If your barking corgi is finally getting the better of you, I know the feeling! This article explains why corgis bark so much, and ways you can reduce this behavior.
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Corgi barking: why so much?
Corgis bark so much because it’s an ingrained behavior used as a tool for herding livestock. However, cases of excessive barking can be the result of a lack of socialization and training while young.
Compared to other breeds, corgis do bark quite a bit, but why?
Barking is a very normal behavior among all dogs, and it’s essentially just a form of communication.
Barking is a dog’s way to tell you something, request something, gain your attention and it’s a fundamental tool they use to navigate through their life.
1. Corgis use barking to herd
With herding breeds such as corgis, barking is even more utilized. Herding, monitoring, and controlling cattle is more than just running around.
Barking and even nipping at the cattle is a huge part of getting them to go where they need them to.
Barking is deeply ingrained into the DNA of corgis, much like they naturally start herding humans, if they don’t have any cattle to herd. It’s instinctive.
2. Lack of socialization
Next on the list would be receiving a lack of socialization from a young age. This may be particularly true for the corgis who bark reactively at everything. Like barking to the postman, to cars passing by, or unknown people or dogs.
Socialization builds upon and widens your corgi’s ability to understand basic manors and learn what behavior is appropriate for day to day life.
A well-socialized dog is more comfortable in many situations compared to a dog with little to no social skills. All the way from the postman making a noise at the front door, or crossing paths with other dogs on your walks.
Well-socialized dogs are familiar with these events and therefore remain calm whenever they happen.
- Providing sufficient mental stimulation is a great way to curb excessive behavior.
3. Dogs will be dogs. It’s normal to a certain extent
I just want to summarize this section by reminding everyone that, after all, dogs will be dogs. Barking is what dogs do. It’s like a dog asking “why do humans speak”.
Even though some barking is clearly inappropriate, which can be addressed, it’s unrealistic to train your corgi to be silent.
Given that this breed has such a long history of using their vocals to perform their main role, it is, for the most part, a very normal breed characteristic.
What other corgis owners have to say about barking
While doing research and scouring the deepest corners of the corgi-web, I found some interesting insights from corgi owners who I would like to share here.
These quotes (which I will link) are not specific how-to tips on reducing your corgi’s barking habits. They focus more on the expectations of owning a corgi which I found very helpful.
“Controlling barking is pretty tricky. The best most can hope for is being able to get them to stop barking relatively quickly, but preventing barking all together is a fool’s errand with this breed.By Tokisushi on Reddit
They are vocal dogs, but they should let you sleep at night with the right training and setup. A noisy dog overnight likely means they didn’t get enough activity/training during the day and staying up late and barking is much more fun.”
Let’s check two others.
“My corgis bark when they are not being fed on time, when they are being left home and they want us to know they don’t appreciate it, and when someone comes to the door.By Willothwisp on Reddit
Corgis are bred to herd cattle. There are 2 types of herders, those that use their eyes and body language and those that bark. Either form is encouraged as they get the job done. SOO, corgis WERE bred to bark.”
“The corgis I know of that were very vocal were less trained and less socialized. They would bark at everything whether it was another dog, a passing firetruck, you name it. Corgis are generally considered an easier breed to train though and with proper exercising, training, and socialization you should be able to maintain the barking level.”Partial comment left by Stephanie Ho on Quora. Original Question
Once you start diving into this topic, it seems that the majority of corgi owners who have experienced both quiet and loud corgis all come to the same conclusion: It comes down to the individual dog and the previous training and socialization received while young.
The best ways to stop your corgi barking so much
If your corgi is barking at other dogs, other people, the postman, or even your friends, it suggests a socialization issue.
- I may sound like a broken record with the whole “socialization thing” but it’s honestly the key to the vast majority of excessive barking problems. In all breeds.
By practicing socialization skills your corgi will slowly begin to feel more comfortable, less anxious, and less reactive in a range of new situations, environments, and interactions.
How to socializing your corgi. It’s never too late
Despite the best time to socialize a dog is when they are around 8 weeks old, you are not too late, and you can start the ball rolling at any age. It will only help.
🎯 More walks through your dog park.
The easiest way to start is to go on more walks through the dog park and instead of being hesitant for your corgi to go near other dogs, allow it to happen. And be sure to remain calm and positive. Our dogs really do feed off our energy.
Always use a few tasty treats to keep her distracted and to build positive associations with new encounters. Be sure to actively reward her for a positive bark-free encounter.
🎯 Doggy day centers.
Due to socialization being so crucial to overall behavior, it’s one of the most commonly organized classes in practically all neighborhoods.
You can book your slot and off you go, it’s a day out with other dogs for a prolonged period of time. This is like an ultra-dose of exposure and will do your corgi the world of good. Try one of these classes out and if you like it, make it a regular part of your week.
🎯 Invite more friends and family over.
This can be considered the next step up for your corgi because it involves having someone else round into “their territory”.
First, try this with just people, but once your corgi gets continuously better with the other socialization events, ask your friends to bring their dogs round to your house too. Again, sharing “their territory” with another dog will be a big move. Consider this the ultimate socialization practice.
The more exposure your corgi gets to new people, new dogs, new environments, and situations, the calmer she will be in day-to-day life.
She will be far less reactive and anxious when the postman comes to the door after she’s been exposed to many different people inside and outside of her home.
Encouraging behavior your DO want
A huge part of successfully training against behavior that you don’t want is to start rewarding your corgi for the behavior you do want.
After you start trying out the socialization skills above, be sure to reward your corgi for the times she resists barking. If she would usually bark at an oncoming dog, but slowly starts to resist, take that opportunity to build upon that small win, and reward her with a treat and heavy praise.
Slowly but surely, your corgi will make a link between your praise, affection, and positive attention after having responded “politely” towards another dog.
I know, it sounds far-fetched, but it really isn’t. Corgis are extremely intelligent and this link will be made very quickly. Your reaction to her behavior at the moment will have a big influence on her behavior in the future.
The same goes for other situations too, when she resists barking to the postman or resists growling at one of your friends. Reward her, make sure she’s well aware that she has been a “good girl”. And eventually, your positive reactions mixed with frequent exposure to new people and dogs will change her overall behavior.
How to stop corgi puppy barking at night
Corgi puppies often bark throughout the night, and there are many reasons including needing to pee or poop, getting scared or anxious, boredom, loneliness or they are simply seeking your attention.
One misconception many people have is that ignoring the behavior is the best thing to do. Unfortunately, for many puppies, barking is in itself quite pacifying, meaning that the more they bark, the more they are satisfying themself. This is why it’s important to interrupt barking when it happens.
I will link a short video below that best explains how to deal with this problem. But here are the main points from the video:
● Ensure your puppy isn’t barking due to potty reasons
● Encourage your puppy to enjoy his crate throughout the daytime
● Provide a safe and durable chew toy in the crate to give them something to do
● Move your puppy’s crate to your bedroom so you can see them and react quickly
● Address the barking with a quick command for the purpose of interrupting the behavior
● Reward your puppy after successfully remaining quiet after your interruption
Some breeds bark more than others, and the corgi is certainly one of them. For many corgis, barking is mostly instinctual and comes from their herding heritage. But excessive barking can be a pain and it’s definitely something you’ll want to get control of.
Most unwarranted barking typically stems from having a lack of socialization at a young age. This means your corgi just doesn’t know how to react appropriately in a wide range of situations.
Unsocialized dogs bark at many things from strangers, the postman, other dogs, random noises, and anything unfamiliar to them.
In most cases, you’ll be able to reduce your corgi’s excessive barking habits by beginning a routine of socialization exercises, including dog park visits, doggy play center visits, and inviting your friends with their dogs round to your home.
Aim to expose your corgi to new people, places, and dogs as much as possible, and she’ll quickly feel more comfortable on a day-to-day basis.
If you are still struggling after having tried some techniques, feel free to message me and I will give my thoughts on your corgi and her behavior.
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