If you’ve been thinking about adding a corgi to your family unit, you’ve probably had that little thought running through your head, do they bark a lot?
Or perhaps you’ve recently moved in with a new partner and you’re wondering whether the constant barking from their baby corgi is normal.
Now, happy homes and beauty sleep are important, so here’s what’s going on:
Yes. Corgis bark a lot. This is for many reasons such as fear, excitement, boredom, and to communicate. They can, thankfully, be trained to bark less often.
About this step by step guide!
This is a comprehensive guide to understanding why your corgi barks, what they are trying to tell you, and how you can train them to bark a little less often.
It’s a big one, so strap yourself in and let’s go.
Table of contents
1. Why do corgis bar a lot? 11 reasons why your corgi barks
2. What does my corgi’s bark mean? 5 ways to understand what your corgi is saying
3. How often do corgis bark? Why your corgi barks in the day, night, and at other dogs
4. How to train your corgi not to bark? 5 strategies you can use to teach your corgi
5. How not to train your corgi to bark 2 key things to consider
6. Final thoughts on corgis and barking A summary of all you need to know.
Why do corgis bark a lot? 11 reasons why your corgi barks
Barking is part of a corgi’s nature. They will bark when they are feeling emotional, such as happy or excited, or in response to what they see, like a toy or a stranger at the door. Thankfully there are techniques to help reduce your barking, including exercise and training.
Corgis were bred to be loud active dogs. Originally, corgis served to round up cattle for market on farms in Wales. To do this, corgis needed to have a loud bark that the cattle would respond to on those big green Welsh pastures.
Likewise, they were also responsible for chasing away vermin and trespassers – a perfect task for a loud bark. If there’s any small sound, any sudden movement, they are ready to go.
Now, corgis no longer need to bark at rats and cattle. But they still have that impulse. This can be out of pleasure, out of pain, and sometimes for no reason at all.
This is perfectly normal for corgis. You should not be concerned if your corgi is barking a lot. You should, though, listen to why they are barking – they may be trying to tell you an important piece of information. Perhaps there is an intruder, or they are hungry.
Barking is an important communication technique for dogs. Along with smell and body language, it’s one of the main tools in their arsenal. So, it’s important to let them use it.
What you may find is that you want to reduce this barking. I’ve heard many a story of people who love their dog very much just wishing they would just shut up.
If this is you, you’re not the only one. I’ll cover a number of ways in this article that I’ve found to help your corgi bark less.
Let’s dig down into the reasons that corgis bark, and how this will help you manage their barking better.
1. Corgis bark because they are stressed
Corgis can bark because they are feeling stressed. Your corgi may feel distressed when they are in threatening or strange places, be in a new home or there are strangers near them.
Stress is a normal physical and emotional response to the demands of life. It is the body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. The brain interprets from this that a negative outcome is on its way (even if it isn’t).
In our own lives, this can be things like a work meeting, managing money, a fight with a partner, or trying to plan all your Christmas shopping.
In corgis, the most common stresses are things in the home. If you’ve got guests over, this can be unusual for corgis, and they may not know how to react. Out of the home, fireworks can cause stress in corgis because it is a loud noise from an unknown source.
Barking is a way to release that stress, and warn others that there may be danger. You can help reduce this form of barking by removing the stimulus that is causing stress, or if that’s not possible, by moving your corgi away from it.
2. Corgis bark because they are anxious
Corgis may bark if they feel anxious. Anxiety is usually triggered by stress or fear, such as a bigger dog nearby, or being left alone while you’re at work all day.
Anxiety is a normal and often healthy emotion in small doses. However, when your corgi regularly feels disproportionate levels of anxiety, it can become a problem.
Anxiety is typified by feelings of dread of fear in situations where there is no threat. Anxiety usually is longer lasting than stress, and can occur long after the stimulus is gone.
In humans, anxiety often happens in reaction to our own insecurities, like a fear of rejection or conflict. Common anxiety triggers include work stress, job changes, relationship breakdowns, or trauma.
In your corgi, anxiety may come from an internalised fear of strangers, or a fear of being left alone. This may stem from past trauma or an event from when the corgi was a puppy.
Corgis will often bark when feeling anxious. This is to protect them, and to release the pressure and to signal discomfort.
Hold your corgi, or move them to a new location, to help calm your corgi’s barking.
3. Corgis bark because they are isolated
Corgis are social dogs and will often bark when they feel isolated or alone. It’s important to keep them busy during the day if you can’t be there with them.
Isolation is not an uncommon feeling. It’s caused when we feel like we don’t have connection to others, whether true or not.
This is a normal reaction when we feel like we don’t fit in or we’re away from our friends and family for a long time. It can also happen when we are craving a particular level of intimacy that we are not getting from others.
Corgis most often feel isolated when they are left at home while you go to work. Corgis would much rather stay in your company, or the company of another animal. Corgis will bark when left alone. This is their version of calling out to you to return.
The easiest way to diagnose barking from isolation is when it’s the neighbours who have to tell you that your corgi is barking – yet you never hear it (because you’re not there).
The best way to fix this is to spend time with your corgi, or when that’s not possible, consider a substitute like another pet or the television.
It also helps if you spend active time with them before you have to go, either playing or going for a walk. That’s why morning dog walks are such a great idea.
4. Corgis bark because they are scared
Corgis will often bark out of fear. It activates the flight or fight response in your corgi, causing them to bark.
Fear is caused by a negative reaction to something scary or, at least, interpreted as scary by the brain. Fear develops as a survival method; it keeps us away from harm.
In people, fear is directly tied to this sense of safety. Common fears include snakes, spiders, and tight spaces.
For corgis, fear is usually a reaction to an unknown danger, like a stranger arriving at your front door or loud sounds in the middle of the night.
If your corgi gets scared, they are likely to bark in response. They like to bark to ward off potential predators that may be coming for them. So, if your corgi starts to bark when encountering someone new, fear is a likely cause.
This best way to treat this is to remove your corgi from the situation, or, if you know what the fear trigger is, remove that. You can also work with a trainer who can help reduce their fear and make your corgi more confident interacting with others.
5. Corgis bark because they are bored
One of the most common reasons corgis start to bark is because they are bored. They need lots of activity like games and exercise to keep their minds and bodies running.
Boredom comes from a lack of stimulation. It can also happen when you have an access of energy that is not directed anywhere. Boredom is the body’s response to waiting for what it wants.
Boredom is common in humans. You’ve probably felt it yourself while waiting on the phone with the power company or after completing a big project at work and you’re waiting on the next one.
In your home, your corgi can feel bored if they don’t have any way to get their energy out. If you have a small backyard, or a lack of toys, your corgi may feel bored with their surroundings.
If they’re bored, they can bark – because it’s an action for them to do. It’s also a way to trigger you to do an activity with them.
The course of action I recommend is to play with them, or go for a walk. By giving them some exercise, your corgi will be less bored and therefore, less likely to bark. And indoors games work just as well if it’s a miserable day outside.
6. Corgis bark because they are hungry
Corgis will bark when they are hungry to signal that they want to be fed. The easy solution is to feed them. If it is not dinner time, exercise and activity (along with water) can be a workable substitute.
Evolutionarily, hunger is a necessary trait to encourage you to eat. Without eating, you would die, so hunger is essential to survival.
Humans try to reduce hunger by scheduling meals regularly throughout the day, but I’m sure you’ve felt the pangs after eating lunch too early and having to wait until dinner time to eat again.
Corgis can feel the same way. They should be fed one to two times a day. If your corgi puppy is still growing, you may need to schedule more regular intervals throughout the day.
If you’re the one doing the feeding, your corgi is likely to bark at you when they want to eat. So if you’re even half an hour late to mealtime, you can expect your corgi to find you with barks at the ready.
The easiest way to deal with this type of barking is to ensure your corgi is fed at consistent regular intervals. If they know when they are going to be fed, they’re less likely to bark demanding food.
Corgis often make an awoo bark when they are eating or want to be fed.
7. Corgis bark because they are seeking attention
As an active dog, many corgis bark because they want attention, and barking is an effective way to get it. The solution is to give them attention, or give them another activity if you can’t.
Attention-seeking behaviour is common in many dog breeds. Particularly in the case of breeds who were originally bred to be around people and other animals.
You’ve seen this behaviour in your own life. It’s the guy who stands on the table doing shots at the party, or the toddler tugging on your leg at the grocery store.
When it comes to corgis, their attention seeking stems from their active imagination and need to move.
Now, barking is great way to grab your attention. It’s loud and demands your focus, even when you are trying to do the dinner or put your clothes away.
If this is common for your corgi, you’ll need to find strategies to keep them entertained. More walks, more exercise, and more toys are a great way to reduce the amount of attention you need to give your corgi.
Some corgis may even benefit from having a second corgi (or another dog) to hang out with and play with to keep them company.
It’s also the type of barking that your corgi is more likely to grow out of than others. Like kids, puppies have more demands that older dogs, so are more likely to bark.
8. Corgis bark because they are aggressive
Corgis are not aggressive as a breed, but they can be aggressive in particular moments. This can manifest through loud barking. The best way to solve this is to remove the reason they are feeling aggressive, be it fear or threat.
Aggression is behaviour that is intended to harm. It is not a trait you want to cultivate in your corgi.
All dogs have the potential to be aggressive. For corgis, it is not a trait of the breed, but they can be aggressive if they are sufficiently threatened.
Here’s an example: You’re happily strolling through the park with your corgi. Then, out of the blue, a huge husky starts running towards you, and gets all up in your corgi’s face. Your corgi is threatened. And so, they lash out with loud barking.
Barking based on aggression is usually clear and obvious from its loud and sharp tone. It’s also usually easy to see why they are being aggressive.
Aggressiveness is more common if your corgi lacks socialisation and training. The best way to calm your corgi from barking is to remove them from the situation.
Corgis with innate aggression should also go to a dog trainer, who can gently guide them through their aggression towards a happy state.
Corgis that are not trained out of aggressive behaviour may need to be put down, especially if their bark is paired with a bite.
9. Corgis bark because they are excited
Because they are social dogs, corgis will often bark when they are excited. This commonly happens when you get home from work for the day, or you are ready to give them a treat.
Excitement is a good emotion. You want your dog to be excited. It means they’re looking forward to what is going to happen, or a just feeling great in the moment.
You’ve probably felt excited hundreds of times throughout your life. Perhaps it was the night before Christmas, the moment before the buzzer on the big game, or heading to the airport to pick up a partner.
For your corgi, excitement can be triggered by treats or toys, or even a welcome stranger popping over to visit.
One of the big reasons corgi’s get excited is hearing the clink clank of the leash. The jingling signals to a corgi they’re about to go on their favourite thing – a walk.
Corgis will often bark when they are excited, but it’s a good thing. It shows they understand what is happening and that they are good to go.
This type of barking does not need to be fixed, but, if it is overwhelming, you can train your corgi to not react as strongly. This is important if your corgi barks whenever you arrive home from work.
A little bit of training goes a long way to quiet the neighbourhood.
10. Corgis bark because they are having fun
Corgis will often bark when they are having fun. This is to communicate their happiness, but also to let out positive emotions.
By playing and having fun, your corgi gets to do what they love and enjoy doing it.
Think of it like when you get the chance play video games, or go hiking, or do some knitting – whatever it is you love – and how happy you feel.
Your corgi is the same. They love playing with their toys and going for walks and playing with other dogs.
Because your corgi comes from a working dog background, they will often bark to demand control of objects, whether it’s a cow on the farm, or a ball or frisbee in your hand.
They will often bark while playing to let out their emotions. For many of them, the act of playing is synonymous with the act of barking. That is, barking is playing for your corgi.
This is not a problem, but if it happens a lot, you can train your corgi to quiet on command. This will give you more control over your corgi.
11. Corgis bark because they are communicating
Corgi’s will bark to better communicate with your and with other dogs. This is one of the main communication techniques they have.
Communication is important. It allows us to have a shared understand of the world and be able to build a better future for ourselves.
Communication is one of the reasons corgis get on so well with humans, because there is a share connection and understanding. It’s the reasons most of us have closer relationships with dogs than fungus.
Dogs communicate to tell each other important information – whether it’s don’t come over here, or come play with me. These are critical to a corgi’s survival.
This is why corgis bark. The bark is part of a complex communication system, which includes tail wagging, body language, and smell.
You can teach your corgi to bark when they need particular things, and this will better help you understand what they are after when they bark at you.
Here’s an quick clip of corgi’s barking to be social and to communicate with each other.
What does my corgi’s bark mean? 5 ways to understand what your corgi is saying
There are a number of ways to understand what corgi barks mean. This includes the pitch of the bark, the body language of the corgi, the duration, the frequency, and the volume. Differences determine whether the corgi is happy (usually higher pitched) or feeling stressed (lower pitched).
Your corgi will bark in many different ways. They may be yappers, growlers, grumblers, whiners, barkers, woofers, howlers, or any combination of these at any one time.
Understanding your corgi’s barks can be difficult. Through looking at the different types of barks, and the different elements of each, you can better understand what your corgi needs.
This will help you better meet your corgis needs and make them better companions for you and your family.
1. Understanding the pitch of your corgi’s bark
The pitch of your corgi’s bark can help you determine why they are barking. A low pitch comes from fear or aggression, while a high pitch is more likely to arise from a need to eat or play.
Pitch is the way we hear certain sounds to be higher or lower than others.
It is determined by the frequency of the sound waves (different to the frequency in the number of barks). It is the way we compare sounds to other sounds.
One of the great things about people and dogs is that they have control of the pitch of their voice. This makes it a great tool for communicating.
For corgis, a low pitch usually means that there is a problem. Growling and woofing are lower pitched barks.
You are more likely to hear these when your corgi is in danger, or they are uncertain about what is going to happen next. Examples include when meeting strangers or seeing a snake in the backyard.
Lower pitched barks are a warning about aggressive that may be imminent. It’s saying to others, stay away.
Higher pitched barking correlates with energy and excitement.
This can be positive, such as getting a treat and going for a walk – higher pitched barks are more common when corgis are playing with other dogs. It can also be negative, such as fighting off boredom or demanding food.
This makes higher pitched barks harder to diagnose than lower pitched barks.
2. Understanding the body language of your corgi’s bark
The body language your corgi has when they bark can indicate what the bark means. Stiff upright stances indicate that your corgi is on high alert. Reserved stances are more likely to indicate fear or uncertainty.
Body language is the way that we use our body to communicate. Body language is shaped by both conscious and unconscious movements and postures, led by which feelings are to be communicated.
One of the incredibly things about humans is their ability to communicate through their body. And thankfully, corgis have the same skill. They can communicate their intentions through their tail, their legs, and their face – even before the barking happens.
If your corgi is upright, with their ears pricked up and their eyes looking out, they are ready for action. A dog that barks in this position is prepared to defend their home.
If they are standing up, but softer in their stance, they are barking for fun. It’s usually clear when this is the case. If that don’t look happy in their expression, they may be trying to relieve boredom or indicate hunger.
If they are dropped back, your corgi is scared and defensive. They should be removed from the situation, or comforted, until the barking stops. Show them that there is no threat.
It’s important to know which of these your corgi is going through, as the treatment is very different in each case.
3. Understanding the duration of your corgi’s bark
The length of your corgi’s bark can determine why they are barking. Long sustained barks indicate fear wile shorter barks can be playful or alerting. Barking of either type that goes on too long can indicate a problem.
The duration of the bark refers to how long each bark goes for, as well as how long your corgi is barking for.
The length of the barks is an important determiner in working out the reason for your corgi’s barking.
If your corgi is barking in short burst, it tends to indicate that whatever they are barking for needs immediate attention. This may be a stranger at the door or time for feeding. It is also more common when the corgi is playing.
Longer barks tend to indicate discomfort. This may happen when you’ve got a new animal or person in the house, or the corgi is in a situation that is strange or them (say, at the vet). It can also be a precursor to aggression, with the low growl used as a warning.
The duration of the bark often ties to the type of bark – with short barks more frequently high pitched, and lower pitched barks often lasting longer.
4. Understanding the frequency of your corgi’s bark
The amount your corgi barks depends on the situation they are in, with corgis barking more when there is discomfort, or they feel threatened.
Corgis can bark in multiple ways, including single barks, multiple barks, and long sustained periods of barking.
If you corgi gives a single bark, it’s usually not a problem. Often, something has caught their eye and they are simply responding to it. An example would be if a bird flies over your backyard or they want you to throw the ball you’re holding.
If your corgi gives multiple, they typically want something more. This could be to let out energy, tell you a guest has arrived, or talk to another dog.
If your corgi is barking for a long time without stopping, it usually indicates there’s a problem. This could be a threat, or they could be over-excited.
It is recommended to adjust the circumstances around your corgi, moving them to a new space or giving them some attention. It may be as simple as a feeding or a walk that gets them to stop.
5. Understanding the volume of your corgi’s bark
The volume of your corgi’s bark gives your clues on what they mean. A loud bark indicates excitement or aggression, while a softer bark can be used for communication and playfulness.
We use volume every day to help make our meaning clear. Like the old man who yells to get people off his property or the school teacher who speaks softly to calm a crying child.
Dogs use volume in much the same way, and it’s one of the most expressive methods they have.
A loud bark is part of a corgi’s nature, but it also indicates importance. A loud bark can be used to say, there is an intruder, or it can be used to say, I’m so excited for my walk.
In contrast, a softer bark might be used to chat to the friendly neighbourhood dogs, or get you to stop your walk so they can sniff a nearby tree.
By combining volume with the other factors listed, you can better determine what your corgi is trying to say.
Listen now to this short compilation of some of the different sounds your corgi might make.
How often do corgis bark?
Corgis bark a lot. The amount they bark depends on what’s in their environment. Ways to reduce barking include giving them lots of attention and exercise, and training them to be comfortable around people and animals.
Barking is part of a corgi’s nature. From their early days defending farms from intruders, corgis had to develop a loud bark to do their job.
This trait still hasn’t left them. From this though, corgis are more likely to bark during the day than they are at night, which is a saving grace.
Corgis are also more likely to bark as puppies than they are as an older dog. This is because puppies have more to be excited by and more to be fearful of.
Older dogs are also more likely to be better trained, as they’ve had more time to respond to your commands. Training your corgi from a young age not to bark will dramatically improve your quality of life when they are an adult.
By knowing why your corgi is barking, you can better reduce the amount that they bark, and keep the neighbours happy in the process.
Why does my corgi bark in the day?
Your corgi barking in the day is normal. However, it is useful to know why they are barking; there’s a big different between playful barking and boredom barking.
When corgis bark in the day time, it can be attributed to a number of factors.
If they are barking around people or animals, it could indicate that they are uncomfortable or want to play. This is even more likely if you regularly have new guests over.
If they are barking by themselves, they may have too much energy that’s not being used. Walks and toys can help with this. They may also feel isolated, particularly if you’re away at work for most of the day. In that case, some toys, or even the TV on, can help.
To help with barking in the day, you should keep them on a regular schedule. If they don’t know when they are going to go for their walk, or eat, or sleep, they are far more likely to bark throughout the day.
Why does my corgi bark at night?
If your corgi is barking at night, it may indicate a problem. They may feel scared, isolated or anxious. Consider removing threats, giving them attention, or feeding them, to reduce this issue.
Night time is meant to be for resting. Most dogs will retire to their bed and sleep the night through. If your corgi is up at night barking, it can be a concern.
Here are some things to consider
- Is there an obvious trigger: If you live in the city, the passing night cars or foot traffic might be waking your corgi and disrupting their sleep. If you’re out in the country, rats and rodents can be a concern. Consider pest control or blackout curtains, depending on the issue.
- Does your corgi need exercise: Barking at night can be from a build of up energy that wasn’t let out during the day. If that’s the case, a longer walk and some more playing with toys can do wonders.
- Does your corgi need attention: If they want attention because they feel lonely, you have to look at your options. Can they sleep in the same room as you? Do you have other pets to keep them company? Would a lamp or soft radio work for them? Try a few different options to see what works best.
- Is your corgi hungry: They may bark if they are hungry, particularly if they’re on a diet and trying to lose weight. You may need to adjust the frequency and timing of their feedings, so they don’t feel it so much at night.
By working out the reasons for their barking, these strategies will help your corgi sleep through the night and bark less often.
Why does my corgi bark at other dogs?
There are a number of reasons your corgi might bark at other dogs. It could be for communication, or it could be used to indicate fear, excitement, or playfulness.
Corgis love to bark, and it’s not always clear why they are barking at another dog.
It’s same as talking to humans. They might be an old friend, an enemy, or just simply someone we want something from like the cashier or the barista.
Corgis do not have to be close to the other dog to initiate barking, and indeed, they may know another dog is present even before you do.
It is ok to let your corgi bark when it sees another dog, as long as it is not aggressive.
It is useful for you to determine why they are barking, so you can implement the right strategy to minimise their barking, if you need to.
Are corgis loud?
Yes. Corgis are loud. However, with training, you can limit the amount they need to bark.
When compared to other dogs of the same size, corgis are very loud. And it makes sense. They had no choice when they were working dogs out on the farm.
The worst barking is loud, frequent, and high-pitched. It usually comes when your corgi is in fight mode – that is, responding to a threat. This might be a wild animal, a loud noise, or another dog.
The other one to listen out for is the howl, which is long in duration and consistent in sound. Corgis can howl at all times of the day.
With training, you can better teach your corgi to only bark when they need to. They will also have a better understanding of when it is appropriate to bark loudly, and when it is not.
This will take time, but is a worthwhile process in the end.
The howl is a common type of bark that can happen during the day, at night, and around others.
How to train your corgi not to bark? 5 strategies you can use to teach your corgi
There are a number of strategies you can use to teach your corgi not to bark including ignoring them, distracting them, and giving them rewards. I recommend rewarding good behaviour, and making them less likely to bark through activities and exercise.
Training your corgi is one of the best ways to give them new skills and to control the amount that they bark.
Many of these can be done by yourself at home, though any training is made quicker when you use professional training services.
Some methods will work better for you than others. However, do not use negative reinforcement like shock collars or hitting. It does not help create a happy healthy corgi.
1. Ignore your corgi’s barking
The easiest step to train your corgi is to ignore their barks when there is no threat. This will teach them that barking will not get your attention when not warranted.
Your corgi will bark for lots of reasons, and many of them are simply to do with having fun and playing.
If your corgi is demanding your attention while barking, you do not need to succumb. That will only teach them to continue barking.
As soon as they start barking at you, leave the room and close the door. When you return, do not acknowledge your corgi until you are settled back into your spot. You are the one in charge. The barking does not control you.
Do make sure you give them lots of attention at times they are not barking. That way, they do not need to demand it from you.
Of course, if you corgi is in danger or feels unsafe, this is a good reason for them to bark. Simply remove the danger, or remove them from the danger, and wait for them to calm down.
If your corgi is barking at the door, you can simply acknowledge your corgi (for being a good watch dog), and then continue with what you are doing. That way, you are letting them know that they have done well, that everything is ok, and that nothing else is required.
When your corgi is barking for no real reason, you do not need to acknowledge or reward this behaviour. Doing so will only make them bark more.
2. Distract your corgi from barking
By distracting your corgi, you can stop them from barking. This is a great method if you need them to be quiet suddenly.
Corgis are very playful and love to hang out with you. So you can use this technique to distract them from their barking.
If you grab a hold of one of their favourite toys, you can capture their attention and stop their barking. Good options include ropes and balls (which they want to grab with their mouth). It’s very hard to bark with a rope in your mouth.
Other options include food and treats. Like toys, if they are eating it is difficult to bark, and is likely to keep them stimulated. You can also take some of their toys (like a kong ball) and stuff them full of treats, giving you the best of both worlds.
You can also use activities. If you corgi is barking, you can distract them by getting them to perform some of their commands. This distraction will keep them moving and keep their brain on other more fun activities.
These distraction techniques are good quick fixes to stop your corgi barking.
3. Use your corgi’s energy so they don’t bark
Corgi’s bark when they are bored. A simple solution to stop your corgi barking is to exercise them and tire them out.
Corgis love to exercise. They love to run and jump and play.
Boredom is one of the chief causes of barking in corgis. It happens when they have too much energy and nowhere to put it. Also, it’s fun to bark.
That’s why I recommend daily walks with your corgi, either in the morning or the evening, to help keep them active. The more tired they are, the less likely they are to bark up a storm.
You should also set aside some time for physical activity (other than walks) with your corgi. This may mean playing fetch with an old tennis ball, or grabbing the frisbee and heading down to the local park.
It’s also good to give your corgi time with other dogs. They will play together, filling that social need your corgi has. This lets out steam and also makes them less likely to bark from isolation.
By giving your corgi interesting activities to do, you help keep their mind and their body active.
4. Reward them for not barking
One of the most tried and true methods to train your corgi not to bark is by rewarding them when they behave. This helps encourage good behaviour in your corgi.
The method is straightforward. The better behaved they are, the more they are rewarded.
It works as follows: when your corgi barks, wait until they stop, then you can reward them. Every time they do it right, you can reward them.
You should approach rewarding them for good barking behaviour slowly. Set a time limit for their barking, say 20 seconds. If they bark before 20 seconds, don’t reward them. If they reach 20 seconds, give them a treat. Then slowly extend the time.
You should also recognise when they are behaving well. If your corgi has been quiet for the afternoon, you can reward their behaviour. This may be a treat or a ride in the car. While this doesn’t build direct associations like specific training, it does help reinforce good behaviour.
When training your corgi with rewards, you want to ensure you are doing it at the right time. If you have guests over, or there are other obvious stimuli around, that is not a good time to be training your corgi not to bark.
It’s better to focus on training when there is no real reason for the barking, or they are barking out of general excitement. Once they are better at behaving, then you can begin to test them out with friends at the door.
One final consideration is if you are giving them treats, make sure it you are not giving them too many. You should also pick treats that are reasonably healthy, so you don’t ruin their diet.
With rewards, your dog will begin to follow your cues because they trust and respect you, rather than out of fear.
5. Command them not to bark – by commanding them to bark
Corgis can be trained not to bark by teaching them the ‘speak’ command. By telling them when to bark, you are counter-intuitively, leading them away from barking when not commanded.
This is a trick I picked up a while ago and it works a treat.
Treating your corgi to speak (bark on cue) isn’t too hard. You want to reward their behaviour when you give the cue.
As soon as your corgi barks (only a single bark), immediately follow it with the command ‘speak’. Then reward them with praise if they do the correct action, followed by a toy or treat.
Continue using the cue when they bark and rewarding their behaviour. Only use it for single barks, not for long strings of barks. You want the command to be specific.
With time, your corgi will start to understand how to speak on command. Then you can use this to trigger a bark.
What this means is after some time, you can use the speak command to get them to issue a single bark, when they are in the middle of barking.
This then short-circuits the original bark, stopping it in its tracks.
If this sounds like a lot of work (and it can be a bit), you can always enlist the help of a professional dog trainer to give you some support.
Here are some more tips from a certified canine leader to help train your corgi not to bark.
How to not train your corgi to bark?
You should avoid negative reinforcement with your corgi as it is not a humane method to train your corgi not to bark.
Negative reinforcement is when your corgi suffers negative consequences when they do the wrong thing. It will be used synonymously with the term punishment here (although some experts like to differentiate between the two).
Punishing your corgi is wrong. They are very much like a child. They are still learning how the world works.
It is more effective, and much kinder, to treat them with positive reinforcement for doing the right thing.
Here are some methods of negative reinforcement that you should avoid.
Should you hit your corgi?
No. You should not hit your corgi to help train them not to bark. It is not a kind or effective way to train your corgi.
There’s an old story I remember being told. It says there was once a mother who thought hitting her child was a necessary step to getting them to behave.
Until one day, she caught her young daughter hitting her infant son. When asked why, her daughter replied, “I’m just pretending to be you”. Naturally, the mother stopped hitting.
Hitting your corgi only serves to teach them that aggression is ok. They do not correlate the punishment with the lesson they are supposed to learn.
By using positive reinforcement, you are more likely to cultivate good behaviour in your corgi, and build the connection between the two of you.
Should you muzzle your corgi?
No. You should not muzzle your corgi to help train them not to bark.
While muzzling will quiet your dog, it is not an effective long-term strategy to reduce the amount of barking they do. It just serves to hurt them.
Likewise, extreme methods like shock collars or vocal surgery should not be used.
Corgis are only barking because it’s in their nature. So the most humane way to treat them is through strategies that are also within their nature.
If you treat them poorly, they are more likely to be scared and bark even more.
Final thoughts on corgis and their barking
Your corgi loves to bark. It’s part of who they are. They will bark a lot.
There are many reasons your corgi will bark. Some of these are positive, like playing and socialisation. Some of these are negative, like fear and isolation.
Your corgi barks in many different ways. You can work out what their bark means from the pitch, body language, duration, frequency, and volume of the bark. Typically, the higher the pitch and volume, the more energetic your corgi feels.
Corgis most commonly bark during the day, but many will also bark at night if disrupted. They will also bark at other dogs. Their barking is very loud, so training them is important.
You can train them in a number of ways including ignoring the barks, distracting them, exercising them, rewarding them, and teaching them commands. In all, positive reinforcement is much better than negative reinforcement.
If you follow this advice, you’re bound to reduce your corgi’s barking, and know how to act when barks occur.