My dearest corgi friends,
I am having a very hard time with my wonderful Alwyn on a behavior of his that is breaking my heart. He can be the most lovable, laid back, attentive, good boy that I could ever ask for but he has a HUGE issue with my taking away something from him that he knows that he's not supposed to have. For example, he'll find dryer lint in the bathroom trash and try to munch on it as if it's an appetizer. Or find something outside after we've been playing and try to either bring it inside or eat something that he's not supposed to. The way he'll react to my taking it away from him is snapping, showing his teeth and biting my hand. He is not in any way possessive of his food (except sometimes he'll bark if one of the cats walks by his food but he'll never go after them. He'll never go after our hands if we put them near his food bowl while he's eating. He shares wonderfully while playing. The only time he acts this horrendously is when he has something in his mouth he darn well knows he knows he shouldn't and I attempt to take it away. He'll do it so fast that I often can't coax him to drop it and trade it with something more favorable such as a toy or treat. Even still, this behavior is unacceptable. Has anyone else had this experience with their pups? This is probably the fifth or sixth time he's done this to me (mostly me over my fiance) over the almost ten months we've had him. Once he's done this behavior, he knows he's screwed up and he'll look at me in total shame and sadness (I do give him a good time out immediately following this behavior). He's a wonderful boy but this worries me! Please help!
Thank you for your advice and comments everyone! As some of you know, it's often very difficult to have a favorite treat on hand to coax the object that's in his mouth to come out – especially when he's eating it as fast as he can. The case in point was yesterday with the large pile dryer lint from the day before, I was in no way going to let him eat it even if he smelled cat fur mixed in it, it's an obvious statement. I didn't panic when it happened I just bent down and gently said “Uh uh, drop it, give it to me” and he snapped. As I had mentioned before, if he has something else in his mouth and I say “Drop it”, he'll drop it no problem without protest. It's just when it's something he darn well knows he shouldn't have is when he freaks out. He's only a couple weeks away from being 1 year old and other than this behavior, he's NEVER shown ANY types of aggressive or possessive behavior. He's done this ever since he was a young pup. He has a great temperament otherwise. He knows all of his commands / tricks and loves learning new ones. We will start using some of your suggestions on helping with this behavior.
Natalie & Lance – We will definitely try to keep using your advice with a high value treat. We've done things similar to that before with a rawhide that he loses his mind with just the sheer mention of. Thank you!
Bev Levy and Colleen – I will definitely be looking into the Nothing in Life is Free training. I have heard it mentioned around this site several times but never researched it. Thank you for the recommendation!