CORGI CARE GUIDELINES I have included several very good handouts on crate training, housebreaking, safety, and general puppy care. In this guide, I have tried to give you information more specific to your puppy/corgis in general. FEEDING Your corgi is currently (Today’s Date: ________________________________ ) being fed: Purina Pro Plan Shredded Chicken ________(please use the measuring cup) Pedigree Canned 1 TBLSP Mix together w/warm water and feed _________ a day Treats: My dogs all get a small or medium Milk Bone before bed. They also get a lot of raw vegetables as treats. Corgis love carrots, zucchini, apples and cucumbers. Besides it is really good for them. Corgis can make little pigs of them selves so low or no-calorie treats are the way to go. You may choose to change to a different brand of food, if so please follow these guidelines. Be sure to feed a quality food. Learn to read the dog food label and decide for yourself if it is a good enough food. As a minimum an animal protein source should be included among the first four ingredients of a dry food and among the first two in a canned food (better yet is a dry food with meat in the top two and canned food with meat first). Look for the AAFCO statement guaranteeing the food to be complete and balanced for all stages of a dogs life. It should say something like: ―nutritionally complete and balanced for all stages of a dogs life and substantiated by feeding tests performed in accordance with the procedures established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)‖. Many cheaper grocery store brands of food contain only the minimum requirements, if that, they have poor absorption properties. You must feed more food to get the same amount of nutrients as the better brands. Be sure to feed a food that is balanced for either GROWTH or ALL STAGES of a dogs life. Buy your food from a pet supply store, your veterinarian, or a quality feed mill. Precise, Natures Choice, Nutro Max, Innova and Canidae are some of the better brands available. If you plan to use another brand of food, do it gradually. Do not change your corgis’ diet at all for the first few weeks. Let him adjust to his new home and family first. Once he is starting to adjust to his new environment, you can start mixing his old food with his new food – gradually increasing the amount of new food while decreasing the old. It should take about a week to change foods completely. If you change corgis’ food too quickly you will be assured of diarrhea. Most adult corgis keep their weight at a proper level with only one-cup of food a day (some eat even less). Don’t feed your adult corgi what a dog food bag recommends – you will have an obese dog with lots of health problems. Obesity causes problems with the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, joints and back. The best way to make sure you are feeding proper amounts is to be aware of your dogs’ appearance. If he looks thin increase his food slightly, if he appears chunky, cut back slightly. Use common sense!! It is better for an adult dog to be lean rather then fat! Do not feed much in the way of human food. They tend to unbalance your corgis diet and usually lead to finicky eaters. Milk is difficult for many dogs to digest and may cause diarrhea. Avoid small round cooked (steak) bones. They may become lodged in the mouth or throat. Cooked chicken, fish, and pork bones all may splinter causing serious internal injuries. Nylabones, made from a hard, durable synthetic, make a good substitute for real bones. You can also buy safe, sterilized real bones that are the proper type for a dog to safely chew on. Do not give rawhide chews to any dog without supervision. Adults can have large ones, but make sure they are made in the USA. (Rawhide made in 3rd World countries is processed with formaldehyde and can make some dogs very ill) Supplements are generally not needed if your corgi is getting a premium food. A single dog multi-vitamin given daily is good. I give ―natural‖ supplements – a tablespoon of meat, liver, or cooked egg, and yogurt a day. Your corgi should ALWAYS have free access to water! CRATE TRAINING I strongly recommend you buy your corgi a crate. I crate train all my corgis. I am very impressed with the results, and it makes for an easier dog to live with when used properly. NONE of my dogs live in crates! I have included a handout on crate training. Some of the reasons you might want to use a crate include: Makes house training easier A safe secure area for travel His space when he wants peace and quiet A wonderful dog bed Motels accept pets in crates more often then pets without Use at feeding time if you have more then one dog I like the Vari Kennel crate. It is a plastic airline approved carrier. The size you will need for your corgi is the Vari Kennel 200, it measures 20‖W x 27‖D x 19‖H. Pet Porter makes a crate the same size that can usually be found a K-Mart, or Walmart. Wire crates also work very well. Make sure to have a soft bed in it for them, but not too thick. Remember that anything you put in your corgis’ crate is his to do with what he wants. If you don’t want corgi’s new bed shredded, don’t put it in there until he no longer has the desire to shred it. Always provide a toy or two to chew on when crated. GROOMING CORGIS SHED! So getting your puppy use to grooming early is important. Twice a week or so, gently comb or brush your corgi. Have this be a good experience for them, don’t pull or tug at the coat. Kindly talk to him. Teach him it is OK to have his teeth and ears examined. Roll him over and check his paws, armpits, and genitals. It is important that you are in control and able to examine your dog at any time. This should be fun, fun, fun! He will learn to love the weekly grooming sessions. I also give my dogs a small treat after (or during, if needed) grooming or nail trimming. Toenails should be cut once per week, or every 10 days. Many corgis feel that nail time is a fate worse than death and will struggle to get away or will hide when they see the clippers come out. Let them know from day one that you are the boss. I hold my corgis in my lap while sitting in a large chair. I put them on their back, their head on my knees and do their front nails. I then turn them around so their tail end is at my knees and do their back nails. Add in tons of praise whenever it is earned and having someone rub their tummy while toes are being trimmed really helps. Never cut too close to the quick! You can see it. If you cut too close, it will bleed, bleed and bleed some more. Dab it with cornstarch, flour or a shaving stick or KwikStop) Corgis normally don’t enjoy nail time, but do tolerate it. I always add a belly rub and a cuddle when done with the deed. Bathing should only be done with a gentle shampoo. Don’t use human shampoo – dogs and humans have different pH levels, human shampoo will cause your puppy to have dry skin and scratch. I recommend Pure Pet Brand or any of the Foster & Smith brand shampoos. What ever you use make sure it is mild and easy rinsing. Good shampoos can be found at a good pet store or through mail order catalogs. Your corgi can be bathed monthly, although not necessary unless he is dirty. You should get your young corgi used to baths when he is young. I find my adult corgis sometimes get bathed only every 3-4 months, when needed. Don’t use flea shampoo unless you have fleas. If you need to use one follow the directions. Flea shampoos contain strong chemicals intended to kill fleas – be careful they can also injure your dogs eyes, genitals, and cause skin irritations. Many of the chemicals soak into your dogs skin – don’t use them too often – you can accidentally poison your dog. There are many Natural flea shampoos on the market that work very well. Be aware of other chemicals that could effect your dogs health. Rinse feet in the winter after walking on ―salted‖ roads (be sure to get the belly clean too). During warm weather – don’t let your dog play in any yard that has been treated with chemicals for at least three to five days. I don’t use any chemicals in my dog yards. And remember antifreeze kills dogs!! Dogs are attracted to it, because it tastes sweet. There are antifreezes on the market now that are environmentally safe, I highly recommend them. Houseplants are another poison to be aware of. Don’t have any toxic plants in reach of a puppy. Teeth Brushing should also be something your corgi gets use to early. Start by just putting your finger in his mouth. Once or twice a week, take a rough cloth, with doggy toothpaste or baking soda and water and gently rub his teeth and gums. Start with short sessions and slowly build up. Corgis have a tendency to build up tartar; home brushing can reduce much of this. Chews and carrots also help keep tartar down. Remember that veterinary cleaning requires anesthesia, always a potential danger – Prevention is the key! CHEWING Most dogs will chew their entire life. If you don’t want something chewed remove it! If you can’t remove it spray it with Bitter Apple or a similar product. Bitter Apple also comes in a cream that can be applied to wooden products. Puppies and some adult dogs can be destructive chewers. They especially love shoes. Shoes smell like you, leather, and everywhere you have been. Do not give your corgi his own shoe. He won’t tell the difference between it and all the rest of your shoes. Keep shoes up out of corgis reach. Be sure to provide plenty of safe chew toys. My dog’s favorite toy is a cardboard pop box or the rolls from paper towel. Sure, they make a mess with it, but I would rather clean up cardboard while they are sleeping then buy new furniture. Again, remember that most dogs will chew for their entire life. This is normal and is a good stress relief. Make sure they always have a few items that are theirs to chew and destroy. SLEEP The average adult dog sleeps about 18 to 20 hours per day! HOUSEBREAKING I am not going to put in much about this subject. I have included some very good information on housebreaking. This corgi has been going outside on a regular basis, so the initial steps to housebreaking have been started here. I do not punish mistakes; I praise when corgi goes in the right place. Take your corgi out and praise him when he goes, this is the best way to housetrain. I use a crate at night. You will learn the difference between a cry of wanting out of the crate and wanting to go out to potty. Always carry or leash your corgi to the door to outside in the morning. Praise him when he relieves himself outside. I take corgi out whenever they wake up or after eating and playing. If you work all day and there is no one to let corgi out, expect housetraining to take a little longer. An adult dog should be crated during the day or whenever you are not at home until they are reliable. When you get home take him out, praise him, and while he is not around, clean the area he eliminated in. Never punish him for dirtying his area while you were gone – he will think you are punishing him because you came home. He will hold it all day when he can – he doesn’t want to stay in a dirty area either!! TRAINING I highly recommend a good training class with an instructor that you can work with. I recommend ―motivational‖ training. Ask questions when you are looking for an instructor. Do they use praise, treats, and buckle collars, or jerks and corrections on choke collars? You want an instructor who praises rather then punishes!!! In the meantime, work on getting your corgi to come when you call. Praise him when he comes!! NEVER punish a dog when he comes, even if you have had to walk him down when he feels stubborn. A small treat may be used to call the corgi to you. I use the corgis name in addition to the word ―come‖ so that he associates coming to you with something wonderful. Make sure your voice is very happy when calling him. Corgis do not do well if physically punished! They tend to sulk and get resentful…they also have very long memories. Praising for doing things correctly is the best way. Punishment should be nothing harsher than a good scolding. The tone of your voice will tell him he is been very bad. NEVER leave your corgi loose outside without a fence. Even if they seem to do well for awhile, chances are they will eventually get into trouble, lost, hit by a car, etc. They are by nature, very curious and intelligent animals that mean well, but want to see what is around the next corner. Occasionally you will find a corgi that wants to herd cars, which can be very dangerous business. SOCIALIZE Take your new corgi with you everywhere. Animals which are only taken to the vet in the car learn to fear riding. Introduce him to many people and take him on walks with you. It will develop his confidence and make him easier to live with. Dogs left home or in a kennel all the time become aggressive and/or spooky. Corgis love to go everywhere with their people. They love people in general, but can go through some stages when they don’t trust. This is the time to get them out even more. Have people give treats, and pet them. Make this a very good experience. Ask everyone you know to pet corgi and tell him how wonderful he is. The activities listed below will help your new corgi become incorporated into the household. This process is called socialization. Your new corgi will become strongly attached to your family during this period of socialization. This bond will last a lifetime. It is important that your corgi learn that he is the subordinate member of the family. He has learned this here in his foster home. It is vital that everyone in the family practices these exercises. Younger children should have adult supervision. The following activities should become part of the normal routine for the corgi until he is comfortable in his surroundings. 1. Let corgi sit on your lap on the floor/couch and hold him. 2. Look into corgis eyes and speak to him. 3. If possible, gently put corgi on its back and rub his tummy. You may have to do this with corgi next to you on the couch/floor. 4. During grooming or petting, use moderate pressure from head to tail. 5. During play, don’t allow corgi to stand on you if you are lying on the floor. It is fine for him to come and sit on your lap while you are on the floor. 6. Avoid excessive tug of war games. If you do play tug, you must always win the game. Encourage fetch and retrieval instead. 7. Teach him to sit. Use very short but frequent sessions for younger corgis. 8. Practice picking up his food bowl once or twice during a meal. Use lots of praise. ―I took it way, but look I gave it back…good corgi!‖ 9. Teach the corgi to allow you to take toys (or whatever) out of his mouth. Be gentle, but firm. 10. Praise corgi for good behavior, even if it is only resting quietly. 11. Practice touching the paws, legs, bottom, ears, etc., all over his body. 12. Never use a command unless you are sure corgi will obey you or you can make him obey. 13. Have your corgi obey commands prior to every day activities; i.e. sitting before being fed, to ―wait‖ (The wait command is different than the stay, as it means that another command will follow and it will be a moving command) before going out the door, etc. 14. Corgis do not respond well to physical punishment, they will either become aggressive or will shut down. The best punishment is to tell them ―Ah Ah‖ or ―NO‖! And then remove them from what they have done wrong, or remove what they are into from their reach. Corgis are very bright dogs and respond best to praise for doing right. For example: A corgi gets a sock from the laundry. Instead of telling him NO, try this: Tell him he’s a good dog and would he be interested in trading? Offer him one of his toys. He will trade, because corgis believe that what ever the other guy has is nearly always better then what he has. Show him the toy and he will drop the sock and take the toy. Praise him for being ever so clever, remove the sock and put the laundry somewhere where he can’t get to it. You can put it down again when he is better acclimated to right and wrong in your home. This lesson taught the puppy that: 1. You are always his friend. 2. He came to you and you were happy. 3. Sometimes what you have is better then what the puppy has. 4. You are always pleasant and are always happy to see him. 5. The corgi is so smart! 6. He knows what his toy is. As a rule, I use the word ―NO‖ very infrequently. I try to praise for good things and just remove anything the corgi can get into what will be bad for him or that he will get into trouble for. LIFTING A CORGI To lift a corgi without injury requires 2 hands. Place one hand under their rib cage and the other one under their rear end. Lifting a corgi from underneath his front legs only, can be very painful and cause injury. These are heavy little dogs! Once in yours arms, keep them supported, and never, ever let them jump out of your arms, they will injure themselves. CHILDREN Small children should never be allowed to pick up a puppy or an adult corgi. A puppy or adult corgi that has been dropped may be injured or killed. Some injuries do not show up until later, so a vet should examine any corgi that is dropped. Children can be taught that they may hold the corgi in their laps with adult supervision while seated on the floor. Children under the age of seven or eight should always be supervised when playing with a corgi. They can get rough very quickly without meaning to. Teasing and rough play encourages and teaches the corgi to bite and he will soon become aggressive. Remember that very young babies and toddlers are viewed by the dog not as small humans, but as some other type of animal. MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL Take corgi in the car and everywhere with you. If you go into the flower shop to pay a bill, leash him up and march in with him. If you have a friend who has a retail store, ask if you can bring the corgi in. Make sure your corgi is ―empty‖ before going in! The corgi will learn to be relaxed in all situations and with all people. (Many Home Depot/Lowes stores allow a small dog in the cart. Most banks and libraries will allow a well mannered dog on a leash in—explain to them that the corgi needs socialization and bring treats for the employees to give your corgi while you are there.) Corgi will also pick up stress and fear from you and your voice. Learn to speak with a calm, happy voice in all situations. An example would be: You and corgi are walking down the street when a large noisy semi-truck passes by. It frightens the corgi! Squat down to reassure it but DON‖T SAY: ―Oh, you poor little thing! Did that big, bad truck scare the baby? Are you okay?‖ Instead, you would say something like: ―Wow, was that a big truck! You are a very brave corgi and I’m sure that next time you will be fine. Now let’s move out so we can finish our walk.‖ You can imagine the difference between the tones of voice between the two responses. Many people teach their dogs to be frightened by the tones of their voice without even trying. LAST BUT NOT LEAST Here are some very good books you might want to buy or get from the library. Don’t Shoot the Dog, by Karen Pryor The Art of Raising a Puppy, by The Monks of New Skete How To Be Your Dog’s Best Friend, by The Monks of New Skete Superdog, Raising the Perfect canine Companion, by Dr. Michael W. Fox Playtraining Your Dog, by Burnett Right from the Start. By Drs. Foster and Smith The New Complete Pembroke Welsh Corgi, by Deborah S. Harper (Your dogs ancestors are in this book) The Pembroke Welsh Corgi,Family, Friend and Farmhand. By Susan Ewing (Your dogs ancestors are in this book) A mail order dog supply catalogs that I use are: Doctors Foster and Smith (800)826-7206 www.drsfostersmith.com PROBLEMS????? Please call me at any time if you are having problems (715) 675-9867(firstname.lastname@example.org). You are always welcome to visit (bringing corgi with you) and pictures are always appreciated! GOOD LUCK!! Love your corgi as much as we do!!
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