My Finnegan just turned two and is just shy of 35 pounds. My Carly will soon turn three and is just over 22 pounds. They love playing ball at the dog park. Carly is hyper focused on the ball and great at bringing it back. Finn likes to chase it but won't bring it back. Sometimes he seems to chase it just because Carly is and that makes him want it too.

Finn has always been pouty if Carly gets the ball before him and he will bark and chase her trying to steal it. The last week however he has become more and more aggressive. He initially would just push into Carly and knock her off path. The last two times we have gone though he has just steam rolled her. He runs full out and if she gets it before him he will just slam into her. He has even tumbled her.

I run to them as soon as this happens and tell him "no" but I know that isn't effective because the correction is too late and he doesn't associate it. I have a small remote shock collar that I am hesitant to use but it's the only thing I can think that can give correction at distance. They both are graduates of obedience class and are trainable with just martingale collars.

Finn is admittedly a bit crazy at the dog park (meaning stimulated and will respond to commands about 50% of the time) but that is part of the point to going. We live in a townhome and I need to let them get their pent up energy out. Carly does not like playing with strange dogs and will stand by me if we don't play fetch, but I worry about her because Finn is quite a bit more solidly built than her.

I've noticed him being pushy at home too. If I give Carly attention he will push into her or knock her down until he takes her place. I have started combating this by putting him into a sit and make him wait with out touching us until I am done loving Carly. I then tell him good boy and love on him. At the dog park this is near impossible.

Is there something I can do to get through to Finn and let him know that throwing your weight around is not okay?

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When I had my rescue Kirby he would constantly do the same thing to Franklin. He had no interest in the toy and just wanted to SMASH Franklin when Frank was going after the toy. I paired a firm no with a remote control shock/vibrate collar and it worked very well. I had the collar on vibrate set to mid-level and it was enough to break his focus and startle him. He would then associate my "no" with a vibration or shock and began listening much better. He was the kind of dog that always thought of ways to get around what you were trying to teach him, he knew when he was at arms length or knew if I was in reach of the long line I used to use on him and would be good until just out of reach. I viewed the remote collar as a way to extend my arm so to speak. He was smaller than Franklin but came with such force that he had injured Franklin on two occasions and I was just tired of his nonsense. 

If you do decide to go with a collar I would take them out together and work with him when you know there won't be many other dogs at the park. Work on associating your command, and his not listening to your command, with the shock or vibrate and then you can introduce it to a packed dog park so that you can just use your voice. The ultimate goal would be to phase out the collar and get him to where he is just listening to you. The other option would be take them separately or leash him while playing fetch with her and then release him. 

Thank you for your advice. So with Kirby did you active the collar and give a "no" while he was in the process of running to Franklin? Or did you correct during or just after an impact? I just worry that if I active while they are still in the process of running that the message that I'm giving him is that chasing the ball is wrong. However standing there waiting for him to mow her over doesn't seem ideal either, but I suppose it would be the most accurate way to portray to him what the behavior is that I dislike.

I activated it right before impact. He was clearly not chasing the ball but had his eye on bashing Franklin right before Franklin got the ball so I would tell him no and hit the remote right before he ran into Franklin. It got to where I could just tell him "no" and he would veer away without smashing into him. In the end if I had to choose between him chasing a ball or bashing into Franklin every time i went to throw a ball then I'd rather just have him not chase it at all.

Remember, the point of the collar is he will have no idea where the correction comes from.  If he associates it with nearing the other dog, he may decide to rectify the situation by attacking the other dog, especially if he is the more dominant of the two.

Finn is not one to attack. If the situations were reversed I might be more cautious of that sinarior because Carly can be a bit snippy with him. I don't think Finn is trying to be intimidating or dominate, I just think he is a big oaf who gets over stimulated and has discovered a way where he doesn't have to share the ball.

I personally don't like dog parks because I have known of many dogs where things went wrong in that setting. You have little control over your own dog and virtually no control over other dogs once they are all loose together.  It has also been my experience that most people with aggressive dogs tend to make excuses for  their dogs, underestimate their potential to harm, often blame others when something happens and are generally in denial. If you encounter one of these dogs at the dog park, your dog is definitely at risk.  By taking him there you accept that risk as well as any Vet bills that can follow.  Long walks are a much better way to exercise your dogs if you live in a townhouse and that will not create any animosity between your dogs.

As for playing with the ball, I would teach them at home to go after the ball one at a time, on their own name, while the other waits in a down position.  You need to have a good down stay first with both dogs reliable.  Start with some activity that is low key, like petting the other dog, later go to  throwing a rope toy a short distance in the room, then increase the distance thrown (always away from the dog on the down stay, never directly past him) then you can try the ball by just rolling it a short distance.  Realize that the chase instinct in Corgis is very strong and natural to your dog.  Work WITH them and take it as far as you can, rather than punish because they are in a situation they cannot handle.  You may also consider obedience classes, through different levels and then Agility, both mentally and physically stimulating.

As for the shock collar, Melissa had some measure of success with Kirby, but Kirby was a rescued problem dog that she eventually had to give up, all very demanding and difficult to do.  You want to handle your dogs in a manner that fosters structure and cooperation, rather than competition and correction which can ultimately backfire.

Thanks for your advice. Luckily the dog park that I go to is just a few miles from my house, is completely grassed, and has a section just for dogs under forty pounds and one for over forty. In over a year of going there I have had other dogs in the small dog section on only two occasions that I can recall. So most times it is like having our own private backyard. Granted, one we have to drive to.

Since they both have graduated from obedience school Finn has a very reliable sit. I tried what you suggested with throwing a toy and having him sit and wait and he passed with flying colors the first try. The problem becomes translating that to the dog park. Even with his reliable sit he only will listen to the command about 50% of the time at the park. As soon as something moves he is in pursuit.

Anna makes good points and I have taught one of my dogs to wait his turn on command (he clearly resents it but listens); the other is so motion-activated that I hate to even try but she is easy to distract away from one thing by simply moving another thing.

My solution to the fetch problem is I ALWAYS use two:  two balls, two frisbees, two rope toys, or whatever I'm throwing.  That way just one dog (not both) needs a strong "wait" and you send the dog that tends to chase dogs instead of toys off after the first ball, then throw the second one for the dog with the strong toy drive/retrieval instinct.

In our case, Maddie mostly runs around with the toy in her mouth, gleefully half-chasing Jack every time I throw his and doing big loopy circles.  The toy in her mouth keeps her from assaulting Jack as he chases his.

Anna is right:  the instinct to take off after something that moves is VERY strong in some Corgis and you will get further by trying to work with the dogs to find a solution that is enjoyable for all of you.

As for being pushy at home, you just need to work on not letting one dog push the other away to get attention.  This can take awhile and you must be 100% consistent.

By the way, I started making sure I had better control after we had what could have been a very bad accident.  Jack and Maddie went after the same chuck-it ball from different angles and did NOT see each other.  They collided full speed, head-first, at about a 90-degree angle.  They came up in a tangle of a very loud fight for a brief second or so, and then Jack started wailing in pain--- it's a sound I never heard a dog make and hope never to hear again. He ran to us full speed with his eyes squinting badly and continued to wail for long enough that we thought we would need to take him to the ER right then and there.  

After a short time he stopped but still squinted and looked very uncomfortable.  Then he was ok.  I am pretty sure Maddie's open mouth caught him very hard in the head and it must have hurt like heck.  In retrospect, he may have had a bit of a concussion but his eyes tracked normally so we just observed him carefully at home for a few days.

Anyway, it could have been a bad injury or a bad fight, since the dogs were stunned and I don't even think they knew who had hit them (neither is a fighter, usually).  

So after that, I made sure I had a better system.

See this is what I am concerned about. Not so much with Finn cause he is built like a tank, but I think Carly can come away really hurt if this isn't nipped in the bud.
Thanks, two toys is actually a good idea to give a try. I'll try that next time and see how it works. Carly is much less reactionary at the dog park so it would be easier to get her to wait while I throw a ball for Finn. Then while he is distracted Carly gets a turn. The only thing I worry about is Finn seeing that Carly got a ball and veering off course after her again. Even if she has already got the ball and he is too late to get it he will still slam into her knowing now that it makes her drop it.

It's worth a try though.


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