You can start training your corgi puppy from 8 weeks old. This is around the same age you can buy one from a breeder. The top skills to teach your corgi are come, heel, sit, lie, and stay.
Thinking of getting a corgi puppy? Corgis can be a great source of companionship, and they can also help to keep you active and healthy.
But you may be wondering when can I start teaching them? And what are the essential skills for them to learn.
Here are the strategies and techniques you need to teach your corgi these skills.
What to know before you start training your corgi
The best way to train your corgi is through a system that uses positive reinforcement to reward your dog when they do well.
The training techniques below all use positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is rewarding your dog when they do the right thing. This is not a bribe – it’s simply an encouragement to push them in the right direction. The best way to reward your corgi is with their favourite treat, or a toy that they love.
Importantly, there are no punishments involved when they do poorly. That would be be negative reinforcement, and is not encouraged by most dog trainers.
Negative reinforcement can cause your dog to feel confused and upset. These are not emotions we want to encourage for their wellbeing.
Keep your training sessions short to begin with, no more than 10 to 15 minutes. You can begin stretching this out as they get better at their skills.
With that out of the way, let’s get started.
How to train your corgi to come when called
Having your dog come when called is one of the most important skills your corgi can learn.
It’s an important part of being a responsible pet owner. Not only is it a great way to keep your furry friend safe, but it can also prevent them from getting into potentially dangerous situations.
Imagine this: you’re out for a walk with your corgi and they suddenly take off after a squirrel. Without a reliable recall, you might be in for a long and stressful chase. But with a well-trained recall, you can simply call your dog back to you and avoid any potential mishaps.
Plus, it’s always a useful way to keep them in close range for hugs, and it’s not a bad trick to show your friends either. By using their name, or the come command, in combination with their favourite treat, you can get them to run to your open arms.
Not only will you have peace of mind knowing that your dog will always come back to you, but you’ll also have a closer bond with your four-legged companion.
Read my guide on How to Train Your Corgi to Come When Called
How to train your corgi to heel
Training your corgi to heel is a useful technique to make your walks easier. It keeps their leash organised and keeps them safely by your side.
Corgis are an active dog and they love adventure. But sometimes, it’s important that your favourite dog stays safe by your side. That’s the power of the heel command.
Heeling is when you get your corgi to walk next to you with the leash held loose. In competition, the head of your dog needs to match your left knee. For us non-professionals, it doesn’t matter which side, and they don’t have to be nose to knee perfect.
This is how it works. Picture an afternoon with your corgi: You’re out for a walk and they start to pull on the leash, getting tangled up in your legs and tripping you. Not only is this frustrating, but it can also be dangerous. But with a well-trained heel, your corgi will stay by your side and avoid any mishaps.
Training this skill takes a few steps. You’ll first reward them for walking around you, then you’ll progress to rewarding them as they walk alongside you. When they are standing in the correct position, you introduce the command. Over time, you can adjust their behaviour.
Teaching your corgi to heel takes time and patience, but the effort is well worth it. Not only will you have a smoother and safer walk with your dog, but you’ll also have a better behaved companion in other settings.
Read my guide on How to Train Your Corgi to Heel
How to train your corgi to sit
Getting your corgi to sit is one of the most common dog training skills and one of the most important. The sit command lets you keep your dog behaved and under control.
Sitting is a basic obedience command that is easy for most dogs to learn and can be used as the foundation for teaching more advanced commands. It’s also useful in a lot of situations.
For example, if your dog is jumping up on people, you can teach them to sit instead and redirect their energy in a more appropriate way.
Sit can also be a helpful command in emergency situations, such as if your dog is about to run into the street and you need them to stop immediately.
It can also simply be useful when stopping to look at a map or waiting for the lights to change at the intersection.
Training your corgi to sit involves using treats like a fishing lure. By raising the treat high above their head, you naturally force their butt to go to the floor. You then extend this training to introduce the command, and encourage them to sit without the treat.
Read my guide on How to Train Your Corgi to Sit
How to train your corgi to lie down
Training your dog to lie down is a useful skill for any pet owner as it helps keep your corgi calm and safe in potentially dangerous situations.
This skill is one of the real fundamentals of dog training and will come in handy when you need to control their behaviour while you’re out playing.
For example, if your dog is getting overly excited and you need them to calm down, you can give the lie down command and they will know to settle down and relax.
To train your corgi to lie down, you’ll use a treat as a lure to gently instruct your corgi into position. Rather than going upward like for sitting, you bring the treat downward toward the floor.
This encourages them to move to the floor to get the treat, and into the laying position.
However, this time, the treat goes the opposite way. It stays close to the ground, rather than above their head. This forces them towards the floor in order to get the treat, and into the laying position.
Read my guide on How to Train Your Corgi to Lie Down
How to train your corgi to stay
Teaching your dog to stay can be one of the harder tricks that your corgi has to learn. It fights against their natural impulse to run after treats and into your loving arms.
But teaching your corgi to stay is one of the most important skills they can have in their arsenal. Training your dog to stay is a useful skill because it helps them learn how to be patient.
For example, if you’re at a busy park and your dog is getting excited and wants to run around, you can tell them to stay and they will know to stay in one place and be calm. This can help prevent them from running into other dogs or people, and can make it easier for you to keep an eye on them.
Having them master this command also makes it super handy for you when you need to organise their life. For instance, like when you need to grab another treat, open a door, or pick up a toy.
Training your corgi to stay is easiest if you’ve already learnt the sit or lie down command.
To train your corgi to sit, take a step back from them, and reward them. Then repeat, gradually increasing the distance as you go, while introducing the command.
Read my guide on How to Train Your Corgi to Stay
Final thoughts on commands to teach your corgi
Here are all the skill guides in one place for you to check out.
- How to train your corgi to come when called
- How to train your corgi to heel
- How to train your corgi to sit
- How to train your corgi to lie down
- How to train your corgi to stay
Training is a process. You’ll go forward and back. Some days will feel like they’ve got it, and then the next will feel like you’re starting over again. That’s nothing to worry about.
The main thing to remember is to always encourage your corgi, and make them feel like a winner. And even when they’ve got it locked in, the odd reward for a well-executed command can do wonders!
Always remember to make the learning process fun. And in kind, you’ll be rewarded with useful skill for your dog that will make handling them even easier in the future.