Sam is super possessive of me, and very protective around new people and dogs. Sometimes if I`m sick or not feeling well he doesn`t even like my family coming near me, and will hardly leave my side to even go in to the yard to go potty. It`s not really an issue, he`s never bitten anyone and I doubt he would unless he was seriously upset or cornered, but I was just wondering if anyone else`s corgi did this? He`s not like this with food or toys, or even his crate. Just me.
Also, it isn`t a clingy thing. He`s not a clingy dog at all, and doesn`t seem to have any sort of separation anxiety when I leave him. He just doesn`t like me being messed with.
This is another form of resource guarding. You're right that it has nothing to do with separation anxiety or clingyness. It's not necessarily a corgi thing, but a dog thing. I've seen dogs do this when we attempt to introduce a new dog to the family. If the resident dog guards its people, its generally not going to be a good place for a new dog.
Will Sam hurt anyone? Hard to say. That depends on if his guarding behaviour progresses, or remains at the level that you describe as "not really an issue." If it does progress, or if you are around young children, then it may be a problem that may need addressing. I don't really know how to do this. I know how to handle food or toy guarding, but people guarding requires some expert advice.
Maybe someone else here has some more specific advice.
Lilly is a little possessive. She just likes to be the only one by my lap, and she follows me from room to room. It was not too bad until I started volunteering at the shelter. I came home smelling like other dogs, and she got a whole lot worse. She started to actually go after the other dogs when they came near me. I had to stop going to the shelter, and she has gotten a little better, but now she is fighting with dogs that we have seen since she was a baby. We are really hitting the terrible twos, she will be two on may 9th. And we are going back to obedience class. And we are starting to go to herding class to focus her energy. She is still a diva though!
Donna, you may find the Halti brand of head halter helpful in outdoors or obedience class situations as it gives you control of the mouth. You can revert to the collar when appropriate. The Halti should fit snugly behind the ears, or it could come off... Those Shelter dogs need you :-)
Maddie, I completely agree with Julia. He is not a bad dog, but he is misguided in his idea of what his role and relationship with you is. Having a dog like you describe can be flattering in a sense, but no one needs to be protected from friendly strangers, let alone friends and family, no matter what the circumstances! In this case the very clear message has to come from you ( that you will not tolerate these shenanigans and are NOT his property. YOU decide who's OK and who is not ). If you are not 100% convinced that this behavior is inappropriate, potentially dangerous and unwanted, it will not work. Make no excuses. To help hm learn, you can use the word "friend" as you see someone approaching and correct for any inappropriate reaction after that. Since guarding is a form of dominance, teaching him the down-stay position and enforcing this as a correction in the moment, can be a good tool in a non threatening and calming way. You can then reward the down-stay ( after a few minutes ). Make sure you have a solid down-stay before you apply the technique in the guarding scenario.
Brodie is like this to some degree with me, which is kind of surprising since he only showed up here a couple of months ago. But he reminds me of my Dalmatian who was very guardy of me. I just try to make sure he understands that things are not threatening to me, and then he's ok with it. It was more of an issue with the Dal because I was single and lived in the city. I liked his protection (was part of why I wanted him) but didn't want a lawsuit! What I learned after some time was that I could trust his instincts--if he didn't like someone new that came around, nine times out of ten he was right and they weren't to be trusted. My neighbors learned to trust him too. Every dog in the neighborhood could be barking and they didn't pay attention until Sam barked. If he barked there was something going down and they had better check it out! LOL
Chris, I loved your post because it makes for a very good example on several fronts.
1) the Dalmatian fit in with your psychological needs and his natural inclinations were patterned to those needs. Indeed you were attracted to that type personality of dog in the first place, so no coincidences.
2) You are absolutely right about being able to trust a dog's instincts about people, but this only works if you have a dog that likes most people, so when they don't like someone, it's unusual and you pay attention. My comment here is that we all have those instincts and can learn to pay attention to them more closely.
3) The barking is another good example. A dog that barks at everything is useless, an annoyance you tune out, if you can. A dog that barks rarely, you trust and you go check it out. There may not be a threat, but you know something unusual is going on.
4) Nobody wants or needs a lawsuit.