Are you finding yourself in a constant battle with your corgi’s enthusiastic barking? Do you wish you knew how to teach them not to bark.
Fret not! In this guide, I’ll unravel the secrets to cultivating a peaceful life with your furry friend.
Corgis were bred to be loud active dogs. They served to round up cattle for market on farms in Wales. Corgis needed to have a loud bark that the cattle would respond to on those big green Welsh pastures.
So training a corgi not to bark requires patience, positive reinforcement, and a keen understanding of your pet’s needs. Join me on a journey to silence the bark and create a happy home where your corgi’s presence is enjoyed without the constant chorus of barks.
Train your corgi not to bark
There are a number of strategies you can use to teach your corgi not to bark. These include ignoring them, distracting them, and giving them rewards. You should also reward their good behaviour and use activities and exercise to reduce barking.
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 training your corgi not to bark
To stop your corgi from barking too much, try ignoring, distracting, or rewarding them for good behavior. Exercise and engaging activities also help reduce barking. Training your corgi is the best way to teach them new skills and manage their barking.
You can do many of these strategies at home, but professional training services can speed up the process. Remember, avoid using shock collars or hitting as these methods don’t make for a happy, healthy corgi.
I wish you all the success on your training.