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!

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Hi Jessie, before you remove the item from his mouth, bring a super yummy treat with your other hand, hide it in a fist, let him smell it, lure him to drop the unwanted item, say "drop it" once, don't repeat it, as soon as he drops it, say "good boy" and reward him immediately. While he's occupied with the treat, quickly remove the unwanted item. Good luck!
You also can practice this when its not so crucial to get whatever he has away from him.  Use a high value treat, something you know he really is going to want, one of his favorites and only use it during the drop it / take it training sessions.  You may eventually be able to use just his kibble but for now I would use a high value treat.
When I say high value treat that would be easy to have on you, I mean training treats, a flavor that he really likes.
I would try the Nothing In Life Is Free training. Meanwhile try the high value treat but usually it is hard to have one with you when it happens. I have to admit that I have never been able to get something from Sparty once he has it but he does not try to bite me when I take something but just clamps down and tries to swallow faster if it is edible. If it is a item he will give it up with much protest.
Aggression is a serious challenge to you, it means the dog feels he is higher in status than you are.  Luring him with treats may be useful in the moment if he has something dangerous or of value to you, but it is not a long term solution.  He needs some formal obedience training that will show him nicely, but firmly, who is in charge.  What is his age?  Is he neutered? If he is a teenager, he may just be testing the boundaries, but he is definitely a dominant dog that sees himself as superior to you...If he paid for your food, medical, housing, clothing, retirement etc. you could close an eye on that :-)  Sit, stay, heel, down, come etc, all performed reliably in a class situation around the distraction of other dogs and people will put  you in charge of him,  then, if you still have aggression issues, you will need to consult a professional trainer.  Aggression does not get better with time, or on its own.
I'm really glad you posted this. Rowdy just got very aggressive for the first time today. It totally freaked me out. He got a hold of a pair of underwear and would NOT give them up, when I tried taking them away, he snarled and wouldn't give it up. It wasn't his playful "tug-o-war" growl, it was angry. Then he went after my hands when I finally got them away from me. Later tonight, he did the same thing with a toy. We were playing, everything was fine, then when it was time to go (we were at a friend's) he wouldn't give the toy up and snarled again. After I got it away from him, he snapped my hand so I grabbed his muzzle so he bit his own lip and after he whimpered he came back at me with the angry growl. I hope to get some great answers and remedies from other corgi moms and dads!
Very good advice Colleen, im glad i ran across your reply! I like the whole dont touch command. Im still working on Carlys leave command and although she knows what it means she doesnt always obey...

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!  

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