Hi all Corgi lovers :)

We just got a Cardigan pup 5 days ago, he was 10 weeks old. He is adorable, very smart etc. We absolute love him! I have been reading treads in here for the last month or so, but still have some questions.

- He sleeps in his crate at night, right outside our open bedroom door, from aprox 10 pm to 5 am. He whimpers for maybe 5 minutes, then goes to sleep. No night accidents, wohoo! In the morning I feed him at 6 am, as I don't want him to get used to wake up early for food. I would love for him to sleep to 6 when he is older/settlet in/can hold it for that long. Any thoughts on this? I take him out in the garden at 5 when he wakes, and he pees immediately. 

- He is quite the little barker, barken when wanting to play, when a new sound comes, when he is bores, when the TV runs, in the car etc. we don't mind the barking when unfamiliar sounds, but we would like to be able to stop the other barking. I read that someone say to ignore the barking, while other say that he will then continue. Please help :)

- He likes to bite our ankles when we walk. While it is cute now, I imagine that it won't be when he is fully grown.. Again, some say to stand still when he does, others to say know. I would appreciate any thoughts :) 

I am reading the "cardigan welsh corgi training guide" by Richard Jones, and agree with his take on dog behavior. Positive reinforcement and no punishment :) 

Any thoughts appreciated, and please bare with my English as I am Danish.


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My two are Pembrokes, which are said to be different in many ways from Cardis. Dunno. But from experience with a bunch of dogs over the years...

Sleeping: God is smiling on you if your pup can sleep from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. without interruption. That's 7 hours, said to be the ideal number of sleeping hours for humans. Dogs wake up as dawn cracks...I'm convinced they can feel the electromagnetic waves emanating from the sun even while it's well below the horizon. So...as the days shorten and the nights lengthen, Pup should sleep later in the morning. It doesn't have to do with when food is offered in the a.m.; it has to do with when the sun comes up.

Barking...wish I had an answer. :-( Just remember: It's. a. DOG. Dogs bark as humans yak. Get used to it. Obedience training helps -- try asking the dog to "sit" when it's having a barking frenzy. Sit and a reward may break the barkfest. But be careful: dogs being smarter than humans, too much of this will quickly persuade that bark = sit = treat. I just quietly ask my dogs to pipe down...sometimes it works. Sort of.

Ankle-whacking: Herding behavior. Pretty typical of any dogs bred for herding. My Gersheps used to do it when they were pups, too. They get over it...after awhile it occurs to them that you're probably not a sheep. You can encourage this evolution by stopping in your tracks, looking aghast at the pup, and exclaiming (not yelling), "Hey! Stop that!!" A little drama goes a long way. ;-)

I've found that dogs don't give a darn what you think you're doing to "punish" them. Abuse is a) cruel; b) futile; and c) illegal. While I do not believe that dogs can't make a connection between act and consequence, I do believe they live according to their own instinctive rules and therefore your efforts to persuade them by inflicting negative consequences simply have no positive effect. Figure out how a dog thinks and reward the dog for positive behavior within that framework.

Thank you for your input :) It is kind of like having a baby again with the pup! We will try to stand still when he is herding next time. I hope you know that I agree with you on the "no punishment" way to treat our dog (and kids as well, actually). 

Also the sun-coming-up bit makes sense, as we live in Denmark and the sun is up from 4 am to 10 pm at the moment.

First of all congratulations on your new puppy and on having done some homework before getting  him, reading a book on Cardigans  and setting yourself up well for the task. 10 weeks is, in my opinion, the perfect age to rehome a puppy, because they can indeed hold it longer, so the housebreaking goes so much smoother. 

I would immediately discourage nuisance barking.  Barking is a natural response in Corgis, but the more you allow it, the more ingrained it will become. Teach him the word "QUIET!" and distract him, or call him to you and give him a small treat for coming to you fast  (practice this separately).

My Cardigan, adopted at 10 months of age, barked at everything inside and outside.  Inside, he had to adjust to all the various noises and happenings in a normal household and it subsided slowly as his confidence built up.  If he barked at an unfamiliar object, I'd put it on the floor  and encourage him to check it out by offering treats near the object. That worked.  Outside, if he barked, I would say Quiet! a couple of times and, if he did not stop, I'd call him to me, or go get him, give him a treat and bring him indoors. We live on 10 acres, the result has been that now, except if someone is driving up to the house, he rarely barks UNLESS he wants to come inside and then he still gets a treat!

For the ankle biting, I agree with Vicky.

Consistency is you best friend in the process and pays off the quickest.

Feeding him at 6AM sounds good.  By 12 weeks you should be able to extend the time he gets up to 6 AM no problem, just do it a bit every day.

How do you get the "QUIET" command to work? I don't seem to have the gumption to persuade any dog of this.

A trainer demonstrated this technique once, and it WORKED with her dogs. She trained police dogs for the FBI and would board a few on her property. She had a microphone system set up on her bedstand, so if the dogs started to bark after bed-time, she could just reach over and send the QUIET! command without even lifting her head off the pillow. :-D

They must have thought she was ominiscient, because all she had to do is say QUIET! and those critters would quiet down right now. And when Anna the GerShep -- the subject of this trainer's attention -- was over at her place, she would behave the same way. At my house? "QUIET!" seemed to mean "Please emit some more loud barking, I love it so...."

Ruby doesn't bark unduly, but Cassie was at the dog pound because, her former humans say, she "barks." Yes. She does bark. Not at unfamiliar things though: she just barks all the time as though it were conversation. She does have an alarm bark -- burglar outside -- and a happy excited bark -- visitor at door. But the regular ordinary around the house bark seems to be "nice day, isn't it, when are we going for a walk, you forgot to dust the coffee table, a fly just walked across the ceiling" sort of stuff.

Matter o' fact, as we scribble Cassie is conversing. Okay, let's try this...

Human: QUIET! (Human attempts to imitate remembered tone of the now-retired trainer: sharp and assertive)

Cassie: ARF!

Human: QUIET!

Cassie: (skulks) Whiiiine....

Oh, get this: she's actually turned her back on me! Now she's not speaking, I guess. That's good: not speaking is quiet.

The trainer's technique requires me to raise my voice more than I ordinarily would around the dogs. It's not quite yelling, but it's definitely louder and sharper than normal.

Hmmm... Absolutely, I'm gonna keep trying this on the Corgis. Liv! Try it on your dog, too. Start early! Let's see if it works.

Persuading Cassie to put a lid on it would be...well, downright heavenly. :-)

I will!! 

It is a great experience to own a dog, we only ever had cats (and tons of other, smaller animals), and boy is it something else with a dog! He is so happy and excited when he sees us, everyday when our boy wakes Tesla (the Corgi) almost falls over from joy and excitement! You don't get that from a cat ;) Also, here in the Danish rainy summer I actually enjoy having to get outside for walks frequently. Tesla is such a clever fellow, already knows how to "sit" and almost "down". For me that is extraordinary :) I bought a book of "how to teach your dog 100 tricks".

Vicky, Cassie is an example of why I wrote "I would immediately discourage nuisance barking.  Barking is a natural response in Corgis, but the more you allow it, the more ingrained it will become."

It is indeed easier to stop the genetic tendency to bark than it is to overcome an ingrained habit that has, over time,  reinforced that natural tendency, allowing it to fully develop not for its intended breed use, but in a dysfunctional way......

Yelling does not accomplish much, as a matter of fact sometimes they perceive it as you joining in!

I personally would have her on leash and start using the word quiet in a soothing voice and giving a small food reward  WHEN SHE HAS NOT BEEN BARKING (or vocalizing for at least 5 minutes.  I would have frequent small training sessions during the day to make a positive association with the word.  In your case, I would actually choose a different word, something funny and new like "Geronimo" or "May Day!" have fun with that, since you too no longer associate success with the word "quiet".....  Every couple of days extend the time required for the reward.  Then, when you've seen good progress, start doing  it off leash, starting over at the 5 minute reward.  It will take time, but you can do it.  Any nuisance barking and she gets calmly put on leash. You can use the "come" command in this case and reward with a treat, then go to your training mode and start the training clock.   Don't get annoyed, that too travels down the leash>  Just tell yourself, "OH, Cassie wants another little training sessions, she enjoys it so much!"  I hope this helps.

Make sure she can't get in barking mode around the house when you are gone. I would crate her then and leave on radio or TV for background noise.  This whole thing should take weeks, not months and will not eliminate barking for a reason that you find useful.  It should however greatly increase th times when she remains in a "non-alarm" state. The idea is to make her successful starting small and build on that, while being able to interrupt the unwanted response when it occurs, as well as being able to stop the useful bark when you've been alerted.  You may want to use a word such as "enough" at that time.

These are good ideas -- thanks, Anna! I appreciate it. I'm going to try these strategies forthwith.

She was already (apparently) a problem barker, which is what landed her in the dog pound. Fortunately, I live a distance from my neighbors -- I asked them to tell me if they were disturbed by any barking, and both of them a) agreed to do so and b) later said they were not bothered. Most of the conversational barking takes place inside the house, so at least she's not yapping under Terri's bedroom window.

It appears that she doesn't bark when I'm gone. I've left her in the house, wandered off for awhile, and then snuck up quietly and lurked -- never have caught any absentee barking. Nor does she fly into a barking frenzy when my car enters the garage.  It seems to happen exclusively when I'm in the house alone with her OR when my son is visiting: it's like a social thing. Which is weird when you look at how dogs socialize with each other: they're not given to barking in routine calm interactions. I wonder if her previous owners actually encouraged the behavior inadvertently...they had a 13-year-old daughter. Could be the kid thought the barking was cute and played with her in a way that egged her on, I suppose.

I like the idea of creating a new command word, since "quiet" meets with mixed results. Yesterday it worked; this morning, not so much. And the leash mode is a good idea, too. Both dogs do the Dance of Joy whenever they see a leash come out, thinking they're going for a walk. But I have a couple of older leashes in the garage, which look different and which can be stored in a different place -- one of those can be associated with "training session" as opposed to "doggy walk."

Not given to yelling at them...it doesn't do any good to get annoyed, for the same reason I mentioned to Liv: a dog is a DOG. They do what dogs do. Also, if you observe the way dogs behave: a threatening noise is low-pitched. So it's reasonable to assume that a dog doesn't necessarily associate loud vocalization with annoyance. They presumably learn it if a human behaves violently while shouting, of course, but I doubt it comes naturally.

Everytime I try to answer Anna it ends up here, I dont know why: Thank you for your reply - we don't mind that he barks, we knew that Corgis do that, but it is the never-ending fits we dont want. I did want a dog that will bark when strangers enter our driveway.  Good idea to let him investigate the offending object he barks at :) We will work on that! We will try to work on "quit" and "shh". 

For the ankle-nipping, what worked for us was this:  Run and ENCOURAGE puppy to chase you.  The second teeth touch any part of your clothes or skin, stop.  Stand still.  Ignore the puppy.  Cross your arms over your chest, look at the ceiling, and totally ignore him.    He will lose interest and wander away because the game has stopped.   Once he does, clap your hands and call to him and encourage him to chase again.  The game continues when he doesn't bite.  The game stops if he bites.  This usually works well with young puppies (but not always older ones).   For Jack, a couple sessions taught him that chase was fun and the fun ended when he nipped.

My only caution is to make sure that if you plan on doing herding with your Corgi, talk to a herding trainer before doing anything that discourages nipping.

Thank you, we will try this :D He will not be used for herding :)

I agree with what Beth says but I do ad "ouch" like it really hurts.

Thanks! He actually just bit my husband in the back of the knees, and he yelped out because it hurt. The dog seems indifferent though. We will continue to work on it :) So far it seems that the best thing is to stand still, and if he keeps going on that the other take a toy for him. 


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