ANOTHER puppy! My son's new corgi, Lyra.

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14 February 2021, 10:55 AM
ANOTHER puppy! My son's new corgi, Lyra.
I've done that, too. Also just hiding my hands behind my back, turning away and ignoring the dog.

Aussies are especially challenging though. Sheep herding dogs nip at the heels of the animals they are herding. I've known more than one sheep herding breed that has tried to round up the kids in the family, nipping at their heels.

Outrage is warranted. But outrage unaccompanied by analysis is a danger in itself.


15 February 2021, 03:26 AM
Before I got my Bernese Mountain Dog, I gave much thought to the responsibility of owning a really big dog. My dog was only available, because the original owners rejected it. They told the (sensitive) breeder that they were concerned because they were afraid he was too dominant. They were used to their beloved first dog (Golden, German shepherd, forget the breed) next to whom the Berner puppy seemed too bold. Held their gaze and seemed challenging.

I read a good bit about dog psychology, including what the breeder assigned me. What struck me was the need to establish ones dominance from the start, kind of like wolves.

My son is very reluctant to apply this to his darling Corgi, whom he doesn't want to be "mean" to in any way.

I've told him, there's a difference between being dominant and aggressive. I'm especially concerned about his letting his "pupper" mouth him. I've always heard that's a no-no for puppies when it comes to the possibility of biting.

If there was ever a hint of my Berner's challenging me, I simply held him by his loose skin to either side of his neck, insisting he meet my gaze - not being angry looking or fierce, but just ensuring he look me in the eye, until he spontaneously looked away.

I don't know but I definitely felt it was the right thing to do, to give him the message that I was Alpha. Not dangerous or mean, just the commander in chief.

I scarcely ever had to do this and we got on just fine. Sometimes I think people can be too intent on being pals with their dog, when the dog itself, wants the line to be clearly drawn. There's something about that gaze thing, that's key with canines. Not at all contrary to being loving and respectful.

The most dangerous word in the language is "obvious"

15 February 2021, 12:06 PM
I disagree with following one philosophy for all dogs, or even for particular breeds. The dominance thing is a fad. There are plenty of dogs this does not work for and it can lead to real harm.

You have to read the dog in front of you. Establishing authority with some dogs can be as little as raising an eyebrow. Other dogs, you need to be borderline aggressive because their drive is so high.

Usually it is sufficient to simply practice "Nothing in Life is Free" or NILIF. Dog is required to perform a task before getting a desired object, food, or activity.

I have always let my puppies mouth me in play, and I have never raised a biter. There is a big difference between puppy mouthing and biting.

Real partnership is possible when you aren't focused on dominance and control. Authority and leadership are not achieved through dominating and controlling.

fear is the thief of dreams

19 February 2021, 09:01 PM
pique, I see the eye business definitely is a matter of the individual dog and owner.

Certainly, as the second adoptive owner of my Berner (he had been rejected by the first owners as too dominant, which they determined by his unblinking staring at them), I think I can be forgiven for my caution.

The most dangerous word in the language is "obvious"

19 February 2021, 09:18 PM
And reading about the expenses of all the equipment and professional involvement conscientious/upscale new owners are seeking out nowadays, I found myself less judgmental of my son's "extravagance".

I had certainly never dreamt of signing a new puppy up for play dates much less all the other professionals being hired for their "childhoods" (and ALL the stuff!).

Although COVID has made it easier to spend enough time bonding with their new family members, it's also made it much harder to provide requisite exercise and socialization - think social distancing and other restrictions.

Which reminds me to re-ask Cindy (and Steve?) about whether their vets have put limits on where their new pups are allowed to walk. As I mentioned, my son's vet has restricted him from walking Lyra any which where. Not until she's four months old (and has completed her vaccinations - parvovirus especially).

Yes, I can see why you, Cindy, say it takes three adults to meet the needs of your pup. Of course, you take him out whenever he needs it while my son's pup arrived trained to use special pads for her to meet her needs indoors as required (thus allowing my son to sleep through the night until she could hold it long enough).

BTW as soon as I told him about your (Cindy's) special "take me out" bell, son got a few for Lyra! Works! But it can be hard to prevent her from over-signalling.

COVID pups

The most dangerous word in the language is "obvious"

19 February 2021, 11:34 PM
I think we’re getting somewhere. When he bites or challenges me, I crate him and ignore for 30 seconds. Then I tell him to be nice and let him out.

When he exits the crate, he walks by me in a huff (probably calling me a bit hinder his breath). But he leaves me alone.

It seems to be improving.
19 February 2021, 11:38 PM
Regarding the oversignaling, you just have to respect the bell. Every time, take them to their spot on leash and make them stand there. No pee means straight back inside. If you ignore the bell, then you might as well not have it, right?

As for walks, he can walk but no dog parks or meetings on the street. He gets his last shots on Friday, then no more restrictions.