Corgis are so cute and popular on the internet that they even have surpassed the prime internet pets “Cats”. If you have a Corgi, you probably would know why that is. These dogs are playful, affectionate, tenacious and outgoing.
But lately, you have been noticing some aggression coming from your Corgi and since, Corgis are not known to be aggressive, you want to know whether it is normal and how to make the dog more even-tempered and less aggressive. So let’s learn just that today.
How to deal with the aggression of my Corgi?
The best way to deal with an aggressive Corgi is to limit it from being exposed to aggression-triggering situations, people and things. Not only that, It is also crucial to use positive reinforcement training to reward only the polite and friendly behavior. Thus, the Corgi will know that it gets rewards only for its well-mannered behavior and therefore, will not act aggressively.
With that said, I am going to explain further as to what causes the aggression in a Corgi and how to make the doggo less aggressive in detail below one by one.
- What makes a Corgi aggressive?
- What can you do to make your Corgi less aggressive?
- Positive reinforcement training
- Take your Corgi out more and let it be familiar with the outside world
- Make sure your Corgi knows who is the boss
- Let your Corgi interact with other dog pals
- Make sure your Corgi does enough exercise
- Use treats to reduce the dog’s aggression with resource guarding
- Keep a peaceful and safe space for the dog when it eats
- Give a lot of attention and affection at the right time
- Make the dog feel safe and secure
- Be more gentle with the dog
- Do not punish the dog
- Positive reinforcement training
- Can my Corgi’s aggression lead to biting?
- Can I permanently stop a Corgi from being aggressive?
- Final Thoughts
What makes a Corgi aggressive?
Certain people, situations and things can trigger the aggression of a Corgi. Unfriendly people make the dog feel unsafe and threatened. Confusing and scary situations can make the dog feel anxious and fearful. Things in the house such as certain furniture in the dark can be seen as scary monsters by the dog that can make the dog feel even more scared and insecure of its environment.
Consequently, the Corgi’s behavior changes to cope with these different emotions. So the most common behavioral changes are being aggressive or hyperactive.
If your Corgi has not been trained well to interact or socialize with humans other than you and your family, every stranger the dog sees can be misinterpreted as a threat to the dog.
This happens when the dog does not know what is friendly human behavior and what is hostile human behavior.
Situations such as being confused or scared can trigger the dog to react by being aggressive.
Let’s say you have been cold or ignoring your Corgi for a while, the dog gets confused, anxious and upset and react to that situation by being aggressive to get your attention.
You see, a Corgi would do out of ordinary things to get a reaction out of you when you do not willingly give one. In this case, its about being aggressive when the dog is usually not.
Particular things within the house or outside the house can trigger a fear or a phobia in the Corgi which ultimately results in making the dog react to them with aggression.
For example, the dog might feel unsafe and anxious whenever it hears loud noises. That phobia might have been triggered by a loud thunder the dog heard weeks ago when there was a storm.
And now whenever the dog hears a booming noise, it reminds him/her of that thundering storm and therefore, gets aggressive.
Another example is that when it is night and you turn off the lights, certain furniture could look like scary monsters to the dog. So the dog starts unnecessarily bark and act frightened. Eventually, that fear and anxiety lead to aggression.
What can you do to make your Corgi less aggressive?
There are a number of things you can do to help your Corgi be less aggressive and be more affectionate and bouncy but all of those things should be done with positive reinforcement training. Let me explain.
Positive reinforcement training
This is a way of training your dog to obey your commands. Basically, you make your Corgi motivated to receive a reward from you every time it finishes obeying a command or acting a certain way that you want.
This is how it is done: The dog does something you want. Then you give a reward. Again you call the dog’s name and tell a command. Now the dog thinks “Okay. if I do what this hooman tells me to do, I will get that treat in his hand”. So the dog obeys you.
First, you need to stop encouraging aggressive behavior. You can do that by not giving any treats or positive reactions whenever the Corgi shows its aggressive tendencies.
That way the dog gets the hint that you do not like its aggressive and hostile behavior.
Then, when the doggo starts showing more of a friendly behavior, you give treats and praise which lets the dog confidently know that you will only give rewards and attention for polite behavior and only polite behavior.
You can use this method when teaching any other command too.
Now along with positive reinforcement training, you can do the following steps. So here they are:
Take your Corgi out more and let it be familiar with the outside world
This is a great way to teach the dog that outside of its human family, there are more people and more unknown things that exist. The more your Corgi sees these strange and unfamiliar things, the more they become normal to him/her.
Also, let the dog interact with friendly people. Tell your friends and even strangers to be gentle with the dog and do a bit of friendly petting.
As a result of doing so, your Corgi will understand that not every person is a threat. Therefore, it will not be aggressive and hostile towards them.
And then give a treat for good behavior.
Make sure your Corgi knows who is the boss
Corgis are pack animals. So automatically, they see who is a leader (an alpha) and who is a follower (a beta).
So from the beginning, if you did not treat the dog as if you are the leader, the dog will think you are his beta and everyone else in the family is the rest of the pack that follows him/her as the alpha.
You see, Corgis were originally bred to Herd livestock. So, if the dog becomes the dominant party, their herding instincts will get triggered and get aggressive and controlling towards you and your family.
So obedience training is required. Firstly, you train the dog to obey basic commands such as Sit, Come, Down, Stay and Heel.
Use positive reinforcement training to encourage the dog to listen to you.
Make sure the dog knows what its name is. So always call him/her by it whenever you tell a command and the dog completes it and get your treats and praise.
Make a few house rules and train the dog to obey them as the same way you would train the dog to obey the basic commands. (with the use of treats as a lure for motivation)
However, keep the training session decently short but do it everyday.
Let your Corgi interact with other dog pals
Being aggressive towards other dogs is common to see in not only Corgis but other dogs too. So, bring the dog to the dog park and little by little, let the dog see other dogs playing with each other.
Then, make your Corgi also approach a friendly and polite-looking dog and let the two interact with each other.
When a Corgi wants to be friends with other dogs that are calm and affectionate, it also wants to act the same way, calm and loving. So that the Corgi can fit in with its new dog pals and can make them like him/her.
This can ultimately change the aggressiveness of the dog to tenderness.
And now, reward every time the doggo makes a new friend.
Make sure your Corgi does enough exercise
Corgis are inherently active dogs. They store a lot of energy which must be burnt on plenty of exercise because the less exercise, a Corgi does, the more energy is stored within it which will make the dog hyperactive and therefore, easy for aggression to be triggered.
An hour to one and half hours of exercise would be great. If the dog is already even-tempered, an hour is enough but if the little guy is too bouncy, then one and half hours is optimal.
Also, make sure the dog gets some mental stimulation too. Play some hide and seek with treats and toys where you hide a reward such as a treat or a toy and let the dog use its intelligence and find the reward itself.
Use treats to reduce the dog’s aggression with resource guarding
Has your Corgi gotten hostile or aggressive when you go near its food bowl or its toys? Well, that is resource guarding. These dogs want to protect what is theirs.
When a Corgi keeps doing resource guarding, their aggressive tendencies also get much worse.
So you use positive reinforcement training to make the dog be less obsessed with recourse guarding and potentially, stop its aggression coming from it.
Watch this YouTube video below. It describes how to deal with resource guarding the best.
Keep a peaceful and safe space for the dog when it eats
This is related to resource guarding and with the advice from the above video, you can make sure the Corgi does not get aggressive but to keep it that way, you have to ensure the environment around the dog when it eats is calm and people are not around him/her.
Eating is one of the most favorite things of any dog. So, it is understandable that your Corgi gets angry and possessive over its foods.
We can expect only so much from a Corgi. So you have to do as much as you can to help the dog control its aggressive tendencies.
Give a lot of attention and affection at the right time
Your Corgi may be lacking your attention. Thus, it does all kinds of things to get you to notice it such as by being aggressive, hyperactive and even not eating sometimes (that is a rare one though).
So if you show positive reactions to such negative behaviors, the dog continues behaving that way even more since it gets him your attention.
So do not react to the dog in a positive way when it acts aggressively. Instead, show love and attention when when the Corgi is also being affectionate and calm, not when it is aggressive.
Also, if you leave the dog alone at home for too long, the loneliness also can lead to anxiety and depression.
Which means with depression and anxiety coming from loneliness along with a lack of attention, aggression can get triggered or may even be a side effect of such negative mental states.
Make the dog feel safe and secure
In most cases, fear can be one of the most predominant emotions that drive a Corgi to get aggressive. So that it can deal with that uneasy sensation of feeling like being attacked or unsafe in general.
So, make an environment where the dog feels safe and would think of it as its safe space.
To do that:
- Make sure the dog’s environment is not a hazard and it is clean and safe: Do not put the dog in a cage. Ensure the room temperature is moderate and compatible with the dog.
- Keep the dog close to you and cuddle and pet to let it know and feel your calming and loving presence
- Do not leave the dog alone at home for long
- If you have other family members, make certain they also get close to the dog and show affection as much as you do.
- If the dog shows discomfort when wearing a leash, do not force the dog to wear it. Try putting a harness on the Corgi. It does not put a lot of pressure on the dog’s neck.
Be more gentle with the dog
If you are also treating the dog harshly, the dog’s reaction gets hostile towards you. So, surely, treat the dog properly.
Do not punish the dog
This is a confusing and anxious situation for the dog. The Corgi is feeling scared and unsafe knowing you could punish it any time.
You may think you are trying to teach the dog behave better and it is a good thing for the dog but to the dog, it is not. They see it as mistreating or abusing. So, they start to think you are an enemy or a threat.
And the outcome is aggression and hostility. Punishments are not the right way to make a dog behave politely. Just keep that it mind.
Can my Corgi’s aggression lead to biting?
In nature, Corgis do not bite but they can be influenced to biting a person or any other dog or animal for that matter if the dog feels it is being threatened by them.
Usually, before biting, the dog shows some signs. So you can look out for the following indications to get away from the doggo before potentially being bitten. So, just give the dog some space to calm down.
- Growling and snapping
- Baring teeth
- Lip licking
- Rigid stance
- Wagging tail (A dog wags its tail when it really happy but it also does that when it is annoyed and wants to bit you)
Can I permanently stop a Corgi from being aggressive?
No, you can not fully stop the aggression of your Corgi as it is the dog’s behavior when it feels certain emotions such as anger, fear, anxiety frustration and confusion. So, because the dog will have these emotions from time to time, you can never say the dog will not get aggressive again.
However, you can control the aggressive tendencies of your Corgi and teach it to behave properly when it feels those emotions. In other words, you can not permanently stop the Corgi’s aggression but can control it to reduce how aggressive they would get.
You can deal with an aggressive Corgi by making sure it is not exposed to aggression-triggers. positive reinforcement training is the prime method of the process of making the dog less aggressive.
Certain people, things and situations can be triggers to a Corgi’s aggression but as long as the dog is well trained, it can control its tendency to be aggressive and behave politely and friendly.
However, aggression is a physical reaction of a Corgi to its emotions and it can not be permanently stopped. So what you can do is train the dog to react to those emotions without aggression.
As long as you put enough effort into making sure the dog does not get to a point where it wants to be aggressive, you will not have to worry about such a behavior. Just keep showing love and care to the dog.
Featured image credit: Photo by jmawork From Flickr