Corgis are the pinnacle of cuteness and despite their size and appearance, somehow, these little guys have managed to be quite brave watchdogs and guard-dogs when it comes to protecting their human family.
However, some Corgis can simply be afraid of everything although they might still want to protect their humans. I mean these doggos can be scared of things as silly as a peanut butter jar or the vacuum cleaner. Thus, here in this post, I am going to explain about this weird behavior.
So, what drives a Corgi to be so afraid of everything?
A Corgi can have a timid behavior because it lacks proper socialization and training and therefore, the dog is scared of anything that it is not familiar with, such as new people and things. However, the root of this behavior could also come from a Corgi’s insecurities such as the fear of being abandoned, mistreated or even punished.
You see, a Corgi needs to be exposed to the environment around it from a very young age. So that it can familiarize with its surroundings and ultimately, see things as normal instead of scary.
For example, if your Corgi only sees you and your family and not other people outside of the family members, then, when the dog comes across a stranger, it will obviously get frightened.
Same thing with non-living things, for example, when the doggo was a puppy, if it had never seen a peanut butter jar or a stuffed animal, it will easily get scared out of its mind when it sees them later on as a mature-dog.
So, as you can see, it is a matter of how the dog sees the world.
With that said, let me explain all the reasons for this behavior in-detail.
Here are the causes of your Corgi’s fearful behavior:
01 – Poor socialization
As a puppy, if your Corgi did not have positive exposure to the environment around it, then, as a mature dog, it will consider anything in that environment that is unfamiliar and strange as threats and ultimately, get scared of them.
You see, the socialization period of a Corgi occurs when it turns 8 weeks old and lasts until the age of 16 weeks. This time period is extremely crucial for the dog to see the world for the first time and have a positive and pleasant experience with them.
In the mind of a Corgi, “anything normal” is not seen as scary but “anything unknown” can sure be.
You see, once a Corgi familiarized itself with the surroundings of the environment and the people living in it , it starts to identify them as normal. That means, the dog becomes well socialized since the normal can not scare it.
But in contrast, if the opposite happens, meaning the dog does not get to know the world, then, it becomes unknown. That means, the dog becomes fearful of the world and therefore, a lack of socialization causes a timid behavior in the dog.
02 – Going through adolescent stage
Corgis including every other dog-breed experience puberty where they will have physical and psychological developments and ultimately, become full grown.
Corgis become full grown when they turn between one and two years old. However, these dogs will have two fear periods while maturing.
The first fear period usually lasts for 4 weeks – between 8 and 12 weeks old.
The second fear period usually lasts for 8 months – between 6 and 14 months old.
The problem is that if these fear periods are not handled well, the dog could continue having these fears even after their adolescent phase is over. So, you have to start training the dog to interact with people and things properly at these time periods.
How to handle these fear periods differs from one dog to another. BUT….
Here is the best method I know to raise a Corgi properly through fear periods:
- When your Corgi sees people and things that are either new or scary, what you need to do is distract the dog by giving it a reward such as treats and toys.
- When you do that, the dog will not the fear whatever that scares it and instead, it starts to feel happiness and excitement for getting the treat.
By doing so:
One: Whatever was going to scare the dog can not scare it
Two: After that experience, every time the dog sees whatever that was gonna scare it again, it will be reminded of its happy memories of getting the treat. So, that experience will turn into something fun and positive instead of scary.
The point is: in a Corgi’s mind, once a person or a non-living thing is associated with positive memories, they can not scare the dog anymore.
So use rewards to avoid your dog from being susceptible to fears.
03 – feeling pain
Your Corgi might be having an illness or an injury and therefore, is in pain. You see, sometimes, a dog being in pain could appear as being fearful to you.
And a Corgi will get many negative emotions when it is in pain such as anxiety, fear, aggression and hyperactivity.
So, as a result of these emotions, the dog will easily shy away or look scared when it sees something new that makes it feel even more distressed.
I highly recommend you to have regular visits to the vet’s office and get the dog examined for any undiagnosed health issues or injuries.
Also, try to detect any common symptoms of health issues at home.
Here are some usual indications a Corgi will show when it is sick:
- The coats and skin look abnormal
- Odor and excessive drooling
- Bumps and lumps in the skin
- The white area of eyes turns reddish
- Watery eyes
- Cloudy eyes
- Struggling to breath
- Chewing the tongue
- Loss of thigh muscles
- Too lazy to walk, rise, jump or climb stairs
- Low range of motion
- Shedding excessively
- Thin and dry hair
- Stiffening posture
- Drinks too much water
- Urinates too much
- Swollen abnormally
- Muscle twitching
If you notice any of the signs above, that means the dog is surely having a health problem. So rush to the vet’s office.
And if your Corgi gets scared easily due to a health issue, then as the dog gets better, its behavior of being fearful will also gradually come to an end. So, do not worry.
04 – Phobias due to traumatic memories
Often times, any event that causes a huge amount of emotional arousal and stress hormones can make a Corgi develop fears and phobias for life.
Traumatic experiences can be instances as usual as thundering or fireworks.
For example, if a dog is traumatized by thundering , then, any booming noise that is similar to thundering can trigger fear in the dog.
You see, a Corgi can develop phobias of many things such as kids, adults (specific genders), other dogs, new places, different surfaces, vacuum cleaners, cars, , motorcycles, bikes and many more.
However, having a phobia is quite normal. Think about it. Even a person has at least one phobia.
So, if you identify what your Corgi is having a phobia for, try to avoid it from being exposed to them as much as possible just like how a human would avoid their phobias.
05 – Loneliness
When a Corgi is isolated or left alone at home for too long, it can affect the dog in the most negative ways.
Thus, a Corgi can start having negative emotions such as stress and depression. However, separation-anxiety is the most usual emotion in this situation.
You see, when a dog is being too emotional, it can have a lot of fear responses. In fact, separation-anxiety is what you call the fear of being abandoned. As a result, it makes the dog react to its surroundings with an immense amount of anxiety and fear.
However, this means the dog is constantly worried about being left alone or separated from its human family. Therefore, the dog shows a lot of fear basically to everything.
So, just make sure to not leave the dog at home for too long.
What are the signs when a Corgi is fearful?
When a Corgi is scared, it shows obvious signs but sometimes, their fear responses can be subtle that you might even miss to notice them. Therefore, it is important to recognize them and avoid the fears from worsening as soon as possible.
Here are some common signs that your Corgi will show when it is fearful of something:
- Hunched posture while keeping the head down
- Flattened ears
- Yawning excessively
- Raised Fur on the neck and back (piloerection)
- Low growls
- Avoiding eye contact
- Running away
- Slow-motion when moving
- Lip licking
- Showing teeth
- Being frozen in place
- Suddenly, starts panting or stops panting
How to help a Corgi not be fearful of everything?
Conditioning your Corgi to its fears is simply the best way to get rid of its fears. You can do this by distracting the dog when it is being fearful with rewards such as toys, treats and praise. So that the dog will spontaneously give all its attention to the reward and not what is scaring it.
And after you do this, when the dog sees whatever that scares them again, it will think of them as a good thing that gets them rewards. So, the fears will not scare your Corgi anymore and in fact, it may even excite the dog since it means getting rewards.
(I mentioned about this method in one of the above sections too but I want to explicitly mention it here as well since this is a really effective way to deal with your Corgi’s fears)
All in all, it is surely normal that a Corgi has fears as all other dog-breeds also do. However, if the dog’s fear-responses are too repetitive to basically everything around it including people, that could be a problem.
This timid behavior of a dog can be caused by a numerous factors such as poor socialization and training, puberty or even a pain due to sicknesses.
Nonetheless, with proper training and socialization, you can help the dog get better at responding to its fears properly and ultimately, lose its behavior of being frightened of everything.
Also, if your Corgi is an adult dog already, still do not worry. Even a mature dog can be helped with good training.
So, my point is that you do not have to worry too much since this behavior can be expected in any dog at any age.
Most importantly, this is not a harmful behavior to the dog or to you as long as you make sure to train the dog to lose its fears without letting them get worse.