Post a Corgi, entertain me!

Well, all Corgis are Welsh. There are two breeds: Pembroke Welsh and Cardigan Welsh, originating in two different counties in Wales. I understand they're quite similar, although my personal exposure is only to Pembrokes and Pembroke crosses. (I think that flavor looks cooler, anyway. It looks like Trichy's is a Pembroke, for an example of the coloring.)

In my experience, corgis tend to reflect their owners. They're perfectly happy being indolent, and will sit around the house and get really, really fat. But they also love to run; they were bred to be herding dogs, and it's much healthier for them if they have room to run and exercise. It's even better if you take them out on runs and stuff.

They're smart, and can be stubborn; they may understand what you want perfectly well, and just not feel like doing it. Here's a good example:

That, right there, is living with a corgi.

That, right there, is living with a corgi.

I couldn't stop laughing at that... so clearly I need a corgi.

Demosthenes wrote:
That, right there, is living with a corgi.

I couldn't stop laughing at that... so clearly I need a corgi.

Yeah. It is all cuteness and fun until he insists on sitting in your lap while you are driving.

I am told that corgis settle into two basic personality types from a very young age: hyperactive herding dog, and lazy fat-ass. This is completely heresay, but supposedly you can tell from when they're young puppies.

Yeah. It is all cuteness and fun until he insists on sitting in your lap while you are driving.

My mother and sister both put harnesses on theirs, and seatbelt them into place in the car. I don't know if that's actually necessary, but it sure seems to help.

hyperactive herding dog [or] lazy fat-ass.

My impression is that any given corgi can probably end up either way. Some are definitely higher-energy than others, but all the ones I've known have loved to run and be active, at least as long as you started them young. I'm not sure how well they convert once they're already fat.

Paleo seemed to be having pretty good luck.

Yeah. There were days when he would tug against the leash to go home but once you got him going he seemed to get into the spirit of things. He also seemed to be a lot better behaved on days where he got a good walk. Sometimes that just meant he spent the rest of the day sleeping on his back in proud phallic display. Other times it meant paying attention when you have commands.

In any event I am convinced that even "lazy" dogs actually benefit from a good walk.

Shelby is already showing high energy and a herding instinct that has the unfortunate effect of having a tiny corgi nipping at our heels when we try to walk. We're scolding her when she does it, so hopefully that won't last. She does seem to have two settings. Zero and high.

Don't scold her. Just ignore her when she does it. Providing a reaction is reinforcing the behavior, I think...

You could also positively reward her walking to one side.

Disclaimer: I am not a dog trainer, so take this with a grain of salt, and find a trainer. You can probably enroll her as soon as she has all her shots, at 4 months.

The trainer for the dog I had as a kid (a Sheltie, so also a herder) told us overreact. When she'd nip at our heels, we'd fall down and scream bloody murder. Well, in the backyard anyway. It probably wouldn't do anything but make us look crazy if we did it on the street. Seemed to work, and that's basically what I did with the corgi I have now for biting.

Another thing that is useful, and also a good idea to get her used to early is the submission "game". Pick her up and lay her on her back (in your arms, or on the bed, or couch or whatever) and look her in the eyes. Eye contact is a sign of dominance, so look at her until she breaks eye contact. Hold her longer if she's wiggly, but don't necessarily force eye contact again. The trainer typically used this technique when a dog was getting really rowdy and overstimulated in play group, or training class. Usually it calmed them down in about a minute.

Yeah, having trouble with nipping over here too, but otherwise the perfect puppy. More details and pics to come.

Overreaction often gets the point across, but I've found that a couple other signals also work. Audibly, you could try "huffing" outward through the nose (most dogs do this, it usually means "knock it off!") or even growling a little. In terms of training a dog to walk, a lot of trainers will also recommend that you just stop until the dog settles down. Sort of like pulling the car over when the kids won't settle. That relies on the dog liking the walk, and I've had less success with it.

Not that I'm advocating it, but the old-school, "mean owner" response for mouthing (also good if you've got an aggressive dog actually clamping down on you) is to push your hand further into their mouth. They don't like that.

PS:

Jolly Bill wrote:

Yeah, having trouble with nipping over here too, but otherwise the perfect puppy. More details and pics to come.

Perfection and cuteness confirmed.

IMAGE(http://gifrific.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Corgi-Playing-in-the-Snow.gif)

Bear in mind, the old "dominance/submission" paradigm you see in Cesar Milan and stuff of that period and before has been shown to be based on flawed understandings. Dogs don't have a "pack" structure like wolves, which is where the dominance stuff came from (and it's pretty incorrect for them, too, in the way we all understood it for most of our lives). In a group of dogs, leadership is highly fluid and changes frequently, and giving way is done peacefully. Aggression is not normal for dogs in relating to other dogs or humans.

So what people are teaching them with things like the "dominance roll" and other threatening behaviors is to *fear* you, as well as the circumstance that brought on the reaction. That's going to make them more insecure and likely to show anxious behaviors, which is what you don't want.

Here's a list of good training books from the professionals.

(Please don't take the fact that I keep bringing this stuff up the wrong way, I just see people every day actively "correcting" their dogs in such a way as to reinforce their unwanted behaviors. Or, worse, beating them and even training them to fight. It breaks my heart to see this stuff in action, and so much of it is based on freaking "Dog Whisperer" shows and how people remember their grandparents and parents dealing with dogs - yelling, beating, yanking them around "to get their attention" and such.)

That's a good point Robear. I read a pretty thorough critique of Cesar Milan recently (can't find the link now), about how his methods were wrong, were always wrong, contradicted by the science in the area, and numerous vets and behaviorists tried to keep the show from airing in the first place because they thought it was dangerous. One link I did find just now, said what he really teaches is "learned helplessness", which reminded me of a story from the original article I read. There was a dog that is terrified of hardwood floors. So Cesar's approach was to force the dog to stand on it. Eventually he stopped barking, but per the article, you could still see all the stress and anxiety on the dogs face. He just learned that no one was going to help him and gave up. That's not training; it's animal abuse.

Hell, my own dog has very clear fear responses sometimes when she's done something wrong, or things she might have done something wrong. Mostly that is due to my ex, who has basically no patience in general, and did hit the dog at least once that I know of. I realized how stark the contrast was when I noticed that when I am upset, Chavah came to comfort me, but when my ex was upset, she hid under the couch. My ex is gone now, but some of that fear response remains. My heart breaks a little each time I see her act that way, especially since she is generally a good dog, and most of the time she's done it was when she actually hadn't done a single thing wrong.

So, let me step back a bit. The trainer used the "dominance roll" to calm down and overstimulated dog. I don't know if it's useful as a training technique. The trainer definitely focused on positive reinforcement as a general approach.

Robear wrote:

Bear in mind, the old "dominance/submission" paradigm you see in Cesar Milan and stuff of that period and before has been shown to be based on flawed understandings. Dogs don't have a "pack" structure like wolves, which is where the dominance stuff came from (and it's pretty incorrect for them, too, in the way we all understood it for most of our lives). In a group of dogs, leadership is highly fluid and changes frequently, and giving way is done peacefully. Aggression is not normal for dogs in relating to other dogs or humans.

So what people are teaching them with things like the "dominance roll" and other threatening behaviors is to *fear* you, as well as the circumstance that brought on the reaction. That's going to make them more insecure and likely to show anxious behaviors, which is what you don't want.

Here's a list of good training books from the professionals.

(Please don't take the fact that I keep bringing this stuff up the wrong way, I just see people every day actively "correcting" their dogs in such a way as to reinforce their unwanted behaviors. Or, worse, beating them and even training them to fight. It breaks my heart to see this stuff in action, and so much of it is based on freaking "Dog Whisperer" shows and how people remember their grandparents and parents dealing with dogs - yelling, beating, yanking them around "to get their attention" and such.)

Oh yeah, I stick to huffing at our li'l pup, or more pronounced sounds (clicking, or a nasal "ah ah") to get her attention when she's distracted. I will add that taking her for runs tends to get her to pay more attention to me generally for the next ~36 hours.

Eva's not generally very assertive at all, so the notion of scaring her has never really been open to consideration.

I've trained a number of dogs using the "traditional" techniques (dominance rolls, sharp words when they misbehave, etc.) and I've never really liked them. If there's a better alternative, I'm all ears. I don't interpret suggestions as criticism.

Right now, we're doing crate training with Shelby, and dealing with the following behavioral issues, and my current approach.

- Biting / nipping at the heels.
- Whenever she bites, we're giving a high-pitched yelp, which works about 90% of the time. When she continues to bite, I've been doing a dominance roll.

- Chewing on everything.
- We take away what she's not supposed to be chewing, and replace it with an approved toy. But the biggest issue with this is her biting / tugging on the carpet. We've used Bitter Apple spray in the past, but now I'm worried that's counterproductive.

- Housebreaking.
- Crate training, frequent trips outside (when she comes out of the crate, before she goes in, within an hour of eating, and at minimum every two hours), carefully scheduling her meals, and praising/rewarding her when she goes outside.

One of my mom's corgis was very stubborn, and kind of a jerk. (the only corgi I've known who was, in fact.) The dogs had this ritual, whenever they came in, of needing to have their paws cleaned of mud, so I added one more thing in; when I was done with that particular one, I just held her on her back for awhile. I still talked nicely to her, I just held her there for about a minute, each time.

She started minding me after I'd done that, hmm, probably six or seven times. She would do what I told her, even when she would just ignore my mother. She was very smart, just uncooperative, so once I'd (very, very gently) explained who was boss, we got along quite well.

How old is Shelby, again? Some things you'll just need to avoid until, for example, the teeth no longer ache from growing in, stuff like that.

I'd look at one of the recent books, like The Power of Positive Dog Training, from 2008. Pat Miller. I have not used it but it seems to be highly regarded. (What I've learned comes from a few overviews of the science and many discussions and some reading with/about positive trainers and their techniques. But I've looked at the description and it feels right.)

You could also find a certified positive dog trainer in your area and do a few sessions.

Trichy wrote:

Right now, we're doing crate training with Shelby, and dealing with the following behavioral issues, and my current approach.

- Biting / nipping at the heels.
- Whenever she bites, we're giving a high-pitched yelp, which works about 90% of the time. When she continues to bite, I've been doing a dominance roll.

We train dogs uniformly, as if they are going into the ring, so we train them to walk on the left. You can do that by using a shorter leash and simply positioning them correctly and maintaining that position as you walk. Periodically you can reward; you want the dog to keep checking you to see what's going on, since that's going to keep them focused. With a short leash, you don't have to yank them around; they will be prevented from wandering too far by the length of the leash. Be sure to walk them near anything that might be a good smelling place, and let them smell and pee and such, since that's really important to them and will keep them content. You don't want to deny them the doggy attractions of a walk.

If they drop and start dogging your heels, try doing the opposite of what they want - stop and ignore them until they go elsewhere (to the side or front). Then gently reposition them and start walking again. No reaction other than stopping and waiting. Soon, the dog will associate trying to herd *you* with stopping the walk.

- Chewing on everything.
- We take away what she's not supposed to be chewing, and replace it with an approved toy. But the biggest issue with this is her biting / tugging on the carpet. We've used Bitter Apple spray in the past, but now I'm worried that's counterproductive.

For us, this is "wait and remove and watch". Puppies are going to chew. When you're around, monitor them and stop them chewing important stuff. Don't leave easily chewed items within reach. When you're out, kennel (crate) them (and train them to expect you back so they don't freak out as much and *want* to chew stuff). Make sure they have safe chew toys in the kennels. Try to exhaust them with runs, if you have a secure place, so they mostly sleep indoors. Good luck with that lol.

- Housebreaking.
- Crate training, frequent trips outside (when she comes out of the crate, before she goes in, within an hour of eating, and at minimum every two hours), carefully scheduling her meals, and praising/rewarding her when she goes outside.

Regularity is best, yeah. Bear in mind, a healthy dog (certainly out of it's first year and probably a few months before) can "hold it" for 10-12 hours with no issues. Don't let them manipulate you by asking to go at 2am because they are bored lol. Puppies, though, yeah, take them regularly until they stop going indoors. Make sure the area they are in is easy to clean, or covered with puppy pads, since there will be accidents. I'd say a 9 month old puppy should not be out every two hours; it should be moving to a few times a day and nothing between, say, 2100 and 0700 or whatever your morning schedule is like. Crates help here too.

Adult dogs like schedules and will learn to tell time by your behavior and the cues of the day. They don't *need* schedules, but if you usually feed at 5 and potty at 6, they will be waiting and wagging at 6 and will pester you if you miss that time.

Also, be sure you've got a comfy, warm kennel liner, even if it's just a folded wool blanket. Let it get a bit smelly, that's reassuring. Leave the kennel door open and accessible, and feed in the kennel. The dog will become comfortable just hanging out in the kennel, and as long as you have that "I'm leaving the house" command set up, they will stay there with a minimum of howling after they get used to your going out for a while. The more comfortable they are in the kennel, the easier it is to use when you need it to be closed.

This is just stuff that has worked for us. Hope it helps a bit.

Robear wrote:

How old is Shelby, again? Some things you'll just need to avoid until, for example, the teeth no longer ache from growing in, stuff like that.

I'd look at one of the recent books, like The Power of Positive Dog Training, from 2008. Pat Miller. I have not used it but it seems to be highly regarded. (What I've learned comes from a few overviews of the science and many discussions and some reading with/about positive trainers and their techniques. But I've looked at the description and it feels right.)

You could also find a certified positive dog trainer in your area and do a few sessions.

Shelby is 8 weeks old, still really young. She's signed up for a puppy behavior class, but she can't start until 12 weeks.

Also, one of the reviews for The Power of Positive Dog Training gave it one star because it was, and I quote, "Liberal crapola".

trichy wrote:

Also, one of the reviews for The Power of Positive Dog Training gave it one star because it was, and I quote, "Liberal crapola".

Spit take!

BadKen wrote:
trichy wrote:

Also, one of the reviews for The Power of Positive Dog Training gave it one star because it was, and I quote, "Liberal crapola".

Spit take!

Sounds like a good book, then!

I have a hard time with the traditional left-side leading on the leash. If I'm going to be walking down the sidewalk, I want the ability to put myself between my dog and whatever is running at or away from her.

Lead on the right, then, it's immaterial. We only do that because it's required for shows and we help a breeder train her dogs for the ring.

Yeah, eight weeks... I'd be more worried about getting her socialized with different people and other puppies. You don't have a long window left to do that. Make sure she gets out frequently with the purpose of meeting strangers and dogs, so she's not skittish around them later in life. Lots of play sessions.

You have about a month left to do socialization before she becomes suspicious of new people and dogs...

Trichy wrote:

Also, one of the reviews for The Power of Positive Dog Training gave it one star because it was, and I quote, "Liberal crapola".

The funny thing is, it's the same system the military uses to train their animals. Freaking libtards!

Robear wrote:
Trichy wrote:

Also, one of the reviews for The Power of Positive Dog Training gave it one star because it was, and I quote, "Liberal crapola".

The funny thing is, it's the same system the military uses to train their animals. Freaking libtards! :-)

I know that when I see a Navy SEAL hopping off a helicopter with his German Shepherd at his side, all I think is, "Pfft. Cut your hair and hit your dog, hippie!"

Picture time!

IMAGE(http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k225/petrie55/Mobile%20Uploads/20140725_154348_zps0ww9miig.jpg)

IMAGE(http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k225/petrie55/Mobile%20Uploads/20140725_154728_zpsso1gunyf.jpg)

IMAGE(http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k225/petrie55/Mobile%20Uploads/CameraZOOM-20140726082543913_zpsdkyxijyt.jpg)

Cute puppy!

Corgi thread needs MOAR CORGIS!

IMAGE(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8EtsjoDurJ8/UnGY0z0eTFI/AAAAAAAAUE0/6gba74jvbpo/s1600/corgi+lots.png)

Man, if that zombie-corgi horde catches wind of you...so screwed.