Both the Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis are some of the most popular dog breeds for families in America. They’re lively, energetic, intelligent and affectionate. But before bringing a Corgi into a home with kids, safety should be top priority.
But are Corgis good with kids? Yes, Corgis are good with children if given proper obedience and socialization training. But because of their strong herding instincts, Corgis can be strong-willed and nip at the heels of kids. With that said, they’re not recommended for families with small children or toddlers.
If you’re looking to bring home a Corgi, then this is for you. Here’s the ultimate guide to raising Corgis with children. We discuss the reasons why they can make great playmates for kids and the potential pitfalls of raising Corgis with children.
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Table of Contents
Corgi’s Temperament For Kids
Though both Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis are simply family pets today, they often still retain the fierce work ethic and herding instincts of their ancestors. That’s not to say they are not great for kids, but can be intense if not properly trained.
Even so, Corgis have a temperament that can mesh with kids. And while they’re relatively small dogs, they have big personalities, or so it seems. They’re full of energy and enthusiasm. For this reason, they require a ton of training to fit with a modern household.
Because they’re some of the smartest dogs in the world, they respond very well to obedience training. You’ll have no problem with housebreaking and tricks or commands. After all, they are working dogs with a high canine IQ.
So smart, but so stubborn! My Corgi knows when I am about to leave the house or go to bed, and jets under the couch and will refuse to come out for hours!– Jennifer (My Corgi)
On the other hand, Corgis tend to be stubborn and strong-willed. In fact, our Pembroke Corgi fits this description perfectly. It’s not that they don’t love the owners, but they won’t blindly do your bidding for the sake of it.
Like all intelligent dogs, the Corgi require a lot of mental stimulation. Without it, you may face a destructive Corgi who may produce soul-crushing loud barks. That’s something all parents do not want around their children, especially small infants.
But when properly trained, Corgis make some of the most affectionate and lovable dogs in the dogdom. They’re not just adorable, but also love being involved in family activities. These social dogs love being the center of attention, which can be great for kids.
Why Corgis Are Great With Kids
Corgis are not your typical fur balls. They may be short and stubby, but they’re amazing dogs that can easily get along with kids of the family. As such, these dogs are great with children because of their naturally affectionate personalities.
Whether with adults, seniors or kids, a Corgi will develop a strong bond with the family. So if you’re concerned on how your Corgi may react to kids, you shouldn’t be worried. Here are the top reasons why Corgis and kids will get along.
High Energy Levels
Corgis are, without a doubt, dogs that have high energy levels. According to the AKC, Corgis are one of the 15 most active dog breeds. Coming from the herding dog group, Corgis need the energy to keep up with cattle on the farms.
Why is this a good thing? If you’re a parent, you already know how active, energetic and lively a kid can be. That being said, having a dog to match the liveliness of children can make them fantastic playmates for your kids.
My leashed Corgi tolerates, even relishes, toddlers rubbing his fur the wrong way, accidentally jabbing him in the face. To him, kids are a close second to other dogs in terms of fun.– Beth (My Corgi)
As you may have guessed, Corgis are naturally playful dogs that love nothing more than to run and play with humans. In domestication, they’re able to direct their insatiable energy levels toward entertaining and interacting with kids.
If you’re anything like me, keeping up with an energetic dog can be tiring. So, with the friendly help of children, you’ll easily meet your Corgis necessary daily physical activity requirement! After all, a Corgi will need 1 hour of exercise a day!
Small Dogs for Children
Make no mistake, not all energetic dog breeds are a good fit for children. If you have an active large dog breed, the combination can certainly lead to mishaps. Fortunately, Corgis are what we like to call “kid-sized” dogs.
Most dogs aren’t inherently aggressive and won’t attack their own people for no reason. But, an energetic dog that weighs 100 pounds can unintentionally knock over a child with little effort. All it takes is one accident to send a child crying.
This is where Corgis make the ideal playmate. Weighing between 22 and 30 pounds, the Corgi is without doubt a small dog breed. Sure, they’re energetic dogs that may jump on a familiar child out of excitement and joy.
However, the chance of this small dog knocking over, or accidentally hurting, a 7 year old child is much more unlikely than with a 70 pound Dalmatian. With a well-trained Corgi, you can rest assured that they won’t cause much harm.
When bringing back a dog breed into a household with kids, it tends to be a better idea to pick a small dog. The only exception may be a naturally calm big dog breed, such as the St Bernard. Take your pick, there are tons of them!
Affectionate Corgis for Kids
According to the AKC (and from personal experience), both the Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgis are affectionate dogs. If given a safe home environment, they’ll be loyal and loving to their owners, including he kids.
Giving children the opportunity to grow up with dogs is one of the best things you can do for them. So, why not pick an affectionate dog, such as the Corgi?
One owner tells us about her Corgi’s affection towards infants, saying:
Edmond (Corgi) is a natural around babies. My girlfriend’s nephew is less than a year old and he loves him. He doesn’t nibble, only gives him kisses and loves running around him.
Corgis are fantastic companions for children and adult alike. There’s a reason why Pembrokes are consistently in the top 20 dog breeds list for families in America. It’s their ability to love that makes them such attractive options.
However, if you do decide to bring home a Corgi to your household, there are certain things to consider. Making the child-dog relationship successful requires a bit of work on your part. Only then, will Corgis thrive with children in the home.
Pitfalls of Raising Kids With Corgis
Not all Corgis are the same. Some are naturally gentle around children, while others are a bit more aggressive. But as a parent, it’s worth looking into the potential dangers and difficulties of raising kids with Corgis. Here’s what you need to know.
Corgis May Nip at Kids
As you may already know, both Corgi breeds are herding dogs. That is, they were bred to move cattle around on a farm. They’ve performed this role in society for thousands of years, starting with the ancient Celts tribe.
This is their instinctively intelligence, or rather, their innate ability or special skill set. However, the problem is that most Corgis don’t need to herd livestock anymore. They’re just family dogs that have retained these deeply engrained herding instincts.
In other words, just because they don’t herd anymore doesn’t mean they don’t still possess the instincts to do so. With that said, they’re likely to herd small children as they may resemble livestock through their actions (running away, flailing, etc.).
They nip, chase and herd. It’s what they’ve been bred for centuries to do. Kids run and scream and dart around – perfect target for a Corgi and very hard to resist.– GoFish (Chrono of Horse)
This type of behavior is hard to avoid. It’s their instincts, after all. However, it’s still possible to suppress this instinct with the proper obedience training and socialization. By training them on what behaviors are acceptable, you may prevent nipping.
And while nipping may not be life-threatening to kids, it can potentially hurt them. Corgis tend to go for the heels, as with most herding dogs. This can result in the child falling or worse, inflicting a wound or some pain on the heels.
Corgis are not the quietest dogs in the world. In fact, they’re actually very vocal dogs, making them less than ideal for sensitive young children. If your child is easily startled or scared of loud noises, then Corgis may not be ideal.
If you’re a brand new parent, you have fresh knowledge of how sensitive infants and toddlers can be to loud sounds. That said, Corgis are not a good fit with babies. The Corgi’s bark may be the fastest way to send your infant into tears.
A Corgi will bark at anything and everything. Barking is, in fact, part of the herding job. This can mean the slightest sounds from outside, the door bell, sounds from the TV or if they’re bored. All of which, can easily trigger a Corgi.
My corgi is a barker! I adore this dog, but, oh! That corgi bark! Pierces right through your head. At least beagles sing.– Julia (My Corgi)
Herding dogs, like Corgis, naturally have a loud and deep bark. They need this trait to draw the attention of the sheep, cattle and whatever livestock. Because Corgis are small herding dogs, the loud, deep bark is even more crucial!
Bottom line is, if you have a baby in the family, I would not recommend any herding dog breed, including either Corgi breeds. Most kids tend to adjust well to the barking, though it depends on the individual child.
Preparing the Home for a Corgi
If you are still planning to bring home a Corgi to your house with kids, then have no worries! It’s still very possible to establish a great relationship between the dog and children.
However, there are steps and precautions to take before bringing the dog home or letting them interact with one another. Read on to learn how you can train both the kids and Corgi.
Training Kids for Corgis
Yes, you read right. The first thing to do, even before you bring back a Corgi, is to train your kids on how to interact with the dog. Fortunately, kids are great visual learners, so you may want to set the example with your actions.
Corgis, like most dogs, can experience stress or anxiety. Combined with the fact that they’re relatively small dogs, they can easily become stressed over rowdy and rough kids.
The children need to have rules too. The first rule they should follow is to be gentle with the dog at all times. This includes screaming and yelling around the dog. Corgis can be sensitive dogs and may possibly respond with more barking.
I’ve personally seen kids trying to ride my Corgi and tugging on her long, erect ears. This is a big no, and can potentially cause the dog to respond aggressively. These dogs don’t usually respond well to rough play, so keep this in check.
Another rule I would suggest is to leave the Corgi alone while they are eating their treats and meals. Corgis love their food, and they’re prone to food aggression, especially if you’re not the perceived dominant leader of the house.
Each Corgi is different and new rules will be implemented as you get to know your dog and how they respond to children. And finally, if your kids are too young to learn how to respect these dogs, then they shouldn’t play with the dog.
Corgi Obedience Training
As soon as you bring back your Corgi, you should start obedience training immediately. There is good news: Corgis are bright dogs with a good work ethic. They respond well to training and will learn extremely fast too.
Before letting your dog interact with the kids, we suggest teaching the 5 basic commands first: sit, stay, heel, down and come. You may also want to consider teaching them other words such as get-off, stop and no. All of which, can come in handy.
The reason why obedience training is so important prior playtime with children is because it gives you better control of the dog and situation. For instance, if your Corgi is jumping too much, you can say the “down” or “come” command.
These commands gives you the ability to explicitly tell the Corgi what you’re asking. Without it, they’ll likely have no idea what you want them to do in certain situations.
Another great benefit of obedience training is that it establishes trust between you, the owner, and the Corgi. Going through training builds your dog’s confidence in you, thus straightening the owner-dog bond and relationship.
When it comes to obedience training, let your kids get involved! This is a great opportunity for the kids to establish some dominance and trust with the dog as well. And since they’re a food-driven dog breed, training with treats is extremely easy with them.
Remember that obedience training is absolutely necessary, especially with a herding dog breed like the Corgi. Make time to do this daily, at least in the beginning, to keep these dogs in check.
Socializing a Corgi
If you want your Corgi to be comfortable and friendly around children, the best way is through socialization. That is, these dogs need to meet as many friendly kids as possible. You’ll want to introduce them to children of all ages too.
The best time to do this is early on in puppyhood. In fact, the weeks 3 to 12 in the puppy’s life is the best time to do this, according to WebMD. And while it’s possible to socialize your Corgi after weeks 12, they may be more timid or anxious.
Socialization can be provided in many ways. For example, you can invite your kid’s friends over to play with the dog. On weekends, why not take your Corgi to the dog park where other dogs and kids play? You cannot go wrong with parks.
Just make sure to assess your dog’s mood. If they’re not feeling very social in that moment, do not try to force them to play. Take socialization as slow as necessary.
With these tips, you’ll have your children and Corgi ready for each other in no time. It’s definitely going to be a working process, but it’s well worth the patience and commitment.
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