Are Corgis Loyal? Testing the Loyalty of Man’s Best Friend

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Written By Dane Michael

MyFavCorgi is a community of corgi fans and owners with advice to buy, raise and care for your corgi.

A corgi is a peculiar breed of dog. It’s a got short legs but a long body. A happy nature but a loud bark.

So, there’s no surprises that many people have questions about their personality, and one of the big questions I’ve found is whether they are a loyal dog.

Now, loyalty in dogs represents the commitment from them to you. It’s the quality of staying firm, even when temptation arises.

If you’ve combed the lists of most loyal dogs like I have, you’ll find that the corgi doesn’t ever make the list. However, that does not mean that corgis are not loyal.

Corgis are a loyal breed. They display this loyalty through their affection for their owners, and by keeping a watch over the household. You will find though they can get distracted by food, toys, and strangers.

Why are corgis loyal?

According to veterinarians, corgis are loyal and can make great watchdogs. This is because they were originally bred to guard cattle for humans.

Yes, loyalty in corgis is not a new trait, and goes all the way back to their ancestral history on Welsh pastural farms. The corgi had an important role watching over the herds of cattle, scaring away vermin and predators.

Naturally, humans rewarded this skill with love and affection over time. This built the bond between humans and corgis, and modern corgis have come to accept this as the natural state of affairs.

It’s not that corgis were bred for loyalty; it’s that loyalty came along with other desirable traits. And thankfully, loyalty too is a desirable trait, particularly for a watch dog.

Think about it. You don’t want a watch dog that isn’t loyal. That’s like a secret agent who’s willing to share out classified information to the highest bidder. Same with corgis – you don’t want one that is going to befriend rats and wolves when they should be protecting the cows.

This protectiveness makes them a loyal breed to have around your home and family.

How loyal are corgis? 4 tests that prove corgis are loyal

Corgis are very loyal and can pass loyalty tests including coming when called, staying when told, and helping humans in destress. They are, however, easily distracted by food and toys, even with training.

Science has shown that dogs can be loyal. A 2015 study by Japanese researchers have proven that your dog has your back when it comes to enemies.

A team at Kyoto University discovered that dogs, like humans and primates, are capable of recognising social behaviour and acting accordingly.

The experiment test the reactions of dogs when their owners were treated:

  1. kindly
  2. unkindly
  3. neutral

There was no significant difference between when the owner was treated positively and when the owner was treated neutrally.

But when the dog’s owner was treated badly, the dog was likely to ignore that person.

This trait is true in corgis. Corgis recognise the negative treatment, and will respond accordingly.

On a slightly less scientific level, I love this series of tests run by Gatsby the Corgi, that take place in the first two minutes of this video below.

In this video, owner Ryen Lung runs a number of tests to see how loyal his corgi is to his instructions.

Loyalty test 1: Will my corgi help if I fall over?

Yes, corgis will come to your rescue and loyally try to help you if you fall over. This is because corgis are protective of humans.

With all the news of support animals, it’s a common question to wonder whether corgis can help people who have fallen over.

In the video from Gatsby, there were two versions of this test.

In the first, owner Ryen fell down. Gatsby the corgi was very loyal, and promptly came to Ryen’s help.

In the second version of the test, Ryen fell over and spilt a handful of treats on the ground near Gatsby. Here, Gatsby came over, but was distracted by the treats, and didn’t fulfill the objective of the task.

So, what do we call it? Partial success. 1 for 2.

Corgis are loyal dogs, but the test clearly showed that they are susceptible to distraction.

Loyalty test 2: Will my corgi come when called?

I found that, yes, your corgi is loyal to you and will come if called. This is if you have trained them and there are no big distractions.

This is one of the commands most requested to teach corgis. It’s how you keep control of them, and makes it easier to feed, walk, and exercise.

In the test with Gatsby the corgi, the challenge was run three times. These progressively got harder each time.

Test round number one had Gatsby getting affection from another person. When Ryen the owner called him over, he passed the test and came over.

In test round two, Gatsby the corgi had to choose between Ryen and another person. Essentially, who would he come to if they both called him? In this test, Gatsby chose his owner and passed this loyalty test.

In test round three, the third and final test, Gatsby the corgi had to choose between Ryen and another person. But this time, the other person had treats. You can guess how this is going to go. While Ryen gave it his best shot to convince Gatsby, the treats won out, and Gatsby failed this loyalty test.

Final grade – 2 out of 3. Not perfect, but not bad. Gatsby has shown himself to be loyal in coming when called… mostly. When there’s not snacks involved. 

Loyalty test 3: Will my corgi help rescue me?

Your corgi will give it their best shot to loyally rescue you from kidnappers. However, their small size makes them not particularly effective in a life-or-death situation.

Now, hostage situations are rare. You’re unlikely to be kidnapped, and you’re unlikely to have either in close proximity of your corgi. But in case you are…

This was the big challenge of the video:

  • Would Gatsby the corgi be able to save Ryen the owner from being all tied up?
  • Or would he be distracted by the stash of four biscuits sitting nearby?

The situation is tense. Everything is on the line. The verdict?

Gatsby the corgi was a hero. He saved Ryen from his oppressors by tugging the rope, loosing the knot and setting him free.

It may have taken a little convincing from his owner to get him to skip the snacks. But a pass is a pass. 1 for 1 this time Gatsby. You’ve proven your loyalty.

Loyalty test 4: Will my corgi stay when left alone?

In the ultimate test of the loyalty, corgis will do as instructed and stay where they are told, even though it goes against their instincts. They will need training to make this happen though.

You need your corgi to come when called, but sometimes you also need it to stay. And that my friends, takes training.

Training your corgi to stay in one place when asked is a process that requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. But it can be done.

In the video with Gatsby the corgi, this was tested out. On a sunlit street near Californian shops, Gatsby was asked to stay while Ryen walked away.

Now Gatsby was a bit confused, but, ultimately, he stayed. This counts as a pass in my book, a 1 for 1 success.
From these tests, it’s evidence that corgis have sufficient skills to stay loyal to their human and their commands.

What are the most loyal dog breeds (and how do corgis compare?)

After reviewing a number of top lists of most loyal dogs, the data reveals that the German Shepherd is considered the most loyal dog, followed closely by the Akita, Collie, and Labrador Retriever. The corgi does not make any of the lists.

There are a lot of sources to help discover the most loyal dogs.

I’ve pooled together data from a number of places from industry publications to popular news sources including Readers Digest and Woman’s Day. This gave me a total of 143 dogs representing 53 different breeds.

From this list, these are the top 15 most loyal dogs: 

  1. German Shepherd
  2. Akita
  3. Collie
  4. Labrador Retriever
  5. Boxer
  6. Golden Retriever
  7. Great Pyrenees
  8. Beagle
  9. Chihuahua
  10. Dachshund
  11. Rottweiler
  12. Saint Bernard
  13. Staffordshire Terrier
  14. Yorkshire Terrier
  15. Newfoundland

Interesting, while the corgi is known as a loyal dog, it did no register in the top 15, or indeed, in any of the top lists I surveyed.

This may indicate that while the corgi is a loyal dog, is it not among the most loyal, and not among the most loyal in the eyes of the public. It could also be the fact that corgis are willing to be led astray for the right treat.

This does not detract from the truth that corgis are loyal and affectionate dogs that are great with families.

While corgis don’t rank among the top loyal dogs out of all breeds, they are still loyal affectionate pets for your home.

Do corgis protect their owners?

Yes. Corgis are very protective of their owners. However, they are a small dog so it can be hard for them to physically protect you in an emergency.

Corgis are great for families because they are protective of the kids and a great watchdog for the home. Corgis are willing to go to any lengths to ensure everyone’s safety – including barking very loudly.

The natural home for corgis is being on the lookout, so if you need an additional pair of eyes to watch out for trespassers on your land, this might be a great choice.

But remember that it’s a watch dog, not a guard dog – and their size makes it hard for them to physically take care of you in any real danger. If you need actual animal protection, you may need to invest in a Doberman or German Shepherd.

Corgis are a little wary of strangers, though with time, they will become friendly to any guests you welcome into your home. Through proper training, you ensure your dog properly behaves around guests.

Through their fierce affectionate for their family, the corgi makes a great protective dog, as long as you don’t need any heavy artillery.

Are corgis friendly?

Yes. Corgis are very friendly, and they make great family pets. This is because they get on well with lots of people.

One of the core reasons that corgis get on well with people is because of their happy-go-luck nature.

If you have kids, corgis will happily play with them and keep them entertained. This includes both older kids, and toddlers and babies as well.

While they are filled with energy, they are not aggressive. The most you’ll usually get out of them in some loud barking. This makes them an excellent choice if you want to add a new pet to your happy family.

Not only are corgis good with people, but they are also good with other animals too. This socialisation is essential to help them let out energy and keep their brains active.

Because the corgi is a friendly dog, it makes it a great addition to families both with and without kids.

Do corgis bond quickly?

Yes. Corgis bond quickly with owners when given attention, care, and training. It can take time though, depending on the age and personality of the dog, and many owners can feel frustrated and sad working through that process.

When getting my first dog, I was very excited. After buying the bed, the food, and spending weeks trying to choose the right dog, I was finally ready to take them home.

So, you can imagine my frustration when I didn’t instantly connect with my dog. They seemed moody, a little scared, and I didn’t quite have the attachment I thought I would.

What I found is that this is common. So common, in fact, that it has a name: puppy blues.

Puppy blues is a phrase to describe the negative feelings that some people experience after bringing home a puppy. But this doesn’t last forever.

In the first few months, puppies don’t want to be pets. They barely know enough to survive. But around the four-to-six-month point, this starts to change. They become more confident, and more trusting in your and their home. And then you really get into that cute puppy phase.

What’s I’m saying is, it’s a process. For corgis, it’s usually pretty quick – but if it’s not happening for you straight away, it’s likely to happen soon.

Being devoted and affectionate dogs is one of the characteristics of corgis that makes them a great family dog. Picture your kids coming home from a challenging day at school to find a cheerful ball of energy bounding into their little arms. It just melts your heart.

Since corgis have been bred to coexist with humans for millennia, they have developed a natural bond towards people. It just might take a little longer if they are a puppy, compared to being an older dog.

The corgi’s always-positive attitude makes them an excellent choice if you’re looking for a dog to bond with quickly.

Are corgis loyal to one person?

Corgis form their strongest bond with a single person. While they will shower everyone in the family with love, they have their favourite. This can cause issues if they pick one parent (or worse, one child) over the other.

It’s not uncommon for a dog to pay attention to one family member more than another. This can happen for a number of reasons.

Adult rescue corgis from challenging environments are more prone to develop unhealthy attachments to one person in a new home. This can be the first person they connected with or it can be the person who posed the least threat, showed the most empathy, or gave the most support.

Corgi puppies can also grow into single-person dogs. This happens when one family member takes on the majority of the responsibilities for parenting the puppy.

Finally, in some cases, much like humans, some corgis just prefer the companionship of some individuals over others.

By more fairly looking after your corgi, and balancing the time you spend with them, you can help reduce the problem of them becoming one-person dogs.

Are corgis a clingy dog?​

Because the corgi is a very social, it can also be clingy dog, and want to be around you all the time. You may need to slowly ween them away, or give them extra training.

These dogs are among the breeds most susceptible to experiencing separation anxiety when you leave the house because they are incredibly outgoing and hate to be left alone.

You should be aware of the corgi’s neediness is because to their affectionate nature.

While some owners may find this trait adorable, others, who have very busy lives and can’t dedicate as much time to their corgis, may find this trait to be problematic.

The best way to make your dog less clingy is to make sure they are entertained when you can’t be there. This may mean toys, food, or backyard space. Even the TV or a radio can help make them feel more active and less alone.

By pay attention to what your corgi needs, you can help make the process of you leaving easier for them.

Final thoughts on whether corgis are loyal

Corgis are a loyal, intelligent and affectionate breed. They are known for their strong bonds with their owners and their willingness to please.

Like all dogs, corgis need to be trained and socialized from a young age to ensure that they are well-behaved and well-adjusted.

With the right training and care, corgis can make loving and loyal companions for your home.

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