Over the past several weeks I have noticed a need in Tomahawk to enforce any corrections I give out to our other pets.

I tend to make a "CHHHT" sound to let our animals know when they are doing something wrong, but when I do, Tomahawk is right there beside me giving his most authoritative bark, or runs around our cat or pitbull and tries to nip them.

I am wondering if anyone else has a corgi who loves to enforce the house rules, and if so, should I worry about it progressing to more aggressive behavior?

What can I do to make him understand that his help is not needed?

Views: 625

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Jake does the exact same thing - if I make any kind of sound that could indicate unhappiness with something one of the cats has done, he's right there barking and herding.  If he gets too assertive I give him a firm "NO" and he backs right off.

I would imagine since corgis were a herding breed and worked closely with humans that this is pretty instinctive. It is something that I would discourage as it can get out of control. My Izzy tends to do this and I just tell her no to stop it.

Yes, you need to stop it. My Livvy has the strong instinct and takes it on herself to correct others...this has caused a few fights and so I watch for this. It can escalate quickly at my house. I would stop it immediatly and kennel if he needs it. If he gets the idea he can be in charge he will always want to do this...better safe than letting it blow up.

When we brought Maddie in, Jack took it upon himself to enforce the house rules and I stepped in and stopped it. I didn't punish him, but I did interrupt him with a "that's enough."

I DO allow him to alert-bark at me if one of the pets is breaking a house rule.

I DO allow him to intervene if Maddie and Boo get into a little scuffle.

I DO allow him to protect his own space/ food bowl/ treats from another pet.

I do NOT allow him to correct other animals for breaking my rules. I'm afraid it can lead to aggression, since my rules are arbitrary.

This behavior is not a Corgi thing, nor does it relate to  herding.  People in many breeds who have multiple dogs experience the very same thing.  Dogs are pack order animals and when they perceive that one of the pack is being chastised, and thus is more vulnerable, they seize the opportunity to join in, against the one who has fallen into disfavor, which can escalate into a fight.  There are hundreds of variations on just how this may present itself, but that is the driving mechanism.  Some breeds, and some individual dogs,  are more prone to fighting in general, and you need to be especially careful with those, as well as with some of the larger breeds where fights can spell disaster, Vet and medical bills ( Alaskan Malamutes, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Anatolian Shepherds, Rottweilers  for example ) Owners of multiple dogs in these breeds know they walk a fine line when showing displeasure or disciplining one dog in the presence  of the others.  It's a hard thing to learn through personal experience, but one you are not likely to forget if it happens and you're involved!  Put a stop to this "joining in" by conveying the clear message that you are the only one in charge of the "pack" and are quite capable of handling matters on your own.  Remember what "pack order" animals are like. In a pack there are no equals, either someone is higher in rank than you are or lower.  As long as positions within the pack are clear, no problem. In a pet situation the household "pack" includes all animals and people that can move about freely. 

That is what it is exactly! It worries me because our pitbull has already retaliated against his persistent need to correct her when I do. I have tried on numerous occasions to snap him out of his need to correct the other members in our family, but he has a crazy look in his eye that tells me that I am completely blocked out. I have tried numerous ways to get his focus back to me but with no avail. I have grabbed his scruff, closed his muzzle, sprayed him with water, and a few other things. I don't know what else I can do without being too hard on him.

Wave a treat in front of his nose to distract him. Scent will get through when sound won't. Think of it as rewarding him for looking at you rather than correcting him for barking. Say his name, wave treat, reward his redirected attention.

I've tried using cheese one time when he was going after our cat, and no dice! He LOVES cheese but it just wouldn't get his attention. It is like he goes into this zone and will not get out of it until he is ready to do so on his own. The good thing is that he never does this outside of the house. He is very wary when it comes to strangers, and he is wonderful when socializing with other dogs. I can even keep him off leash at a park and have no worry that he will run off after something. He is  more willing to listen to me outside the house. I walk him every day for at least 30 minutes and play with him as much as I can. He is a good dog in every other way but this.

When my Madison was stalking the cat, what I did was work on having her look at me when I'd say her name.  I did this using treats when she was NOT overly aroused by something.   Once she had that down, I worked on doing it when she saw the cat.  If she ignored me, she got ONE squirt right in the face with a water bottle (plain water).  As soon as she looked at me, I said "Maddie, good girl!" and popped a treat in her mouth.  It only took a couple times of squirting her for her to learn to pay attention a little better when I said her name.  

It's not my preferred approach, but I had a kitten's safety to consider and taking more time was not really an option.

The dynamic you describe below is likely to lead to a very bad fight.  I would work really hard on getting your Corgi to look at your face whenever you say his name, no matter what the circumstance, so you can redirect him.  In the meantime, I would try to avoid the situations that set him off.

Sonya, how old is the Corgi?  Have you done obedience classes with him and to what level of proficiency?  Can you give an example of why and how you correct the pitbull?  I would not underestimate the risks of escalation in the situation you describe and physically disciplining him in the moment has the potential to have him become even more aggressive.  It is not a question of being hard on him, but rather a question of his accepting your leadership position in the home.  If you do not have voice control of a dog, this is not the case.  The food technique Beth suggests is a bandaid that can be useful, but IMO you need more fuoundation work with this dog.

He is going to be 8 months in July. He has gone through puppy kindergarten and I have continued at home with training. I have been trying to move away from treats when I ask him to sit, stay, etc but he still needs that extra incentive I suppose.

Doja the pitbull has a habit of trying to get to our cat's food so when I see her focusing too much on it, I will walk towards her and make that "CHHT" sound. She will back off every time but still tries to get to it every once in a while. They have already fought pretty badly over me correcting Doja after the cat's food. Tomahawk ran up to her barking his head off and she did not take it to it well, so she attacked him and left him with several puncture wounds on his head. She knows her place because I rarely ever have any issues with her, it's just Tomahawk. He is so headstrong and will bite me when I try to correct him. I was told to place him lying on his side whenever he starts to nip at me, but it has lead to him biting me on the lip. I have tried locating a behaviorist in my area but I have only found one, but he seemed kind of shady.

I love him so much, and I hate having to physically hold him down. It just seems to make him even more aggressive.

Sonya, If you haven't already signed up for classes with him now would be a great time to start. Also, google Nothing In Life Is Free. He is at a rather headstrong developmental stage so now is the time to assert yourself. I would not roll over an a dog that is excited or acting aggressive. First you can be injured but perhaps more importantly you will usually do it with the wrong timing and cause the dog to behave even more aggressively. Meanwhile consider having him drag a short rope or leash around the house so that you can immediately give him a corrective tug if he starts trying to get involved in your correction of others. Teaching a dog to "go to his place" (pick one spot such as a rug) will also be a great help in diffusing this type of situation.

Anna, You may be correct that this is not necessarily a herding thing but my in my experience with beagles,retrievers, a doberman and a standard poodle I have never seen this desire to add their "two cents" worth to my discipline that I have seen with my corgis. I do not allow it as I think it undermines my authority.


Rescue Store

Stay Connected


FDA Recall

Canadian Food Inspection Agency Recall

We support...



© 2022   Created by Sam Tsang.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report a boo boo  |  Terms of Service