The Adventures of Felix and Jack - Introducing a new corgi to our home!

Hello Corgi land!  My name is Shelly Duell and I am a corgi parent.  My husband Trevor and I recently decided to add a second corgi to our pack.  Through this process, I have read hundreds of articles and tried my best to do the right things in bringing in a new member of the family.  There are so many differing opinions out there, that we have had to adjust to what we feel is best and learn through trial and error.  I have decided to start a blog about our journey so that others can give their input and learn from our experiences (and mistakes, ha!).  Here is our story so far.  Please feel free to give advice - we may or may not take it, but I appreciate everyone's opinion!

We have a 1.5 year old pembroke named Felix who we have had since he was about 10 weeks.  He is our baby and pretty much our lives, but we felt like he could use a companion.  We started looking just a few weeks ago at rescues in Kansas (that's where we're from originally, and they have a great rescue called Corgi Connection).  We had applied for one that didn't end up with us, but Jeanette who heads up the rescue had heard from someone in Salina, KS who needed a home for their corgi.  We followed up on this e-mail and found Jack, a 2 year old pembroke.  He looks really similar to Felix, except he is quite a bit surprise, Felix is kind of a midget.  He is really well behaved and SO loveable!  He LOVES being petted and will cuddle up with anyone!  A real cutie.

Through our research, we knew to introduce the two dogs in a neutral environment, so when we went to meet Jack on Saturday, we met up with the previous owners at a local elementary school.  We kept the dogs on leashes and let them sniff, and we pet both dogs and talked a bit about Jack's background.  All went really well, but Jack tends to growl at other close by dogs when he's being petted.  That was really my only concern about him.  We walked the dogs together to get to know Jack better, and then they got to play in his owners' backyard off-leash for a while.  We decided to keep him, and we took him back to my in-laws for the rest of the weekend.

While at my in-laws, things went pretty well.  The dogs were both in a neutral home - Felix has not spent much time there, and it was brand new to Jack.  We still kept close tabs on them, and offered swift corrections to Jack for the growling while being petted.  We have made it clear that growling will stop the affection, not give him more.  This has helped at least somewhat in the past few days.  Jack still tends to growl at Felix for getting in his face, but I think some of that has to do with him being stressed about his new situation.  Our biggest trouble was with food.  We did not have a separate location to feed both dogs, but they really seemed to do well being on opposite ends of the first.  I got too comfortable and tried to feed them by myself, and suddenly we had a fight.  I was able to break it up quickly, but it made it clear that feeding them in the same room would not work.  We have noticed that Jack waits for Felix to eat his whole meal before he eats his - this could have stemmed from his past situation in a house with 3 other dogs.  

Last night we returned home, and we took them on leashes directly to the backyard.  We guided them through all of the yard, and did the same in the house all on leashes.  We took them off leashes after about 30 minutes so that we could get everything unloaded from the car.  Things were fine, and they seemed to be getting along.  Again, I got too comfortable and when I started moving their things around (especially the food) - we had another fight.  This one was harder to break up, and it really took a toll on me.  I felt like I had failed them by allowing that to happen.  After this fight, we have noticed that Jack avoids looking at Felix - physically turns his head to the side when Felix gets close.  I am worried that he is afraid of Felix.  Felix still keeps a little distance, but definitely wants to play and doesn't understand why Jack doesn't want to!  Jack is still just frightened and stressed about his environment.

This morning, we took the dogs out back for the morning, and then attempted feeding the dogs separately again (neither one ate last night, even in separate rooms).  Felix ate fine, but Jack didn't eat much.  We decided to take them on a walk all together.  The walk went GREAT!  They both walked very well, and even walked side by side part of the time with no problems.  They were both exhausted afterwards!  When we got back, we went to the backyard for water - we have a kiddie pool full that Felix likes to splash around in.  Felix dove into the pool, but Jack wouldn't even approach it for water.  We had to get him a separate bowl to drink from outside.  We were worried about the water as well, as we did have one snapping incident after a walk this weekend.  

Since the walk, they have been doing well.  We have pretty much kept them separate - one confined behind our doggie gate and one out, then switching periodically.  No incidents so far today, but the day is young!  I've been trying to play with each one separately, but no takers yet.  They might just be tired or worried about the other dog.  Hopefully I will have more luck later.  More updates to come.  Thanks for reading!!


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Comment by Jenny, Tucker, & Zoey on June 11, 2012 at 8:04pm

I think they're just trying to work out who is the leader. Zoey and Tucker were like that. I've always heard that if there was no blood, there wasn't supposed to be any. I do feed mine in separate areas, because they will still quarrel over food if nobody is around. Best of luck and keep us updated!

Comment by Cindi & Twinkie on June 11, 2012 at 4:27pm

I'm so glad you were able to take in Jack. I am from Junction City, Kansas, and I love to hear about Kansas corgis getting new forever homes!  Keep up the work mommy!

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