What should I do when she keeps going back there when I say no bite and substitute an item? I used bitter apple--didn't work. Also, she seems to be getting growly with my kids when they try to work with her and her toys or move at all when they hold her. I want to know what they are to do and what I am to do in reaction to the growling? I want her to know I love her but that is NOT acceptable. I have my daughter working with her doing some of the nightly training work to show her that she is also in charge. What else?
i hate to to tell you to buy something else, but "bitter end" keeps my dogs from chewing wood. i get it at petsmart. it's different from bitter apple. other than that, supervise until the chewing stage is over. about the growling, i would contact a trainer. read the section in the book "good owners great dogs" about grounding the dog and see if it applies.
every time she chews on something she isn't supposed to yell and tell her no and then give her one of her toys/bones as a replacement.with all the kids you have i don't know where you'd find the time but i would highly siggest seeking the advice of a trainer/behaviorist. maybe you could find one to come to the home. if you cannot correct this yourself then you need help. as she gets older and this behavior keeps happening it only gets worse and she'll start growling at everyone and thing. dogs do not view kids as authority. they view them as siblings. we have to show them the difference.
Yes, I think you definitely need to try to find someone that will come to your home to work with you, your children, and your dog. Not only being able to observe your dog in your home, but training in your home will allow a good trainer to be most effective.
My little girl, Kicho-Na does the same thing with my youngest daughter. Bri (10) will try to play or pet or whatever, and Kicho will growl at her. In my case, it is because Kicho believes she is higher in the pack than Bri, and therefore has the right to growl at an "underling". Try as I might, I haven't gotten her to stop it. I am alpha, and Kicho knows it, so when she growls at Bri, I growl at HER, and bare my teeth. She rolls over and shows me her belly, and will often also throw her head back and bare her throat, which means that she understands what she's doing is not the correct thing to do. However, she STILL growls at Bri. I believe it has to do with the fact that Bri doesn't assert herself to Kicho often enough. She will only assert herself when I remind her. The best I have been able to do is remind Bri to not put her face up to Kicho's face, just in case Kicho does decide to nip. I agree with the others, if you can get to a trainer or behaviorist, that would be the best thing. If you are comfortable with getting your kids to growl back, that may work. HOWEVER, if you have any doubts as to how Faith might react, DO NOT try it. Some dogs are very good at accepting that they are "lower" in the pack than the kids, but some are not. I believe you said Faith was a corgi? They are very intelligent, and can be stubborn. Good luck and keep us posted.
Please don't try to or teach your children to play alpha role with your dog - that is a very dangerous game. Why your dog is behaving like it is can only be analyzed in person - just do your best to find a well qualified and experienced behaviorist/trainer.
Willow, please note that I stated that if she was at all unsure how her dog would react, that she should not do it. Also, at no point in time would I EVER say that becoming the alpha was a GAME. However, if you require respect and obedience from your dog, at some point you will have to be viewed as the alpha by your dog. What do you think obedience training is all about?
I actually DO NOT feel that Faith is agressive and I do think this is a pack issue. She is SO great with the kids most of the time and the growl is almost playful. I will contact a behavior specialist still to be safe, but I do feel that she might sense the insecurity in my girls. That is who she tends to growl at. The boys are more assertive and she kind of plays rougher with them enjoying it and doesn't growl at them. I think she sees them as her rougher more dominant siblings. My girls have apprehension behind their time with her since they do not have any interest in wrestling with her. I dont think Faith is a dog who is not for kids. I do think that training will help and I am bringing one IN HOUSE to work with the entire family. I have tried rescue dogs before and found true agression and possessiveness towards me that bordered on dangerous. This is not what I see here. I do think this is a combination between sibling rivalry and typical corgi stubborness. She knows this mother of 5 isn't taking any guff from her so she doesn't try it with me. You know kids---they will try to push the envelope with someone if they will let them!
atrester, I think you are right about the girls being submissive and your puppy probably does sense this. I would encourage your daughters to tell her NO in a firm voice and then ignore the puppy when it tries to growl at them. Your children can also put her in her crate when she does this for a time out. I have done this with my corgi and beleive me she knows when she is in trouble. She will put her head down and give me a sad face. hehe. I use the crate for time outs and it works fine. I do not think your puppy is aggressive, but stubborn, yes! Cogis are stuborn and do need firm handling.With firm handling they are the most friendliest dogs you will ever own. They love people.! Oh yeah, my corgi hates to be picked up she is around 6 months now, but if I have to pick her up she will tolerate it fine. Having the trainer come to your house is a very smart idea too well, Good Luck.
Atrester----We had (have?) the same problem with our 5-month old Golden puppy----he first started growling at anyone who dared to come hear his face when he was sleeping or just laying there resting. This eventually ended, either because we don't bother him when he's sleeping or because we've been working with him. We have been doing the obediance classes as well. All the kids make the dog sit before treats, going outside, etc and the kids were taught not to sit on the floor with the dog--they have to be higher than him. Other than the growling while he was sleeping, he's never shown any aggression or growling. He has'nt done it for awhile now, and I feel his growling was a result of his trying to figure out in the pack where he fit in. I too, am not going to let any dog boss me or my kids around!!! We've been taking him to school to wait in the car line while I talk with other mothers and he greets everyone nicely and sits while I talk---we take him to the park and the shops downtown (we live in a really small town!!), so we're working on the socializing thing as well. He does have a more dominant personality than our other one, so we need to nip his little attitude!! I agree that the kids should be taught not to get in the dogs face, but as I know having my Autistic son, that he does it anyway, and he's the one that gets growled at occasionally. He does'nt want to yell at him for fear of hurting his feelings. he wants to rub his nose and his face because it feels soft. No amount of reasoning has gotten through to him, so I make sure he does a lot of the walking, feeding and training with him so the dog will know he's boss. That and a lot of supervision between the 2 of them.
also forgot to mention---our trainer recommends using hot sauce in place of bitter apple since some dogs like the bitter apple. I don't know if it will stain the cabinetry, but you might want to give it a try---we're having trouble now with our puppy eating a hole in the wall and he keeps going back to it to make it larger---he'll move when you spray it with the bitter apple, but just return the next day to finish off the job!!
Atrester, just because your dog is not straight out aggressive doesn't mean that her behavior towards your girls isn't dominance aggression. Trust me, it is. Reread your own post, you frequently use 'dominant' and 'submissive' when referring to your kids. The dog knows that your girls are more submissive, and therefore her growling at them is establishing her dominance over them. She doesn't growl at your sons because she knows she is already under them on the social rank. I don't recommend you using the alpha roll on her, but you can't tolerate her growling at any of your children for any reason. Any time she does it, give her a time out or have your kids walk away from her. She will learn that growling = no play time. Even Faith growling over a ball that is on the floor that your child is reaching for, while it is playful looking, is dominance agression. If you do not stop this behavior now, it will worsen.
I know she needs to be redirected on this. I am bringing in a trainer on Tuesday after school to work with the family. She is excellent with dogs and will help us a lot. I want to insure we do the right method for sucess. I just wanted to make sure I didn't imply that she was an agressive dog in general. Most people including the vet say she is one of the most laid back pups they have seen and that she is very submissive in fact. BUT, I think with anyone who is like that in personality they like to have SOMEONE they are above! My girls are very sweet empathetic types and an easy target on that. I will work with them and will do whatever necessary to teach Faith. She is so smart and really does love all of us. I know she will do what we ask if we tell her what we want. Thanks for all the advice.
luvmymutts I think obedience training is about working WITH your dog and trying to enhance your dogs natural abilities through training. I am very reserved when it comes to using terminology such as dominance and alpha - It has its place, but it is something that needs to be taken VERY seriously, and the majority I people I have run in to have a skewed interpretation of what it means. Give me someone that can predict how a dog will react and that would be something. You can make educated guesses, but every dog is different, and there are those very few dogs out there that you can not get away with alpha-rolling as you say - and besides, in most cases, other approaches are safer and more effective, (adding to your dog rather than taking away), so why take the risk?