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  #11  
Old 03-28-2010, 05:10 PM
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He has them fairly often. At least once every time we go to agility, or if we come upon a largish dog elsewhere.

He is rewarded for focusing on me. If he doesn't react, I make him look at me and then reward him.

I don't really have access to another dog to use as a training tool, but several of the other owners at agility will hold their dogs still after class and let me walk up with him and reward him for being good.

Yeah, it may be a time thing. He's getting better, slowly. But I'm worried at one day he may really bite me . . . or hurt another dog. He's only 25 lbs, but he's strong and fierce.
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  #12  
Old 03-28-2010, 05:18 PM
Criosphynx Criosphynx is offline
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btw sorry, I just re read the thread and I think I asked you som' stuff you already answered, I must have missed one of your posts!

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He has them fairly often. At least once every time we go to agility, or if we come upon a largish dog elsewhere.
personally I think this is a big piece of it. The way I tackled this type of thing was to prevent the behavior at all costs, tho in your case that would mean dropping agility. Personally I would, but I don't know how much you have invested into it But since you are afraid of him hurting you or others, it may be time to really think about it.

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I don't really have access to another dog to use as a training tool, but several of the other owners at agility will hold their dogs still after class and let me walk up with him and reward him for being good.
me neither...so I got creative (desparate) and I used my neighbors dogs that were behind fences. You would start with a barking dog (unseen), and then work up to getting close to a fence with a barking dog...then you change the fence from solid to chainlink the dogs from calm to psycho..etc etc


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He is rewarded for focusing on me. If he doesn't react, I make him look at me and then reward him.
if I may make a suggestion...how about rewarding him for looking at the dog? Put it on cue if it makes you more comfortable. Rewarding him for focusing on you is great...the dog is just another distraction to proof for BUT it does nothing for his feelings about the other dog...click/treat for looking at the other dog will counter condition him to LIKE the other dogs, not just ignore them...which will in turn end the symptoms (the reaction).

once again sorry if Iam recovering som' things that others hit on already.
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  #13  
Old 03-28-2010, 06:55 PM
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I've thought about dropping agility, but he has made progress with his beahvior there, and he has the potential to be very good. More importantly, the trainer is working with us and it gives me a reason to take him out and brave it, rather than just avoiding it happening. I'm pretty sure he won't get better if we just keep him in. Frankly, my biggest worry are the occasional idiots in the class. Most people figure out right away that Docket is bad with other dogs, that I have it under control, but to not get near him with their dog. But we get the occasional ninny, like the owners of that danged labradoodle, who just don't get that you don't walk up behind us without warning with a dog Docket manifestly hates. Yes, Docket shouldn't act like that, but on the other hand, what exactly are you trying to accomplish. I could take him to obedience instead (And he'll do rally in the summer, which Sarama has to take off because of the heat), but I think getting out and having to behave is probably the only way we'll break him of this. Notably, when we started this round of classes, he was unmanagable . . . he's now mostly managable, with an ourburst or two.

The neighbors dogs are a good idea. We will have to try that.

What really disturbs me is that this started rather suddenly and escalated even more suddenly. He's better now, but I can't for the life of me figure out why a dog that was friendly, if socially clumsy, has developed such a problem. He might be resource guarding me, but it doesn't feel like that most of the time.

Edit: I am scared he will hurt me or another dog . . . on the other hand, I feel like we have to work through this . . .
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  #14  
Old 03-28-2010, 07:03 PM
Criosphynx Criosphynx is offline
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Oh god, trust me I know the feeling...tho its usually people, they want to rush up and hug the cute puppy...I think I could double as a soccer goalie at this point...I've had enough practice.

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What really disturbs me is that this started rather suddenly and escalated even more suddenly. He's better now, but I can't for the life of me figure out why a dog that was friendly, if socially clumsy, has developed such a problem. He might be resource guarding me, but it doesn't feel like that most of the time.
my dog was litterally fine and normal one day and insane and afraid of the world the next. I remember the first outburst and having a "so its going to go like that eh?" moment. I think som'times som'thing in their little noggins switches on, maybe from genetics, maybe from a trigger you never saw coming...but yeah I hear ya.


I saw som'where that you mentioned a vet visit...maybe its time for a thyroid panel?
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  #15  
Old 03-28-2010, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Criosphynx View Post
Oh god, trust me I know the feeling...tho its usually people, they want to rush up and hug the cute puppy...I think I could double as a soccer goalie at this point...I've had enough practice.



my dog was litterally fine and normal one day and insane and afraid of the world the next. I remember the first outburst and having a "so its going to go like that eh?" moment. I think som'times som'thing in their little noggins switches on, maybe from genetics, maybe from a trigger you never saw coming...but yeah I hear ya.


I saw som'where that you mentioned a vet visit...maybe its time for a thyroid panel?

A thyroid test is something I didn't think of. I'm pretty sure he is not in pain from his back . . . he's far too atheletic and willing to play with dogs he knows. But that is a possibility.

At least he is (so far, knocking on wood) fine with people. If someone other than me gets hurt, it will be a fight with another dog (knocking on wood) and not because he attacked them (knocking on wood). And I got nipped last class because I was willing to get bit than to let the other dog or his owner get hurt.

I would not leave him with a small child, but I wouldn't leave ANY corgi (or any dog, but especially a corgi) with a small child unless I knew the corgi and the child very well and they knew each other very well. I don't let people pet him if he seems tetchy, but that's more to prevent him from becoming afraid of people than because he is afraid now. Fortunatley, the one time a kid actually ran up and grabbed one of my dogs, it was Sarama, who is a lot more stable, even if she looks more scary. I would defineatley block a kid from Docket, but more to stop a new problem than because of an existing one . . . thank goodness (knock on wood)

Of course, it worried me that the mother of one of the owners at agility, she showed up to hang out, said she'd never heard of a dog that was only aggressive to dogs. I don't know what planet she's from, but if that's a common misperception, it worries me. Docket has never been a problem with people. He used to ignore strangers, now he's friendly with them. Even when my mother (who he had never met) came to visit and was in the house, he was just as nice as could be. I don't want people to think he's a mean dog. He's not a mean dog. HE's really a pretty good dog . . .he just has an issue with other dogs.
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  #16  
Old 03-28-2010, 07:44 PM
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This is mostly common sense, but when your perfectly normal dog has rather suddenly started lunging at dogs many times his size with the full intent (appearently) to do them harm, it takes some reminding.
Actually, although it seems sudden, remember, he was a puppy. At around 18 to 24 months he became a "man." LOL. These past months he most likely has been going through terrific hormonal changes and leaving puppy hood, where you didn't see this behavior toward other dogs and going toward being fully mature. This often causes a dog that formerly got along with all the dogs to suddenly or almost suddenly start getting snarky toward them. All dogs don't like all dogs, no matter what we do. We can teach them to "behave" themselves and even associate other dogs with good things, but we can't always do enough to combat the entire issue. The bit about the leash on or off is common. But as to why he does what he does, try not to get too hung up on that. It doesn't much matter why. The treatment is basically the same. I think there was lots of good advice about clicking/treating when he sees a dog and all that. Control Unleashed, Click to Calm are books that should help with this.

The biting of the humans is another problem... a big one, imo, and I don't like the sound of that at all, even though he may be re-directing his aggression without thinking. It's one thing that a dog re-directs once or twice, but to be making a habit of this....um, don't like the sound of that. Shaky temperament comes to my mind before just about anything. That you picked him up and stuck him on the A frame shouldn't be a trigger for a dog with a strong, stable temperament to bite you.... Unless you've been putting him on the defensive as a regular way of interacting with him, forcing him, scolding him, causing him fear (and I don't believe that's your way).....no, I don't see any reason for him to have bitten you and Mike. (I'm sure he has his reasons, but....) Or... unless you've let him have his own way about every little thing for quite some time, no.

For this, I would get a certified behaviorist to evaluate him for your very best odds. Your trainer that you had sounds very good, but I'd still look into getting hold of a very reputable, certified veterinary behaviorist to evaluate him and give you a hand.

And I agree with getting a full blood work up from a vet...thyroid and anything else medical that could cause a sudden change in behavior. It could be that he is maturing that he gets snarky with other dogs, but the behavior toward you and Mike needs to be looked at from every possible angle.

I sure hope things turn around for you. Having a dog that bites humans isn't any fun at all. I think he can be helped most likely. But imo, you need to really get on it with someone who knows behavior inside out, who can see your dog in person before he gets more opportunities to practice this behavior. And rule out any possible medical causes first. I think the Internet is great for certain issues. When dogs start biting humans, it's time for some face to face, one on one. And there's no time to waste.
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Last edited by Doberluv; 03-28-2010 at 07:56 PM.
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  #17  
Old 03-28-2010, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Lilavati View Post
A thyroid test is something I didn't think of. I'm pretty sure he is not in pain from his back . . . he's far too atheletic and willing to play with dogs he knows. But that is a possibility.
I agree, a thyroid test wouldn't be a bad idea.

Also, can you find a chiro vet? Ares gets back pain, but until recently - with worsening arthritis at 10 years old - was always very athletic. You would've though he couldn't be in pain, but the chiro vet could easily get pain responses when she examined him. Drive can mask pain quite remarkable. He does tend to be a "strike first" kind of dog, especially when too close to a big dog -- which started after a labX put his paws on Ares' back. I don't know if the lab actually hurt Ares, but it was sufficient to make Ares very defensive. It doesn't take much to turn that switch.

Crio's advice about rewarding the Docket when he's looking at other dogs is excellent.
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  #18  
Old 03-29-2010, 01:53 AM
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Docket!!! Happy 2nd birthday lil' munchkin! I'd say that calls for pictures...

Before I even read the part about him turning 2, I suspected that. He is entering social maturity! A very, very awkward period for both owner and dog. Before Fozzie turned 2 he had never so much as growled at another dog, but starting then he got progressively more & more reactive. Has Docket ever bitten another dog or are these simply displays? He sounds like an intensely reactive, insecure dog... but not an aggressive one.

Corgis tend to be very fearful of other dogs, and react loudly/dramatically, in my experience. Cardigans especially. I have NOT met a Cardigan who wasn't reactive but I also haven't met one who was really DA. Luckily though, they're also very smart dogs and highly food motivated. With Fozzie, I started by setting him up for success only. No overwhelming environments. No close contact with other dogs on leash. I made every experience he had around other dogs highly rewarding, and played "look at that" (from Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt) constantly on walks, in front of the dog park, in classes, etc. He went from being very growly & lunging at every single dog he encountered on leash to laying down calmly while a Pit Bull is screaming/tugging insanely 3 feet away from him in Rallyo class. Counter conditioning is POWERFUL, it doesn't just teach him a command or supress his outbursts, it changes the way he feels and naturally reacts. Clickers make it 1000x easier to mark good behavior.

Personally, I don't think it has much at all to do with "being a leader"... that's alpha theory crap. He has proven that it has nothing to do with how much you spoil him by acting even worse with your husband. Although you should set clear boundaries and make him work for the resources you provide, every Corgi deserves to be spoiled! The way I am a leader is by setting my dog up for success (which includes avoiding overstimulating environments and protecting him from obnoxious/dangerous/unleashed dogs), teaching my dog that the world around him is wonderful and safe, and that I am the most fun, rewarding being in existence.
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  #19  
Old 03-29-2010, 07:46 AM
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One, I want to thank everyone for their advice . . . and more is welcome! It is a great relief to think that this may be a factor mostly of his age, and not of anything I have done, or of some incident that occured that traumatized him somehow.

Two, Dober, the biting thing worries me too. I have not consulted a behaviorist yet because one: I have been the only target (and Mike once) and because I'm pretty sure that he is either redirecting aggression or trying to get me to move away from the hideous, unholy poodle that is about to eat our souls. When he gets like this, he is jumping at the end of his lead (how ever short I have it), lunging, growling (real gurgling threat growls), barking, and snapping at the air. That's why the A-frame incident did not upset me more than it did . . . I grabbed a snapping, snarling, hysterical corgi by the scruff of the neck and pretty much literally threw him onto the A-frame (tried grabbing him in my arms, but that made him so furious I shifted to the scruff), then body blocked him from getting down . . . if he nipped my arm in that, I am worried about his behavior, but I'm not in the least bit surprised. That was one angry, frightened little dog I had just picked up and made feel more vulnerable. I wouldn't have done it at all except there was no way to prevent the little JRT from getting to Docket in the context of the situation . . . I couldn't grab the JRT and restrain Docket at the same time . . . so I moved Docket. Bascially, I think when this happens, his brain is off. Otherwise he is a very gentle, good natured little dog. Thus, I'm not sure what a behavorist can do . . . we need to stop him from getting that upset . . . if we do, the nipping will stop. If he showed this behavior in any other context, I'd already have called a behaviorist. But I am taking your advice under advisement . . . if he doesn't get better over the next month or so, I don't see much choice . . . I don't want to require stiches from my own dog.

Three: Gonzo, though I am not sure that the agression trainer was right about the reason, we aren't really talking dominance theory here. She was not a alcolyte of Milan, or I would not have let her anywhere near Docket or Sarama. But she does believe that your dog has to have faith in you and your judgement, and respect for you and your judgement. In this context, the idea was that if I was unconcerned, that sooner or later Docket would figure out that there was nothing to be concerned about. Now, in the case of Docket, she did think he was spoiled and didn't know his place, and thus thought I was a precious item he needed to protect. I guess that is dominance theory, but I didn't find it to be the sort of pseudoscientitic crap thats so popular. The odd thing is, now that I think of it, the behavior she thought was out of line, in terms of showing he was spoiled, started about the same time as the DA issues. Maybe he was demonstrating he was a big boy now? Although I am beginning to think that perhaps she blamed me too much for his problems (I was devistated) I did, and do, trust this woman, and I never saw her treat a dog with anything other than kindness and respect . . . and that includes the times I worked with her with aggressive dogs (using Sarama as a "therapy" dog to convince them that other dogs aren't bad). I willl start carrying a clicker at agility to mark when he is being nice and calm . . . I'd stopped carrying them because I don't need them out there and always lose them.

THree: I'm going to look into a thyroid test. I'll see about a chiro vet . . .or something like that. I've wanted to get him X-rayed anyway to make sure he is sound. But he is very, very active and does not put on weight, and thus a thyroid problem would make sense. He was by far the skinniest corgi at the meeting, which is partially due to his tiny size, but this is a corgi that refuses to get fat.

Four, also to Dober . . . we have never been rough with him. But he is somewhat afraid of open hands. We have wondered if his prior owners actually smacked him hard at some point.
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  #20  
Old 03-29-2010, 10:25 AM
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Corgis tend to be very fearful of other dogs, and react loudly/dramatically, in my experience. Cardigans especially. I have NOT met a Cardigan who wasn't reactive but I also haven't met one who was really DA.
Oh?

Maybe it's regional?

Because most of the corgis I've met aren't fearful of other dogs at all, aren't reactive at all. But then again, most of them have been pemmies. Or cardis at a cardi show, where they were surrounded by mostly cardis. Have met a coupl of cardis in other settings though, and neither one was fearful or reactive.

So, in my part of the country, I'd say that's absolutely false as far as pemmies...but I'd also say that in my part of the country there aren't enough cardis ~ and expecially not enough pet cardis ~ to really know what's going on with the breed.

Interesting. And sad.
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