Hello Fellow Corgi Owners,
I'm looking for some advise on how to handle my corgi's behavior with my 2 year old grandson.
We have our Corgi, Toby for 3 years. How do I discourage Toby's aggressive behavior while interacting with my grandson. He constantly tears at his clothing and mouths his exposed body parts. (hands, head, ears, feet) Though I realize he is being playful, I'm concerned that my grandson may get hurt.
I appreciate the input of all you experienced Corgi owners.
Put a leash on Toby when your Grandson is around and correct him with a firm no and a tug if he attempts any chasing or grabbing at the child. Never leave them alone and do not encourage your Grandson to play actively with the dog. Toby is trying to play with him as he would a puppy and needs to understand that it is acceptable. At 2 years old your Grandson is not yet able to understand the need to play nicely with an animal but you can start with him learning to pet gently and leave the dog toys alone. Toby should eventually be able to respond to your voice commands if he is being too aggressive with the child.
I meant unacceptable to play as if the child is another puppy..oops!
And you're watching all this? Put him on leash and when you can't, confine him otherwise. When you want him to interact with your grandson, get down on their level, make the dog sit and hold your hand in his collar, preventing any jumping up. Teach your grandson to wait before he comes forward until Toby is sitting and to stop if Toby stands up. Make it a game between you and your grandson ( kind of like Simon says...) Before all this, make sure you have a good sit-stay with Toby under other circumstances, which you can practice separately. Down would be even better, but since he's short, sit should work. The dog needs to be lower than the height of the child. Do not use treats with the child there as this will increase the excitement. Give a small treat only after the child leaves IF Toby was calm and his general behavior was good.
Amy, you are quite right. A good rule of thumb is that a pre-school child should not be left unattended with any dog. This is not only for the very important safety of the child, but also in fairness to the dog.
Yes, the baby-gate is quite useful. Thanks for the suggestion. I appreciate that you understand the situation.
And please make sure that your "NO" is low pitched and very firm even a little bit drawn out. Don't raise your voice--that creates more energy. You should also be prepared to use your arm or shoulder to block the dog from teh toddler to emphasize that very firm NO. If you can be consistent with the leash tug, the very firm and low pitched NO and the body block, the dog will catch on pretty quick. It's exctiement (high pitched or rising voices, fast gestrues) that makes all the rules go wobbly, though,.
I agree to use a leash in the short term, practice a solid sit-stay for the long term, and get down on Toby's level and hold him, give him neck rubs (or whatever he likes best) and talk to him soothingly while he interacts with your grandson. Keep the visits brief then lock Toby in a safe place (room, pen, crate) the rest of the time.
When Jack was a puppy I taught him that the appropriate way to interact with toddlers is sitting calmly at their feet the ENTIRE time by getting right down with him, holding his collar or looping my hand in front of his chest, and telling him goood booyy the whole time. Games can come later when your grandson is a bit older and can be taught how to play with the dog.
I think positive reinforcement is the much better chose when training for anything. By being positive Toby will begin to CHOSE to do the right thing, not just because you are threatening him (in some way) to be good. If he chooses to be good, he'll begin to enjoy doing so giving you much better results then using negative reinforcement.
Okay, I agree that you should put him on a leash and train him to not jump up or bite. You can do this by rewarding all the things you would want him to do like: keep all feet on the ground, no biting, calmness, etc. I suggest you treat/ or praise him when he first sees your grandson, this way his focus will be taken away and he won't be as concentrated on jumping up or nipping. This process is all on timing for you have to treat every time Toby does something you want him to. Never use negative reinforcement to teach him such as: pulling on the leash, giving him a stern look and/or verbal cue, pushing him away after criticizing him, etc. It's better that he learns in a positive environment so that he knows when to be excited and when not to be, and overall using positive thinking usually gets the process going much faster than just using negative words, cues, or movements