Hi. I was wondering if you could give me a hand with my dog´s behavior.

He is a year and half and doesn´t obey a single command, if you call him he may or may not come, if you chastise him for something he will growl at you and raise his hackles, he has even tried to bite my parents a couple of times and he bit my 4 year old niece last Easter (ever since that incident we can´t leave him alone with my nieces, he might be playing with them just fine and then start growling at them).

Also he is afraid of loud noises, I can´t even take him out for a walk anymore, even light traffic sounds will scare him so that he turns around and starts pulling like crazy back home; he is specially afraid of thunder, it terrifies him. What´s odd is that he wasn´t afraid when he was younger, I was able to take him for walks just fine, he wasn´t scared at all. I don´t know when his fear started, my aunt says it was probably when my dad kicked him (he flew about 3 feet) off my niece´s foot.

He also drives us nuts with his constant barking. The phone rings? He barks. Someone rings the doorbell? He barks like crazy. My grandmothers calls for my mom using her bell? Off he goes (and follows my mom out and bites at her ankles for good measure -he never did stop his nibbling/herding instinct-).

He also drives the cat crazy, he licks her up and down (he is specially fond of her butt) and chases her, and whenever he gets a chance he´ll eat her poo (and even lick her pee).Having someone train him is unfortunately out of the question, I cannot afford it.

Thanks a lot in advance.

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Your post is similar to many posts about young dogs who were not socialized adequately for one reason or another and were not taught to respect their owners. I may be the first one to respond, but I am sure you will get plenty of good suggestions from people who have tons of experience raising corgis. One of the best tips for improving behavior is to Goggle Nothing In Life Is Free. I adopted my dog as an adult. She was mistreated and surrendered to a shelter so she came loaded with baggage. She was overly submissive, but had some fear aggression which is a tough mix. She was afraid of everything, and every noise. I think she lived chained outside so she never got to adjust to various stimuli from the real world. In my case, helping her experience situations with support but insisting she not growl which she did often or bark, which was rare. You live with others so you can practice having them call, knock, ring bells and such and reward him only when he is quiet, even for a second. You can get a bell and ring it yourself in training sessions, then reward him again anytime he is quiet after you ring it. You don't need to reprimand him if he barks, just a calm no, and a reward when he is quiet should do. Once he learns to respect you, which the Nothing In Life is Free theory helps teach. he will be eager to please you and become very teachable. The biting is very concerning though. Someone else may have advice about that. Dogs should NEVER be left alone with children because children don't understand dog behavior and they often play with them in ways that make the dog feel threatened which leads to biting that would not happen if the owner was supervising carefully. As for the cat poop, they LOVE it. Not sure why, but they can't get enough of the stuff. Maybe using a child gate in the doorway of the room where the litter box is kept would let the cat get in but keep the dog out. As for licking the cat, my dog licks her stuffed animals a lot. Not sure why, but it seems to be a nurturing, non-aggressive thing at least. There are many good tutorials online that show some training tips, but again, you need to gain his respect first so he will be motivated to listen and want to respond to demands/requests. Positive teaching is best, in fact corgis in particular do not respond to punishment and harsh criticism. You want respect, not resentment. He is very cute by the way. I think you will be surprised at how much he can change if he begins to get consistent training and rewards. Good luck!

I agree with Holly.  I just looked at your home page and noticed that you got him at an extremely young age. That could be part of the problem.  There's nothing that can be done about that now. Did you meet his parents?  There could be a genetic component...again too late to do anything about that. Corgis are usually very smart, but also very opinionated so they are quite good at manipulating people.  Dog's personalities often can change quite a bit around puberty...10 mos to 2 yrs approx.  Is he neutered?  That MIGHT help.  I saw in reading your posts that he was apparently suffering from some kind of allergies after you got him.  Did you get that figured out? If he is uncomfortable/ in pain that could drastically affect his behavior.  It would be good to have him checked out by a vet to rule out any physical problems.  Use a firm but loving hand and reintroduce him to things that scare him gradually and from a distance.  Group obedience classes would be a good idea.  Also, there are many good dog training books out there.  Good luck...he is a very handsome boy.

Thanks for the replies and the pointers, I´ll give some of them a try at some point.

I did meet the parents but very briefly so I cannot vouch for their behavior. Regarding his alleged allergies they disappeared in time, he no longer bites/scratches like he used to, just the normal amount. Regarding the neutering I would only do that if there was a medical reason (such as prostate problems, like with my previous dog -a Beagle-).

It is up to you of course, but I would be inclined to treat this as an urgent matter and to treat training in general as something that occurs throughout his lifetime. It really is easy to fit giving praise, toys and small treats for desired behaviors into your daily routine. Good personalities are not just the result of genetics. With rare exceptions, great dogs are the result of proper care and ongoing training. They may have a certain temperament , but they behave as they do over time based on their living conditions. If they do not see their owners as the ones in charge they often pick up undesirable behaviors since they assume they need to step up and be in charge. If they trust us to be the boss then they can relax and follow our rules. I would hate to see your poor dog become so aggressive you cannot keep him.

Although he´s certainly got a temper I doubt he would become overly aggressive. I doubt he respects us though. We tend to spoil our dogs (my beagle certainly was spoiled and stubborn, but he was never aggressive), so getting him to see us as the boss will probably require quite a bit of effort.

Sorry to hear you are having problems! Corgis are smart, independent dogs who thrive (more than some more laid-back dogs) on consistency and rules but resent a heavy hand. So no physical corrections, but keep a regular schedule. Do some fun obedience training several days a week. Make sure he gets plenty of exercise and play time.

Here's a discussion on recall training that is a good starting point:


Exercise is an issue since due to his fear of loud noises I cannot take him out for walks, he can only run around freely in the garden, and it´s not that big.

Does he like to play ball that he could chase this in the garden to tire him out?

I will tell you what you do not want to hear, you should neuter him.  It is not necessary to neuter all male dogs, but when you have dominance issues ( growling and biting ) it is the first step you need to take, because the  longer you wait the less effective the  neutering will be as those behaviors, fueled by hormones, will have become habitual and habits are always hard to break.  Training a dog does not necessarily require affording a trainer, there are many good books available and many free training videos on the internet.  Even a search on this site will give you tons of information.  What IS required is time, effort, commitment and determination on your part to learn how to handle him properly.  If you had handled him properly from the beginning, it's unlikely he would be the way you describe today.  Like parents who have totally out of control young children, you cannot fault the dog, but the upbringing.  My words may sound harsh, but I have seen too many dogs given away, or  surrendered to shelters,  or put to sleep for behavior problems such as you describe.  I know you love your dog or you would not have sought advice here and not put up with all this from him until now.  You can still turn it around, but the longer you wait in this situation, the harder it will become to do so.  "Chastising" the dog will only make things worse and is not a training method.  Pick ONE THING to start working on and build on success, then moving on to the next one.  The NILF techniques are an excellent suggestion in general.  Best wishes.

Please bear in mind that the chastising does not involve beatings, mostly just shouting at him to be quiet (my parents can really lose it when shouting at him, sometimes I think they are going to pop a blood vessel or something), not to do something or to come back inside the house (he is mostly inside, he does not have free access to the garden but he does have access to the backyard and the roof). I will occassionally involve threatening him with a rolled up newspaper, which we sometimes use on the floor or some other surface to make noise and try to get his attention (sometimes I think he has ADD)

Can you try giving him a treat for being "good". The positive reinforcement will help. If you ask him to "sit" and he does give him a very tiny treat. Do not do anything if he does not. Soon he may learn that when you ask him to do something and he does that he gets a reward. You would have to do this every time. Even a piece of dog food or cheese that he likes will work. If you ask him to sit and he does not know how....you have him close enough for you to bring his head up and then his butt will sit on the floor. This needs to be done often for him to get the positive part of this.

Ahhh, shouting at the barking corgi seems a natural reaction for folks. My brother used to do that with my dog until I pointed out that by shouting he was responding to her bark - telling her "let's keep talking at this volume". A low tone hiss or grunt works better. To teach "quiet" goes pretty quick - this site talks about options! If the parents can help, it may give them something to do when he barks that is more construtive.


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