Tips to Stop a Corgi From Charging and Barking at His Guardians When they Embrace

By: David Codr

Published Date: December 1, 2020

For this Omaha dog training session worked with 6 year-old Corgi Todd and his new roomie 10 week old Yellow Lab puppy Betty; sharing tips to stop Todd from lunging and nipping at his guardians when they hug or hand things to each other.

We started out the session by discussing the dynamic between Todd and Betty. Todd was not socialized as a puppy and has some dog aggression issues. As a result of the guardians have been very cautious about getting the pair together to keep Betty the puppy safe.

Puppies can be a challenge for anyone and if you combine a high energy puppy like a yellow lab with a herding breed that wasn’t socialized when it was younger and has some dog reactivity issues, that can be a challenging situation.

I shared a number of tips and suggestions including orchestrating activities that both dogs enjoy that can be done safely together. Going for walks and hanging out in the same room but with a barrier between them are great ways for the dogs to start building up positive associations with one another. I also advised them to practice this when Betty’s energy level is at reasonable like after she gets home from puppy classes.

While many dogs who are well-adjusted can except a puppy naturally, in cases like this it’s very important to build up positive associations in to pick and choose your battles. The last interaction the dogs have with each other is what’s gonna be the freshest memory. So it’s important to go slow and steady and make sure that the visits end on a high note.

I cautioned the guardians against getting greedy because a lot of people think that things are going so well they can keep extending the lenght of time, but that’s often when the mistakes happen. After a number of positive associations, and Betty gets a little bit bigger, the guardians will be able to be a little bit more aggressive towards getting them together. But for now slow and steady is the name of the game.

Next I addressed Todd’s attempts to control the humans from interacting with one another. Some people may perceive this is jealousy but I believe it is more of an offshoot of the herding breed’s natural tendencies.

A lack of rules and structure had confused Todd into thinking the dog that was in charge of social interactions. As a result the dog rushes over barking and nipping when his humans hug each other. The Corgi also charged his humans if they tried to kiss which can obviously be a problem for a married couple to deal with.

I decided to use counterconditioning to stop the dog from barking and rushing people who hand things to each other, hug, embrace or move too quickly.

You can watch the free positive dog training video below for an easy way to stop the dog from barking and nipping people who try to hug each other.

Most important part of this secret to stopping a dog from charging at people who kiss or hug is that the dog does not react. As you saw in the video above, actual contact was too much for Todd to handle. As a result I had the guardians break down the interaction into small steps. Reaching a little then stopping. Then eaching a little bit more, etc. Making things very granular allows them to proceed without the dog reacting which is crucial.

I recommended that the guardians make a list of all the interactions that they participate in that elicits this unwanted behavior from the dog. Then they can systematically practice this technique to stop the dog from nipping when they kiss, hug or hand things to each other. It be important that they do it in different rooms of the home and also in different postures as dogs do not generalize well.

Combined with petting with a purpose, rewarding desired actions / behaviors and enforcing a few new rules, I’m hopeful that Todd will learn to give up his habit of barking at people who try to hug one another.

Help the guardians remember all of the positive dog training tips we covered in this in-home Omaha dog training session, we filmed a roadmap to success video that you can check out below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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