Hi All -
Dexter has been displaying a few behaviors lately that I am concerned about. Whenever he hears a noise or he sees someone while we are outside he will bark at them. I'm not sure if this is a corgi thing or just a dog thing. Dexter is my first corgi. We just moved into our new place about 2 weeks ago. He has been barking at the neighbors which was not uncommon at the old place but he used to be picky with who he barked at..now not so much. He very rarely will bark in the house only if he hears a sound that he is unsure of. Any ideas on how to curb this?
2 times lately - when we have been on a walk and once at the dog park , Dexter growled at a dog that was just sniffing him. The growl didn't happen immediately only after they had been sniffing for a bit. I'm not sure if he was just telling the dog "hey you're in my space" or if it was aggression. Dexter gets extremely excited/jumpy/playful when he sees others dogs. He has been fine at the dog park and Dog beach last summer with the exception of one time when a bigger dog growled and snapped at Dexter which Dexter submitted to the bigger dog. Is that why he gets like this sometimes? Do you think it is a socialization issue?
I enrolled Dexter in a training class to see if that will help with this problem. The class starts at the end of June. Do any of you have any tips or ideas to help in the meantime? Any help/insight would be appreciated.
For the barking, I would keep treats handy. If you see a strange dog approaching try to redirect his attention to you with the treat. Have him sit if you can and dispense lots of yummy treats and talk to him in a cheery voice while the dog passes. You could also try having the neighbors give him treats so he associates them with good things.
Maybe you already have something like this but I've found a treat pouch is really handy to have. Honestly I thought it was a little silly at first but it is sooo much quicker and easier than trying to dig a treat out of a plastic bag or something while you're trying to handle a dog at the same time. I always take it with me on walks now and I've seen a vast improvement with Luke who can be very barky towards strange dogs/people.
As far as the growling, I'm not an expert but I'd say the growl was probably just a "I've had enough, get out of my space" kind of warning. Was it a certain kind of dog each time? Certain sex? Some dogs have issues with intact males for example. I think the training class will really help.
It's not really a certain type of dog....not that I can tell. The dog the other day seemed calm and not as hyper as Dexter is. I'm not sure what sex they were either. It maybe a male thing. Dexter used to always play with a female Boston at our old place and he loved her. Never a problem there. I'll have to be more observant of the sex of the other dog and see if that is the problem. Thank you for your advice! I'm going to pick up the treat bag :)
Jane has given you great info. teddy is a growler too. he never barks but if he sees a certain type of dog, like huskies,pits and pugs, he wants them no where near him. he will growl, i will tell him no and we walk away but if i see them first i do what Jane said. its easier to get their attention ahead of time and try to make them see dogs in a more positive light. if i do get his attention then they can come up and say hi. how is he with dogs different energy levels? what i mean by that is if there is a hyper dog that wants to meet teddy he will walk up to them, sniff, and then walk away as he just hates hyper dogs. if they are calm he is fine.
im glad u are taking him to a class, that will help out a lot. for him barking at strangers what i have done is point to the person or gesture towards them and say "friend" if he responds by not growling/barking i would give him a treat
My personal view is any dog has a right to protect his personal space from other dogs. Many dogs are rude with the sniffing and carry on far past the point of proper doggie greetings. Since you know he sometimes has issues, I would stop for very brief greetings, say hi, one sniff or two and walk on then tell him he's a good boy. If he clearly likes the other dog and wants to interact, then so be it but don't force it. Jack likes most dogs but when some dogs sniff him he pretends they are not there.
Jane has great advice about the barking. At home, practice saying "Watch me" or his name and hold a treat near your face. When he stares at your face, say "Good!' or "Yes!" and reward him. After a few tries, say your word to look at your face without holding up the treat, and he should look. Reward excitedly. Repeat this often, then move up to getting him to look with minor distractions around the house. When you are outside you can then use that to get his attention when you spot something he might bark at, but BEFORE he starts to bark. I use this with Maddie, who gets way over-excited and starts to say "Harf! Harf! Harf!" when she spots other dogs.
True! He may be just be tired of the dog being in his face. The one dog at the dog park seemed to keep wanting to sniff him in his face...not sure why.
Dexter gets way too excited also...haha Part of me thinks he is just telling people "look at me, pet me!" but not all people will understand that, you know.