Hi all -

I have another behavior question for you. We have lovely Tesla, corgi Cardigan, almost 14 weeks now, and sweet, fun and assertive. A lovely pup :) He "play-bites" some, we try to give him toys instead, and it works fairly well.

However, sometime he will nite "real", not for fun. For example, when on a walk, if he finds something interesting like a rotten frog og dead rat (we live near the woods and small pond) and i take it from his mouth, he get REAL angry at me, growling and trying to bite me, hard. He has succeeded a couple of time, and it hurts bad. I tried reading about this, but most covers the "play biting". The only few things I found about this was that it is an dominance issue. Could this be true? I found a site that suggests that we eat before him, walk out of doors before him and increase the training.

We train everyday, and he is very good I think - he masters "sit", "down" and "stay", we are working on come, he only comes when he feels like it, but he is so young so I think it is OK. 

I would love any input from you on corgi biting and growling :) We are afraid that if we don't do something now, we will suddenly have an adult cardigan biting us when he is not pleased with us.

Best regards,

Liv

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It sounds like resource guarding. There are some good resources on Patricia Mcconnell's page. http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/node/214

My vet also recommended a book called Mine. They have it on Amazon.

Resource guarding is hard. Becca doesn't bite me. She is a gulper, if I try to take something she swallows it. I can take antlers, toys etc. no problem. However if she finds a poop, something dead, or anything that she feels is edible I can't get it. It got to the point where I was debating walking her with a basket muzzle on. I worked with a trainer on "leave it", shortened my leash, and walk her on heel. If I see an object in time and say "leave it", she won't take it. I have to be constantly vigilant. Getting rid of my flex lead was one of the best things I did. I'm also very careful when and where she goes off leash. 

I tried training her to trade an object for a treat, but nothing is higher in value for her than a poop. 

Have you signed up for any classes yet? I would suggest you find a positive based trainer and do a private lesson to focus on the problem. It really helped with Becca. We have done classes since I got her and we compete. Resource guarding needs more attention than a general class can give. I'll admit she still snatches and swallows things occasionally, and still lifts her lip at the cat...But it has reached a point where we can live with it.

Thank you for link and book suggestion - I will look into that :) We are attending a class, but just a "normal" puppy class. I will see if we have any trainers with private lessons out here :) Thank you for your reply.

Well, I'd say that's not surprising, given experience with various dogs over the decades. But...I'd also say holy mackerel! Do NOT let the dog bite you. Two strategies here:

a) The chicken strategy: stay out of the dog's way.

b) The boss strategy: try to assert yourself as the head dog and demand that the dog DROP IT. This entails some risk. I've been successful with a German shepherd but have never had to try it with either corgi, so...don't listen to a thing I say.

You can train your dog to respond to the command "Drop It!" Search on YouTube and waypoints, or engage a trainer to help. If you can get the dog to do that, you're more than halfway there. Given that a dead rat is likely to have gotten that way by being poisoned, if it were me I'd call a trainer ASAP. Ask your vet for the name of a behavioral trainer or for someone that s/he highly recommends.

Thank you! And also I am glad that you take it seriously, because we really don't want him to "real bite" us!

Train a good leave it command and always have treats with you for trades. He is pretty young to understand why it is ok for you to take something he wants from him without a fight , that is why I reccomend trades. Utube has great videos by Zak George, kikopup and others that cover how to train leave it. Cute puppy!

Wow, I just watched Zak George on "leave it", that was really very good!! We will definitely train that :) Thank you for pointing me in that direction!

I had similar issues with my new pup, Jaxx, when he was about that age.  You have to train them that having things taken away from them doesn't mean they go away forever (at least in the dogs mind).  I do this with a "give" command. So start with something of low to medium value to the dog and trade it for treats, then give it back to him.  So, for example, a rubber toy.  Ask him to "give" and be holding a treat in your other hand.  Once he spits out the toy, say good boy! and give him the treat. Then give him back the toy.  Do this several times in a row - 5 times or so?, and several times a day.  Then work up to something of more value to the dog.  An already chewed bone, maybe?  Keep working up in value until you get to his food bowl.  You should be able to take the food bowl away, trade it for a treat and then put the food bowl back down so that he can resume eating.  When you start this 'game' use really good treats that he really likes; cheese, small pieces of steak,  etc.   It took me a few weeks of gradually working up to the food bowl stage, but now I can take anything away from him.  He often just brings me his toys so that I will play the 'trade for a treat game' with him. 

The 'leave it' command is also very valuable.  The problem with that command is it gets over used and the dog becomes deaf to it.  Also, you don't always see what they are picking up in advance of them doing so.   Thats where the 'give' command comes in handy. 

Good luck with your new pup!

Thank you for the input :) 

I actually thought him to "leave it" by the video from Zak Georges, and he catches on quick :) With toys he lets go now when I say leave it, and he never guarded food, I can easily take it away. Its the damn rotten frogs! And dead rats. We haven't had an incident yet, so I don't know if he will let go.

However, I have hired a dog trainer to help us with this issue. I like her a lot, we take puppy class with her, and I am sure she can help us correct this issue.

Thanks for all the input!

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