If you’re considering buying a corgi, you might be curious about their chewing habits. It’s natural to worry about your new companion turning your couch into a pile of shreds.
When I brought my corgi home for the first time, I quickly discovered that chewing was normal for him. He had a strong desire to explore the world using his mouth. It didn’t take him long to find my sneakers and transform them into his personal chew toys.
However, I soon knew chewing in corgis doesn’t mean they’re being aggressive. It’s more of an instinct – a way for them to relieve discomfort, boredom, or anxiety. Understanding the reasons behind this helped me come up with effective strategies to redirect my corgi’s chewing.
Here I’ll give my insights to help you understand why your corgi is chewing. By the end, you’ll have the knowledge and tools you need to stop your corgi from destroying your home.
Do corgis chew?
Yes, corgis do chew. Like many dog breeds, corgis have a natural urge to chew that stems from their herding history.
Chewing is a normal and important action for dogs. You see this most when they are teething and when they want to explore.
But, even though it is normal, it can be a problem. If your corgi is chewing too much, you need to control it. With a few strategies, I found my corgi was much better behaved and chewed a lot less.
Why do corgis chew?
Corgis chew based on things like their health, how much they exercise, the training they’ve had, and their temperament.
Let’s explore these now.
1. Your corgi is teething
When corgi puppies are between three and six months old, they go through a teething phase.
This is when their gums feel uncomfortable and itchy. Chewing helps ease their discomfort, and it’s important to offer them suitable chew toys during this period. This will prevent them from looking for other objects to chew on.
2. Boredom and a lack of exercise
Corgis are clever and energetic dogs. To keep them happy, they need mental stimulation and regular physical activity.
If they get bored or have too much energy, they might start chewing on things. To prevent this, ensure your corgi gets plenty of exercise, playtime, and interactive toys.
3. Anxiety and stress
Corgis, just like humans, can experience anxiety and stress.
Factors, such as being away from their owners, changes in their environment, or loud noises, can contribute to their anxiety. This may lead to destructive chewing behavior.
To address this issue, it’s crucial to identify the source of their anxiety and work on resolving it. Seeking guidance from a professional dog trainer or vet can be helpful in this situation.
4. Lack of training and boundaries
It’s important to train and set clear rules for all dogs – including our beloved corgis.
By teaching your corgi basic commands and giving them consistent discipline, they can learn what things are okay to chew and what things are not.
Praising them for good behaviour and redirecting them when they chew on the wrong things can be helpful in shaping the way they behave.
5. Exploration and curiosity
Corgis are naturally curious animals. They like to use their mouths to explore and learn about their surroundings. Chewing is one of the main ways they use to understand where they are and what’s going on.
Chewing helps them discover new things and different textures. This is important for them to navigate their environment and know what is safe for them.
Corgis are friendly dogs that like spending time with their human companions.
If they feel ignored or want more attention, they may start chewing to get your focus. And it’s not surprising why they do it – it often gets them the attention they want.
However, there are other strategies we can use to reduce their need to chew for attention.
How to stop your corgi from chewing? 7 steps to try right now!
If your corgi chews a lot and you want to stop it, there are some things you can try including training, deterrents and physical activity.
Chewing too much can happen because of different reasons like teething, feeling bored, being anxious, or not having the right things to chew on.
By doing the following things, you can help your corgi find better things to chew on and make sure your stuff stays safe too. I found these strategies the most useful.
1. Teach the “leave it” command
One way to begin is by teaching your dog the “leave it” command.
Hold a treat in your closed hand, show it to your dog, and say “leave it” firmly but calmly. Ignore any attempts to grab the treat. When your dog stops trying, praise them and offer a different treat from your other hand.
Practice this exercise, gradually increasing difficulty. Put the treat on the ground, cover it, or use more tempting objects like toys.
Once your dog responds consistently in controlled settings, use the “leave it” command when they approach inappropriate items. Redirect their attention to an acceptable toy or chew item.
Be consistent with the command and always reward your dog for the correct response. Through practice and reinforcement, your corgi will learn to leave inappropriate items and focus on allowed ones.
2. Use deterrents
You can also try using a pet-safe deterrent spray on objects that your dog likes to chew on, like furniture or shoes. These sprays have a bitter taste or a smell that dogs find unpleasant. Here’s how you can use them:
Look for a spray specifically designed for dogs, as some products may be harmful to them. You can find these sprays at pet stores or online.
Before applying the spray to the entire object, test it on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn’t damage the material. Follow the instructions on the spray bottle.
Once you know it’s safe for the object, apply the deterrent spray evenly on the surfaces your dog tends to chew. Make sure to cover the entire area.
Allow the sprayed object to dry completely before allowing your dog near it. This will ensure that the bitter taste or unpleasant smell is present when your dog tries to chew it.
When your dog approaches the sprayed object and tries to chew it, they will encounter the bitter taste or smell. This negative experience can help them associate chewing on that item with an unpleasant sensation.
Only use the deterrent spray temporarily as you train your corgi to chew on appropriate items. Do not use it as a punishment for your dog.
If you find it necessary, you can gently guide your dog to a designated time-out area, like a crate or a separate room, for a brief period of around 2-5 minutes.
This action creates a consequence for their actions and helps them understand that chewing on inappropriate items results in a loss of access to their environment.
Dogs are social animals that derive pleasure from human companionship. As a result, being apart from their human companions may cause them mild stress.
Time-outs can be useful for setting clear house rules and boundaries in a calm and non-threatening manner. However, it’s crucial to consider your dog’s individual temperament and stress levels.
If your dog is already anxious or shows signs of experiencing more than mild stress, using time-outs may not be the best approach. If these situations arise, I advise you to consider alternative training methods or consult with a professional dog trainer for guidance.
4. Increase exercise and mental stimulation
To stop your corgi from chewing too much, keep them busy and thinking. Play with interactive toys, take them for walks, and offer puzzle toys or treats that make them use their brains. This keeps them happy.
When your corgi is tired, they’re less likely to chew on things. Regular activities like walks, play, and training help them use their energy positively, reducing boredom and destructive chewing.
Give your corgi chew toys. Dogs like to chew, and providing the right toys, like strong rubber or nylon ones, satisfies this urge without damaging your things. Having these toys discourages them from chewing on the wrong stuff.
Check their chew toys often, replacing any that are worn or damaged. Also, praise your corgi when they choose to chew on their toys, reinforcing good habits.
5. Temporary (short) confinement
When you are unable to keep a close eye on your corgi, it’s important to confine them to a safe area to prevent them from encountering and chewing on inappropriate items. This management technique can be achieved by using a crate or a dog-proofed room.
A crate can provide a secure and confined space for your corgi when you’re not able to actively supervise them. I suggest you ensure that the crate is appropriately sized, comfortable, and contains safe toys or chew items to keep them occupied.
You should not use a crate as a form of punishment. They should be associated with positive experiences, such as rewards and relaxation.
6. Gradual exposure and desensitisation
If your dog keeps chewing on a particular item, you can use a desensitisation technique to help them stop. Here’s how to do it.
Identify the specific thing your dog tends to chew on, like furniture, shoes, or household items. Provide your corgi with a variety of suitable chew toys that are both appealing and safe.
Place the problem item at a distance from your dog, where they can see it but aren’t tempted to chew it immediately.
When your dog ignores the problem item and chooses to chew on the appropriate toy, reward them with praise, treats, or affection. This positive reinforcement helps them associate not chewing the problem item with rewards.
Gradually reduce the distance between your dog and the problem item over time. Keep observing their behavior and rewarding them for choosing the correct chew toy.
Move at a pace comfortable for your dog. If they show signs of wanting to chew the problem item or become anxious, go back to a previous distance and reinforce the behavior of choosing the right chew toy.
Be consistent and repeat the exercises regularly. Slowly bring your dog closer to the problem item while reinforcing the behavior of selecting the appropriate chew toy.
7. Positive reinforcement
It’s important to reinforce positive behaviour in your corgi by rewarding them when they chew on appropriate items.
Whenever you catch your corgi chewing on an appropriate item, promptly praise them and offer a small, tasty treat. This positive reinforcement helps them associate the act of chewing on the right items with a reward.
Along with treats, use a cheerful and encouraging tone of voice to praise your corgi when they engage with their designated chew toys. Verbal praise, such as saying “good boy” or “good girl,” helps reinforce the good behaviour.
Physical affection, like petting or gentle belly rubs, can be another form of reward for your corgi. After they choose to chew on appropriate items, show them affection to further reinforce the desired action.
How do I choose a good chew toy?
The last time I was strolling through my local pet store, it seems like there were hundreds of chew toys to choose. So, I understand how hard it can be to choose the right one for your corgi.
For dogs that love to chew, you want to find the perfect chew toy for them. But as you perused the shelves, how do you pick the right one?
From my experience, when choosing a chew toy for your corgi, consider the following factors:
1. Choose toys that are durable
Look for chew toys that are made from durable materials designed to withstand the vigorous chewing tendencies of your corgi.
Steer clear of toys that are easily torn apart or contain small components that might pose a choking hazard if ingested.
2. Choose toys based on their size and texture
Ensure the selected chew toy is of an appropriate size for your corgi. It should be large enough to prevent accidental swallowing or choking incidents.
Take into account the texture of the toy. Some dogs like soft toys, while others prefer harder ones. Watch your dog to see which one they like most.
3. Choose toys that are safe for your corgi to chew on
Make sure the toy is made from safe materials without harmful chemicals. Avoid toys with sharp edges or anything that could hurt your corgi. Safety is the key for a happy chewing experience.
How to manage your corgi’s chew toys? Tips to try!
Here’s some tips to follow to manage your corgi’s toys.
1. Buy a variety of chew toys
Ensure your corgi stays engaged and avoids boredom by providing a diverse range of chew toys. Look for options with different shapes, textures, and interactive features to keep their minds active.
2. Have enough to regularly rotate
Keep things interesting by periodically rotating your corgi’s chew toys. This prevents them from losing interest and adds an element of novelty to their playtime.
3. Make sure to replace them often
Regularly inspect the toys for any signs of damage or wear. Replace them as needed to ensure your corgi always has access to safe and enjoyable options. This helps in maintaining a healthy and secure play environment.
Finding the perfect chew toy may require some experimentation. Pay attention to your corgi’s preferences to identify the toys they enjoy the most. This ensures you’re offering options that effectively redirect their chewing tendencies away from items they shouldn’t be chewing on.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some of the questions I’ve been asked when it comes to corgis and chewing.
Let’s take a closer look at some of them now.
Is it normal for adult corgis to chew?
Yes, it is normal for adult corgis, like other dog breeds, to engage in chewing. Chewing is a natural instinct for dogs, and it can serve various purposes throughout their lives.
Adult corgis may continue to chew for reasons such as dental care, stress relief, exercising their jaws, or simply out of habit.
However, the frequency and intensity of chewing can vary among individual dogs. Some adult corgis may have a stronger inclination to chew than others.
You should also give them appropriate outlets for chewing, such as chew toys or dental chews, to fulfill their natural chewing needs and prevent them from seeking out inappropriate items like your shoes or the lounge room couch.
If you notice excessive chewing or destructiveness in your adult corgi, it could be a sign of boredom, anxiety, or an underlying medical issue.
Are corgis more prone to chewing compared to other breeds?
Different dogs have different chewing habits. Corgis are not known to be more likely to chew excessively than other breeds.
But, it’s important to know that all dogs have a natural instinct to chew. It’s just something they do!
To stop them from chewing on things they shouldn’t, it’s important to give them things they can chew on. That’s where chew toys come in.
These toys are made especially for dogs to chew on. They’re built to handle their strong jaws and keep them busy.
By giving dogs the right chew toys, we can redirect their chewing away from things that could get damaged. Chew toys are a good substitute for them to gnaw on and keep them entertained.
Can chewing be completely eliminated in corgis?
No, it is not realistic or beneficial to completely eliminate chewing in corgis or any other dogs.
Chewing is a natural and instinctual for dogs, and it serves various purposes, such as maintaining dental health, relieving stress, and exercising their jaws. Trying to completely stop a dog from chewing would be like trying to stop them walking.
However, the goal is to redirect their chewing towards appropriate items and away from things that are off-limits or valuable.
By giving them with plenty of physical exercise, mental stimulation, and attention, you can help minimise their chewing.
How can I protect my belongings from my corgi’s chewing?
To protect your belongings from your corgi’s chewing, there are several steps you can take.
Make sure to offer your corgi a variety of suitable chew toys. These toys should be made of durable materials that can withstand their chewing habits.
Keep valuable or delicate items out of your corgi’s reach. Close doors to rooms or use baby gates to restrict access to areas where you store important belongings. This way, you create a barrier between your dog and objects that could be damaged.
You can also, as a last resort, apply bitter-tasting sprays or deterrents to objects you want to protect. These products have a taste that dogs find unpleasant, which can discourage them from chewing on those items.
Final thoughts on corgi chewing
Addressing chewing requires a combination of understanding, patience, and consistent training.
With proper training, exercise, and appropriate chew toys, you can help prevent excessive chewing and protect your belongings.
Consistency is key throughout the training process, and positive reinforcement should be used to reward desired chewing behaviours.
If your corgi’s chewing persists despite your efforts, seeking guidance from a professional dog trainer can give tailored advice for your specific situation.
Embrace the joy of being a corgi owner and cherish the wonderful journey with your lovable furry friend!