Hi everyone this is a bit long, but I'm so frustrated! I know you all know this, but my Corgi's are stubborn little s***s.
I'm so, so, so frustrated with Fortie at the moment -- when he wants something, he really digs in and he is so strong I can't do anything with him.
He is now about 13-14 months but basically it's been the same since we got him. He has improved a lot but the main problems areas are with walks and being off the leash and not returning.
One thing to point out is that he's not really motivated by treats when there's something 'more interesting' on the cards. So even if I put bacon or sausage in front of his nose, he doesn't care. He doesn't value it as high as whatever it is he's fixated on...
Let me also say that I live in France so my comments about ppl's reactions might make more sense.
Take today for example. I've been working with the dog trainer who suggested some good things to make him more obedient and they work. On the walk this afternoon he was brilliant and I was so happy till we reached the corner of the street, about 50mtrs from the house. He refused to move -- refused and dug into the ground. He was fixated on a couple of girls way down the street.
I tried commands: nothing.
I tried coaxing: nothing.
I tried picking him up and turning him the right way: nothing.
I tried tugging him a bit and coaxing him: nothing.
I clapped loudly to distract him and then gave him a command: got his attention, went back to the girls.
Then the girls came by and basically accused me of hitting him because they'd heard me clap but didn't see what I did -- I would NEVER hit him. After they went by, then he moved.
Another example is when he flatly refused to walk any more and sat down in the main square in front of all these ppl at cafes...same deal. Wouldn't move and I had ppl accusing me of not giving him water (he'd had a drink not five mins before) etc.
It's AWFUL and really embarrassing because the ppl here don't know Corgis and don't have a clue what they are, let alone what they're like. They think I'm being a 'bad mother' as they say and they're not afraid to voice it. Ahh!
We don't usually let Fortie off the leash when we're out, unless it's in a closed garden etc because we can't trust him to come back when we ask. He gets fixated on what he wants and won't listen to us! He doesn't get the 'come' command, even though I've been trying to train him since he was little.
So on the wknd we took him to the park and it was really, really quiet so we let him off to run around. It was fine, he was having a great time till he spied a woman jogging in the distance and he became fixated on her. I knew what was going to happen but I couldn't get him to come back. Sure enough, when she came closer, the 'herding' instinct kicked in and he tried to herd her!!! Luckily she wasn't afraid and was laughing at him but it took me ages to get him to drop it and get him back on leash...
Can anyone please PLEASE help -- I'm so frustrated! He's such a happy, funny little chap and we love him to bits but at the same time, so stubborn. With most other things he's really good but sometimes I dread taking him out for a walk -- there must be something we can do, or some way we can improve the way we behave to make him respond, some way to make him respect us more? The trainer said we may have to try clicker training if he doesn't improve -- has anyone done this with good results?
Sorry about the essay but I just got back from the horrible walk and I'm a bit upset by what the girls said!
Try youtube under kikopup and zak george. Both have training videos that emphasize positive training methods. I find that most corgis need to feel happy and enjoy training. It makes sense to me as they were bred to tell other animals what to do so may have a strong desire to believe that they are right and you the human are wrong. You do not want them to fight with you as much as agree. Corgis also tend to be very sensitive so notice many cues that we don't always know we are giving. Your pup is also at an age that can be challenging. Hang in there! Corgis may be a challenge but they are lots of fun!
Hi Bev - thanks for the reply -- I know it was an essay I wrote.
You're right about the cues, I've been working on that with the trainer and trying not to stop in the walk so he thinks it's ok to stop too. We've been working on strengthening the connection between us and Fortie so that he listens more but there's something about that corner that he just wants to plant himself down and people/dog watch :/
I will watch the videos for some more help. Thanks for the encouragement!
On walks, it may be easier to work "with" him than "against" him.... he's young and you have a lot going on in your environment. Why not plan for his stopping awhile at that corner and letting him look around and become yourself curious of what he finds so interesting and why, thus sharing his experience of it? As long as he's not behaving inappropriately ( barking, lunging and the like).
I would NEVER leave him off leash, unless it's in a securely fenced in area. Continue with the training and if you find yourself getting frustrated in a particular session ( we all do ) give him an easy command he knows well, praise and end the session on that good note. Frustration travels up and down the leash at lightning speed, gaining momentum as it goes, which is then hard to reverse.
We have a member in France . Look up "Ludi" under our membership list and try sending her a private message. I'm sure she would be helpful and relate to your specific situation. Her dog Ace was also a first Corgi. She had some challenges in the french environment, as you also mention and had excellent results with what she did, having put in a lot of quality time and intelligent effort.
Hi Anna -- thanks for the reply. I've had a Corgi/Fox Terrier cross before and he was the best dog, but we lived on a farm so I didn't have to worry about taking him for a walk! We don't usually let Fortie off the leash either but we did cos the park is huge, fenced and had a low wall near where we were...I know he wouldn't attack anyone but I just wish he'd listen!!
I've taken to starting the walk off in the problem direction rather than ending it that way now. I plan for spots for him to have a sniff/look at along the way -- his favourite tree, the fence where his friend the Beagle lives etc etc. Honestly, I think he just doesn't want to come back inside sometimes because today he planted himself down for a street watch when I was centimetres away from unlocking the door -- centimetres!!! I'd love to take him out for longer each time, but sometimes I just have to go! I want him to understand that sometimes he can and sometimes he can't have what he wants...
He doesn't bark unless it's playful but he lunges to play which isn't the best because he wants to play with everyone/dog he meets and they don't all like him...there are a few males around the neighbourhood and some don't like him too much so we're working on keeping 'trying' to calm him down. We've got him to stop 'greeting' every single person on the street, so he's defo improving but sometimes it's just so frustrating cos I'm learning French/the ways of France and teaching him as well!! I will see if I can find Ludi on here. We've met two ppl with Corgi's in our city so far -- I hope I can find them again :D