With their bright eyes, short legs, and abundance of personality, the Corgi is a well-loved dog breed. While they have numerous traits that are appealing, quietness is not their strong suit. Corgis tend to bark at everything, whether it’s a stray leaf blowing across the yard, traffic going by, or seemingly nothing at all. If you (or your neighbors) are frustrated with your Corgi’s barking, know that there are ways to reduce your dog’s barking and train them to be quiet.
The 8 Tips on How to Train a Corgi Not to Bark
One of the simplest solutions to Corgi barking is to tire them out. Dogs often bark because they have too much energy. Playing games, giving them attention, and making sure they have adequate exercise every day means they have less energy to bark.
Corgis are most active early in the day, so giving them a brief walk in the morning can help avoid energy buildup. This dog breed should get between 30 minutes and 2 hours of exercise a day. The best way to do this is to spread out exercise sessions throughout the day.
If you work away from home for long hours, consider having a dog walker stop in to exercise your Corgi at lunch. Once you’re home, expect to spend part of your evening dedicated to playing with your dog. Tired dogs are quiet dogs.
2. Reward Silence
While it can take a bit of patience, ignoring your Corgi’s barking and rewarding silence is a way to reduce barking. If you think that your dog is barking for attention, this is the best method to stop it, although it will require time and patience.
Every time you pay attention to your Corgi while they’re barking, you reward the behavior, even if you’re providing negative attention. Here’s how your dog thinks: “I’m outside alone. If I bark loud enough, my owner comes out and talks to me. I’ll bark more, then my owner comes out and talks to me again.” It’s a vicious cycle that will continue if you don’t intervene.
Step one is to ignore the barking completely. This means not talking to your dog, not petting them, not looking at them. The moment that they stop barking is when you pay attention and reward them. You can reward them with affection, attention, or a treat. If they start barking again, you will turn your back and ignore them. Reward them again if they stop.
Repeat this method for as long as it takes for your dog to recognize that not barking gets rewarded while barking does not.
3. Teach a “Quiet” Command
This method is similar to rewarding quiet, except that you’re going to teach your dog to be quiet on command. The first step to teaching quiet is to trigger your dog to bark. If your Corgi likes to bark at the doorbell, have a friend or family member ring the doorbell. Wait for your dog to stop barking, say “quiet,” and give a treat.
Each time that you train the command, slowly lengthen the silence period before giving the treat. Eventually, you will be able to do it without a treat and simply say, “good dog.” Once this step has been achieved, you will be able to silence your dog on command.
4. Find Your Dog’s Barking Triggers
Dogs bark for different reasons, and they often have different triggers. Some dogs bark at cars and people walking by. Others bark when someone’s at the door. Still others bark only when they are home alone. Knowing your dog’s triggers can help you determine a solution.
For example, if your dog barks at everyone who walks by, placing a film on the lower half of the window so your dog can’t see everything outside may stop the barking. If your dog barks when you’re not home, you may need to look into a dog walker or doggy daycare to keep your Corgi busy during the day.
5. Train an Alternative Behavior
If your dog barks at visitors, an easy way to stop the behavior is to train an alternative. Teaching your Corgi to go to their crate or bed when the doorbell rings is an easy way to channel their need to react to the visitor. It gives them something to do, but it’s a more desirable behavior than barking.
6. Help Them Cope with Boredom and Anxiety
Corgis don’t like to be alone, and they bark when they are bored or anxious. Even if they don’t suffer from separation anxiety, they need to stay busy while you’re away from home. Giving your dog methods to cope with anxiety while you’re away and keeping them busy can reduce barking.
Here are a few ways to do this:
7. Spay or Neuter Your Corgi
Both male and female Corgis can become loud and aggressive when they reach sexual maturity. This problem can be eliminated by spaying or neutering your dog. It will avoid many behavior problems, like excessive barking, and prevent certain diseases.
8. Have Regular Vet Checkups
If you have tried everything and your Corgi is still barking incessantly, it may be time for a checkup. Dogs bark to get attention, but they can also bark to communicate with you. Pain from injuries or illnesses can cause dogs to bark, often aggressively. A visit to the vet is always a good idea when your dog is having behavior issues.
Why Do Corgis Bark So Much?
All dogs bark to a certain extent, but Corgis seem to do so excessively. Their breed history provides a good reason for why they bark so much.
Corgis were bred as herding dogs. Since they are small, the only way that they can force large animals, like cattle, to move is to make a great deal of noise. They also nip heels, which is another common problem for Corgis. Both these behaviors develop from a need to move animals that don’t want to move.
Barking and nipping are essential for Corgis that are working dogs, but these same behaviors are problematic for dogs kept as pets.
Do Corgis Bark for Attention?
Assuming that you don’t have a herd of cattle for your Corgi to move, your dog may be barking due to excess energy and boredom. Corgis don’t bark at their owners when they are content. If your Corgi is barking, they are trying to tell you something!
Corgis need more mental stimulation and exercise than most people think. These dogs are intelligent with high-energy levels. Other herding breeds like Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are known for their high-energy levels, but Corgis aren’t often lumped in with these breeds. This means they often don’t get enough exercise to meet their needs.
Fear Barking vs. Other Barking
Knowing whether your Corgi is barking out of fear or for another reason is important. Dogs that bark for attention, out of boredom, hunger, or a desire to play tend to stop barking when they get their needs met. Dogs that bark out of fear will not stop barking, regardless of what you do.
Fearful dogs exhibit other body language too. Their posture will be stiff. They may lick their lips, yawn, or pace anxiously. This type of behavior can quickly escalate into snapping, growling, or even biting if the perceived threat isn’t removed.
If your Corgi is fear barking, you will need to reduce their anxiety rather than stop the barking first. Recognizing the problem is the first step in solving it.
Corgis are known for barking more than most other dog breeds, but there are ways to stop the behavior. First and foremost, make sure your dog’s needs are met for exercise and mental stimulation. Also, see the vet regularly to ensure that they are in good health. If both these things are in order, you can train your dog to stop barking by teaching them the quiet command and rewarding quiet behavior. If your Corgi is fear barking, you will need to address their anxiety issues before you can stop the barking.