Their short, stubby legs, fox like facial features and bubbly personality have made Corgis a very popular dog breed around the world. But there is one unfortunate trait that many owners perhaps wish they did not have to deal with when it comes to keeping a Corgi – the regular barking. This can be challenging for both you and your neighbors (as well as any postal worker approaching your front door!).
So just how often do Corgis bark? It can vary in each individual dog, but in the worst cases, pet Corgis can bark at almost everything from the phone ringing to the slightest noise in the house. In the mildest barking cases, some Corgis may only bark to alert their owner to a specific need or want or in response to the doorbell. While they are natural barkers and are prone to excitement, it is possible to train your Corgi to rein in their barking habits.
If you’re hoping to adopt a Corgi and want to know what you’re in for, or simply need some pointers on how to train your current dog, hopefully the following advice will be of help to you. Keep reading for tips on how to train your Corgi to reduce their barking and what can cause them to bark so much in the first place.
Corgis’ Barking Habits
While the frequency of barking can range from dog to dog, Corgis tend to have a shared pattern of barking ‘triggers’ which include:
- A knock/ring at the door
- Phone ringing
- Cars passing outside
- Children outside or in the home
- During play
- When they are excited
- When they are bored
- Inactivity/less exercise than usual throughout the day
- Seeing/hearing another dog
Their consistent barking can make everyday life quite noisy with a Corgi around! But luckily, there are methods you can try to reduce their barking in certain situations and with time, it is possible to train your Corgi to stop barking altogether.
Why Corgis Bark So Much
When it is not in response to an alarming phone ring or other exterior triggers like sounds outdoors, the deeper reason behind a Corgis incessant barking can be down to boredom and a lack of early socialization which we’ll discuss in greater detail below. Other reasons behind why they bark so frequently can be down to the individual dog’s temperament – if they are particularly anxious and shy as puppies, for example, this may lead to nervous irrational barking later in their life.
Their home environment can also play a factor in their barking, such as children-oriented homes or apartment living where noises can occur frequently above/below. Finding a breeder you can trust will give you some insight into your Corgi pup’s temperament and the best ways of managing it as they grow.
The Important Barks: How to Recognize Them and What to Do About Them
When you have a Corgi that barks at every little thing, it can be overwhelming to decide how to begin with training better behaviors in them. A good place to start is by recognizing the main barking triggers and working from there:
Boredom That Leads to Barking
Did you know that Corgis were initially bred to herd cattle? This is why they are naturally hyper and active dogs, so if they are stopped from exploring these instincts and working off some steam, they will become very bored very quickly and bark the house down.
To help curb their ‘boredom barks’, make sure they get plenty of exercise throughout the day so they can work off this excess energy – 30-60 mins a day of combined walks, jogs and games of fetch and plenty of daily indoor activities for apartment-dwelling owners too. If they have less exercise than they crave throughout the day, this is when you may find they begin the habit of barking at night (and nobody wants that!).
Barking at Strangers
Many dog breeds bark at strangers out of a fear of the unknown and a protective instinct, but Corgis have a high tendency to ward off strangers and bark at most unfamiliar people, so how can you tackle this?
Things like making sure they are not left unattended in your front yard for starters – passers-by give them opportunities to bark and practice their inner guard dog, so by leaving them out to do this, you are making them believe this is acceptable behavior.
Curbing their barking at strangers when out and about will require long-term training, but another effective way to help them stop at home could be to place an etched-glass effect film on the lower portions of your windows to obscure their view.
Because they have such boundless energy, they can be quite excitable during play with their owners or other Corgis, which can cause them to playfully let out a bark to signal that they are having fun. These kinds of barks are normal and hard to change, so it may be easier to change how you play with them as opposed to tackling their playful bark itself.
A good method could be to go for a long walk right before a play session so they have most of their energy worked off already. You should also make sure if you have more than one dog that each has its own ball or frisbee to avoid competitive barking.
Not Enough Socialization
If your Corgi isn’t exposed to social interactions from a young age they cannot learn social norms when out and about, so it’s really important to let them socialize with other family members, friends and other pets when they are puppies. This will help them to distinguish what is worth barking at and what isn’t.
Corgis are prone to physical health issues such as hip dysplasia and obesity, but these are not known to cause them to bark. Being more vocal can be one of many signs that your dog may be feeling unwell, but this is usually accompanied by other changes in their behavior, so try not to worry. The mental condition of separation anxiety is one that could cause a Corgi to bark more often, so if you are concerned that their barking is getting out of hand, don’t hesitate to discuss this with your local vet.
Get your Corgi used to the sound of the phone
To stop your Corgi from engaging in a barking marathon each time the phone rings, try implementing the following steps
- Desensitize – put the ringer on a lower volume or softer tone and try setting it lower and lower to the point they don’t react. If the ringtone is too sudden, intrusive and high-pitched, the more likely he will find it triggering and find cause for alarm.
- Treat time – modify their attitude towards the ringing sound by offering them a treat when it happens (just the first few times!) and your Corgi will come to know phone ringing time as treat time.
- Ignore and reward – barking when you’re on the phone is your Corgi’s way of throwing a tantrum because your attention has been diverted elsewhere. Scolding them to stop barking is a form of attention from you so they will likely keep doing it. Try testing them by calling your cell phone from your landline and pretend to engage in a conversation. If they bark like mad, ignore them completely. If they are quieter, give them a treat – in time, they will come to see that being quiet and peaceful pays off.
Training a Corgi Not to Bark
It’s not an easy task, but if you put in the effort with your Corgi – preferably when they’re younger), you can significantly minimize their barking. Here are our recommended steps for training a bark-free (sort of) Corgi:
Show them who’s boss – keep their strong personalities in check by reinforcing that you are the owner, not the other way around. When out for walks, make sure they stay next to you and never walk ahead of you. According to the Dog Breed Info Center, you should also make sure they wait for your permission before eating, this way they are more likely to obey once you command they stop barking.
Keep them fit – a well exercised Corgi neither has the energy nor desire to bark, so ensure they get the recommended 30-60 mins of daily exercise as puppies by running, jogging, brisk-walking or swimming to burn off their barking energy!
Silence is golden – make your Corgi realize that barking gets him nowhere with you. When he next barks, use the command ‘No!’ or ‘Stop’ and place a treat near his nose – as he stops barking to sniff the treat, use this quiet moment to praise him with “good dog” or “nice and quiet”. After a few more seconds of silence, give them the treat.
If you experiment with a longer and longer waiting period before giving them the treat, your Corgi should gradually learn that barking comes with no rewards and you can get to the stage when you can remove the treat altogether and your command of ‘No’ will be enough.
Do Corgis Make Other Noises?
Yes, like most dogs, Corgis are known to make other groaning or whining noises and they make this for various reasons including playful whining, groans while getting checked over at the vet, when they’re anxious or sometimes, they can let out long whines or moans if they haven’t seen their owner for a while – like they’re almost chastising you for being gone so long!