We have two Corgis, Woz (2 yes.) and Newton (1 yr.) and while the get along most of the time, we been running into problems. While trying all the standard tricks to teach Newt that Woz is her alpha (she was puppy when we introduced her into our household)we've resigned ourselves to the fact that Woz is just too submissive. He is rather good about being bossed about by his sibling and never fussed much when she kicks him off his bowl or takes his toys away. Mind you, we don't let her get away with it and she is always reprimanded. It still happens but luckily I can tell when she about to pull her stunts and can give her a stern warning to head it off. She does listen, thankfully.

While neither dog has food issues with me (I have always had my hands in their bowls and mouths from day 1) I cannot seem to break Newt from growling and snapping if Woz is anywhere near her food/treat. She'll go off even if he's 5 ft. away. We keep their food bowls separate from each other and feed Woz first. It's not a majority of the time any more since the reprimands have help curb the behavior. But we had an incident tonight where Woz wasn't gonna take it anymore. Newt went ballistic and frankly bat s*** crazy on him and he fought back. All in all it lasted maybe 2 seconds before I broke it up and sent her for a timeout. I checked both dogs for injuries and found she had a small puncture. However, the have been times in the past where i have found Woz with a small nip.


What should we do??? Newton has been a little devil from the get go so it's not anything surprising. Although she did not display any dominant or aggressive traits with her litter mates during our visits. They do get along and are normally lovey with each other.

Other than time outs, sharp words, rolling her on her back,grabbing her by the rough and making her lay, and yes, I am not proud but I've cuffed her on the fanny before...any tips would be helpful. I really don't want it to get any worse.Help!

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Honestly I would just keep them separate when they eat;  crate them if you need to.   And also accept the fact that the one who came first very well may not be top dog.  If you are reinforcing the top dog position to a dog who is not naturally bossy, you will prolong the problem.

I feed mine on either side of a kitchen island so they can't see each other.  When I give large treats that need time to be eaten I either crate one or stand guard because the one eats faster and goes nosing in on the other.  

I agree with Beth...mine can all eat side by side but I do have some issues(not food) with one. I also have a couple that prefer to eat in their kennels so I shut the door and let them "eat in peace". I also have one that eats at the end of the hall instead of next to the others. To use a leash on the aggresive one might help also but I don't think I would.

There is a lot you can do, but changing the natural order of which dog is dominant to who is not one of them, as you have found out.  I would cut out all the ruff stuff on your part.  When you resort to this it is because you have already lost the battle and the dog knows it.  Keeping an eye on two dogs that may fight when eating is iffy, you can get distracted, called away, think they're fine simply because it hasn't happened in awhile, etc  and it can lead to injury to people also as they try to break up an escalating fight.

In the short run I would set up a leash that permanently resides tied near the spot where you feed the dominant dog and clip that on before preparing the bowls.  Feed them always in the same place and order you have chosen. Make each one sit before you put the bowl down, then you can progress to the word "wait" before you say O.K.  This will introduce some structure. ( You can teach this to the dogs separately, in a room with the individual dog, the food bowl, and one kibble at a time as a treat ) Pick up the empty food bowls before taking off the leash and put them away.  A large water bowl can be left out and shared.

By having the dominant dog leashed, you can now focus on the other one who needs to learn it cannot get too close.  Say nothing, but if it gets close enough to the other one to elicit a warning growl  from the other one, tell it 'GET OUT OF THERE" REINFORCING THE MESSAGE OF THE DOMINANT DOG. Pack order and dominance evolved to avoid fights, but requires that each individual know its place.  You need to be top dog in your little [ack and you are NOT unless you have voice control of your dogs in any situation, and I don't mean by yelling.

When it comes to toys let them sort it out, but do not provide toys with food in them, rawhides or real bones. Nothing that is animal based such as hooves, bullysticks, antlers, pig ears and the like.

Obedience training classes are a must with any dominant dog. Look for a place where they know what they are doing, don't use harsh methods and plan on taking as many classes as you need to achieve that level of control and the kind of respect from the dog that is given to the pack leader.  You will then have a more peaceable kingdom :-)

mine eat in their crates and any treats that take time are given in their crates also. Its a great system that goes along way in keeping the peace at feeding times =)

Thanks for the replies. I hadn't thought os the leash thing but to clarify I have fed them one at a time, they always have their bowls int the same spot and when an incident happens the submissive dog can be across the room not even intruding. To note, Newt also had issue with dogs that sniff her too long with a growl. We have been successful in those instances using the same methods of reprimand oddly and that type of incident doesn't happen anymore.

@Ann Thanks for going into detail. Both dogs already have command words to exit their crate or the car, to prompt them it is safe to cross the road when on walks(on a leash of course), and
EVERY time a treat is placed on the floor and EVERY time a food bowl is set down they will not
touch it until one of us says their own command word. Their word is unique to each ( apple and
nano)and not something you would hear in common conversation like "okay".

I thoroughly agree it is time for professional training with the Dom girl. Thanks Beth for reaffirming our position of coming to the realization you just can't make a dog be the alpha.ive heard different things from different sources about imposing a desired heiarchy so it's reassuring. The "rough" stuff (rolling on back and firmly pinning in a lay down position) was a last resort that I got from dog training videos, particularly Caesar. I rarely agree with his methods since they seem to base reprimands on severe physical intimidation. The couple times I have cuffed her fanny was no harder than you swat your significant other's behind in jest.
As for yelling, I think that is my natural state of voice no matter the situation haha! I hope this doesn't come off as excusatory ( is that even a word???) but hopefully explaining I don't try things willy-nilly.


I will hold back with treats in toys. It's a shame since Woz Loves his brain teasers. Do you
think I could reintroduce them if there is shown long stable improvement? Last night's fight actually was over a brain teaser toy ( the disk one where they have to slide or spin parts to get the treat). He wasn't even going for it but went to get another toy nearby.

Luckily, when treating by hand (or floor) there has been no problem probably largely in part due to their command word and the fact the must do a trick before getting the treat. Good point about animal based treats. We don't use pig ears, seldom a hoof or antler (they don't care for them much not to mention their dangers) but they do like their rawhide (under supervision).

The frustrating part is the eldest is doing nothing wrong. He doesn't go after her treats, food, or toys. He tries to give her a respectable amount of space (her opinion would be next county). If he *does want something she has he will grab a toy and exaggerate his play so she'll focus on
his, come to take it away then he'll get her old toy with delight, I might add. It is actually
hilarious to see and thought it wasn't planned by him at first. You'd have to see it to believe
it.
Last question, should the eldest be in the same class as the bossy one? We need to do follow up training with Woz anyway since he's starting to act like he has doggy ADD (oooo shiny) at meet ups with our Corgi group.I'd like to think that I have been consistent in my training, that I constantly reinforce my pack leader status, and that I use positive reinforcement withou emotional or physical abuse. But quite frankly, I am tired of reacting to the situation and want to find something that deters her from even thinking about it besides my stern looks. As Ann pointed out, it's hard to give full attention at 100% of the time. I do believe I may have to feed in crate as Jane and Christy suggested or go back to crating one while the other eats. The no toys with treats and the leash thing may work. It sounds good to me. It's worth a shot. Thankfully all the fights have stopped with a sharp command though that last one scared me with how vicious it sounded.

Thanks again all! It is nice to have a supportive community that doesn't offer advice condescendingly. I read other dog forums and it is frightening how mean and abusive posters can be to others and how they feed off each other in verbal confrontations. It almost reminds me of the dog squabbles in the dog park. Haha!

You can still do puzzles but one dog should be crated or out of the house while the other has time to play.  I don't use treat puzzles but I do have some toys that I will only play with them one at a time.  I think Jack would be more likely to use his mouth in reprimanding Maddie over toys than over food.  I just got them a flirt pole and I only will play with one at a time.  

Thanks, Beth. Woz is brainier with those puzzles than Newt. Newt tends to muscle those to get the treat aka breaking them. I would hate to take those away from him completely since he seems to like them so much.

Pardon my ignorance but what is a flirt pole? Like a cat teaser toy but for dogs?
Yes, that's exactly what a flirt pole is.

Newton is obviously the dominant one and you need to respect that. You need to feed her first and respect the fact that she is alpha. You can't make a submissive dog alpha and your attempts to not allow Newt to be alpha are likely what is creating more of a problem. You are just confusing the dominance hierarchy by not allowing her to be alpha. She will continually fight and probably be more aggressive than normal if you keep trying to raise Woz up to a higher place than Newt. Sounds like the order in your house needs to be humans, Newt, Woz. Woz doesn't seem to mind being the submissive one and therefore you shouldn't feel sorry for him. The only time you should intervene is if Newt is acting like she may hurt Woz. Until you step back and let them sort it out for themselves the issue will just get worse and you will likely end up with a more severe fight than if you let Newt growl and assert her dominance and let Woz accept that. Doing things like feeding Woz first, and reprimanding Newt are just prolonging the problem and making Newt that much more frustrated and aggressive. Just let them sort it out, separate them for feeding times (but Newt should be fed first) and I bet the issue will resolve itself. 

Melissa,
I think you missed my point that I have NOT continued to force MY desire of the submissive to be the alpha. Although I cannot say 100% that I get met with pure eagerness to do as I command from Newt, please keep in mind she ALWAYS obeys me. As with Woz, she has gotten to the stage where she does try to test her boundaries(ah teenagers) to see what is allowed but I am strict and she seldom tries "bad" behavior a second time.She has actually been easier to train than the elder, picking up commands quickly, and oddly, is praise centric in her training rather than treats. It is weird because it is food she goes psycho over with her brother.

To note, their bowls are approximately 8 feet apart with Bowls situated where their backs are towards each other. They are currently fed at the same time by placing their bowls on the ground and then when they have sat down are released with their word. Woz, however, is technically "released" first to eat since we say their two words to eat in succession. I am not sure how half a second can make a difference with their backs towards each other but I am sure it could. This is mainly due to habit.

While I've let *some growling go on for the very reason of letting them figure out whose is higher, I will not allow out right potential harmful biting be allowed and absolutely no bullying being disguised as asserting dominance. Had I not stepped in from early socialization, she would have become the dog park bully. Repetitive reprimands has matured her into a dog that can actually play nice with other dogs and I don't have to fear her attacking other dogs if they have a ball she wants. She actually went after a full grown pit bull which could have torn her to shreds when she was 12 weeks. I personally get irritated by dog owners that let bullying go on in the parks without asserting their commands and also encouraging it by picking up their dogs. The dogs should be corrected and removed if need be.

Because she has assumed her dominant role over the male, the male gives her wide birth. The problem is the female will go "out of her way" to growl, lunge, and bite if she feels threatened by him. And *that is not permissible in our household.

As for the order in our house, it's the cat Jim, then mommy and daddy, newt and Woz. The cat? Well he won't let any of us forget it.

P.s. I know I tend to be verbose, but I have stated the details of the environment as detailed as I can to get better advice, so I am surprised at having to repeat them. My apologies if this comes across as terse.
Oh, one other thing that confuses me, when walking, she prefers to be behind Woz or next to him sometimes. She will also take cues from him where to go at the park and in social gatherings.

I'm sorry I misread your original post where you were saying you were trying to teach Newt Woz was alpha and that Newt gets reprimanded when she asserts her dominance. Reading all the further responses it sounds like you are doing most stuff right and it may be worth having a trainer come into your house to observe her behavior and help teach you the proper response or training methods. It's clear the dogs respect you as the leader. Most of the time a one time session with a private trainer will give you the proper tools to further the training and a second session may not be necessary. I think since it sounds like both dogs have basic obedience training a generic obedience class probably won't benefit you much regarding this issue. A good trainer who uses positive reinforcement can go a LONG way (think Victoria Stillwell vs Cesar Milan). I personally have never been fan of Cesar's methods for the same reasons you mentioned. Maybe for now feeding the dogs in a totally separate room may be necessary. 

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