Ok, let me take a deep breath and congratulate myself.
My corgi, Pebble, recently turned one year old, finally.

I have had her since she was 3 months old, throughout the past 9 months, it's been a tough one but yet rewarding. I learnt how to be more responsible and caring, to understand what unconditional love truly is. Well, I'm just 22, if I hadn't had Pebble, I think I wouldn't have learnt all this until I parent my own child.

So, now what? Here comes my question...

After 9 months of intensive love, care, and training, Pebble is now very well behaved and became inextricably bounded to my life. I slowly forgot about some strict rules that I used to be extremely picky about, such as:

- must sleep in her crate
- must not go on my couch
- must not go on my bed

Now I let her jump on the couch and nap, sleep anywhere she wants at night, jump on my bed after each shower.

I understand that dogs are dogs and I shouldn't treat them as human. And she's already one year old, I believe there are many things between us have been compromised. Should I be more lenient from now on?



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The only place I don't let my dogs, is on the bed. That is from my first corgi, she was a notorious bed hog, plus, my husband doesn't like dogs in bed with him. Other than that, they have free reign in the house. I don't think she is spoiled, but I would keep up on all the other things you have taught her. Corgis are very smart, and before you know it, they WILL rule the house.

My corgi, Duncan, alas, isn't as well trained as I would wish. I am the one with the rules on him, while my husband, is the one that lets him do almost anything he wants. Poor guy, was getting so confused. I did manage to make my husband do a few of the rules so the poor dog would know which way to go...LOL! One example, when I come home from work, he has to sit before I pet him; my husband comes in and lets him jump all over him. So, I have a problem with him greeting people, and almost knocking them over. Still working on hubby on that one (notice, I said hubby). I'm about to keep a rolled up paper to smack him on the nose when Duncan misbehaves-the hubby, not the dog.
Those rules, honestly, never meant anything to her; they were for you. You could just as easily had rules like "Always sleep on the bed, never go in the dining room, bark three times before getting in the car" and it would have been exactly as effective (or ineffective) as the ones you had.

Rules like crates, beds, couches, etc. are ways for humans to place boundaries around dogs. They're very, very good, whatever the human chooses them to be, because they teach a human who hasn't had to deal with a dog before how to give clear signals of allowed and not allowed. The specifics are not important; it's the message that's important.

If Pebble is being generally obedient (she's one, so I would never expect her to be perfect) and respectful and secure and happy, there's absolutely no reason not to change from "Don't sleep on the couch" to "Don't jump up on people" or abandon "Don't eat from my plate at the table" in favor of "Don't bark at me while I'm eating." It's all about whether she's getting the right message - that you are a kind, benevolent, loving leader that she can rely on and therefore doesn't have to make her own decisions and get all worried about life.
It's all fine as long as the new rules suit you and are consistent. So for example mine are allowed on the couch even though I swore they would not be, because the first time Jack jumped up and tried to eat my peanut butter sandwich when he was a puppy, I was laughing so hard I could not put him down and be serious about it and I realized then I lacked the willpower to keep the dogs off the couch. I do have two couch rules, though: no dogs on the furniture if I am snacking, and they know the meaning of "off" and must "off" at any time.

So you must be consistent and realize if Pebble is allowed on the couch, she will get confused if one day you get mad at her for being on the couch. But you can have a rule (if you like) that she only jumps up if invited when you are already sitting there.

Being on the bed or not, sleeping in a crate or not (after housebreaking is over, of course), being allowed on furniture and the like are all, as Joanna says, rules for the benefit of the person. The dog is fine either way. I will just caution, though, that many dogs are quieter in a crate than loose. They seem to know they are "off duty" in the crate, whereas many loose dogs will bark at outside sounds. I like that my dogs are alarm dogs and I let them loose at night, but if getting a good night's sleep every night is important to you, it's just something to keep in mind. :-)
My understanding (I've got no kids yet, hence Edison being the most spoiled dog in the city of Cambridge, MA) is that dogs are like kids, and if they generally follow the really important rules, it's okay to bend on the minor ones. If Pebble is a year old, she's probably gotten pretty mature and can be treated accordingly. Just beware- puppy adolescence happens at about this time, so if she starts getting a little out of hand, you may have to pull back. In the meantime, just be consistent and she'll know what the rules *really* are. :)
Sorry, Edison mom-or-dad, gotta disagree on that one. Kids can understand the "sometimes" part of a rule, and the "context" part. Dogs not so much. For example, my three little boys could swear like pirates among their friends when they thought I couldn't hear them, but never uttered a bad word in front of me. That's the context part. And even though no food was allowed in the living room, "just this once because a special TV show is on we'll eat dinner on the sofa" can be understood by a human child. That's the sometimes part.

But you're right, it's the important rules you enforce, and you decide which rules those are, but then you stick with that distinction. That's how I got my name. We all swore that my first dog would never go on the sofa, be a "furniture dog." Well, it wasn't long before we all decided that was a rule that no one cared about. He became a "sofapup."

If she's well-behaved, she's earned her freedom imo. :3 I haven't gotten my dog yet, but when I do, I'll be strict-as-hell enforcing all the rules. When I feel he's learned to behave properly, I'll get lenient. It's not spoiling, just rewarding! Or, that's what I think. (A dog who can't get on the furniture is a sad one indeed.)
I grew up with big dogs who were not allowed on the furniture for obvious reasons. But a full-grown Corgi can fit comfortably on the couch with an adult. :-)
Sounds like you've done so well raising a well-behaved Corgi. Not easy! Corgis are very smart. But, if you've done your job well, Pebble is house-trained and doesn't need to sleep in her crate. I train my Corgis VERY carefully in the beginning. Better to train than try to correct a bad habit. Corgis are too smart to let them ever feel that they are the boss. But, once you've established who's the boss, I don't see any problem in changing the rules, a little bit at a time, if YOU want the changes. Lucy was not crated after she was potty trained and didn't chew furniture and rugs. She now is allowed on the couch (but only after we invited her)...ditto our bed. So you get it. She now has access to every room, but she earned it.
While Jack and I never allowed our other Corgis to sleep with us, we allow & LOVE Lucy sleeping with us (empty nest syndrome?). Shedding twice a year can be a bit much for those with allergies or anyone who requires soil-free linens!


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