My corgi is 6 months old now and I really need some help with disciplining her correctly. Every where that I've read stated that it's normal for Corgi puppies to nip at ankles due to their herding instincts and you should use a loud "NO" or a loud noise to help correct this behavior. Since I've been trying that for about 4 months now, I've become a little desperate. It's not just the ankle biting (she's actually gotten a little better), my main issue is that she'll snap at you at certain times. These moments include when she jumps on the couch and we're sitting there already, she'll start to nip my arms. In the end, if I'm doing something she doesn't "agree" with, she snaps her teeth at me. If we discipline her, she basically looks at us with a "who cares" look on her face. We tried the short time-out and that hasn't worked either. She definitely has a mind of her own and I feel like I'll never have a well-behaved dog! Help!

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Comment by Sarah C. on August 13, 2010 at 10:55pm
I just want to say that a lot of people might argue about what's best and what's not. I personally feel that different dogs have different personalities and from their little quirks and different experiences they will interpret a correct slightly differently. For my female, just a frown and a poke in the ribs will make her crawl away in shame. For my male, well. He was like yours, a little nipper, and he needed some firmer instruction since he never stopped moving long enough to realize if I was frowning or not.
NILF tho, works awesome I think, especially for corgis because they always hunger so. When my male reached his terrible half-years, I started NILF and it was a total change in attitude. He's still a little touched in the head tho.
Comment by Jeremy, Ashley, and Addy-Bell on August 13, 2010 at 9:36pm
I almost forgot about the muzzle grip thing! I never knew that was what it was called but ive done that with Addy too. She whines and gripes and tries to get away, but it has been effective.
Comment by stella p on August 13, 2010 at 8:36pm
you can hold her mouth and say no! look straight into her eyes. I trained my dog this way and my dog doesnt nip or bite or bark. she's little over 1years old now. =)
Comment by ChelseyLynn on August 13, 2010 at 7:21pm
My vet told me to use a "muzzle grip" on my little nipper. Everytime he started to nip/bite I'd grab his muzzle to "close" his mouth shut. He always makes a big scene and acts like it's the end of the world. You don't EVER hold down hard or tight, just firmly. The first time the vet did it I was in shock and so worried because Diesel was whining. Then the vet let go and Diesel nipped again, They went through the process again of the vet holding his muzzle and now he never tries to nip our vet! He said that a lot of times it's the dogs trying to jocky for who's more dominant and by doing that you're playing the more dominant dog/mommy dog. I always hold on until he stops whining(like I said he makes a big scene). It's really helped with us and his problems. I hate it when I see cowering dogs so I promised myself never to use anything that would cause Diesel to cower and this doesn't. Just use it carefully and only when they are doing something bad aka nipping. Too much or too rough and it could be bad! Hope that helps!
Comment by Reese on August 13, 2010 at 6:50pm
We used a penny container. Shook it loudly, with a stern "NO!" and ignore them for a little bit. Every time she did something she wasn't suppose to.
Comment by Bev Levy on August 13, 2010 at 5:14pm
The best thing to do is get to some Obedience classes! It will be the best $ you will spend on your dog. Also look up Nothing In Life Is Free for ideas on how to accomplish the shift in power that is needed. It sounds like she currently sees you as a sibling that she can boss around and you really do need to be her leader. Corgis are a tough little working dog capable of having a lot of attitude that was very necessary for their original purpose but it usually needs to be controlled in a home environment. She is just at that point in her development that you need to emerge as the leader.
Comment by Jeremy, Ashley, and Addy-Bell on August 13, 2010 at 5:08pm
Addy went through a bad play-biting phase for a while. Thankfully, she has gotten out of it. The only time she nips now is when attempting to "herd" me out of the bed in the morning, when she will bark and nip at my fingers and toes - which I sort of need at that hour of the day.

There are 2 things I do for biting and nipping which, combined together and over time, seem to have worked well.

1) When she bites you, use your hands and "bite" her back instantly. I do this by making a "mouth" with my hand and pinching her gently but firmly on her side, like I'm nipping back. If she bites again, I bite back again.


2) If she is really acting up, or if she keeps on biting, or if she is just being generally unruly, I will form my hand and (again, gently but firmly) grasp her neck right above the shoulder blades and hold her until she settles down and stops acting up. I hold her in this positon until she lays down with her butt down on the ground, or better yet until she rolls onto her back (at which point I will adjust my grip accordingly).

One word of caution: you do have to be careful when doing these things so that you do not hurt your pup. I haven't ever hurt Addy-Bell doing these, but you want to be aware (especially around the neck) of what you are doing so that you don't accidentally do so. The point isn't to hurt her. The point is to let her know, in her own dog language, who is in charge.

These are both dog psychology things that someone with some training in that field could explain better than I can. It boils down to the whole "being the pack leader". The neck things particularly works well for most bad behaviors (except potty accidents in the house and such). But both must be done IMMEDIATLY after she does whatever undesirable behavior she does. A firm "NO" along with either of these can be good too, as she may begin to associate the voice command with the physical discipline, which will make "NO" more effective in the future. (Addy has gotten much better at responding to "NO" and similar things).

Hope this helps, and God bless!

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