So you’re thinking to yourself “I want to get a Corgi”, but not sure if it’s the right decision for your house/family. Corgi’s are tremendous dogs who will make for a great addition to any household. With that said every potential Corgi owner should take into consideration these 5 common Corgi traits.
Corgi’s bark, it’s that simple. Even the most skilled trainer will admit Pembroke Welsh Corgi’s are stubborn and some traits you won’t be able to cure with training, no matter how extensive. Barking is one of those traits. If you or your family is looking for a quiet dog, you should look elsewhere. While some training will definitely help with duration and volume, a Corgi will bark at the smallest provocations: a car passing by, a pedestrian on the sidewalk, an accidental bump into a cupboard, and sometimes for what appears to be no reason at all.
2. Their Coat
If the expression “Dog hair don’t care!” is one you live by, you’re in the clear. However, if dog hair is a concern for you, know that Corgi’s shed. They do not shed as bad as some breeds, like Huskies, but enough that you should be aware of it. They have a double-coat which goes through two big blowouts a year (Spring and Winter), where daily brushing is recommended. During these periods expect to see fur everywhere you allow your Corgi. The brushing will help keep loose hair from getting out of control but don’t count on keeping it contained.
After their bi-annual blowouts, a Corgi’s fur is pretty easy to maintain. The top layer of fur is pretty resilient against dirt and doesn’t allow small particles to seep down into the undercoat. Unfortunately, this usually means the dirt falls onto the floor for their human companions to clean up. So better keep them off any furniture or carpets after that long hike or roll in the mud (yeah…they do that). Otherwise, you might have dirt Corgi outlines around your home.
3. Working Class dog
Corgi’s were originally bred as herding dogs so they do require a decent amount of exercise. This is where their small size is deceiving as some people expect the breed to be more laid back like a lap dog. However, this is far from the case. A Corgi needs daily exercise as well as getting the sense of accomplishment from completing a task.
It’s important for the owner to have a daily exercise routine for their dog. I for example, play fetch with my Corgi, Kenobi, every night after work. This fulfills both requirements as he gets to do a fair amount of running while at the same time completing a task (retrieving my lost ball). Typically when you see a Corgi put up for adoption, their previous owners were not able to give them these things. Which more often than not, results in the puppy becoming aggressive or disobedient. As the owner you need to make a daily commitment to your pup.
4. They want to be around the family
Corgi’s may not be your traditional lap dog but they do want to be around the family. While they may not lay on your lap or curl up next to you on the couch, they very much enjoy playing, chewing, sleeping, etc in the same room as you. In fact, if there are people in multiple rooms you may see your Corgi going back and forth between the two trying to get everyone into one location. This happens to Kenobi whenever I am in the living room and my girlfriend is in the bedroom. (He typically gets tired and lies halfway between the two rooms – after he gives up trying to herd us both back into the same place).
The backyard is a great place for your Corgi to run around in but not for prolonged periods of times. While they enjoy stretching their tiny stumpers, they would much rather spend quality time with their pack. (Yes – you are their pack so make sure you set yourself up as the Alpha early on).
5. They are intelligent
Corgi’s are said to be the 11th most intelligent dog breed. This is great for training purposes but as new owners make sure you are training your Corgi and they are not training you. As any parent will tell you, with intelligence comes stubbornness, and boy are Corgi’s stubborn. The key to training these young pups is to stay patient and consistent.
When training our dogs (whether this is your first puppy or your tenth) we often forget the simple truth that dog’s don’t speak our language. They have no idea what “no” or “stop that” means. In fact dogs understand tone better than actual words so it’s important to keep a consistent tone throughout your relationship with your dog. A lighter/somewhat girly tone is best for when your Corgi does something right (yes guys…that means busting out your “pet voice”…it’s okay no judgment here) and a lower, more bass like tone, when your Corgi has done something wrong. It’s important to remember not to smile while trying to correct your dog’s behavior. They will read your smile as a positive thing and may become confused. A neat trick I was taught if you can’t help but smile (because they are so darn cute even when they are misbehaving!) is to put your hand over your mouth to hide your amusement.
Patience comes in to play when teaching your dog new tricks or behaviors. We will take sitting as an example. It’s important to only say the command once (in a consistent tone) and only once until the behavior is met. If your dog doesn’t comply right away you need to wait them out without repeating the command. Repeating the command will teach the dog to wait to hear “sit” five to six times before actually sitting. Say “sit” once, and then wait until your furry friend obeys the command. Once they do, bust out the “pet voice” and shower your Corgi with affection and maybe a treat or two. This is much easier said than done as “real life” has a way of throwing in additional obstacles. Try training in a closed off area away from distractions, thus keeping your Corgi pup’s focus on you and have plenty of time to wait out your stubborn pup if needed.
Bringing a Corgi into your life will be bring you so much happiness, that much I can guarantee. As long as you give your new family member the love and attention they deserve, you are in for years of love and joy. Before I sign off I’d encourage any future Corgi owners to get their pup from a reputable breeder, this will ensure your dog is healthy and your money goes to supporting those who treat their dogs humanely. Adoption is also a great option!