UPDATE: I believe I may have found the magical cure for Kirby's obnoxious behavior!!!I purchased the collar mentioned below (a shock/vibration remote collar). Oh my goodness I now have a completely different dog! I got it yesterday and used it while in the house and today I used it on our walk. It is waterproof so he can swim in it and it still works. I put it on a very low shock setting at first and then switched it to a moderate vibrate. It is AMAZING. He is now associating the behavior with a shock or vibration and in his mind I am in no way involved in the correction. He is having to think before he acts which he has never done before. Our outting today was ssssssooooooooooo pleasant for everyone! Oddly enough, even Kirby was a lot more mellow and less anxious. I think correcting the running, nipping, barking, etc right away stopped it from progressing into an out of control anxious state. He even came and calmly laid by my side for some petting when we were on the river which he has NEVER done. Usually he won't stop the entire time we are out there because he is so obssessive about harrassing Franklin. It's only been one day but the progress in this one day makes me really hopeful I may have found a solution! Right now both doggies are snoozing in their beds and I am feeling so happy and hopeful! I may actually be able to enjoy my dog! YAY!
Anybody have any suggestions about how to keep Kirby out of the litterbox? As I've mentioned before my house is tiny. The litterbox currently lives in the bathroom where one of the dog water containers is. I have tried raising it but of course he climbs up to get in it, I've caught him with his head in it and squirted him with water and scolded him, but now if he hears me coming or sees that I am looking toward the bathroom he will run off and just do it on the sly. Just now he came back from the bathroom licking his chops and his breath smelled like cat poop. My cats are a bit, ahem...lazy, so if I babygate the bathroom door then one of them will opt to just pee all over my stuff instead of bothering to jump the babygate and go in the litterbox. Any ideas?
Second, I think Kirby has flea allergies. This is a REALLY bad year for fleas and my cat with flea allergies is balding with scabs all over despite constant flea treatment. Kirby is also on Trifexus and Frontline but he is losing hair on his hind end, constantly scratching, and his coat is looking really ragged where is he always chewing. Outside my house are a lot of bushes and grass and maintained by the owners so I can't really manage that, any ideas for inside or something else i can use to keep fleas at bay? Also, where we walk along the levee is long grass and in now way can be managed.
Last, does anybody have any experience using a remote control training collar? I'm at my wits end as far as training this little terror when out on walks. He's excellent when on leash but a terror when off leash. He will torment Franklin constantly, biting and nipping, will only come some of the time, etc. He knows when I am close enough to make him mind, am carrying treats, or when he has a long leash on. I'm thinking of getting the collar (which has sound, vibration, or shock) just to use as an extension of my arm so he will learn even if he is 30 ft away he still has to mind me. He usually comes when called but twice now he has decided it would be in his best interest to totally ignore me and just look at me and head the other way. While I live in an area that this behavior won't get him hit by a car or anything like that, having to sit out for an extra 10 minutes to wrangle him is quite frustrating. In my past experience good on leash behavior and obedience always translated to good off leash but not with Kirby. He has ZERO interest in doing what I ask and in pleasing me so if he doesn't feel he has to do it, he won't. I'm just thinking for his safety and my sanity it may work for him to get a remote collar where he is corrected for ignoring me or attacking Franklin and yet the correction isn't associated with me.
I'm about 3 months in to training and owning this dog and I swear I have to talk myself into keeping him on an almost daily basis. I have come up with ads to post and have been about 1 second away from posting on several occassions. His saving grace is that (most of the time) Franklin likes him. He RARELY EVER is good and it makes it REALLY hard to like him (or even pretend to like him). I try to put on a happy face for him, give him cuddles, and love so maybe he will get better, but I have seen very little improvement so far.
I keep seeing these negative statements Melissa...maybe turning into a positive will help both of you. I know that my dogs love kitty boxes too but I turn mine toward the wall with only enough room for a cat to get through. Mine also has a cover.
mine has a cover, turning toward the wall is an excellet idea. I do need to try to find more positive with him, its hard. I try to really praise him when he comes when called and really appreciate that he is actually staying in his ex-pen now. I was able to increase his area a bit as well which is good. I took some video of him and Franklin playing and when he makes me mad I watch the video and see how much fun he and Frank have together and tell myself it is worth it when they have so much fun. Hopefully he will get better with time and age. I'm really crossing my fingers that 6 months down the road I'll have a different dog. Frank had his moments as a puppy and now he is the most amazing dog in the world so I'm just trying to stick things out with Kirby but its sooooo hard some days!!
I know it can be hard to be positive and in 6 months when all is well you'll be able to look back and "smile"...and remember when he was such a devil!!!!
I sure hope so! Maybe I can write a book and make millions of dollars like Marley's owner lol.
I'm not sure how big Kirby is...What about the gates that have a built in cat door? Would he fit through? I keep my litterbox in the laundry room with a gate in the doorway.
Have you tried a baby gate with a pet door? I'm not sure if you could find one with a door small enough to only allow the cats through, but maybe...?
Unfortunately I haven't had to use a remote collar, so I don't have any advice on that. :( and I also think you have far more experience with training dogs, so I don't really think I have anything to offer there. I've only just learned about using yielding to stop unwanted behavior (and it's working
so well, already, for Yuki's on-leash walking and barking/excitement issues!)
Regarding the off-leash issues, I'd say just keep him on leash. If he has demonstrated, repeatedly, that he is not able to control himself in an off-leash situation then I would just keep him on leash. I know it might seem like it's being unfair and maybe he won't be able to burn off as much energy, but he sounds like a pup that needs a *lot* of structure during his puppy years. There are quite a few users on here who have (or have had) young corgis that simply aren't mature enough to be off-leash or trusted to have a lot of freedom until they are 2 years old or older.
I hope that you're able to find a solution for these problems, Melissa. I'd hate to see him rehomed again, but I also know that not every dog is suitable for every person. I really hope you get better advice than I can offer and that we can hear some good news about little Kirby!
Kirby is pretty small (VERY skinny still). One of my cats is actually bulkier than him. I'm going to look for a shorter baby gate than the ones I have. Hoping that maybe a lower one the cats will jump over and not be lazy. Mine now are extra tall to confine Kirby the escape artist.
The bummer about the off leash stuff is he is pretty good most of the time, its just those days (like yesterday) when he decides he isn't going to come when called. The biggest issue I'm having off leash is him constantly biting and herding Franklin. Frank won't correct him for it and does try to avoid him or will just stop and sit down to keep Kirby from harassing him. I really want to try to teach Kirby that running around herding Franklin from a distance is ok but it is not ok to hang off his side or barrell into him full speed. I am worried one or both are going to get hurt.
I also don't think he is truly at risk of being re-homed. I hate the idea of him being passed around from home to home and in all honesty I worry about what would become of a dog like him. With his destructive behavior and they way he interacts with other dogs and people I worry he will go to somebody who has no idea how to deal with a crazy dog and will end up ruining him even more. You bring up a great point about structure, this is something that was obviously lacking in his previous life, so I guess even on our "fun" outtings I do need to keep a lot of structure with him until he proves he can be trusted and accept that listening to me really is in his best interest.
We have had Dolly, our rescue mix, for almost a year now, and I still don't trust her off leash. She has really improved in coming when she is called, but if she sees another dog she would be off to say hi! Give it time and training. Practice on a long lead in lots of situations.
As far as the herding, I have made some progress with Snickers biting Jack by using a squirt bottle.
Have you considered taking both Franklin and Kirby to socialization classes? It seems to be that Franklin doesn't know how to tell another dog to back off and mean it, which is why Kirby persists in his behaviour.
Sheldon (my corgi) and my friend's dog have tried on a few occasions to hang out and be friends. However, since my friend's dog is a lot older, he's learned to communicate very well, so he'd nip at Sheldon and snap at him whenever Sheldon got in his personal space. We eventually took them to the same socialization class together and Sheldon learned appropriate doggy language and knew when to stop bothering other dogs.
I don't know if Franklin will ever be the type of dog to correct other dogs. He is mostly just a lot of noise when telling dogs to give him space and will actually look to me to protect him. When he is approached by confrontational dogs and an air nip/bark doesn't do the trick he will run and try to jump in my arms or run behind me because he knows I will step in, I think he is expecting this from me with Kirby as well. Kirby definitely needs socialization and I have brought him around a few of my friend's dogs who are not tolerant of obnoxious behaviors and will correct him. One of the dogs actually just ignored him! We couldn't figure out why becuase he is usually the type to not tolerate any silly puppy stuff. Kirby is smart enough to have figured out who he can push around and be obnoxious with and who won't tolerate it. I don't know if a socialization class with teach Franklin how to be more assertive in his corrections.
Melissa, when you have as many problems as you've been having with this dog, it's good to understand that every situation is the product of both the dog and the environment. I wrote in a previous post " ultimately this may not be the dog for you " or something to that effect. He may work better in a different household, with someone who is mostly home, where he is the only dog ( a least for awhile) etc. etc. Ideally, if someone had this dog that owned their own home and worked during the day, I would recommend setting up an outdoor kennel run and bringing the dog in only when the people are home. Then he could not get in trouble, nor be blamed for it. When you have 10 problems in a new dog, you need to concentrate on the two or three at the most that matter more and stay with that until the behavior is as desired and established for awhile, before adding one more thing to work on. Even this is a tall order! Why add the off leash to your list, when there is so much else that does not work for you. Leave Franklyn off leash ( if you trust him ) and the other one can be on leash or on a Flexi. Some dogs can never be trusted off leash. I know your heart is in the right place, but I can also tell you that, no matter how much you smile, you cannot fool a dog about how you truly feel about him. I would keep my mind open to finding an appropriate home for him and work with him in the meantime, which will help make him a better prospect for someone else. Once you take this view, you will be surprised at the relief you will feel and you will also be more likely to have a measure of success, because, either way, you'll all win. Rooting for you...
Thanks Anna. That is a good point not to add too much to my plate. I have decided not to let him off leash any more #1 to add more structure (which he really needs) and #2 because as you say, why add more? I think for now I will focus on the anxiety in the house when I'm gone (which is progressing well!), keeping up with obedience daily, and trying to get him to WANT to do stuff for me. I think this last part is the root of all of my problems. We are having a battle of wills right now and I need to figure out how to convince him I don't want to "force" anything on him, rather I want him to want to do it, if that makes sense. He does the corgi equivalent of flipping me off when I ask him to do something and can't directly "make" him do it (i.e. by having him leashed to me). He will look me straight in the eye, flip his nose up at me, and then do the opposite, it really does feel like he is flipping me off!
Honestly, my hope is to continue to work with him and either really start liking him or hopefully the time will be right for my parents to get another dog and they can have him. My mom is IN LOVE with him but right now they don't want a 2nd dog. I think they'd be a perfect home for him and Franklin would still get to visit with his buddy. I am totally open to re-homing him if its with somebody I know and I'm keeping an ear out for friends/family looking for a dog. He would be perfect for somebody home all the time with pretty much zero expectations of their dog. I, however, have high expectations for my dogs and I expect them to mind and have good behavior. I do have friends who could care less if their dog is ok off leash or acts obnoxious as long as they will cuddle with them on the couch, etc. I"m hoping this behavior is just a product of poor management as a puppy and maybe with time he can be taught to be a good citizen. He's still so young that I'd hope with maturity and structure maybe he can still develop into a happy well behaved dog.