After wrestling with the decision for several weeks, my fiance and I decided that it would be best for Chase to get him a muzzle, temporarily. This was a very very difficult decision for me because I do not like the idea of a muzzle at all!!
I feel like the worst mom on the planet, and a piece of me feels like this means I am giving up on Chase.
We decided that this would be best to keep Chase safe. We are still in the process of finding our own home and while we are at my grandfather's house we are forced to deal with the hoards of weekend guests they have over, EVERY WEEKEND. While people are over here we ask them to cooperate with our "No talk, no touch no eye contact" rule but unfortunately this hasn't always worked out. Chase also gets very excited/nervous when people are over here so he doesn't always listen when we try to correct him from barking and growling. I am afraid that he will actually bite a stranger one day and they will not be forgiving. I know that if he were to bite someone he is then at risk of being "put down," which would absolutely kill me.
He has gotten somewhat better around new people but sometimes he just gets overwhelmed and I can not get his attention to calm him down. I have started working with him to associate the muzzle with treats and praise. This way it will be no different for him than wearing a halter while on a walk.
This is only a temporary precaution to keep Chase safe while still being able to socialize him.
I know it's my fault that he was not properly socialized in the first place and now we are both paying the price for it. What a horrible mom.
I have faith that he can and will be socialized, he just needs more practice and the right "strangers" to remain calm and not be afraid of him. I am doing everything I can to fix the mistake I made when not socializing him.
His muzzle is a Basketerville muzzle, which allows him to drink, open his mouth and even receive treats but keeps him from being able to snap or nip at people.
Again, I know, I'm a horrible Corgi mom and it's completely my fault for not properly socializing him when he was younger but I'm doing everything I can to keep my baby safe from the wrong people.

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Comment by Kaitlyn & Chase on July 15, 2012 at 5:03pm

Thank you everyone for all of the support! It really makes me feel so much better, I was fully prepared for all out bashing on not properly socializing my dog. Chase and I have been working hard to make his "awesome face mask" (as we call it) a fun and enjoyable thing. He gets yummy treats when he wears his awesome face mask and  sometimes he can even find p-nut butter at the end of it. lol
He has been wearing it for a little while, while we work on trick training ( a good distraction from the face mask)
Chase is excellent at trick training. He learns so quickly and I am confident that he will learn to get along with guests.
I have learned that Chase will calm down if I give him a massage while guests talk in the next room. He gets a chance to relax while listening to their voices, once he is comfortable he gets a chance to sniff around their feet. This worked very well the last time my grandfather had guests over. I was so so very proud of him and gave him lots of praise for being so nice.
I will be getting the help of a trainer, after I find the right one. I am also looking for a really good vet to be his new regular vet. (we haven't found one since the move) He needs to be fixed soon, he is almost 8 mos old, which is when I read that he needs to be fixed, I think this will help him get a long with others!!!

Comment by Ludi on July 14, 2012 at 3:24pm

Don't put yourself down like that!! We all make mistakes. Heck, I made tons with Ace because I expected SO MUCH of him from the start, at a mere 4 months old. I set him up to fail too many times, and ruined so much of his self-confidence. And he isn't even my first dog! AND I read so much about training beforehand, yet there I was, not letting Ace blossom at his own rate.

You are doing a super job. Even by using the muzzle. Because you already know deep down that while it's important to help Chase out, it's imperative that he not bite a stranger who could be less than merciful when reacting.

I used a muzzle too, on Ace. His resource guarding had reached a point where the safety of our cats, who were our pets before him, was in considerable danger. Ace wasn't just making noise and snapping air - he really meant to hurt the cats if ever they even LOOKED at his dish. How did his resource guarding get to this point? Dunno. He shared a chunk of raw chicken just fine, but one day, something snapped. I am all about progressive reinforcement training, but sometimes, measures need to be taken to ensure the safety of others, and your dog.

Anyway. Sorry for rambling. Keep up the good work, and DON'T beat yourself up about this. You're doing what you can for Chase. And hey - if ever any of your friends discuss getting a puppy, you can be the first one to educate them on the importance of socialization, and help so many other dogs. :)

Comment by Sandy Stickney on July 14, 2012 at 8:49am
Hey Kaitlyn, Mark is right. There are far fewer people who are great at training their dogs. We struggled for years with 2 dogs that were not well socialized, and I really just didn't know any better. Our border collie mix was a keep-your-friends-close-and-your-enemies-closer kind of dog, and seems like our guests really couldn't follow our instructions, so we got to where we would just put the dog in our bedroom whenever we had people over.

It wasn't until we got our corgi pups that we actually found dog training classes, and they have helped us tremendously. The corgis aren't perfect, but they are soooo much better than our older dogs were. Good training classes can be very beneficial and well worth the expense. The classes we found were offered by the local dog training club, and they really weren't too expensive. I think you are on the right track ( but, again, I am no expert!). Just be patient, and don't be afraid to get professional help! Good luck!
Comment by Bev Levy on July 14, 2012 at 8:14am

You have to be sure that other people are safe! That is for their good and also for Chases so you are not wrong. I would seek the assistance of a dog trainer too. Meanwhile try leashing him to you especially when there are lots of people around. He will feel safer and you will have an easier time supervising his meetings.

Comment by Donna and Lilly on July 14, 2012 at 7:53am

No, you arent a horrible mom.  But you can use mis direction.  Do you have a crate for him?  Have him go into the crate when the doorbell rings, and he can stay there til he is calm.  Mine associate outside with the doorbell.  Its pretty funny, doorbell rings and they all run to the back door.  I put them outside until the guest is calm and situated.  Then they come in.  Its not loud, but the snuffle talk and poke the person.  You are right to want to prevent the bad before it happens.  I have my 4th corgi bite in 2 years.  Lilly is very defensive with other dogs and she was going off on one of my moms dogs and I got my hand in the middle.  So no, you are by no means being a horrible mom!!! By keeping him safe, you are being an Awesome Mom!!!

Comment by Mark Sleith on July 14, 2012 at 7:42am

I agree with Cassie - you are by no means a 'horrible mom'.  I think there are few of us that really know all the tricks and timing techniques of raising our little fur-balls, mis-steps are inevitable.  You're doing the right thing by protecting both Chase and the guests from a potential unfortunate incident.  Give yourself a break!   :-)

Comment by Cassie, Camden, and Oaklie on July 14, 2012 at 4:53am

You are not a horrible mom. Sure, it may have been a mistake to not socialize Chase sooner, but you are being responsible by recognizing the problem. I have a muzzle for Camden for when he is being groomed (nail trims are traumatic). You can't control Chase's environment, not enough to be sure anyways. You are a responsible mom; you are protecting both Chase and the people around him until he can be socialized. I see nothing wrong with that.

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