The Cardigan Welsh corgi is one of two corgi breeds; the other is the Pembroke Welsh corgi. With a history going back centuries, corgis exhibit some inbred habits and behaviors that are related to their origin as herding dogs.
Both breeds of corgi were originally used to drive, or herd, cattle across long distances. The dog's body is designed to be too low for a cow to kick. Therefore, the corgi can herd much larger animals than itself, doing the same work as a collie or larger dog. Even if your pet Cardigan Welsh corgi has never seen a herd of cattle, the instinct to chase other animals is strong. Allow your corgi appropriate outlets for this chasing instinct -- chasing toys or playing fetch, for example.
Cardigan Welsh corgis have a lot of energy, and this can manifest as excessive barking. This habit can be your dog's way of letting you know about unusual sounds or visitors, or his way of expressing stress and anxiety. As a herding instinct, barking is a corgi's way to make cattle move along. In a pet dog, it can be irritating and stressful. Reduce your corgi's anxiety by establishing a regular domestic routine and providing plenty of exercise opportunities.
The habit of nipping is another way in which Cardigan Welsh corgis get cattle to move along. Because their bodies are so low to the ground, corgis can dart in and nip the heels of cattle without getting kicked. This habit is a bad one if your corgi transfers the instinct into behaviors such as nipping at a person's heels. Do not tolerate nipping. Work with a qualified trainer if needed to get rid of this unwanted and potentially dangerous behavior.
You can't remove inbred behaviors and habits from your Cardigan Welsh corgi, but you can manage the dog's behavior so that his instincts are given appropriate outlets. Make sure that your dog gets plenty of exercise every day. Allow him to chase toys, and to socialize with other dogs. If your dog is physically and mentally tired, anxiety habits such as excessive barking are less likely. You can reduce or eliminate unwanted behaviors by ignoring the behavior, providing an immediate deterrent or redirecting the dog to do something more desirable.
- Welsh Corgis: Pembroke and Cardigan; Richard Beauchamp
- Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America
Jae Allen has been a writer since 1999, with articles published in "The Hub," "Innocent Words" and "Rhythm." She has worked as a medical writer, paralegal, veterinary assistant, stage manager, session musician, ghostwriter and university professor. Allen specializes in travel, health/fitness, animals and other topics.