My husband's corgi, Buzz, seems to be going completely insane.
Avery's had Buzz since before we started dating and I feel obligated to connect with his dog, but I find it hard to have a good relationship with Buzz. While my husband and I were dating and living separately, he'd bring Buzz to visit and, on occasion, I'd keep Buzz for a week or so. Buzz was great! He got along with my pug, he got along with me, and I never had any problems with him. After I moved in with my husband, Buzz seemed to change.
He became very territory and fear aggressive. He'd start fights with my pug over food, toys, and even their crate. He seems to think that the crate is his property and he will take all of his toys and treats in there and then growl, snarl, and even attack anyone who gets too close. If you try to get him out of his crate, he will growl and try to bite. He growls when you try to push him off the couch, pick him up, or sometimes just walking too close to him will trigger this aggression. He pees all over the place in fear when he knows he's done something bad, yet he continues to do bad things! He's to the point now where I can not trust him at all. Buzz has bitten me and my husband numerous times now over "his" stuff. He has also, after being scolded, hiked his leg on me and my husband. He also barks constantly at everything. The most annoying thing is that he barks and sometimes even lunges at your face when you SNEEZE! I have horrible seasonal allergies, so I am sneezing a lot and can't deal with having him snap at my face. My husband loves his dog and wants to fix the problem, but I am the one that is home all day with Buzz and so I need to be the one that trains him. I love dogs and have always had dogs. I am good at training them from pups, but have never had to jump into training a 4-year-old with extremely bad habits and manners. Is there a way we can fix this behavior before Buzz tears our family to shreds (literally!)?
And before anybody suggests a behaviorist/trainer, know that we live in Nowhere, Missouri. Dog trainers in MO don't need to have any certifications or anything, and after looking around, there aren't any trainers anywhere near us that would even think about dealing with aggressive dogs. I need advice/tips that I can do on my own or with the help of my husband.
Are both the dogs spayed or neutered now? If not that would be my first move. Certainly it will not solve everything but it may help, especially with the leg lifting. Definitely keep up with the NILF training, both you and your husband need to be 100% consistent with it. Make him do something for you EVERY time he wants something. A treat, a toy, a walk, etc. If he's aggressive over his food I would start hand feeding him. And exercise! Like Bev said at least two half hour walks a day.
As far as the sneezing thing goes, I guess what I would probably try is every time he snaps at you I would give a stern NO, and put him on a time out either in an xpen or another room. Leave his leash on him if he tries to run away so he's easier to grab.
He is neutered, the pug is not yet spayed but will be soon. I think the biggest obstacle with the training is going to get my husband to do what I tell him! :P He always feels bad for Buzz when Buzz doesn't get his way which is part of why Buzz doesn't respect me. I'll tell Buzz one thing and my husband will tell him differently. So, step 1- Train the husband, Step 2- train the Buzz!
I also live in rural Missouri. If you feel like you need help "Bark Busters" will come to you. I live an hour from where our trainer comes from (Springfield) and he goes up to Waynesville and all the way south of Joplin. There are several other Bark Busters trainers around the state and they split up the territory. http://www.barkbusters.com/
We got Bear as a year old dog with a lot of bad habits and have been working with our trainer since January. We've had a lot of success with Bear since we started. The fee seems steep when you first look at it. However, they come to you as many time as you need them to for life for one set fee.
Hope this helps.
Here is a list of recognized AKC CGC (Canine Good Citizen) Evaluators. That is your best shot of finding a reputable dog trainer. Many CGC Evaluators are actually pretty decent dog trainers. I know the one back in my hometown was wonderful. The program has some accountability through AKC and not just anybody can make the claim.
You'll have to select Missouri and I can't remember about the rest of the towns but I did see one in St. Roberts which I know is near the Fort. I lived in West Plains for a long time and now just live a few hours west in Kansas.
Take heart! You already have good advice about NIFL, Cesar, and Victoria It's amazing that you don't need to hire a trainer, but you have to train yourself, and you have to be consistent. We almost put our Corgi down recently because we thought his biting was incurable. He bit my husband and son earlier this year - he thought his job was protecting me! He thought he was in charge. Not sure we are 100% over it, but a collar with internal prongs (looks medieval) gets Wafl's attention. He's a big Corgi (37 lbs) and is too strong for a regular choke collar, and he's too stubborn for anything less. I rarely have to pull hard on it, but since we started training with this collar, and some other reminders - like he has to sit and wait before we go in or out ANY door - things definitely improved for all of us. We are still working with him, and sometimes just put him out of the room (gently) if we are too lazy to deal with a possible "hostage situation"! Who knew it would be this much work to train a smart dog??? Good luck!