I'm having two major problems with my corgi right now.

1. Chewing. Oh, God the chewing... It's getting out of control.
2. Interacting with other dogs.

Roxy is almost a year old now (1 year old on 8/10) and for the most part, we never had these problems until recently (the past month).

As far as the chewing, it just seems like she destroys everything she finds. If it's in corgi-reach, it's hers as far as she's concerned. She really seems to like pulling books off shelves and eating them. We try to keep things off the floors, but no one is perfect. Sometimes she even goes out of her way to pull things down. She hasn't gone for furniture very much, fortunately.

She has plenty of toys (10). I picked them based on the textures and colors she likes best. She seems to love red and orange and dislikes cool colors like blue or purple. There's also a couple of intellectually stimulating toys in there to keep her curious and challenged. I alternate her toys and their location in the house three times a week to keep her interested. Despite all this effort, she still seems to largely prefer chewing things that are not her toys.

I don't really "punish" her for chewing things because I've learned that it doesn't work. It only seems to make her fearful. If I catch her in the act, I will say "No chew!" in a louder than speaking volume, with deeper pitch and make sure that she associates it with what she has just destroyed. I will do the same thing if I don't catch her in the act, but less firm, since dogs don't understand too well what they're being yelled at for unless they're caught doing it and corrected immediately.


As inconvenient as this may be, it doesn't worry me as much as how she's been acting around other dogs lately. When she was a younger puppy, she loved interacting with other dogs. We took her to puppy class at 3 about 4 months of age and had no issues with any of the other dogs in the class. I even took her to dog parks starting at 8 months and she loved it.

Unfortunately, she's been acting oddly around other dogs lately. I noticed it two weeks ago when I took her to the dog park. She was shying away from dogs and growling if they wanted to come close enough to play. This is a complete 180 from her old personality. When I walk her, I notice that she's very eager to meet other dogs, but once she does and they try to play, she gets aggressive.

What's going on here? I recently saw our old trainer at Pet Smart (where she attended puppy training) and she said that between 10 to 12 months dogs go through something like a teenage phase where they test boundaries. Likewise, the breed book says that dogs go through a "fear phase" at this time.

So, should I expect this to pass? What signs should I be looking for? Any suggestions on what I should do to help her (with either issue)

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Practice choosing things to chew. Get a GOOD chew toy, an old one with lots of doggy scent/slobber on it. And then get a BAD chew toy, one without doggy smells, something that she would love to chew, but is clearly not hers. Offer the bad toy to her, and the moment that she starts to take it, firmly in a tell her NO!! Offer it to her again, and again tell her no. Continue over and over again until she won't even look at it. When you offer it to her she should turn her head away. Place it on the floor, if she goes for it, say no. You can even try to entice her to play with it, but always say no when she begins to take the bait. She should learn that it is OFF LIMITS, even if you act like you want her to play with it, even if you give it to her, even if you are in the next room. You have claimed the toy as yours. Leave it on the floor after the training period (5- 15 min) and continue to say no if she shows ANY interest. The next day, give her the GOOD toy and play with her with it, give her a treat when she takes it etc.... Then the next day get out the bad toy again, if she goes for it go back and start saying no. If she sneaks a chew on some other item in the house use that item as the bad toy for the day. Different days use different items. You may not want to bring out the good toys in the same training session as she may start to confuse what is good and what is bad until she gets really comfortable with her good toys. If no doesn't work, you can try squirting water, tossing rolled up socks, etc... Anything that gets her attention without hurting her.
With much due respect, I disagree with this suggestion - specifically, I think it's conflicting to OFFER any item to a dog that is off-limits. In the end, I would fully expect that most dogs would learn to distrust your behaviors - to suspect the extended hand, to be ever-wary of the next 'set-up'.

Teaching dogs how to cohabitate in our world takes time, patience, diligence and repetition. The boundary theory I've always used (successfully) is - I decide what is for you, NOT you. If I didn't hand it to you - it is NOT YOURS. Everything you see here - it's all mine, and if I decide to share it with you, I will hand it to you.

Puppies going near any item that I didn't hand to them get 'Aye, that's not for you.' If I hand it to them once, it's theirs. I've raised 7 dogs in my life, and I only had one that really needed to be watched 24/7 for the first year (a Husky, notoriously destructive puppies!) - all the others just 'got it' right away. The shoe-chewers were HANDED their own shoe(s) and to quote the infamous Rud Weatherwax - those dogs not only knew their shoe from OUR shoes, they knew my left shoe from my right shoe.

I always gave them a toy-basket, and most of them could 'pick up' all their toys on command - not the Corgi, amazingly. He's one of the MOST rigidly-structured dogs I've ever had, utterly intuitive to What Is Right, but I can't get him to put his toys away. I could put a roast turkey on the floor and leave it for days - he wouldn't go near it, UNLESS I specified to him that it was his, and I kid you not.

Short example, you can take it from here: We have a low coffee-table. When he was a pup, if he LOOKED like he might want to SNIFF food on the coffee-table, he was just told "Aye, that's not for you." If he looked remotely interested in the kitchen trash - "Aye ..." I didn't wait until he got into the trash, I cut off his thoughts right at the beginning of his interest.

I do think maybe one of the key factors in how successful this has been for me, admittedly, is that I was always able to be home whenever I was raising a dog. I never had or used a crate, in fact - I was a 'stay at home' mom and blessed to be able to do that. Being in a pup's world 24/7 makes a huge difference in the sheer amount of opportunities to learn.
I agree that I wouldn't offer something to my dogs and then tell them to leave it, though they both seem to understand the difference between me offering them something to sniff and offering them something to take; it must be a body-language thing on my part.

I have "set up" my dogs where I intentionally put something on the floor that they've been bothering them and teach them not to even look at it. But if I offer my dog something in my hand, it's meant for them.

I've had Jack since he was a puppy and he does know that everything in the house is mine unless I give it to him. I give him boxes to destroy sometimes for fun, yet I can leave a cardboard box lying on the floor and he will ignore it completely.

We got Maddie as an adult and I haven't worked on her with that command as much (since she was past the puppy-destructive phase when we got her) and she's become my garbage thief (usually paper wrappers). Jack, who was trained to leave stuff, will not even touch something with a bit of food on it that Maddie has hauled out of the garbage, and in fact makes a point of staying some distance away from her if she does get something.
Hi Nicole! At 1 yr old Roxy is capable of not chewing things. When chewing occurs outside of the teething stage, it means she's bored. Most behaviour issues can be solved with 1 thing: Exercise! 45 minutes on leash outdoor walking. Backyard / indoor / play fetch DON'T count, not at 1 yr old. Corgis are herding dogs, they need physical and mental challenges, if those needs are not met, they become part time contractors around the house.

I understand you don't want to "punish" her, so when she's caught in the act and you've given the "no chew!" command, what was her reaction? Did she stop? Reinforce your "leave it" and "drop it" command, offer a trade up chew toy / treat when she obey. Positive reinforcement.

Instead of having all her toys in one basket, remove some and rotate them. She'll find new interest in old toys.

As far as "aggressive" goes, how did it happen? Where does it occur, how were the dogs approached? What kind of dogs? Who sniffs who and she did what? What did the owners do and react?
You make a good point. She normally gets a 3 mile walk once a day. Part of why I wanted a dog was because I was gaining weight, but I didn't want a massive dog like a lab. A corgi seemed to be a fair compromise and then I just fell in love with the breed.

Anyhow, she is SUPER athletic for a corgi. She does things as far as jumping that corgi's aren't supposed to be able to do. I once got her to clear a hulla hoop at 3 feet. She tends to frap like she's in permanent energizer bunny overload. Maybe agility would help her? I don't know much about it, so I've been hesitant. That and she has a short attention span, VERY short. Sometimes she forgets what she's doing in the middle of doing it. lol

She does stop when I tell her to stop. It's obvious she knows she's done wrong. The ears go back, the stub goes down and she backs away from the item.

"Instead of having all her toys in one basket, remove some and rotate them. She'll find new interest in old toys."
Yes, this is exactly what I do. I'm sorry if it wasn't too clear. I wrote the post after she annihilated my favorite pair of heels hehe.

"As far as "aggressive" goes, how did it happen?" Hm, I think I may be misunderstanding the question but I'll take a stab. I know for a fact that she's never been in a fight with other dogs. It tends to happen whenever a dog gets too close to her.

"Where does it occur, how were the dogs approached?"
Anywhere. It doesn't make a difference. I've noticed it mostly at dog parks. She approaches the other dogs as though she intends to play and then gets freaked out once they initiate play behavior. As for myself, I try to stay calm and keep my distance and let her try to figure it out.

"What kind of dogs?"
Any, though it's particularly bad with dogs her own size.

"Who sniffs who and she did what?"
The other dogs usually start the sniffing and she stands stock still. She doesn't usually get upset when this happens. She gets upset when they want to play.

"What did the owners do and react?"
Most of the women who come get all nervous. I don't. I have better luck with men who bring larger dogs. She'll get along fine with the 200lb great dane and go completely nuts over a 10lb Pomeranian. Go figure. Maybe little dogs are neurotic?

Oh! Also there's baking. If a dog gets in her face she will bark. It starts as a low rumble growl and gets into the biggest bark she can muster if the other dog won't back off.
Is she spayed?
Yes. She was spayed at 5 months.

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