How to handle a nice dog's mean moods
January 10, 2013 9:53 PM Subscribe
My wife and I have a corgi/heeler mix who will be two years old in May. She's an absolute sweetheart most
of the time but gets into foul moods occasionally where she will snarl and bite. Once she's in a bad mood she tends to stay that way for a few hours. How can we correct that behavior?
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis to pets & animals (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Certain things will set her off. If we get too close when she's eating or getting accustomed to a new, unfamiliar toy, she becomes territorial. We live in a quiet apartment complex and scold her if she barks, then send her to her cage for timeout. She becomes meanest at those times; she does obey but protests loudly with loud rapid barks and snaps at our hands if we get too close.
I think part of the problem is due to the way we raised her. We got her as a puppy and it was our first time raising a dog. We trained with negative reinforcement (a slap on the rump, gentle tug on the ears, or timeout like mentioned above). We're worried that we screwed up when she was younger, and now it's too late to correct the damage.
We used to reward good behavior with treats, but 95% of the time her behavior is fine and we haven't done that in a long time. We really love her. She spends most of her time lounging around or playing with her toys. She's very affectionate and always wants to cuddle! But of course her bad moments concern us as we think about starting a family... we can't trust a dog like this around an infant. So I'm asking here for alternatives to putting her up for adoption. We don't want to do anything so drastic if it's avoidable.