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Are Corgis Smart? 9 Fun Facts About Their Intelligence

You like how Corgis look. But looks isn’t everything…

So, you want to find out if they’re also intelligent…

Good news – you’ve come to the right place because here you will discover:

  • 9 interesting facts that reveal the specifics of Corgis’ intelligence.
  • The 1 simple thing you need to do to get your Corgi to come to you (provided you’ve trained them well).
  • 5 essential foods you can feed your Corgi to make them smarter (with additional tips on what to avoid giving them).
  • And more…

Are Corgis smart?

Corgis are smart. They are great at obeying commands, with many Corgis able to learn within mere weeks of being born. They learn through habit, which is great for owners who like to have orderly lifestyles. They are also open-minded dogs who socialize with everything they see!

9 facts about Corgis and their intelligence

#1: Corgis were herders in their past life

In the 10th century, Viking and Flemish weavers brought them to the British isles to herd cattle. Corgis did so by biting on their heels. 

They were known for expertly dodging the kicks of angered animals by ducking beneath them. 

Corgis also repelled wandering animals from their owners’ farms. This made them useful at a time when pens were wooden and easy to breach.

Corgis also served as guard dogs for the home across many generations. They often wounded thieves and served as great playmates for their owners’ children.

According to the American Kennel Club’s The Complete Dog Book, owners only had to whistle to bring their Corgis back after herding.

In fact, they were so useful that they retain this proud tradition today. Here’s a sample of a Corgi in action:

Bonus fact: Their reputation as work dogs extends to even Welsh legend! Corgis were supposedly a gift from fairies, which eventually learned to handle cattle. The little lines on their shoulders are said to be saddle markings from when fairies used to ride them!

#2: Corgis can quickly learn commands

Corgis are exceptionally obedient dogs.

In a book by Stanley Coren, 140 dog breeds were tested for obedience and rated by 199 judges.

Each dog was tasked with performing simple commands after some time in training. 1 was the highest score given, while 79 was the lowest.

In that study, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi received 11, while the Cardigan Welsh Corgi received 26.

They were able to obey 85% of all commands and learn them within 5-15 repeats of the same scenario, and it shows!

Owners find Corgis much easier to train than other breeds – and you can do it, too!

Here are some commands that your Corgi can learn within a few weeks:

  • Come’ – the second most important command; this brings your Corgi to you. It’s useful for hiking or walking together.
  • ‘Drop it’– makes them let go of whatever’s in their mouth.
  • Go fetch’ – this makes your Corgi pick up certain objects. Caution: Your Corgi won’t just pick up anything on the ground when you fetch. Gradually train them with each object you want them to fetch, then they’ll bring it to you.
  • ‘Watch me’ – considered as the mother of all commands, this will get your Corgi’s attention in a controlled manner.
  • ‘Good boy/girl’ – this command allows you to pet your Corgi or give them belly rubs. It’s useful for playing and they love it.

However, some commands can take months to learn because they contradict a Corgi’s personality. These include:

  • ‘No’ – this general command can be difficult because Corgis are stubborn and proud.
  • ‘Stay’ – good for tying your Corgi on a leash or just stop them from running around too much. May be difficult because they love running.
  • ‘Kennel up’ – this is useful for leaving Corgis alone at home. It can be difficult because they love playing with their owners.

Note: Be patient with your Corgi’s learning curve. To make training easier, ask your trainer about what treats you can give and how often you should give them 

#3: They remember a lot

Corgis have excellent long-term memory.

They are able to retain certain tricks well into their old age, and are even able to connect experiences together.

In fact, studies suggest that dogs have episodic memories; they can remember previous events and how they responded to them.

Also, Corgis are good at problem-solving, since they are able to analyze facts and solve puzzles.

This makes them perfect for puzzle-based play. Here are some ways to tap into this:

Play hide-and-seek.

It will stimulate your Corgi’s mind and make them more attached to you. To do this, follow these simple steps:

  • Tell your Corgi to stay still.
  • Hide somewhere and call your dog by name after a few seconds. Say “Come” if they have learned the command.
  • When your dog finds you, give them their favorite treat. Be generous with the belly rubs and pet them for a job well done!

Give your Corgi a toy.

This can be anything from snuffle mats to puzzle-based feeding compartments. They can keep your dog satisfied for hours even when they’re alone.

Reading tip: Can Corgis Be Left Alone? (And Stay Home Alone All Day)?

Make them find their food.

This is another version of hide-and-seek, but instead of you, they’re going to look for their food:

  • Start by placing two pellets in either hand. Be sure it’s food your Corgi likes!
  • Have your dog sniff the food and tell them to “eat.” This will let them recognize the food.
  • Once they recognize it, scatter a few more pellets on the floor and tell them to eat. Pet your dog after eating everything.
  • Repeat this 5-10 more times until they get the idea. Remember to keep the pellets small so they don’t go full!
  • Put the food further away and repeat until your dog has to walk to you for it. Mark your starting point and be sure they stay there after each round.
  • Once your dog can no longer see you, let the games begin!
  • At the end of it, place all remaining pellets in a food compartment and have them find it. Say “go eat” and they will search your house for it.

Caution: Only play on the ground floor. Corgis can have problems with stairs, so don’t make it too hard for them. 

#4: They are excellent outdoor buddies

Corgis love to see new things every day. When they encounter something outside, they will likely interact with it.

Under the right conditions, they can make new friends quickly and discover that playing with them doesn’t hurt.

It also makes them perfect for tons of outdoor activities. These can include:

  • Fetch – Playing fetch outdoors can train your Corgi to become more focused on you.
  • Walking – This refreshing activity will open your dog up for commands like “Heel,” which will make your Corgi walk beside you.
  • Jogging – Perfect for bonding with your Corgi, it’s also a fantastic way to get their legs up to speed.
  • Agility training – Curious to see what your Corgi can do in front of obstacles? Have them engage in agility training!
  • Doggy daycare – Most Corgis love daycares because they can unleash their social selves. With plenty of new faces to meet, Corgis will go home satisfied with each session. Here’s one you can watch right here:

However, sometimes their own love of interaction can hurt them.

In hiking, for example, they might accidentally eat things like a bad mushroom or leftover chocolate.

Note: Check out my guide on Corgis and hiking for more tips in these situations.

When going out with your Corgi, use the opportunity to teach them relevant commands…

If you can teach them to “Leave it,” they will stay away from distractions.

And if you teach them to “Heel,” they will stay within leash range, making them easier to watch.

Lastly, stock up on equipment. A safe Corgi is a happy Corgi, and there are plenty of things you can bring for this purpose:

  • Water. Most dogs can stomach outside water, but some, like salt water, can lead to problems. Pack up your own.
  • Towels. Healthy Corgis love to bathe in dirt and fun, and you’re going to do a lot of cleaning on the go.
  • First-aid kit. For Corgis, bleeding can be unavoidable in the pursuit of knowledge. Have cotton balls, alcohol wipes and other materials ready.
  • Get a lot of chewables. Treats help dogs learn commands faster, while chew toys make for good fetching tools!
  • Instead of a leash, get a harness. This distributes pressure evenly around their body and prevents long-term injury.

#5: Corgis are emotionally supportive

Generally, dogs are empathetic creatures. Studies have shown that they are able to sense if you’re in need of emotional comfort.

Compared to other breeds, Corgis excel as emotional support dogs. Even without training, their cuteness easily endears them to patients with depression or anxiety.

Doting on them offers emotional benefits, such as feeling a sense of purpose in a time of uncertainty or loss.

When you’re feeling particularly down or stressed, you’ll want your Corgi’s help. Here are some things you can do:

  • Petting – This allows you to recharge because it lets your body release hormones such as oxytocin and serotonin.
  • Feeding – Nothing is more satisfying than seeing your loved one having a hearty meal.
  • Running – It helps you distract yourself while giving both you and your Corgi a degree of exercise.
    Reading tip: Corgis And Running: 3 Facts, 3 Dangers & 5 Essential Tips
  • Pampering – Both you and your Corgi can feel great by having makeovers together. 
  • Command training – Seeing your Corgi accomplish tasks or following commands can be heartwarming, as it gives you a feeling of progress.

If you’re not feeling up for any of these, it’s okay. Corgis can sit still with you too!

Just having them sleep in their crate and looking at them can help improve your mood, so if you want some positive vibes, your Corgi will be very helpful.

Read next: Can Corgis Be Service Dogs? 5 Things You Should Know

#6: Corgis can keep you safe

Corgis are not just small, they’re terrible… for your enemies.

One reason why they make good guard dogs is their territorial instinct. They are faithful to their owner’s space and will defend it from others.

Also, their large ears will help with monitoring suspicious noises. It’s almost impossible to sneak past them!

Despite their small size, they have an intimidating bark that’s loud enough to alert neighbors. This is unsurprising, since they’re related to Huskies.

They are also methodical. Their herding instinct means they know each of your family members. 

Think of their instincts as them taking roll calls whenever your family comes home. They’ll understand who’s present and absent for the day.

The minute they see anyone who looks and smells different, they’ll likely respond with aggression.

However, what makes Corgis stand out is that they can be trained to distinguish between intruders and friends.

If you’ve heard or experienced Corgis warming up to friends and neighbors, it’s because they’re very social…

This balances out their stubbornness and tendency to be noisy.

But training them for this will take time. Here’s what you can do to make it easier:

  • Be loud. Corgis are social dogs and appreciate background noise. Have fun and laugh with your friends; they definitely won’t mind!
  • Have a doorbell. Doorbells have predictable sound patterns that Corgis can easily memorize. Within weeks, they’ll figure out that people who use the doorbell are trustworthy.
  • Give your Corgi their own playroom. Some people can just annoy dogs with their smell or behavior. If there’s no time for pleasantries, have a room you can put them in or someone who can play with them.
  • Let your close friends visit more often. Corgis are quick to like people who interact with them. Have them pet your Corgi and give them treats!
  • Have your friends tell you if they’re coming over. Even if it’s on a short notice, make it a policy. That way, you can prepare your Corgi for visitors.

#7: Making them eat smart is easy

Corgis tend to eat a lot. However, their diets can be easily controlled with a combination of commands and delicious treats.

They usually aren’t picky eaters, but they have various preferences that are both easy and affordable:

  • Meat – Packed with protein, easy to cook, and delicious to the human tongue, leftover meat can be cut up into little bits for your Corgi. Caution: Avoid processed meats and fats like sausages or hams since they contain preservatives which are not safe to consume. If possible, cook raw meat.
  • Eggs – These are packed with nutrients and amino acids, and they’re even easier to cook than most people foods! You can boil or scramble an egg and slice it up into little bits.
  • Fruits – Cranberries and oranges are good candidates since they have Vitamin C, which boosts your Corgi’s resistance to diseases. But only feed small amounts every day, as too much sugar can overwhelm their stomachs!
  • Chicken – This is also a good source of protein that can help your Corgi’s muscles and joints. Be sure to remove the bones because they can be brittle and cause choking. Have them filleted for safety.
  • Vegetables – Corgis have no problem with the occasional greens. In fact, things like lettuce are useful since they have nearly no calories and plenty of fiber. You can trick your dog into getting full with almost no risk of obesity!

Note: Dogs can also eat processed bread, but avoid making your own bread or giving them raw dough, since it can hurt their stomachs. Stick with sweet or white breads if possible.

But while the options are plenty, there are things you need to remember:

  • Avoid too much salt. Salt is used in plenty of cooked foods and can dehydrate your dog in large quantities. Keep salted foods to a minimum and use them as rewards, instead!
  • Stick to dog food for actual meals. People foods can also serve as meals, but it can be difficult to regulate. With canned dog food, you can control both the nutrients and quantity. Corgis should only have ½ or ⅔ cups of food each day, depending on age.
  • Call your vet if you want to introduce something new. Dogs can have food allergies, too. So if you’re not sure, use a lifeline!

#8: Corgis bond quickly with other dogs

Corgis love to socialize. When other dogs play with them, they love assuming a commanding role and inviting them for play.

This makes dog parks an excellent venue for them, since they’ll find themselves playing these games with other dogs:

  • Tag – This isn’t the kind of tag we know, but dogs love to chase each other around. Corgi legs gain more strength when running on flat ground, so when this happens, let them enjoy! Caution: Be sure to let them run only for a maximum of 45 minutes, and only in bursts! Too much running can hurt your Corgi when they’re older.
  • Biting – Believe it or not, biting is a sport for dogs! It’s not easy to tell because they often growl and bark at each other, but it’s usually harmless since they often cut each other some slack. Still, be careful not to let your dogs bite each other too much. Your Corgi might end up bullying other dogs or get seriously hurt. Cut them off every 5 minutes to be safe.
  • Frisbee – Playing frisbee with a Corgi can be fun, but playing with 2 or 3 can be even funner. It’s hilarious to watch the chaos, and they all get exercise together!
  • Tug of war – Corgis love contests of strength with other dogs and will engage in pulling contests if you let them. Here’s a video of how strong they can be:
  • Agility races – Don’t let their stubby legs fool you – they are excellent at running and can beat other breeds in agility courses!

However, Corgis can end up being aggressive during games. Since they are herders, they hate losing. As a result, they might lash out on other dogs.

Watch out for these signs of agitation:

  • Staring – If your Corgi stares at another dog with murder in their eyes, grab their attention and keep them away from the dog. 
  • Stiffness – Be very afraid when your Corgi is just standing like a statue. It means they don’t want the other dog to come near them.
  • Yawning – Dogs yawn when they are agitated. It’s a warning sign that their temper is about to go sour.
  • Crouching – If your Corgi crouches with their faces pointed flatly at another dog, it’s a warning that they might pounce. 
  • Showing teeth – Dogs tend to growl when they exert effort, but when they start showing their teeth, stop playing and leash your Corgi.

When these start to happen, try doing any of these three things:

  • Block their view – This is useful when your Corgi stares at the other dog angrily. Put yourself between the other dog and yours, then pet your Corgi or grab them. This will calm them down.
  • Carry them gently – If your Corgi isn’t able to break off, carry them by the chest or belly. Don’t grab them by their front legs because it can injure them.
  • Tell them to come over- Have a treat in hand, clap your hands and call your dog by name. They will often break off and come to you for a treat.

#9: Younger Corgis can understand cats

There are several barriers between dogs and cats that make communication hard.

For starters, dogs don’t understand when cats meow, and cats may think that a rolling dog means danger.

But Corgis are able to take this challenge. As puppies, they have a flexible socialization period of 1 year.

During this time, Corgis are at their most curious, and will trust anything that doesn’t attack them.

Since cats are generally peaceful pets, your Corgi will not think of your cat as a threat. Here are some things you can do to make your Corgi friendlier to cats:

  • Let them move around. Have plenty of space for them to play. Limited space means there’s more climbing and less intimacy. Let them roll and poke at each other!
  • Don’t have too many cats. Corgis process information well, but having too many cats might overwhelm them. Stick to one and introduce them to each other slowly.
  • Control their meeting times. Think of your cat as your Corgi’s date. You want it to be at just the right moment. Since both pets are at their calmest during the afternoons, have them interact during such times.
  • Attract less attention to yourself. Corgis and cats often compete for their owner’s affection. Observe them from a distance; only intervene when they start being aggressive.
  • Reward your Corgi after playing with your cat. Corgis remember better when they are rewarded. Let them know that playing with your cat is good for them!