Questions for my new little boy, Roscoe!

My boyfriend Derek and I have had our little Roscoe for almost two weeks. He just had his 2 month birthday (woot) and is too cute for words. We do have some questions though, we both know that it is never too early to train so we really want to get a head start!! So, here are the questions that we have encountered so far:

-- Leash training..?! We have tried many different techniques, but nothing seems to work! As soon as that leash snaps on, Roscoe isn't moving! He walks with us just fine without it, but at my apartments we are required to have leashes on them at all time. 

-- Nipping?! I know that corgis nip as part of herding nature, but is there anyway that I can kind of cut that down? Whenever we try to pet him after he is done playing, he goes for our hands. What is the best way to discourage this?

-- Barking! It's not too bad right now, but I can see it starting to become increasingly more common. Is there anyway that we can get a head start on that one too?

Roscoe has been BEYOND AMAZING when it comes to potty and crate training. We have only had 3 accidents total since we got him (knock on wood)!! He has only whined a few times when he got put in the crate, and goes there to feel comfy now. Needless to say, we're both super excited by him, and want to make sure that we stay on this awesome track that we have started on! Any advice ya'll have will be more than helpful! Thanks so much!!!

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Comment by Katie MacCallon on August 11, 2011 at 7:40pm
Thank ya'll so much for all of your advice and support! We are so fortunate to have an amazing community to help us through our new puppy! If any of ya'll have more ideas or success stories that come to you later, please don't hesitate to post about it!! Thanks again guys!!!!
Comment by Alison Prasavath on August 10, 2011 at 3:47pm

Congrats on Roscoe!

Leash--we started off with a collar, but Noodles didn't like that and we promptly moved to a harness. I let him wear the harness around in the apartment and he got used to it. When he was a puppy (now my baby is 6 years old), he would hold part of the leash in his mouth, but he would walk along side of me. To this day, when he gets in a fiesty mood, he will grab part of his leash and start tugging on it. It always makes me laugh!


Nipping--I can only think of one time Noodles nipped at my husband and my husband told him NO. When Noodles would start to either chew on something he wasn't supposed to (i.e. furniture or our hands), we said NO and after only a week, he learned. To this day, if you put your hand in Noodles mouth, he will use his tongue to push it out and will not close his mouth. What a good boy he is.


Barking--I'm a bad one for advice on this one. Noodles barks non-stop when I get the blow-dryer or vacuum out. If he hears something or someone outside, I tell him to "go see" (go to the window) and I follow him. Once I "okay" whatever is outside, he stops barking and goes on his way.

Comment by John Wolff on August 10, 2011 at 12:18pm

Google "really reliable recall" or "emergency recall", or search this topic on this site.  We had good success with it without much effort.

I think the nipping is not so much a herding trait as a consequence of separating litters too early (8 weeks); supposedly, between 8 and 12 weeks, the pups learn certain social skills including bite inhibition.

Definitely make a thorough training plan, list the entire "vocabulary" you want to teach, make sure the whole family is on the same page.  Then work the plan, write it down if that helps.  Diligence will pay off handsomely.

Comment by Sam Tsang on August 10, 2011 at 8:42am

Hi Katie and Derek,


Leash training - you can leave the leash on in the apartment, let him drag and get used to it. You can also tether it around your waist, he'll learn to pay attention to you and adjust himself accordingly.


Nipping - Stop what you're doing, only process when he stops nipping you, reward him for a good behavior, when he nips you, say " gentle", when he releases, reward him immediately, practice makes perfect.


Barking - when he quiets down, say " no bark", then reward him immediately, others have used the water bottle and pennies in a can, they also work.


Potty train - it's in the FAQ, you are on track, keep up the good work, you will be out of the woods by 9mo - 1 yr, don't give him too much freedom too soon.

Comment by Bev Levy on August 10, 2011 at 8:07am
Roscoe sounds like a cutie! Enjoy! As for the nipping, I have found that a high pitched, very dramatic yelp as soon as the teeth come out works to distract them. If he continues a brief time out in a puppy proof area reinforces it. The absence of attention is a powerful training tool. As for leash training, be more fun. Leash him (I am not a fan of harnesses because they encourage pulling) and be fun, happy and encouraging while taking a few steps. Occasional treats help too. While very young it is great to try as much as possible to go where he wants to go. There is no reason for an adult corgi to still be nipping humans! Barking is tough. I have one talker and one not. We camp a lot and receive complements on how quiet ours are. A bark or woof gets a slight tug of the leash or a touch and a no, every time. My talker still barks his greetings but not at strange dogs or passerby's so I have settle for that compromise. Enjoy your puppy and sign up for positive classes as soon as you can. It also helps to watch some of the training videos on Dog TV.
Comment by Jessica & Johann on August 10, 2011 at 4:30am

Congratulations on Roscoe!  He is a cute!!! 


Reading your post made me laugh a little as I was the one posting a million questions to MyCorgi when I got Johann about 4.5 months ago.  Your questions and concerns are perfectly normal and I can totally empathize.  Sounds like he has good parents :)  Now, let's get down to business!


Leash training is just.. UGH.  I had him in his harness for the first time at 9weeks and he would THROW himself on the grass in frustration and start chewing on his leash.  This takes a lot of time and patience.  I think loose leash training is harder than anything else we did in basic puppy obedience class... we still struggle with it daily on walks and stuff.  I'm probably not the best person to listen to on this, but after I tried literally everything I had read about, seen on YouTube, and asked the trainer about, it just came down to one thing: showing him who is walking whom.  I did this by pulling on the leash so that he would have to start walking to catch up to me.  Once at my side, I would give him some slack.  If he stopped, I would "kind of" drag him a couple steps until he picked up the pace.  Please know that I love him dearly and did not hurt him.  It's just something that you have to do if nothing else works.  It really did help a lot.  OH and I use a harness on him- I think walking dogs with just a collar is mean because it chokes them; it also seems to me that most dogs who get off their leash are ones who slip out of their collar.  I guess it's just personal preference :)  Ask your other friends or MyCorgi members how they got through leash training, they might be more helpful than me


Nipping is annoying- but he will stop doing it as he matures.  At 6.5 months old, Johann still does it a little bit, but mostly as a signal that he needs to go outside (or by accident if he's chewing a bone right up against my leg.. OUCH!)  You have to keep toys and other chewables everywhere so that if he starts going for your hands, you can just place the appropriate object in his mouth.  I know, this doesn't work for everyone, and since it didn't work for me, I will tell you what I have been doing.  If he gets really crabby and goes for my hands, I will either walk out of the room (if he follows, I go in the bathroom and wait a minute or two before coming out) or, in more extreme circumstances, I will spray some Bitter Apple on my hands.  Dogs will not touch anything that has Bitter Apple on it- after one or two encounters they just stay away.  But again, I only used that a few times when he was very young because absolutely nothing else worked.  You can definitely spray it on your pants/jeans if he is going for those too- I lost my favorite pair of PJ pants to Johann when he was 11weeks :P  The product does not hurt dogs, it just tastes really bad to them.  You can find it at any pet store for under $8 I think.  The nipping/biting/gnawing/chewing will start to phase out as he loses his baby teeth and the adult teeth grow in.


Sorry I don't know how to decrease barking.. I wish I did because Johann seems to bark a lot.  I mean, duh, he's a dog, but he barks at stupid stuff like a really full garbage can at the end of someone's drive way, a giant watermelon that was next to him once, and the guy at the Wendy's drive thru.  I know those 3 times were because he was young and had never encountered those things before, which means... exposing Roscoe to everything at an early age (sounds, people, other animals, different environments, etc) will help reduce his need to bark at everything that is unfamiliar to him.  Corgis are natural watchdogs- Johann will wake from the deepest sleep if somebody lightly knocks on the door or if he hears one of the cats meowing downstairs during the night.  You may want to ask other members about the barking though, if it gets bad.


Again, congrats on Roscoe and your accomplishments so far!  I'm

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