Having owned multiple dogs in my life, no other breed seemed as interesting, smart and charming as the Corgi. Don’t get me wrong, they can be a handful. But oddly enough, they’re worth it. And throughout all the years, many owners have asked me one question: are Corgis good dogs?
As a proud owner of a Corgi for 12 years (so far), I believe Corgis are some of the best dogs you can own. Although their herding instincts, high intelligence, stubbornness, or tendency to bark can be a nightmare, they can be trained to curb bad habits. On the other hand, Corgis will be loving, loyal, active, and companionable. All of which, are ideal traits of a good family dog.
I understand that individual Corgis will differ. However, by interacting with countless Corgis (including my own!), I’m confident that there are certain traits (both good and bad) that make them good dogs. Here’s my experience with the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
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Here’s Why My Corgi is a Good Dog
My Corgi, affectionately named Pippa, was born on September 1st of 2011. With that said, I’ve had over a decade of experience with this breed. Here are all the quirks, the good and the bad, of my dog. (Feel free to follow Pippa on Instagram!)
The biggest problem is, without question, the borderline excessive barking. In fact, Corgis are notorious for barking. Even the slightest of sounds, such as the phone vibrating on silent, will set off her barking rampage. The only way to stop her is to give her a “stern” verbal reminder.
Do you like dogs that’ll cuddle with you? My Corgi doesn’t always like to cuddle. It really depends on her mood at the time. When she’s too tired, she wants nothing more than to be alone (as long as I’m still in her line-of-sight!).
Food aggression is a huge problem with our Corgi. She loves to eat and will turn into the world’s most obedient and intelligent dog if it means a tasty treat. It’s no secret: Corgis are predisposed to obesity. In fact, it’s most likely because Corgis tend to love food.
But despite all these problems, Pippa is still a good dog.
Every time any of the family members come back after a few hours away, she’ll always be there to greet them by crying out of excitement. She’ll even do this with friends or the relatives of the family. Our Corgi will make sure you know you’ve been missed.
Pippa is truly exceptional at reading human emotions. If you’re feeling down, she’s much more calm or gentle with you. But the scary thing is she’s intelligent enough to use this in her favor too. If you’re happy or cheerful, she’ll take the opportunity to ask for treats!
Our Corgi’s favorite toy is, without doubt, her ball. Her life motto might as well be, “ball is life.” When she gets too bored, she’ll bring her ball to you and shove it in your face. It means she wants to play catch out in the yard.
In fact, she treats the game of “catch” as a sport. It’s almost like it’s her job or duty to catch the ball. And every time she misses the catch, she’ll even let out a sharp bark, as if she’s upset at herself for missing an easy catch. This is a great bonding experience for us.
Like most Corgis, she’s a very loving dog. And even if she isn’t able to say it, we get the feeling she has our back. For example, she won’t continue her daily walk unless everyone goes together. But perhaps, this is just her herding instincts?
At the end of the day, our Corgi is not a good dog, she’s a great dog. We wouldn’t trade her in for any other dog or breed in the world.
5 Reasons Why Corgis Are Good Dogs
Now that I’ve explained why my Corgi is a good family dog, here are some reasons why Corgis are good dogs in general. Not all individual Corgis will have the same temperament and personality traits. But here are some popular and common attributes of Corgis.
1. Corgis are easy to train
These little dogs are wicked smart. In fact, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is ranked the 11th smartest breed for “obedience & working intelligence.” This type of dog intelligence refers to how fast a dog learns and retains a new command.
In other words, Corgis are exceptionally easy to train. Because they were bred to be herding dogs, the Corgi needed to be highly trainable and responsive. This trait transitions nicely to a family setting since they can pick up basic commands in just a few hours.
In fact, according to canine psychologist Stanley Coren, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi can learn a basic yet new command in just 5 to 15 repetitions. But what’s even more impressive is that the Corgi will obey a known command (on the first try), at least 85% of the time.
The two other Corgis I’ve had in my life were rescued as adults. They were food motivated, which made training easy. From what I’ve heard and experienced, Corgis have a big appetite.– BadKarma (Corgi owner)
Another big plus is that Corgis are highly motivated by food. So much so that owners ask, “has anyone ever had a Corgi that isn’t motivated by food?”
There are both advantages and disadvantages of owning a dog that’s highly food-driven. The good news is that training will be easier. Just like my own Corgi, they’ll try their best and nearly always obey if treats are involved.
But once again, it’s important to know that they’re susceptible to obesity. So it’s probably a good idea to use low-calorie dog treats when training. Or another option would be to use cucumbers, as it’s made up of primarily water. Of course, feed them in moderation.
2. They are as loyal as any other breed
Like with most dogs raised in a family, our Corgi is loyal. But it’s been well-documented that Corgis are even more loyal than the average dog. In fact, they’re so loyal that Animalso believes loyalty is one of the signature quirky traits of the breed.
If you treat your Corgi with love and affection, they’ll have your backs no matter what. They may be on the smaller side, but it’s very likely they’ll defend you if the situation calls for it. With enough time, they may even be loyal to the family cat!
They’re very loyal and protective dogs. I was visiting a friend and her golden jumped up on me to say hi and my corgi went crazy barking at her to get off.– Can_Confirm5 (via Reddit)
However, you need to make sure their loyalty is kept in check. Some Corgis will be loyal to the point of being a bit territorial with their owners. While it’s okay and somewhat normal for them to be protective, a territorial and possessive dog can lead to dangerous situations.
That said, make sure to socialize your Corgi early on. This way, they’ll have a better understanding of who might be “good” or “bad.” With a socialized Corgi, you’ll get to appreciate the unwavering devotion that comes with this breed.
3. Corgis are small and adaptable
One of the best parts of the Welsh Corgi is their small and compact size. An adult-sized Corgi may grow up to 10 to 12 inches tall. In addition, they likely weigh no more than 30 lbs (unless they’re obese). This puts them in the medium-sized dog category.
That said, they’re the perfect size for an apartment as long as their physical needs are met. And if you live in a single family home, that works too! How about a farm? Even better. The point is, Corgis are one of the most adaptable dog breeds.
4. They’re perfect for active owners
Do you enjoy going for a nightly run or hiking the nearby mountains during the weekends? Well, the Corgi may be perfect for you. Don’t be fooled by their funny-looking short stubby legs and long bodies. These dogs are sneaky athletic and active.
So how much of a commitment are we talking about? Corgis need at least 1-2 hours of exercise per day. And while this may be a lot for some people, it’s relatively low when compared to other working dogs. Keep in mind, some Corgis will need much more.
Our one year old corgi needs at least three hours of vigorous exercise a day in order not to be a menace in the house. (Dog park and a herding ball do the trick).– Dlashby (via Reddit)
This doesn’t mean you will need to walk your Corgi for a couple hours every day. Instead, I would try out some high-intensity exercises to tire them out quicker. This could be running around with other dogs at a park or a game of catch, which for some reason, all Corgis seem to love.
With that said, If you’ve an active owner that loves to frequently go out to the beach, mountains or park, Corgis will be the perfect adventure buddy. As long as they’re spending time with their owners, they’ll have no problems with whatever the activity.
5. Corgis are loving and affectionate
Maybe it’s because I’m biased, but Corgis may be the most affectionate dogs I’ve ever seen. And it’s not just with my dog, other real owners proudly claim the same too. They love to be showered with love and affection. And in return, they’ll do the same.
For example, Pippa (our Corgi) doesn’t like to cuddle. But if we accidentally bump into her or step on her paw (sorry Pippa!), she’ll immediately squeal and rush towards us to cuddle. She needs to make sure we did not intentionally mean to hurt her.
The biggest giveaway is when Pippa sees us for the first time after not seeing us for a while. She’ll cry in excitement for several minutes straight. It’s an amazing experience. What better way for her to show how much she loves and misses us.
The Bad Side of Corgis
Corgis are nearly perfect dogs. But as great as Corgis are, there’s also a “bad” side that comes with the good. In other words, here are the cons of owning a Corgi.
1. Corgis are notorious barkers
Corgis love to bark, mine included. Don’t be fooled by their small compact size. These dogs have a loud and piercing bark that can scare small children or annoy the neighbors. Unfortunately, this is just how these vocal herding dogs communicate to you.
These dogs can and will bark at anything and everything. My Corgi barks at ringing phones, the door bell, the mail man, passing cars, other dogs barking and even when we look at her for too long.
Here’s what else Corgis may bark at, from real owners on Reddit:
- “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.” (willothwisp)
- “My dog alert barks. If he thinks I should know about something, he barks. This is fine, but we tend to disagree on what I need to know about.” (octaffle)
- “Only problem-barking is when kids are running loose at family gatherings. My corgi likes order, and kids running around not in tight herds rustles his jimmies.” (rozero1234)
- “Yup, mine are barkers. Someone walk past the house, a car went past, one of the cats ran down the hall, something on the tv was loud.” (angelforfirex)
So what we’re trying to say is that Corgis may bark at everything and anything. It’ll take a lot of patience and work to keep this habit in check. After all, it’s in their instincts to bark and they were practically bred to bark at livestock.
If you have small kids, infants or seniors, the barking can be a huge concern. Loud noises and babies do not mix well together. And if you’re the type to easily get annoyed at constant barking, then these dogs may not be ideal for you.
2. The Corgi’s herding instincts
Corgis were bred to herd for hundreds of years. So, it’s not surprising you’ll notice the Corgi’s herding instincts in day-to-day life. Owners report seeing everything from their Corgi trying to herd other dogs, to nipping at their children’s heels.
While you may find these behaviors somewhat amusing, it can become dangerous. When a Corgi nips at the heels or small children, their instincts may take over. And if the kids start to run, they’ll start to treat them as livestock.
Corgis are herding dogs so nipping is their way of getting what they want. You need to pick a firm command like “stop!” or “ah!” and as soon as he nips.– Dyslexicmous (via Reddit)
Even if they don’t mean to, Corgis may inadvertently hurt the kids by nipping at their feet and chasing (or herding) them around the home. You’ll want to immediately stop this behavior. It’s hard to suppress a dog’s instincts, but you can discourage it.
Should I Get a Corgi?
After reading this article, the choice is up to you. You will need to understand and be willing to accept all the potential cons that comes with the pros of Corgi ownership. As long as you do this, you’ll be fine with raising a Corgi.
They’re not just adorable dogs with a funny body shape. These dogs are some of the most interesting and amusing dogs I’ve ever seen. There’s never a dull moment with a Corgi in your life.
So back to the question, are Corgis good dogs? Yes, they are. Corgis are loving, loyal, smart, active and highly intelligent. You can ask any other owner and they’ll likely tell you the same thing. What more do you want in a good companion family dog?
Do you own a Corgi? What are the good and bad aspects of your dog? Let us know in the comments section below!
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Thursday 19th of January 2023
Corgis are known for their herding instincts and may try to herd other animals, including children and other pets, if not trained and socialized properly. It's important to research the breed and consider your lifestyle, activity level, and living situation before bringing a Corgi into your home. As a real owner, you will be the best judge of whether a Corgi is the right dog for you.