcement for the getting on the furniture and positive reinforcement for the desired behavior (not attempting to get on the furniture).
There are other ways to regain the dominant position in the house as well. The best way is to start obedience training. While a formal training class is great, you can start obedience training without a formal class. The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.
Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
If there is some small component of fear aggression as well obedience training helps with that as well since the dog knows what to expect and what you want them to do and becomes more self confident which lessens the fear.
You will also want to keep a leash on him at all times initially to grab if he should disobey. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how well your dog does with training. Dogs like knowing what is expected of them and they love the little paper thin slices of hotdogs that I use for treats while training. Give this a try and see how it works for you.
You do the training and you do not need to use a choke chain, but you do need to use a little tug to get his attention on you if it isn't already and a firm low toned no if he is not acting appropriately. The training site I gave uses positive methods to train which makes the dog want to obey you. The important thing is that each time a dog obeys you even if it is for the treat, it instills the obeying behavior in the dog and they become a little more submissive to you with each obeyed command until it is second nature for them to obey you. Submissive members do not bit or reprimand the bosses.
You won't be able to just give him affection for no reason, but you can have him obey a command and reward him with affection.
I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.