If you’re considering adopting 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 favourite pair of shoes and transform them into his personal chew toys.
However, I soon realised that chewing in corgis doesn’t necessarily 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 tendencies.
In this article, I’ll explore this topic and give my insights to help you understand why your corgi might be chewing. By the end, you will have the knowledge and tools you need to ensure your corgi remains a happy and well-behaved companion.
Let’s hop in and learn how to prevent your corgi from chewing.
Do corgis chew?
Yes, corgis do chew. Corgis, just like many other dog breeds, have a natural urge to chew.
Chewing is a normal and important action for dogs, particularly when they are teething and when they want to discover their surroundings.
Excessive chewing can lead to certain issues for some dogs. If you notice that your corgi is chewing too much, you may need to consider strategies to control it. I found that I was able to dramatically reduce the amount my corgi was chewing with a few simple steps.
Why do corgis chew?
There are a couple of key factors that contribute to the chewing habits of corgis. Let’s explore some of the considerations now.
1. Your corgi is teething
When corgi puppies are between three and six months old, they go through a teething phase.
This is a time 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.
By offering your corgi these toys, you can prevent them from looking for other objects to chew on.
2. Boredom and a lack of exercise
Corgis are smart and lively dogs. They need mental challenges and regular physical activity to stay cheerful.
If they don’t get these things, they might start chewing on things. This helps them deal with boredom and release extra energy.
To stop them from chewing on stuff they shouldn’t, make sure your corgi gets lots of exercise, playtime, and toys that require interaction.
3. Anxiety and stress
Corgis, like people, can feel anxious and stressed sometimes.
There can be lots of reasons for this. For example, when they are apart from their owners, when their household changes, or when they hear loud sounds.
This can make corgis anxious, and they might start chewing destructively.
It’s important to find out what is causing their anxiety and try to fix it. Talking to a professional dog trainer or veterinarian could be useful 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.
Positive reinforcement techniques, like praising them for good behaviour and redirecting them when they chew on the wrong things, can be really 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.
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. Here are the strategies I found 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 and show it to your dog. Say “leave it” firmly but calmly. Your dog may try to get the treat by pawing, sniffing, or licking your hand. Ignore these attempts and keep your hand closed.
As soon as your dog stops trying to get the treat in your hand and redirects their attention away, praise them and give them a different treat from your other hand.
Practice this exercise multiple times, gradually making it more challenging. You can place the treat on the ground and cover it with your hand, or use more tempting objects like a toy or a sock.
Once your dog consistently responds to the “leave it” command in controlled settings, start using it when they try to chew inappropriate items. Say “leave it” when they approach or show interest in something they shouldn’t chew, and redirect their attention to an appropriate toy or chew item.
Be consistent in using the “Leave it” command and always reward your dog when they respond correctly. With practice and reinforcement, your corgi will learn to leave inappropriate items alone and focus on the things they are allowed to chew.
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.
The deterrent spray should only be used as a temporary solution while you train your corgi to chew on appropriate items. It should not be used as a means to punish 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.
It’s important to note that dogs are social animals and enjoy being with people. Therefore, being separated from their human companions can cause mild stress for them.
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.
In these cases, it’s recommended to explore alternative training techniques or seek guidance from a professional dog trainer.
4. Increase exercise and mental stimulation
To stop corgis from chewing too much, it’s important to make sure they get enough exercise and things to keep their minds busy during the day.
You can play with them using toys that they can interact with, take them for walks or runs, and give them puzzle toys or toys that give out treats and make them think. This will keep them entertained and satisfied.
When your corgi is tired and their brain has been given a good workout, they’re less likely to chew things they’re not supposed to.
Doing regular physical activities like walks, play sessions, or agility training is good for your corgi. It helps them use up their energy in a positive way. It’s also important to give them toys that make them think, like puzzles, and do training exercises to keep their minds busy and entertained.
These activities help with both exercise and mental challenges, so they won’t get bored and won’t be as likely to chew on things they shouldn’t.
Having chew toys is also important to redirect your corgi’s natural chewing. Dogs have a natural urge to chew, and giving them appropriate toys helps satisfy that urge while protecting your valuable things and household items. Choose toys made of strong rubber or nylon that are made for chewing.
By giving your corgi something acceptable to chew on, you can discourage them from chewing on things that they shouldn’t.
Remember to check on their chew toys regularly and replace them if they’re worn out or damaged. This will make sure your corgi always has safe and appropriate toys to chew on.
Also, it’s a good idea to watch your corgi when they’re playing and give them praise or rewards when they choose to chew on their toys. This will help reinforce good chewing 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. Ensure that the crate is appropriately sized, comfortable, and contains safe toys or chew items to keep them occupied.
Crates should never be used as a form of punishment and should be associated with positive experiences, such as rewards and relaxation.
6. Gradual exposure and desensitisation
If your dog has a consistent habit of chewing on a specific item, you can use a desensitisation technique to help redirect their chewing. Here’s how you can do it.
Determine the specific object that your dog tends to chew on inappropriately. This could be anything from furniture to shoes or household items.
Next you want to give your corgi a selection of appropriate chew toys. These toys should be appealing and safe for them to chew on. Offer these toys as alternatives to the problem item.
Begin the desensitisation process by placing the problem item at a distance from your dog. Make sure it is within sight but far enough that your dog does not immediately attempt to chew it.
When your dog shows no interest in the problem item and instead chooses to interact with or chew on the appropriate chew toy, reward them with praise, treats, or affection. This positive reinforcement helps them associate the act of ignoring the problem item with rewards.
Over time, gradually decrease the distance between your dog and the problem item. Each time, observe their behaviour and reward them for choosing the appropriate chew toy instead of the problem item.
Proceed with the desensitisation process at a pace that is comfortable for your dog. If they show signs of wanting to chew the problem item or become anxious, move back to a previous distance and reinforce the behaviour of choosing the appropriate chew toy.
Consistency is key. Repeat the desensitisation exercises regularly. Gradually bring your dog closer to the problem item while reinforcing the desired behaviour of choosing 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:
- Durability: Look for chew toys that are made from durable materials designed to withstand your Corgi’s chewing strength. Avoid toys that are easily torn apart or have small parts that can be chewed off and swallowed.
- Size and Texture: Ensure that the chew toy is an appropriate size for your corgi. It should be large enough to prevent them from swallowing it whole or choking on it. Consider the texture of the toy as well. Some dogs prefer softer toys, while others enjoy harder textures. Observe your corgi’s preferences to find the right balance.
- Safety: Choose chew toys that are made from non-toxic materials and are free from harmful chemicals. Avoid toys with sharp edges or potential hazards that could cause injury to your corgi.
- Variety: Offering a variety of chew toys can help keep your corgi engaged and prevent boredom. Look for toys with different shapes, textures, and interactive features to keep their brain active.
- Rotation and Replacement: Rotate the chew toys periodically to keep them interesting for your corgi. This can help prevent them from losing interest in the toys. You should also regularly inspect the toys for any signs of damage or wear and replace them as needed to ensure your corgi always has safe and fun options available.
It may take some trial and error to find the chew toys that your corgi enjoys the most.
Pay attention to their preferences to ensure you’re giving them the best chew toys that redirect their chewing away from the things they shouldn’t chew.
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!