Corgis have a lot to say. While you may find the individual corgi who is quieter, as a whole, corgis are known for being vocal. The good news is, corgis love to learn and with proper obedience training, you can manage your corgi's barking behavior.
Corgis bark for the same reasons as other dogs. They are bored. They need exercise. They are warning you about something out of the ordinary. They want something -- food, attention or to move that cow to the other end of the field. Corgis are the smallest of the herding dog breeds and because they were originally bred to work long, hard days, many corgis have lots of energy. That means they are going to bark more than many other kinds of dogs if they don't get enough exercise every day. Ensuring your corgi gets to burn off that excess energy with long walks and some time to run will help you to manage excessive barking.
Corgis often seem to be desperate to communicate with their human caretakers and will use all kinds of sounds to get their message across. In addition to barking, corgis grumble, grunt and whine, along with many other "words." Many corgi guardians say their dogs "talk." This ongoing conversation that many corgis have with any creature who will listen will sometimes be mistaken for growling by those not familiar with the little herding dog's "talk." On occasion, corgis have been incorrectly labeled as aggressive just because they try so hard to express themselves.
With his herding heritage comes some of your corgi's propensity to bark, along with another behavior that sometimes gets corgis into trouble -- nipping. Your corgi likely engages in herding behavior when he plays. When they were working dogs, corgis drove livestock from one location to another by nipping at their heels and barking. As herding dogs, corgis tend to bark at motion. Your dog may bark at other animals running by, a bicyclist or a ball being thrown. While you can address some of your corgi's barking behaviors with training, barking at motion is often a behavior that can't be eliminated in the breed.
While your corgi is likely to be a "talkative" dog no matter what you do, appropriate training can help you manage excessive barking. You will enjoy your corgi's company much more once your dog learns the "quiet" command. It's unfair to expect any dog never to bark, and this is especially true of a talkative corgi. Before attempting to "train" away your corgi's barking, make sure he's not trying to talk to you for a reason. Has he eaten? Has he exercised? Does he need to go potty? If all those conditions are met, it's time to teach him "quiet." Teach the command by treating the dog when he stops barking and say "good quiet" when giving the treat. This way your dog associates the word "quiet" with the treat and the word "quiet" with the time when he is not barking. After a few days of work, your dog should learn he will get a treat when you say "quiet" if he stops barking.
Bethney Foster is social justice coordinator for Mercy Junction ministry, where she edits the monthly publication "Holy Heretic." She is also an adoption coordinator with a pet rescue agency. Foster spent nearly two decades as a newspaper reporter/editor. She graduated from Campbellsville University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English, journalism and political science.