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.
" 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." This does not make sense so you cannot convince him. He knows you want to control him. You not only want him to do what you say, you want him to want it as well! He is a freedom seeker and may indeed end up wanting to please you, but it will not be through " a battle of wills". Set your structure in place in such a way that he can only succeed, because he has only one option, one that is acceptable to you ( and don't set that bar too high). Ask ONLY what you know with 100% certainty you can enforce. By enforce, I mean make happen, not scold.
Please don't give up on Kirby, if you barely able to tolerate him no one else is going to take the time. When you think about a Corgi...three months is not a long time. I was pretty depressed when it did not seem I was making head way with Poopdeck, what a knucklehead. The cat box was a hurdle for us as well, I had to spank him; nothing else worked. Still if he disappears in that direction I always ask, in a loud voice "Where are you going?" I would moved the water bowl so there is no reason for him to go in there. That way it can be a" No Fly" zone otherwise isn't that mixed messages? He has had a bad break in life; you crossed paths for a reason. It's like children, they can be a different as night and day. I know many Moms who say if they had the second child first....there would not have been a second. Keep they faith, we are all behind you.
My middle corgi will sometimes sneak into the laundry room and help himself to some kitty candy. I've found that the pet door into the laundry helped and also keeping the darn cat box really clean.
Good luck with this. I think I'd find one command --probably sit--and only work on that. If he's acting up, Sit, if he's ignoring me, Sit, etc. Just the one command. This aproach has worked with one of our corgis that was very stubborn and high energy, too. He had to be on leash for a full year longer than any other corgi we've had...but boy, can he sit!
Vee, I love the "sit" story, combined with the leash. Not many would have your fortitude to keep it up for a year. Your 3 Corgis look so nice!
thanks thats excellent advice and actually would probably be really easy to do. He is only sort of ok at sit but I'm sure if I worked on just that over and over he'd get much better at it and I could use it to enforce other things too.
Thanks. Its funny you mention they are like children, as I was driving home from running errands today I saw a little boy doing EXACTLY what Kirby does. He was standing just out of reach of his mom and just looking at her while she kept calling him and telling him to "come here". He'd look at her and take a few more steps away. I was cracking up watching because it is just what I was going through yesterday with Kirby.
As with the catbox, I'm going to block off the bathroom with a babygate and see if he climbs it or if the cats will continue to use it or decide peeing on my stuff is easier. Kirby is one of those dogs that I really do sometimes feel the only way he is going to "get it" is by spanking him, but he is also one of those dogs that I can barely say "no" in a stern voice without him peeing all over and running away. This is why I was thinking of getting a remote control collar, that way I can correct those kind of behaviors and it wouldn't be associated with me doing it. I think if I tried to do anything beyond a loud "no" I may never be able to get him to come to me again. I threw a pillow at him one time when he tried to climb onto the counter right in front of me and he wouldnt' come in the house for the rest of the day.
I hesitate to think of re-homing him for just the reason you say, if I can barely stand him what is somebody else going to do? I'm guessing he will just be passed from person to person and despite him being a terror, he deserves better than that, its not his fault he got a bad start in life.
I agree that physically blocking the cat box is the only answer.
In my house, Alice the Cat came first, then puppy Jack. Jack thought Alice was Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and despite the fact that Jack had run of the house from one year old on, and that Alice's food sat in my bedroom on the floor (she was free fed) and her litterbox sat in a spare room, AND cat poop is Jack's favorite treat; well, one does not eat the poop of the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, nor go near her food! So for a couple years I had a loose dog and a loose cat and no problems.
Then I got Maddie. And boy does Maddie like cat food. And Maddie would march right upstairs and help herself. Now, Jack (besides fearing the SRofTU), is a dog who Obeys the Rules. AND he's a tattle tale. So, I would come home at lunch, take the dogs out, leave them loose while I ran down through the basement to dispose of the dog poop bag out back, and come up to find Jack sitting at the top of the basement stairs saying "You are NOT going to be happy about this...." and Maddie upstairs eating the cat food.
When scolding her did not work, I got a baby gate up. The turnaround time between me discovering the problem and me getting a baby gate was less than a week. I did not have Maddie from a tiny puppy, Maddie did not grow up thinking the cat was the Ruler of anything, and Maddie is a dog who thinks that Rules are things you follow when your Human is watching. Otherwise, all bets are off. She's a submissive girl and if you catch her breaking the Rules she will give you sad ears and submissive posture and promise it will never happen again, and then you turn your back and BAM! So suddenly I had a garbage raider, a catfood eater, a poker-of-head-in-grocery-bags. So now I live with a permanent baby gate, I used the Ssscat compressed air spray (on a sensor) to make her think Giant Snakes live by the garbage can, and I don't turn my back on grocery bags.
And Maddie is the sweetest. dog. ever.
That's the thing: I have very different expectations for my dogs. Both have their good and bad points. Jack is super obedient (in the house; outside not so much). He's sensitive. He's brilliantly smart. I can more or less position him anywhere in the house I want him with two quiet words and a hand gesture. He's also impossible to restrain, overly sensitive to change, and wakes me up at least once or twice a week barking at shadows.
Maddie could not care less about rules. She's a happy airhead. She stands and grins at you stupidly when you try to get her to do something. But a child could handler her, she lets you flip her over and do nails, she will lie down and go to sleep on the vet's table she's so relaxed, and she loves to cuddle.
You say Kirby is hard to like and that may be, but there are lots of positives to focus on. You've only had him a few months and he's excellent on leash (Jack is still a terrible leash dog after five years; he'll dart and pull and balk if you don't keep after him constantly). He comes much of the time when called. He's improved tremendously in confinement. He plays nice with Franklin. And if your mom adores him, he must have some good qualities.
Honestly many Corgis have a "what's in it for me" attitude. I nearly always carry treats and sometimes mine still run off if they are not sufficiently impressed with the quality of the treat they saw me put in the bag (they never run off if they saw me bring cheese....) Many a Corgi can't be trusted by a litter box. And the obnoxious play style is typical. Maddie does that to Jack all the time. After nearly 3 years of constantly waving toys in front of her when Jack plays to redirect her from herding Jack, she finally within the past 6 months started getting a chew toy on her own when Jack is playing inside. I can tell by the way she chews that she is redirecting frustration and not really relaxing and enjoying it, but it helps keep everyone happy.
Things seem to be moving in the right direction. Just don't expect him to ever be Franklin. Love the free spirit that is Kirby and learn to expect behavior that is within his realm of mastering. As Anna said, work on one thing, set him up so his only choice is to succeed and then move on from there.
I really feel like Franklin and Jack and Maddie and Kirby are very similar. Kirby is just a goofy airhead, people fall in love with him because he just LOOKS stupid lol, he's got huge hears that flop when he runs and his tongue flops out to the side and he trips and falls all over himself, like you said a child could probably handle him, and while he is TERRIBLE about restraint and being at the vet, he doesnt' try to bite or anything, just screams bloody murder and pees all over so I am able to get nails, brushing, baths, blood draws, etc done but everything has to be a big ordeal.
Then there's Franklin. I know the reason he doesn't correct Kirby is because he thinks its against the rules. He too will not touch cat food, cat box, trash, food on the table, ANYTHING. He knows the rules and is more than happy to follow them and is constantly looking to me for his next command. He's one of those dogs I can give complex directions to and he will just DO it, he knows exactly what I want with me barely having to ask. I can literally tell him "go over to that stump and put your front paws up there" and he will! I have no idea how he knows what i want, but he knows. That being said, I know no dog will EVER get me like he does and so I'm not expecting Kirby (or ANY dog) to be like him. I will try to focus more on the good, give him a lot more structure and boundaries so he doesn't have as much of a chance of doing the wrong thing, and will REALLY try to enjoy the goofy dork that he is. Its a good exercise in patience! :-D
So much good advice has already been given here, I'll just say a couple of things. 1) Even Super Sam (my angelic Dalmatian) got into the litter box sometimes. It's just so hard to resist. I use clumping litter and he'd come sneaking in (because he KNEW he wasn't supposed to do it) and he'd have litter clumped all over his nose. I'd say "SAM! What did you do?" and he would come over and apologize and look around like "How does she always KNOW?!" I think blocking the path is the only way. I actually have one cat now who TOSSES 'treats' to the dogs when they are downstairs in their xpens. Sometimes you just have to live with their bad habits! LOL
2)I have come to the conclusion that I will probably never be able to trust Brodie off-lead. He is a perfect gentleman 99% of the time, but the moment he sees a squirrel, or rabbit, or any type of wildlife, he's gone like lightning and half way into our woods or across the neighbors field in the herd of cattle. He can slip under or through places in the fence that you wouldn't think a squirrel could go through. I think that's probably why he ended up in our place to begin with--he ran after some kind of game and just kept going until he had no clue which way was home. I hate the idea that he can't run free, but it's kind of the bed he has made for himself and he's going to have to lay in it. He reminds me very much of the beagles I grew up with in that sense--there was no calling them back when they hit a track.
3)I know you were hesitant to give Kirby benadryl, but you might try it for the allergies. I've had to keep Brodie on it since he showed up. He has allergies not only to fleas but it seems to pollen as well, and unless I keep him on the benadryl, he chews himself something awful. So far it has not made him hyper. You might try it one day when you will be home, just to see if it helps.
I think for now just concentrating on the things that ARE improving and rewarding him for those and enjoying those are probably what is best for they dynamics in your whole situation. It's too bad Franklin won't correct him, because I think that might help. Do you have any friends with trustworthy dogs that might help out?
Franklin and Kirby just had a BIG fight. They haven't fought for months. Kirby just tried to take a rawhide right out of Franklin's mouth. I guess Frank has had enough. He nailed Kirby and Kirby did not back down. It lasted much longer than it should have before I could break it up. Kirby has a cut right by his eye and slobber on his neck but no punctures anywhere else, I don't see any marks on Franklin. Hopefully Kirby learned his lesson though, its been a long time coming.
Maybe that will teach Kirby more than you ever could have. Or it may not help at all. I can't leave Kipper (our Boston) loose with Brodie unattended now. Kipper starts stuff and Brodie finishes it. Of course, Kadi 'plays' innocent, but I think half the time she's urging them both on!
I really do hope it will help. Franklin rarely ever uses teeth and prefers to make a lot of noise and Kirby has learned that. He seemed to just ignore any grumbling from Franklin so I'm sort of glad that Frank finally nailed him. We will see if it helped or not. They were playing as per usual this morning so doesn't seem to have affected that aspect of their relationship fortunately.