Socializing a new Corgi puppy to a resident dog: tips and tricks?

I have a 9 year old Chihuahua (male, neutered), and I am going to be getting a Corgi in April.  I was recently talking on another discussion forum thread on another site and a person who has a lot of experience with the Corgi breed had told me that female Corgi's are great as "solo pets" but have short fuses with other male dogs and no fuse with other females.  This had me quite concerned.

I was wondering how well this breed will do with other resident dogs at 8 weeks of age.

And just a little background: my Chihuahua I also got at 8 weeks of age.  Because he was my first dog he was not socialized very well to other dogs/animals but loves all people.  Pretty quiet, playful, not overly hyper.  With male dogs he may bark at them from a distance but cowers or runs away when they get close.  With females he doesn't bark, he just lets them investigate him, but is still shy.  He will only growl or become irritated if another dog attempts to rough-house or repeatedly attempts to rile him up when he has expressed disinterest by running away.  We have lived in a home with larger female dogs before and while he is shy/afraid at first he slowly warms up to other dogs who aren't on hyperdrive 24/7.

I plan to keep the Corgi and my Chihuahua separated during the day while at work and feed them away from one another.  My plan was to try and exercise the Corgi quite a bit before playing with them together in attempt to mellow out the Corgi a bit, to ease socialization between the two.

I would greatly appreciate any tips, tricks, and pointers from anyone who has brought a new Corgi puppy into the home with a smaller resident dog.  I know that Chihuahuas are much easier to train and exercise than a working dog like a Corgi, but given my time volunteering at the SPCA training and walking dogs I am up for the challenge.  I just have to admit that what a seasoned Corgi owner said to me about its interactions with other resident dogs has shaken my confidence.  Greatly would appreciate any pointers!

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Most puppies are a pain in the neck to older dogs, especially seniors, because they have no manners, no respect, tons of energy and sharp teeth.  It's not a Corgi thing.  At 8 wks your pup will still be sleeping quite a bit, but this will soon evaporate.  Your plan sounds good, you just want to make sure the pup cannot pester the Chihuahua. If he can make friends with the pup while it's still very small, he will more easily tolerate the pup later, but it's up to you to teach the pup  manners and set the limits, so your Chihuahua has no need to do that.  As  an SPCA volunteer, your familiarity with dog behavior will surely be a big help. Best wishes for a peaceable household with lots of laughs in the process.

I agree with Anna. Just make sure you monitor the pup with your older dog. If you can wait to get the puppy until 10 weeks you may have an easier time.  The puppy will have had more time with mom and siblings to learn basic manners. I introduced a puppy to my female corgi  last spring and although she was never very dog friendly they get along well. My pup was older and better at backing off when she had enough. He is 10 months now and occasionally I still have to distract him if he gets too pushy. By the way, I have to disagree that a corgi is hard to train. I think they actually are easy to train perhaps too easy. As herding dogs they are very observant and you need to be careful not to teach them things inadvertently.  Very positive treat based training works great. I hope you enjoy the quirky fun personality!

When people deal with smart dogs and do all the wrong things with them, then they say the dog is hard to train....:-DD

I hope you didn't think I implied Corgis are hard to train.  Training my Chihuahua was such a breeze and this woman on this other discussion forum really shook my confidence.  Today she even said maybe I should select an easier breed.  Mind you, earlier in the comment thread she did say that she hates how popular the breed has become and tries to discourage people from getting them all the time because they're not as easy as other breeds.  I think she probably just lumped me into the group that were won over by their adorableness, without truly evaluating that the breed is right for them and/or had unrealistic expectations of the time and exercise requirements needed for the breed yielding the desired behavior/results.  I'm not quite sure why she lumped me into that group.

My statement was a general one and applies to most breeds.  The shelters are full of "problem dogs" whose main problem was simply being handled the wrong way.  The best indicator of success in dog ownership is having had success with the dogs you already have or had.  You'll do fine!

I have much less experience than Anna and Bev so I defer to them for training advice, but I wanted to let you know that the only time my female corgi was attacked by another dog was when a female Chihuahua on a leash "got away" from her owner, ran up to Sully, barking and growling, and bit her on the ass. The owner was horrified, though he readily admits his dog is not good with any other dogs.

Fortunately, Sully likes smaller dogs, almost without exception, and her double coat, along with the other dog's small size, caused no damage, in fact, almost no notice to Sully. A smaller but fast growing puppy actually moving in with a Chihuahua is another story, but sounds easier than possibly two of he same breed. Again, others have much more experience than I in that regard. In my experience though, corgis are very easy to train, in fact, that is one or the reasons I chose the breed. That said, the training has to be consistent and the owner has to be assertive enough to ensure the intelligent corgi does not manipulate to get what he/she wants. I have never tried to train a Chihuahua, but I suspect they also get away with a lot, such as excessive barking and jumping on people, because they are so small and assumed harmless. Even the sturdier corgis are sometimes allowed to jump up on people due to there short stature and the cuteness factor. It is one of the things I struggle to teach since many people insist it is "fine," when I tell her "no." Again, I insist she "sit" every time, regardless.

Jenna, it does sound like you are being proactive about getting the resident dog, and your self prepared. I hope you all have a good experience.

"As herding dogs they are very observant and you need to be careful not to teach them things inadvertently.  Very positive treat based training works great." Truer words were never said about training corgis, Bev.

I know my Chihuahua really well and I am fairly certain he would never bite another dog or human.  He never has.  He always runs away.  He does growl/show teeth and otherwise make the sounds of an angry Donald Duck if he has consistently run away but the other dog does not relent and corners him, therefore I do not allow it to get to that point.  I would separate the Corgi from him if I felt that he was being overstimulated.  That's why I said I think I would probably want to tire the Corgi out a bit before I bring the two together.

Surprisingly, my Chihuahua doesn't get away with a lot.  He doesn't bark at anything that I don't want him to, and I that is one thing I am worried about with a Corgi is the barking.  I don't know how I got so lucky with my Chihuahua not being a yappy dog... because if there's one thing I can't stand its a dog that will. not. stop. barking.  I encourage him to bark when he hears unusual noises.  When he barks at noises I feel are inappropriate he responds very well to "That's enough!!" 

I'd say he was almost too easy to train.  It was just the housebreaking that took more patience.  I am not looking forward to that part because it takes a lot of attention and consistency.  I also plan not to allow my parents around the Corgi puppy too much when it's really young, because to put it nicely they are a little "dog stupid".  They do not understand that condoning a behavior one time (allowing the exception) breaks training protocol.  Took me FOREVER to teach them that when they watch my Chihuahua he must sit before they open the door to let him out, and that he cannot go through the door before they say "okay, go!"  I had to teach him this because I lived in my Grandpas house for 3 years, and we were near a river... with all kinds of wild animals like possums and skunks that got into my yard.  When it was dark I needed to do a visual check before letting him out to make sure he didn't go trying to chase away a wild animal!

I can have the breeder keep her for an additional two weeks, no problem if that helps with manners.  I believe that I read that time frame as well.  I plan to spend time with the Corgi pup separately, probably taking SPCA obedience class (more for socialization, because I know how to do the training... but the Corgi pup will need exposure to a variety of other dogs).

I agree with Bev. I have introduced several Corgis to my home from rescues to pups and have had very few minor problems. Corgis do need early socialization to everything  especially before they turn 16 weeks as they have a narrow window for this. The more you can do this the better. Positive but consistent training is a must and they do learn fast. Also a crate or exercise pen for your new pup will help both so that they both can have time needed away from each other. Enjoy....I miss not having a pup!!!!!!! Also have a camera to catch all those cute moments on camera:)

Each dog is an individual. Female Corgis can be bossy, sure. But in my house, it's my male who is super-bossy and my female is sweet and submissive.

And my bossy boy is superb with other dogs. He doesn't put up with over-the-top nonsense, but is mostly very accommodating and doesn't like to start trouble.

My two live together in mostly total peace. They have had one or two minor scuffles when there was high excitement over toys in a confined place. And once Maddie tried to steal food from Jack's dish while he was eating and he clearly told her that was not acceptable. Otherwise, they are great.

Corgis are not "easy" for people used to lap dogs because they are smart, high-energy, bossy, and shed a lot. But goodness, if you are used to a Chihuahua, you should be fine! Corgis are more easy-going than Chis, in general.

Thank you everyone for your feedback!  This has really eased my mind on my choice to get a Corgi.  I plan to put a lot of time and energy into training, and socialization ... and making sure my Corgi will get good exercise.  I was just worried from what that initial person had said... I shouldn't have questioned myself.


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