I've started a number of discussion, asking a number of questions over the last year or so that I've been on MyCorgi. I just wanted to say thanks to those of you who offered me advice or suggestions, and provide a bit of an update on some of our progress.
1) "Puppy Running in Front/Cutting Me Off" - She steers clear of my feet since I took everyone's advice and starting kicking her if she got in my way. Now she hustles out of my way if she sees me coming, lol. She still gets a boot every now and then, particularly if we're at the dog park and she decides that she needs to stop on the path directly in front of where I'm walking to sniff something, but overall, she's learned that my feet=dangerous!
2) "Attention/Distraction Training and General Overexcitement" - Well, the general overexcitement is still an ongoing issue in our house; I've sort of accepted it as part of her temperament. It's unlikely that she will ever be one of "those" dogs (you know the ones, who are just calm as calm can be). She blows a casket if someone even so much as breaths in her direction, but I'm grateful I don't have an excited pee-er, so I guess that's something. Her attention has improved, although it's still not terribly fantastic. We use mild corrections on walks if she focuses too intensely or too long on something, so she's learned that she can look at something briefly, but we need to keep up the pace and she can't walk into me from being distracted. I'm hoping as she continues to age, the overexcitement and focus will improve.
3) "What's going on in her head" - She recently got the privilege of having the entire living room to roam in while unsupervised. She hasn't tried to escape yet, but I'm pretty sure she will start up again in a few weeks. I've since discovered that she's a "grass is greener" type of pup - if she's inside, she wants out; if she's outside, she wants in. I've just learned to live with it.
4) "Dog Park Jumping" - This continues to be an ongoing problem. Fundamental to the problem is the fact that people at the dog park are idiots, so it's nearly impossible to curb the behaviour, even with vigilant correction. *Sigh*
5) "Car Whining" - She got quite ill back in June, and ever since has stopped whining in the car. I'm not sure the connection, but it was literally the first time we went back to the dog park after her health improved, there was absolutely no whining. No idea why, but I'm sure happy for it. She continues to whine in the house, but I'm learning to accept that I have a whiny dog and must try not to have it annoy me so terribly much. It really is an awful sound though.
6) "Doesn't Like the Basement" - This is probably her biggest improvement, I would say. I decided that it was time she go down the stairs by herself, no ifs, ands or buts about it. Knowing that she would not accept food bribes to go down the stairs, I decided to take a different (and harsher, to some) approach. I would stand at the top of the basement stairs and when she came over to me, I would take her two front paws and place them down, on the first step to the basement (she was not happy about this). At this point, she couldn't go back up, so had to either keep going down the stairs, or stay there and do nothing. After some cheering on my part, she chose to continue going down the stairs. I did this several times a day for a week or two.
One day, a few weeks in, I stood at the top of the stairs as I always had, and she came over next to me. As I reached down to grab her front paws and place them on the top step, she hopped down herself, and went down the stairs to the basement. After that, all I had to do was go to the top of the basement stairs and stand, waiting for her, and she would come over and go down the stairs herself.
And, just yesterday, I actually didn't have to stand and wait for her at the top of the stairs anymore. I was just walking downstairs to grab some laundry, and when I was about half-way down, she took it upon herself to come down with me, no invitation needed. She puttered around a bit, then layed down in her (until now, mostly unused) basement dog bed. It was really nice.