Corgis are usually happy bright rays of sunshine, but Dante has me so frustrated. I've been sitting here with my head in my hands trying to decide what is best at this point. He got attacked two separate times by stray dogs in the neighborhood (his outside time has been strickly monitored since then), and ever since, he's developed severe aggression. We made huge progress with him (lots of training, therapy, and positive socialization), but lately he's regressed so much that it's almost like he's a wild animal. I'm covered in huge scratches right now because I had to forcibly pull him off of one of my other pups :( I can't rehome him, because in this area it would be a bait dog death sentence! And knowing aggressive he is, I wouldn't be able to send him off with someone with the chance that he could hurt them. I love this dog to bits, but I am seriously bleeding right now because I had to get into the middle of a dog fight. He almost got one of my kids several times in this altercation so now I am genuinely scared.

3/11/14 Update:

After having an enlightening conversation with a rescue lady and a lot of talking, rationalizing, and crying, we decided that letting him rest would be the best and safest option. It was pointed out that the longer we spend trying options with only a slim possibility of helping, is just that much more time that we risk him seriously injuring someone or one of the other dogs. And as many times as the houdini sneaks out of the house we are endangering the kids in the neighborhood too :( So my husband took him to go to sleep today. I wish I could say I was strong enough to be there at the end, but I couldn't bear to be there and stayed home with the kids.

I appreciate the kind words and suggestions from everyone. I wish we could have found the perfect solution for him, but sometimes being sick isn't a physical illness that can be cured or fixed. He has obviously been mentally unwell for some time now, but he's finally getting to sleep peacefully without bother from whatever "demons" that have been haunting him.

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So sorry Vicky.

Thank you for telling your story Vicky. What you describe is a lot like what we are going through. What worries me as much as his behavior is that we don't know where his breeder is, or how many siblings he has out there that could possibly have this same issue. We rescued him from someone that simply didn't want him anymore, and they wouldn't tell us where the breeder was or who they were. Only that he had "problems" with them.

Rachael, even if you knew who the breeder was and wanted to return the dog I would be VERY afraid of 2 things...if he's not fixed would the breeder use him to produce more dogs???? Would he spend his life in some crate never getting out but living in fear and most likely horrible conditions? Personably...I would rather see him not suffering than to live a horrible life!

I have had 2 pups returned to me but not due to anything like this. The 1st was Rosie who lived in a small 2 bedroom apartment and never got the exercise a Corgi really needs and the 2nd was due to "the boyfriend doesn't like him"neither was due to any  dog issues and Rosie's new owner always tells me "Thank-you for giving me my best friend". Parker lives near a sibling and has a wonderful life...there's a difference...

It's heart-breaking. If it's any comfort at all, in retrospect I realized that Jerry, the vet whom the GerShep tried to pounce, was right -- that after three incidents, we had avoided a serious injury only by sheer luck, and that sooner or later something very bad would happen.

Mighty suspicious that these people wouldn't tell you anything about the breeder. Sounds a lot like a puppy mill, doesn't it?

I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. It would be wonderful if a solution can be found. But one way or the other, the safety of children is paramount -- and that of the adults around them needs to be kept in mind, too.

If you want to make sure you've tried everything, then you might talk to your vet to see if medication might take the edge off enough for counter-conditioning to be effective.

Other than that, a dog who attacks on sight is not really safe for itself, its people, or the community.  I have been at the receiving end of charges by dogs who are so incensed by just the sight of another dog that it drives them to go to extreme measures to attack, and wondered why on earth people are out and about with such animals.  I know you would feel just awful if Dante got loose outside the home and killed or seriously injured someone else's dog. 

So if medication isn't an option or does not help, then I am sad to say your only options are to try to find a VERY experienced person with the facilities to crate-and-rotate and the desire to take on a project dog, or euthanasia.   I am so sorry and can't imagine how you must feel.   Big hugs.

Also check out the Wikipedia article on dog aggression, which has a few hopeful leads.

This could be useful, too:

My heart breaks for you. 

Anna...I agree that some rescues try to place a dog that shouldn't be or they allow it to go to a home where they know there are triggers.  We were given the full history on our first corgi...he did not like little kids (and pretty much why he didn't) and that he was a runner.  Our daughter was in high school so that wasn't a problem and the times we had little kids around we could crate him.  He was never out in our yard alone because of neighborhood kids coming to the fence to the see the doggie.  It took about 2 years before he stopped trying to escape all the time.  I think he finally stopped because he realized he would not be abused or whatever kind of treatment he received that made him want to leave.  But whenever he heard a loud voice he would run to his crate and hide...he never stopped doing that all the years we had him. Thankfully that was a good rescue but I've heard too many stories of dogs being returned again and again.

I am so sorry for what you went thru.  Indiscriminate breeding has ruined so many of the popular breeds.  You really have to do your homework on the breeder today.  Golden Retrievers were always touted as the best family dog and they became so popular.  Now they are listed as one of the breeds most likely to bite.  It makes me angry.

Linda, I have 2 rescues from a puppy mill that are afraid of loud noises and voices...luckily they are the most loving dogs in the world:) It breaks my heart when they run and's gotten much better but they will always do this to some degree. Wiley and Teddy were among 30 dogs that the woman was made to surrender...I have no clue how many other Corgis the woman had.

Jane...that's how we got Max, he was returned to his breeder not because of anything he did but because "the new wife didn't like him."  Tim & his boys got Max as a puppy and raised him for 5 years and they were brokenhearted when the ultimatum was given.  We keep in touch with Tim every couple of months to let him know how Max is doing, we send him pictures and we know he is grateful that Max is in a good home.  We also keep in touch with Karen from Crystal Corgis (and Heronsway) about both her dogs, I know she is happy to hear about them.

It breaks your heart when you can't help a dog to have a safe and happy life.  Sometimes, like with Otis, peace is the best gift you can give them.

"The new wife didn't like him..." Some punkins! I wonder if it ever occurred to this fellow that he might have made the right choice in dogs and the wrong choice in women.

It will eventually, no doubt...


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