Sophie has started a new habit which I am very disturbed about and need advise how to stop it. We walk her 2 - 3 times a day and she has been a wonderful walker ever since we got her and started walking her at about 12 weeks of age. But the last couple weeks she started pulling at my pants and jumping on my side trying to grab my shirt or pants. She does it so fast and will continue to do it that I cant even get her away from me to try and stop it. I finally hold the leash as far out as I can so she cant get to me but she still manages to sometimes. It usually only lasts a couple minutes but I can imagine what it looks like to others as I try to get her to stop. I have stopped walking and just stood still for a while and then try to continue on but alot of times she goes right back to it again. Most of the time she will stop after a couple minutes and the walk is fine from then on, however there are some times when she will start up again. I have never had a dog that did this before so I do not know how to address it. However this is also my first corgi, so I do not know if it part of the herding that is causing her to do this. Please any help would be appreciated, I so much enjoy our walks together and now this new habit has put a damper on our walking. Also she mostly only does this when I am walking her by myself. WHen my husband goes along she rarely ever does it and if she does it was just one grab and that was it. It seems to be getting more frequent so I really need to nip this fast.
Forgot to mention she is now 8 months old.
My guess is she is not really believing your No when she does it. Men usually have deeper voices and often are more effective because of that. When she does it, stop and very gruffly and sternly say NO then do not move until she stops, repeat as needed. Herding and nipping moving things is very instinctive for a herding dog but unless you have sheep or cattle not a great instinct to encourage. The walks are great for her so just be consistent and this phase will pass. :)
She is trying to control you. Dominance first shows up directed towards whomever the dog perceives as being the easier target to move up the pack order ladder of success. In other words, you are an easier target, in her eyes, than your husband.... Dominance is not a dirty word, it just means you have a smart pup with leadership qualities that has to learn her place! General obedience classes are the best way to go. For the immediate problem, a Halti will work wonders. Just take a little time to get her used to it, then you can walk her on either collar or Halti, so she is used to both.
You could try walking right at her. As soon as she starts to jump, turn and walk into her with an energy that matches hers. If she's really intensely jumping and trying to grab your shirt, then walk into her with that same intensity. Don't try to step on her, but your goal is to get her to move and give you space. A good general rule is to keep the center of your body and your eyes pointed toward the part of your pup that you want to move (in this case, her rear end.) Keep walking into her until you get eye contact (both of her eyes are on yours) and then stop to relieve that pressure to move. Then just take a moment or two to breathe and relax before you start walking again. Rinse and repeat whenever she tries to jump at you.
Alright, she's a teenager and she's a herder. She is simply trying to play herding games. I have a mini-aussie mix that does the same thing. My corgis have all done the same. It's not dominance. Dominance is a way-overused word that is rarely, and I do mean rarely, the case. In all my years of training, I've probably come across a half-dozen truly dominant dogs.
That being said, the best, non-aggressive way to deal with this behavior is to give it no attention. Correct it, yes. But don't focus on it. When I am walking Aine' and she jumps and nips, I simply stop. The stop gets her attention. I firmly, without raising volume, say "No". We wait until she's calm and then we resume walking. She loves her "walkies" so when I stop the walk, I remove the reward. Within a couple of stops, she quits and we are walking just like normal.
Please don't knee or approach her aggressively. Dogs don't need to be put in their place. Dogs don't need you to dominate them. They are social animals who want to please. They understand reward and removal of reward. If you develop a good relationship with them built on this type of mutual trust, they respond wonderfully.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact me off-list. I've been doing this for a long time and have 6 corgis of my own plus my mini-aussie. All herders. Be patient and firm and you will overcome this behavior rather quickly.
My DouBao had that problem when I started to walk her at 4.5 months age and particularly loved do it when we cross the stress in front of all the cars and people..... She even got famous because of that --- People ran into us in the pet store would say: "I saw you guys that day, she was trying to reach you pants and clothes, she is so cute and I want one"..........Seriously? they don't understand our pain...
Anyway, I asked my trainer and her suggestion was so simply and effective --- JUST PICK HER UP.
So, I followed the suggestion (NO YELLING, NO EVEN A WORD --- It is a silent battle!)
- pick up her quietly and firmly when she did it (you may need some commitment to do it, since corgi is strong dog and will try to escape from your reach, and you might get scratches at the begging when you pick her up)
- Count to 3 in your head (one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three)
- Let her go, if she stop you could praise her. If she did it again --- pick her up AGAIN!
- Count to 5
- Again? Count to 10
Corgi is really smart and LOVES four feet on the ground, Sophie will get it very quick. I only did it for a few days, then she got ride of that habit. Even at the last few times of the first day I tried that, I just needed to bent toward her a bit but not pick her up, she would stop herself. Mine was around 4.5 months old when she accomplished that (big word for a small improvement...hahaha...).
Be consistent in the family, you could see her start to make good choice before jumping/grabing: Look like she about to jump, but suddenly an idea hit her head(being picked up). So she stops and look into you. You can give her a big praise or even give her some treats for making a great choice.
Hope it helps :-)
I would recommend obedience classes. She is certainly old enough for them. The classes will be great for not only teaching her how to behave, but for teaching you how to deal with her behavior and teach you how to teach her to behave!