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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Vicky.....I know!  And we never figured what it was she didn't like.  Was it a reminder of the first wife or maybe she had a real thing about corgi fur covering everything.  I will say that Max (the fluffy) came to us weighing 54 lbs and shaved bald.  But the sweetest personality you could want.  We were so impressed with his breeding that we contacted the breeder and aksed about another one.  She had Katie she was retiring so we got her.  We thought originally they were uncle and niece but found out they are actually cousins, their mothers were sisters.  Totally different personalities...where Max is quick to learn something Katie has a mind like a box of rocks.  The simplest thing like teaching her to sit..forget it.  She stands beautifully tho...I think that is from being in the show ring. She is quiet to Max's noisiness but has the pack mentality when it comes to food or never hand her a treat, you toss it or lose a finger.  Max is polite and smells it first before he calmly takes it.

"A mind like a box of rocks" Heeeee! That's good. Much better than "got the short end of the stick when IQ points were passed out."

If you got children around and the dog is a threat to them get rid of it.  It's honorable that you are concerned about it being abused in a new home and if you're confident he can't be rehomed then you need to put it down.  Period - your first responsibility is to the people you love and care for. - this shouldn't be a difficult decision.  You are responsible for this dog and anything you think it might do or happen to it in the future.

It took us 4 trips to the ER and countless other unprovoked attacks on people before we put our 12 year old Snoopy down.  I don't regret the decision at all - it had to be done and as far as I am concerned we didn't do it soon enough.

To put this in perspective (ie. I'm not a heartless troll) our 11 year old Genie couldn't move her backside, was becoming incontinent and was having seizures when we put her down.  In hindsight I regret our decision knowing how much our convenience played a part in the decision.  

We had those 2 Corgis and now we have 4 new ones.  Oh sure they're all rays of sunshine but they're dogs.  I don't know a Corgi that gets along well with strange dogs and IME it's not unusual for them to fight among themselves.  Some people seem to think these are cute sissy dogs and I disagree - these active and involved not so little spitfires.  That's what I like about them.  I think you gotta expect an occasional bite or scratch if you got more than a single dog.

Just my 2 cents....

"I don't know a Corgi that gets along well with strange dogs": that's an interesting observation from a long-term corgi owner. other corgi fanciers here have that experience? That is, I"m asking if in many people's experience dog-aversiveness is common among corgis, as it is among German shepherds. With the new Pup arriving tomorrow, if there's a breed-wide characteristic here, I'd like to be prepared.

Cassie is not dog-aversive. Neither is she the effusive type. She doesn't want to run over and start playing with a strange dog. But on the other hand she shows no sign of wishing to rip out its jugular. If another dog owner comes over with a bouncy pooch, she reacts calmly, puts up with and participates in the customary sniffing routine, and then stays calm.

So far, she has tolerated the presence of other dogs in our house and she gets along just fine when I take her to the homes of friends who have dogs, ranging from a very cranky dachshund to a surprisingly laid-back doberman. I would not call her overly friendly, but on the other hand, she isn't hostile to other dogs.

On the third hand, where my son's golden retriever is concerned, she definitely has him flummoxed: he weighs 90 pounds now, and he still believes she's bigger than he is.

Any dog bites can be serious; the size of the dog doesn't change that fact. My neighbor had to have surgery on her hands and arm after their teeny little toy-sized terrier breed lost its temper with her one day.

Vicky...I totally disagree that "corgis don't get along with strange dogs"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! First and foremost it is part of their "puppy training". You need to slowly help your pup learn how to socialize in all situations and by having them "meet" dogs that you know will be friendly for the 1st few encounters.

It's always good when they are older to have the dogs on a leash when my home when a new pup comes or I'm babysitting another dogs are expected to behave. Having positive expectations and helping them "learn" is the key....NOT making an assumption that they "won't get along.

Hope this makes sense! 

Well, I do know that Cassie was raised with a golden lab, a cat, and a young child. She dotes on children, wants to kiss cats, and is cool with dogs.That, I think, is the kind of upbringing that does help a dog that might be a breed inclined to dog-aversiveness overcome any such tendency.

I have no children or grandchildren and would have to make "play dates" with my friends to get the pooches together. HowEVER... The neighborhood is turning over once again, this time for the better: a passel of young professionals is moving in, and they're bringing their lovely young children. Hurrah! The newest pair have a beautiful little girl and the mom is expecting twins. We have twins at the other end of the block, too. This will provide plenty of small kids for us to socialize with during our walks around the 'hood.

And as soon as the vet is confident that the puppy immunizations have taken hold...there's this sidewalk cafe-like affair (we could call it a "parking-lot cafe") at a favorite gourmet grocery store here in town. EVERYONE takes their dogs there and sits around to socialize. This means the dogs get socialized, too. And then there's a ridiculously upscale shopping center that has these grassy lawns. The Humane Society has a little store in that center, and they've talked management into persuading the mall's retailers to let shoppers bring their dogs into the stores. You're allowed to bring your dog into any store that doesn't serve food! Mwa ha ha! Perfect place to hang out with Pup. On summer evenings, they have outdoor movies to keep you and your dog amused.

Heh...actually, this is where I found out about the Wittman breeder: spotted a lady with a pretty little corgi pup there, and she told me where she'd bought it.

If there's any tendency whatsoever for dog-shyness in this breed, then for sure the socialization will start early and be intensive.

Vicky, We have several grandchildren who have trained all our pups and their parents..I swear my dogs feel bad if a child doesn't pay attention to them. Even Wiley my rescue who a few years ago would get scared when she heard a baby cry is now fine with kids sitting by her and petting her.

Pet stores are a great place after your pup is vaccinated too as many times there are dogs and kids there. I have also found that many of the children know how to treat dogs because they already have them.

Socializing is fun as long as you're not feeling stressed (I never could figure out why Wynn would growl at the Great Danes or bigger fault...he was feeling my stress and the minute I realized this and made myself aware that I needed to be calm...he was too. Doggie parties and fun too:)

You'll do fine!

I don't disagree with what you are saying Jane - except your total disagreement with the Corgi's I know (lol).  What can be and what is are rarely the same thing.  Much of a dogs character is determined by how they are treated/handled by the breeder.  Of the 8 dogs I am familiar with 2 came with mean streaks and 2 came well handled and completely pliable.  The other 4 came somewhere in between.  It's not an easy thing to change a dog's attitude or outlook and no doubt it would be easier to make a nice dog mean than a mean dog nice.  If someone want's a dog to hang out in dog parks or outdoor cafe's with other people's dogs one should find a breeder who is gonna deliver that kind of dog in the first place (then hope bad experiences don't ruin that attitude).  Don't assume or expect to get one that can be trained to be that way.  In spite of our denial most of us are average people and we really aren't gonna be able to put in the time or make the correct effort to change a dogs attitude.

Donald, aggression and sociability in general are highly heritable, it's true.  However, Corgis are NOT especially known for having high levels of inherited aggression (any dog can turn out that way, but Corgis, unlike terriers and Malamutes, are not noted for being highly dog-aggressive and indeed most breeders keep large groups that live in relative peace in the house).   

Virtually no breeder is going to heavily socialize a minimally vaccinated pup with strange dogs.  The good breeders will have heavily socialized the pups with people, but not with strange dogs.  

It is 100% up to the puppy buyer to properly socialize the pup to what the owner wants it to do.  Since we knew that male Corgis can be dominant with strange dogs and we knew we wanted our dog to be peaceful with strange dogs, we introduced him to lots and lots of dogs of all ages, sizes, and temperaments, avoiding only the truly aggressive.  

Dogs need to practice speaking their "native language" of dog if they are going to be good with other dogs.  They learn that by interacting with other dogs, including ones who don't take any nonsense from bratty adolescents.  And at least some of that has to come before the pup is 16 weeks old and the primary socialization window has closed.  It then must continue through young adulthood, with ongoing refreshers thereafter.

If none of your dogs are good with strange dogs, then chances are you did not socialize them with dogs.  Nothing wrong with that;  I grew up with dogs who didn't give a hoot for other dogs at best and didn't like them at all at worst.  It used to be routine for most pet owners to NOT socialize dogs with other dogs.  

But please don't put on the breed what is a function of socialization, or lack thereof, with other dogs outside the home.  Of the many many people who post here regularly, only a handful have Corgis who truly don't like other dogs.  My husband and I both work full time and own a home and yet we found time to socialize the puppy we got.  Did it mean we had to temporarily give up some (most) of our other hobbies?  Yes, but we are talking about a six-month period of time, not years.  

Your post puzzles me.  If I recall correctly our dogs were not permitted in public or around strange dogs until they reached 6 months per vet instructions and our dogs were 16 weeks old when we got them from the breeder.

For the most part the character of the dog is already established when it comes home from the breeder.  Whether that dog is going to have a mean streak, be good with cat's, other dogs or small children is mostly determined at this point.  I don't deny it's possible to change a dog's character after 16 weeks but it's no small task.  

Don't get me wrong I respect your POV but the problem I have with it is that it minimizes the importance that people choose the right dog before they bring it home.


Don, depending on the breed most breeders send pups home between 8 and 12 weeks.  Pems are usually 10 weeks, per the recommendation of the breed club.  It is very unusual for a breeder to keep ALL the pups til 16 weeks because by then, the socialization window is closed and it is not possible for a breeder to properly socialize each pup in a litter by itself, which is what needs to be done.  I would never buy from a breeder who routinely kept all pups til 16 weeks, though I would consider an individual pup who was older if it had been socialized outside the litter. 

Virtually no one recommends keeping puppies away from other dogs til they are 6 months old, because that guarantees they will be poorly socialized with other dogs.  I think you were given very outdated advice.  The strictest I've heard is to wait til two weeks after the last round of shots, which should be around 4 months, and all the best advice now is to be sure to socialize pup with dogs of known vaccination history well before that.  The weeks between 8 and 16 are critical for the pup's development. 

So again, you are talking about lack of socialization, not a "breed trait."   

You are correct that the dogs you got were already outside the socialization window and so there was not much you can do.  But that is not what most breeders do so that is one thing to keep in mind when hunting for breeders.  

Donald, you make many good points here since much of a dog's temperament is hereditary, and the rest is early socialization.   However, my Mowgli is a rescue, so you can get a good tempered dog that way too.


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