If you are looking at either the Cardigan or Pembroke Corgi breeds, then you’ll want to learn all about their nature. Is either breed considered an aggressive dog, what is their temperament like, and is there anything you will need to consider regarding their general behavior? If you have a family or young children, then the answer to the question is pivotal, but it is also useful information for any potential owner. A question to which I needed the answer – I decided to conduct some thorough research on the topic. Below is what I have been able to find.
So, are Corgis aggressive? Corgis can be aggressive; they are herding dogs by nature. So they tend to be bossy, feisty, and somewhat stubborn. Some Corgis are more aggressive than others, but they can be rectified over time with the right training. It is important to note that Corgis are not a vicious breed, and are in fact very loyal and will do anything to please their owners.
For us to understand the temperament of a corgi, it’s important to understand why they were initially first bred.
Interestingly, the Welsh and Pembroke names refer back to two welsh towns in which they first originated.
Initially, they were bred to herd cattle and other farm animals. So, in many ways, they are a ‘working dog’.
That being said, corgis have been widely adopted for generations and have since become more domesticated than their previous working days.
Let us now take a closer look at this breed of dog, including some of the things you can do to improve their behavior and make them much less likely to act out.
While Corgis do have an aggressive streak, these dogs are playful, energetic, loving, trustworthy, and will do anything to please their owners.
Corgis are not known as a vicious breed and are very unlikely to ever bite or lash out.
For the most part, they are not generally aggressive. But are likely to show signs of aggression, whereas other breeds may not when certain events and situations arise.
Canine aggression can be problematic, so as an owner, you must take proactive steps to curb any hostility that they may display.
Thankfully, we can take confidence in the way in which they have evolved and learned over time.
Due to their herding origins, Corgis have developed to become intelligent, hard-working, and obedient.
They generally have an attentiveness and enthusiasm for activity and people, and they are keen to show love and affection. This makes them an excellent choice for a family dog.
That being said, their herding heritage has meant that they can actually attempt to herd your family and even nip at the heels of younger children (a behavior taught to move cattle along).
Hostility in Corgis typically begins when they are puppies, between 6 to 14 weeks old.
Puppyhood is the ideal time to train Corgis and also to get them to socialize with humans of all ages, dogs, and other animals. You must encourage your Corgi puppy to learn the difference between biting and chewing.
As an owner, you must be intentional about training them before they establish themselves as the boss.
Herding dogs can develop an alpha complex, so, you must train your Corgi to know who is in charge.
The good news is that their intelligence and eagerness to please mean they’re highly responsive to training. With the right guidance, Corgis are easy to train and discipline.
This is an excellent, highly rated book on Amazon, which outlines all you need to know about the breed, how to find the right Corgi, and give them the training they need to eliminate aggression.
If you are considering the Corgi breed, the book referenced above is considered a must!
When Can Corgis Show Aggression?
If you own a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, they tend to be slightly more aggressive than Cardigan Welsh Corgis.
Either way, the importance of canine training cannot be overstated. It is crucial in tackling threatening bad behavior in your dog.
The reasons for aggression vary from dog to dog, but we will look at some triggers that cause aggression in Corgis:
They Are Trying To Herd
Corgis are used to being in charge, herding cattle, and other animals on the farm. They nip the heels of animals to ensure they graze. For Corgis to do their job successfully, they need to be a bit ruthless; this should explain their controlling nature.
You must let your dog know that you are the boss, or they will try to herd you with the other animals. Shine up your spine and take control of the situation before things turn nasty.
They Feel Territorial
Corgis can become overly possessive of their home and will think anyone who approaches their territory is an intruder.
If these dogs think an invader is on their turf, they will behave aggressively.
They Feel Unwell
If your Corgi behaves uncharacteristically aggressive, an underlying medical condition might be the cause.
Discomfort and pain are typical causes of aggression. Look out for conditions like arthritis and internal injuries.
Brain tumors and thyroid diseases can affect a dog’s brain, causing them to become excessively aggressive.
If you notice strange signs of aggression, you must take your dog to the vet.
They Feel Frightened
Fear can trigger aggression in most dogs and comes from a dog’s need to defend himself.
Fear is a rare cause of aggression in Corgis, never the less, always check with the shelter from where you got your dog.
If you accidentally raise a hand over a frightened dog, he is likely to think you are trying to hit him, and he may growl at you or bite you.
They Feel Frustrated
Corgis, like any other animal, can feel frustrated when they don’t get what they want – this is known as redirected aggression.
Keep in mind, that Corgis are highly intelligent and independent, so you must use restraint when controlling them, or they are likely to lash out at their owners.
6) They Want To Establish Dominance
If you bring a new dog home, your Corgi may not appreciate the new family member and is likely to behave aggressively.
This is a Corgi’s way of communicating to the new pet that he is the top dog in this house. If you notice this hostile behavior in your Corgi, you must take steps to rectify this problem.
Signs of Aggression In Corgis
So we know that Corgis can become agitated due to various different factors, but what would a display of aggression look like?
Aggressive behavior usually can be spotted early; which helps us, owners, to proactively take the measures to rectify the situation before it becomes common or gets out of hand.
If aggression is not limited or rectified, behavioral problems into adulthood are likely to arise. If this was to occur, you’re more likely to end up with a dog that poses a danger to you., your family, other dogs, and other people.
Therefore, it’s important to be able to recognize some early signs of aggression. Here are the most common ones:
- Showing Teeth
- Curling Lips
- Dominant Posture
While there are other signs of aggression, the above are the most common and easily identifiable.
Do Corgis Bite?
Biting occurs more so in Corgis as puppies rather than in adults. Corgi puppies love to play with their owners, and sometimes they might bite or nip at their owners if they get overly excited or stimulated.
This biting behavior might seem cute in a pup, but when a puppy’s adult teeth emerge, it stops being cute.
You must train your puppy not to bite at the earliest opportunity.
A puppy doesn’t understand that biting is wrong; after all, this is one way to explore the world around them.
To begin to curb biting, set aside time every day to teach your puppy not to bite.
You can use treats to reward good behavior, but never use corporal punishment when they step out of line.
You can encourage your dog to bite on specific chew toys and use the toys to engage them to play with you. The Kong Chew Toy from Amazon is particularly effective.
You can allow your dog to nibble on your fingers, but as they bite, make a high-pitched sound to show them that biting hurts.
Give your puppy a reward when he lets go of your hand.
Discouraging your puppy from biting will take time, but be consistent, and in time, the nipping should stop.
What To Do With An Aggressive Corgi
We’ve already run through some small and practical things you can do throughout this article to reduce aggression and make them calmer dogs to be around.
For owners who have yet to see their Corgi show signs of aggression, it will likely come as quite a shock when the time eventually comes.
However, although it will likely happen, it is usually nothing to worry about. Moreover, you have the ability to rectify the situation, you are in a position in which you can limit and reduce the chances of it happening again.
What you must not do, even if tempted, is shout at your Corgi when they act up. Doing so actually makes matters worse, and usually has the opposite effect.
Therefore if your dog is snarling or baring its teeth – do not shout, approach, or hit your dog. This is more likely to make them more defensive, territorial, and aggressive.
Instead, you want to help them calm down; make them feel more comfortable and confident in the situation, and take their mind off the event that is unfolding. Relax your body and help your Corgi understand that you are not a threat.
Once your Corgi has returned to a more calm state, from there you can contact a dog behavioral specialist who can either train your dog and/or provide you with techniques that you can use going forward.
Training an Aggressive Corgi
Socializing a Corgi is imperative in the early stages of their life and during the puppy stage. There are often many local classes that you can take your dog to – usually on a weekly/bi-weekly basis.
Training a corgi puppy (between 6-14 weeks of age) results in much lower chances of displays of aggression as they get older – as they learn what is and what is not acceptable behavior.
Sometimes, even with sufficient training, a Corgi may still show signs of aggression. Here are some other things you can consider.
Monitor and Look For Causes of Aggression
First and foremost, you need to identify what is causing your dog to become agitated and aggressive.
There could be many reasons for this, and you need to be able to identify them first.
Perhaps it is something in the environment, a particular person or event that occurs. Either way, if you can find what is causing the aggression you may be able to rectify it simply by removing the cause (if possible).
Visit the Vet
As mentioned previously, aggression can be caused by illness/injury. If you suspect this is the case, or have reason to believe so, take your Corgi to the vet.
They can run some tests, check your dog thoroughly and will be able to offer advice and support.
You may even find that once health issues are resolved, aggression is greatly reduced.
Hire a Dog Behavioral Specialist
You may find that there is little you can do but hire an expert in the field; one that is used to handling and managing difficult dogs.
Some Corgis are inherently more aggressive in nature; it’s just who they are.
A behavioral dog specialist will be able to adopt techniques, practices, and concepts that you will teach your dog how to behave better, and lower their aggressive tendencies.
While this may be a more expensive option, consider that the well-being of your family, and your dog, may depend on getting the issue rectified.
While there are two breeds of Corgi; Cardigan Welsh and the Pembroke, both are fantastic dogs, make excellent pets and share some similar physical and personality traits.
Of the two Corgis, the Pembroke is the most popular breed.
Both breeds of corgi can be aggressive if their owners don’t take it upon themselves to train their dogs.
These dogs are fiercely loyal and loving, but you must prepare them from the time that they are a puppy to behave well.
An undisciplined Corgi is an unhappy Corgi; they love when their humans are in charge, as it helps them feel safe and content.
If your Corgi behaves aggressively, there are steps you must take to nip this behavior in the bud, they are herding dogs after all, and being dominant is in their nature.
Take time out of your day to teach your puppy not to bite, do not be discouraged if things do not resolve overnight. Hang in there you will reap the rewards of a well-behaved dog.
In fact, in doing so you are likely to have a dog that is very willing, and open, to cuddles!
Corgis are not generally dangerous dogs. However, if their instinctive aggression is not managed, controlled, and rectified with appropriate and sufficient training, they can become dangerous – especially in adult life. It is important that you teach your corgi how to behave in the early years of its life. It is also important to socialize with other people and dogs. Identifying signs of aggression is the first step you need to take in order to keep it at bay.
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.