(I have been away for a very long time, for which I apologize! Life -- and Nellie -- have gotten in the way.)
I know the risks and consequences of an "alpha roll", so I'm not asking about if I should do one or not. However, on the advice of MANY breeders, including my own, my puppy's behavior has escalated to such that they absolutely recommend flipping her on her back -- not in an aggressive, stand over the dog type way, but simply scooping them over with the hand on the chest until they stop struggling.
Nellie has never been the obedient type, not even as a small pup, and she definitely acts like she knows how to get away with stuff, even though I watch her like a hawk and verbally correct her (physically enforcing with body block, if need be). At the risk of humanizing her, I would go as far as to say that she simply doesn't respect me. She's SO independent that 99 out of 100 times she would stay far away from me unless if I have something she wants, in which case she will try to bark at me, jump on me, and do anything to get it out of my hands, and if I body block her she will growl at me. I do NILIF for EVERYTHING since the day she learned sit (going outside, food, water, treats, toys) and it's the same story. When she doesn't comply I don't reward her, but she doesn't care. At certain times, when she does obey, she does it veeeeery slowly and reluctantly. She's not at all praise motivated, not very food motivated and only somewhat toy motivated.
Has anyone else ever had a corgi this standoffish and stubborn who actually improved with the flipping maneuver? Or did NILIF eventually pay off, and how long did it take?
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What do you do for fun with your puppy? What kind of games do you play?
I'm rereading your posts and I'm a bit concerned that you expect perhaps too much of her at too young an age. At 6 months old, no puppy will be "obedient." They should be on their way to being housebroken, getting used to being handled, continuing with socializing, and learning their name, sit, and come (and maybe some tricks) in a fun, upbeat manner. They should have mostly learned not to use their teeth on people and be reasonably polite on a leash. Every training session should be less than 3 to 5 minutes long (micro-sessions of thirty seconds are even better). Pup should only be asked to comply when she is totally paying attention to you and you 100% know she will listen. Training should still be a game, and she should not really be asked to perform in situations where she might not, so the "don't reward her" should not come into play, since you should have set it up so she ALWAYS complies because that's what she was planning on doing anyway.
She should think you are the most fun thing in the room and every experience should end on a good note. If she struggles you should be backing up to something she knows well and doing it once and finishing with a huge praise party, even if that something is just looking at you when you say her name.
Ask her to come when she's already running to you, ask her to sit when her fanny is going down. I don't think respect has much to do with it as perhaps having started being too strict with her too soon and burning her out a bit.
IF all her training to this point was fun and games, then at six months you start very slowly tightening your expectations of her.
Most of her manners come from physically controlling the situation, not by rules. If you watch adult dogs with puppies, most of them grant "puppy license" to pups that are up to about 7 months old or so. They really allow puppies to violate many of the rules of dogdom and only correct the worst behavior 95% of the time, adult dogs let pups know they are obnoxious by ignoring them.
So what we can do to mimic that is with young pups, we use baby gates and doors and natural barriers to our advantage. If pup is being jumpy and mouthy, we turn away and act like a tree, hands across chest, and look at the sky. If the puppy then stops the bratty behavior, we resume play. If the puppy escalates, we step over the gate or out of the room for a minute or two and the puppy learns that if she is a brat, she chases us away and the fun is over.
NILIF is usually too much structure for a puppy who is just learning. We would not expect a kindergarten child to do all her homework and put herself to bed, and remove her privileges if she did not. We build to that point so that when they are teens they are more self-directed.
Puppies have very short attention and very little control. If you have been doing NILIF when training should still have been fun and a game to her, she has decided that there is not much in it for her to be near you because you set expectations she could not possibly reach and took away her fun when she did not meet them. Training then becomes an exercise in frustration instead of a bonding experience for the two of you.
I think you had trainers who led you astray. I know you have tried very hard to do the right thing. My suggestion is to do some research, find a trainer who has dogs who wag their tails with shiny eyes when they see her coming, and work a few sessions with them.
Dogs work with us because they find it rewarding. If they are working out of fear of consequences, you will never get the best out of your dog. My dogs think training sessions are the best thing ever because I always made them fun, and I always stopped before the dog got bored or frustrated.
Reset your expectations. If she is not listening to you, stop yourself from thinking "she's stubborn" or "she's disobedient." Tell yourself instead that she does not know what you expect of her and help her learn those expectations in a way that is enjoyable for you both.
She's still a baby. Life should be fun.
I think Beth said it best!
Linus was described by the breeder as "ornery". He was stubborn and quite the little fire ball. We did very very little "training" with him until he was over 6 months old. We worked on handling him, got him to stop mouthing/nipping, potty training, and responding to his name, but that was about it. He was pretty stubborn, Finally, at 15 months old, we just enrolled him in the classes at PetSmart and he's really doing great. We mostly just enjoyed him while he was small. I'm actually amazed at how much he has calmed down and sweetened up as a "teenager".
I have to agree with what Beth said. I have trained all my dogs for obedience but I have always made it fun for them and that makes it fun for me. One of the saddest sights I've seen in obedience is a dog on recall that has it ears down, tail tucked and has no enthusiasm when going towards their handler. I want my dogs to come flying to me because they are happy about it and you don't get that by having a heavy hand when training. And that starts when they are young.
I "alpha roll" my corgi from the time i got him, til now a days. I have never had or owned a dog prior, but for my corgi, it seems to work and lets him know that what he has done is "bad" or he needs to chill-lax with his rough behavior. My puppy is rather "attached" to my husband and will go momentarily nuts when my husband is out of sight for him (and he thinks i'm not around to correct his behavior) ..... a bit of separation anxiety with my husband. He was a bit aggressive and quite mean as a young puppy towards me, but we stuck with his training and corrected bad behaviors, with a few scars (on me) to show for it. LOL....
While he was a young puppy training him, teaching him the "alpha roll" or emphasis of it, i'd roll him to the ground and keep my fingers around his neck/collar area as a "mouth" biting him and hold it there and tell him "TIME OUT" and remove my hands when he stop wiggling or trying to nip or mouth at the hand. If he got rougher, i'd put him into his isolation - time out location, which he hates more than anything in the world... and would willingly soon choose to do his "pinned" time out, rather than his isolation time out. at least then, he'd be able to be around us and 'chill out'.
NOW that he's 11 months old, and when he does do something bad, and i tell him "time out", he readily rolls over and lays in his side until i give him his release que.... or if he is trying to push my buttons and test his limits, i'll sit down next to him and "glare" at him and snap downwards and tell him time out, and he'll plop down and "sigh" and lay there. he knows that if my hands has to touch him for "time out", it means isolation, and he does not want to do it.
i know my ways are rather "harsh" for a younger puppy, but I need him to understand that when he does something wrong, then it's WRONG and i do not agree with that really bad behavior.
When he does do good behaviors, he gets TONSSS of praises and happy voices and cheese chunks or apple chunks or his bacon flavored treats.
It seems to pay off now... of course, he only really listens to me when i do commands or my alpha rolls on him or anything really .... since he knows there is something "worse" in store if he doesn't listen to me when i tell him "time out" the first time. He tends to brush off everyone else in my family and just "cute puppy play" around them to make them forget that he did something "bad" to them.
He knows how to use his pupppy face and antics to get his way with my family.
This post about 11 month old Momo by his first time dog owner speaks for itself to anyone with more lived experience in dog training and dog behavior and It saddens me no end. You have made a battleground of dog ownership and created an anxious, rough dog in that process, who rebels as a first choice and cooperates out of fear. . I saw one of your posts March 13 entitled "He bit me". What saddens me is that you have tried to do the right thing, but I would frankly not want to be your dog. He is still very young and, if you were open to seeing through the blinders of your harsh methods, you would be able to make long term changes that would benefit this relationship. I join in your * sigh*
Not that i think i need to defend my own personal training techniques i've learned this from the various dog trainers i've watched, learned and paid for, i think that my trainings have been quite useful for myself and my dog.
I may not be a pro dog trainer, but from the pros that i have learned from and applied to my dog and myself, I know my dog is quite happy now and has the proper discipline needed to be a well adjusted obedient dog now, rather than the crazy attacking lil puppy (for the first 2-3 months after we got him) dog when i first received him. NOW, He no longer bites or attacks me, he listens to my commands, and his pretty much the well rounded dog that everyone wants to be around and play with.
Like children, I believe dogs need proper discipline and love of the same level, not just one or the other. I never do one without the other, and i sincerely believe that Momo is very well off now (at least compared to the dogs i see around where we live and to the rest of my family's pets-- as everyone who has met MOMO has told me i have such a well behaved & extremely friendly lil dog).
I have no regrets for my training tactics that i have learned from many other dog trainers and dog behavior pros. I have combined their teachings and helped me to help me and momo communicate as best as we can, between human and canine and understand each other. He's relaxed and chill when we are not home, and is able to lay down beside us and just play with his toy bones and balls while we watch tv or have dinner. I truly believe i have helped momo turn from not so nice attacking 10-11 week old puppy to wonderful delightful 11 month dog.
i know when i first started posting on here on mycorgi for "help", i was trying to figure out how to deal with the "not so nice" momo, but from learning and applying my training techniques from the pros, i have a now calm obedient momo that i'm proud to show off to family and friends and strangers when they meet him. So i do apologize if my prior posts of the past seems like i'm just hammering away at Momo's sanity... believe me, i was not. But I laid out the ground rules that he must follow, and just live a simple happy life of a "pack follower", and leave the "hard thinking protecting work" to me and his adoptive daddy... as best as i can explain it. That his only concerns in life should just be "eat, sleep, play, and potty". :D
I have no doubt that the tactics you've used come from trainers you've watched observed and paid for, nor that, to some degree, they have worked in the way you intended. Harsh and abusive methods can also give results, but at what price to the one on the receiving end....
Harsh abusive methods have been used on all types of animals, women, children and minorities throughout the history of mankind exactly because they do yield results for the one that can assert him or herself by exerting, or threatening, physical and /or psychological intimidation, pain or harm.
Crude methods are unnecessary and advocated by those who do not know what it's like to truly work WITH someone rather than AGAINST. They are often born of frustration and anger, rather than from understanding and always, only, towards someone with less power.
Your end comment that his only concern in life should be to "just eat, sleep play and potty" reduces the dog to nothing more than a possession for your pleasure and flies in the face of the wonderful, selfless service these animals have and do perform every day in too many ways and roles to specify. (Service dogs, police dogs, therapy dogs, search and rescu dogs, working dogs in all capacities from hunting to herding, to guarding to tracking).
OMG...seriously? Am I the only one offended by your tone? This is exactly why I am seriously considering leaving this site. WHY do many of you insist on chiding those who don't agree with your methods?? What we do works for us, and for our animals. It is not being harsh and abusive, there is no abuse in this method at all. It is about talking in dog language, NOT human language. Do I need to take my dogs to therapy then when one snaps at another one for playing too hard and stands over them with their mouth on their neck until they calm down? Seriously? I would absolutely love to have our dogs get together to meet and see who's is the better of the group, because I guarantee you mine would win. You cannot place human restrictions on a dog, nor can you rationalize with them promising a treat for good behavior. Dogs live in the moment. They look to you to be their leader. You don't see the alpha dog of the pack saying, "Now now, stop that please and I'll give you some ice cream for being a good boy"....They punish when punishment is due- and they rule, in fact, by fear. There is no abuse involved, they don't go around bullying the others into submission, they rule by respect, and that respect is given by the dogs that have learned that they mean business, and that if they don't behave, there are consequences. Don't chide what others do, as long as there is no physical abuse involved, she's not back yard breeding or dumping her dogs off in the country to starve- what do you care? What she's (and I) are doing is perfectly fine, and it works. Learn to not be so judgmental.
"and they rule, in fact, by fear".... I see large groups of dogs interact all the time and this is NOT true. If this is what you see in your dog groups, then you must have a very unsocialized group. The dogs that are scary are dogs that the other dogs treat with a very ginger "That one's a loose cannon" approach. A dog corrects another dog with a loud noise and only moves on to physical correction in extreme circumstances. Pack dynamics are fluid; Jack gets the toys and the food but Maddie gets the laps and is first out the door. Dogs spend way more time giving each other appeasement signals than bossing each other around. Large groups of dogs take great care to do look-aways, blinks, yawns, and tongue-flicks to communicate that they mean no harm. In all the dog interactions I've seen, I have twice had one of mine rolled by another dog. One encounter so terrified her that she ran off and we had trouble catching her. Jack is a natural leader and most dogs defer to him, and he's never once used his teeth on another dog, or physically checked another dog except in play.
Wolf packs are adult parents and their mostly grown offspring. They don't rule by force. They "rule" because they are the ones who know how to hunt and where to find shelter. When resources are abundant, they sometimes temporarily form much larger packs, but then there is usually more than one breeding pair and the dynamics are much less stable.
There were interesting stories about the Yellowstone wolves, once they moved in. There was indeed one alpha bitch who ruled the Druid pack with an iron paw; she was aggressive and harassed the other wolves. The end result? They ganged up on her and killed her.
Look, it's up to everyone how they raise their own dog. But no one should be using NILIF for a young puppy. They lack the maturity and self-control to comply with such strict rules. It is a method that may work for certain dogs in certain homes, but it should NOT be used on a puppy. By both posters' own admission, their dogs only listen if they can physically reach them to correct them. The person who started this thread has a dog who avoids her. That is NOT typical Corgi behavior. Corgis are usually shadow dogs who want to be right by their people all the time.
If your methods sound severe and the puppy does not want to be near you, things are going terribly wrong and it's kinder to tell someone now while the dog is young than let it persist til the dog gets surrendered to a shelter for biting and ends up euthanized.