Corgis are sweet and small. But you know there’s more to them.
And you start wondering whether these smart fluffballs make good service dogs…
Think no more – here you’ll find the information you’ve been looking for and more. Check out this article if you are curios to learn:
- The definite answer to whether Corgis make good service dogs or not.
- How the Corgi’s herding instinct affects their behavior and what you can expect.
- What the #1 superpower of a Corgi is and how you can use it to your advantage.
- And more…
Table of contents
Can Corgis be service dogs?
Corgis can be service dogs. It boils down to their history as herders. As the 11th most Intelligent dogs, they are able to follow commands and even take the lead. This makes them great at recognizing certain verbal cues necessary for jobs like emotional support and hearing.
Can Corgis be emotional support dogs?
Corgis can be emotional support dogs. They are social and eager for intimacy, making them easier to both train and be around with. They are also good at identifying key behavioral patterns. Well-trained Corgis are able to comfort and perform tasks for people with disabilities.
5 things you should know about Corgis
People often think Corgis are too small or weak to serve people, but a Corgi has a thicker resume than you think!
Here are 5 reasons why you should consider Corgis for support duty:
#1: Corgis can stay still
Sitting still is the most basic requirement for all service dogs, since it indicates preparedness.
Thankfully, a well-trained Corgi is able to wait for certain cues without moving around. This makes them great at performing a variety of tasks.
The best part? You can teach them to stay still on their own. This lays the foundation for all their other skills later.
How do you teach your Corgi to stay still?
There are two commands your Corgi needs to remember to be still:
- ‘Sit‘ – This lets your Corgi assume a frog-like posture. Their hind legs will be relaxed, while their front legs remain upright and ready.
- ‘Stay‘ – This will help keep your Corgi in place. At first, they will only stay for a few seconds, but they can sit still for minutes over time.
To teach your Corgi either of these commands, follow these simple steps:
- Place a treat between your fingers. Let your dog see and smell the treat to grab their attention.
- Gently lower your hand. Your Corgi will follow the hand you put your treat in. Move your hand from side-to-side to grab their attention further.
- Say ‘sit’ when your hand is at waist or leg-level. Your Corgi will then sit for a few seconds.
- Give the treat.
- Repeat 5-10 times. Corgis learn commands by repetition. Do this multiple times a day while you’re playing with your pet.
Note: You can also use a clicker just before giving the treat. This emphasizes the feeling of being rewarded.
Once your Corgi is able to sit for a few minutes, this means they can go on standby mode. They will wait for orders while sitting down.
#2: Corgis have herded for centuries
Corgis have had a long and rich tradition of serving people.
The first Pembroke Welsh Corgis were said to have watched cattle fences after being brought to Pembrokeshire in 1107.
Their cousins, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, were known to drive other people’s cattle away from farmers’ lands. Whenever they got too far, owners gave them a loud whistle with two fingers.
They were also great guard dogs during the Medieval Ages, recommended as a family member for generations.
Even as they fell out of favor, they just became more popular as stress-relievers and emotional support dogs.
In fact, Queen Elizabeth II has been a Corgi enthusiast since owning and naming ‘Dookie’ in 1933. She has repeatedly called them ‘family.’
To this day, a lot of Corgis are still being used for herding farm animals. Here are a few tips on how to do this:
- Prepare your cattle. Around 2-3 of them will do. Pick out the most docile animals you can find.
- Put your Corgi on a harness. This will help you calm your Corgi down and keep their distance from your cattle. Note: You can also use a leash, but a harness keeps the pressure off your Corgi’s neckline. This helps with comfort and long-term safety.
- Let your Corgi observe your cattle. While leashed, let your Corgi try and come close to the cattle. This is a new experience, so they will move around.
- Keep your Corgi running beside the herd. Run with your Corgi from side to side while still keeping your distance (4-5 meters will do). This will help them remember how much distance they should maintain while herding. When they get too close to the herd, use the come command.
- Give treats every time they succeed with the ‘come’ command. The reward will help your Corgi remember what to do even without guidance. Repeat the same patterns until your Corgi is able to dance around a herd like a pro. Here’s a good example:
Note: It may take months before your Corgi can herd independently. Hire a dog trainer to get more specific advice on treats and routines.
#3: Corgis love attention
Corgis are notorious extroverts. They love being given attention, and likewise love giving it back.
This not only makes them easy to train, but also helpful for anxiety issues or even depression.
This is because we release oxytocin whenever we see dogs. Corgis make us want to cuddle them just by existing!
As emotional support dogs, they are quick to sense problems. They will seek their owners’ attention in the following ways:
- Showing their belly – All Corgis love a good belly rub, and they look cute when they roll over!
- Jumping on their owner – Excited Corgis will jump straight to you when they see you walking by. It means they want a good cuddle.
- Crouching or leaning down – When Corgis do this, they’re expecting treats to come out of your hand. Get out your clicker, because it’s time to do some tricks!
- Staring outdoors or at a toy – Corgis point at things by staring. When owners see this, it means your Corgi is ready to party. Oblige them, because playing with dogs makes you happier.
- Wagging their tail while making eye contact – Corgis know you like them, and will grab your attention by using their most lethal weapon: the stare.
Note: When you respond, you don’t just loosen up; you also make them healthier. Exercise can improve their legs and prevent diseases.
#4: Hearing is their superpower
Corgis have fantastic hearing. Their large, bunny-like ears allow them to hear the faintest of sounds.
Healthy Corgis are able to hear sounds between 3,000 Hz and 65,000 Hz. This means they notice the faintest footsteps and the highest pitches!
Corgis are also good at associating sounds with events. It’s a necessary survival tool for them. They have avoided being stomped by cows and goats for centuries partly because of their hearing.
They can also use this skill to help deaf people ‘hear’ the following sounds:
- Fire alarms.
- Boiling water.
They also make deaf people feel safe and secure when they’re alone, since they can play and comfort them.
Caution: Corgis can only be trained to watch for specific sounds. Caretakers should not consider them as a hearing aid replacement.
#5: Nothing scares them
Corgis aren’t afraid of anything. Whether it’s a big cow, an angry stranger or a prickly housecat, Corgis will stand tall and proud.
This confidence makes them great at guarding or watching the house for pests or intruders.
They can pounce at smaller prey from unexpected angles. Their bite is strong enough to take down rats.
With larger foes, they will bark relentlessly, informing your owner and even the whole neighborhood if there’s a breach.
To train your Corgi for defense, here’s what you can do:
- Train for agility. An overweight Corgi will have difficulty chasing threats. Keep their legs strong through agility training. Note: If they can’t do this, running (link to corgis and running) each day for 30-45 minutes works perfectly.
- Focus on obedience. Control your Corgi with the ‘leave it’ and ‘come’ commands to prevent them from attacking unnecessarily.
- Interact with others regularly. Take your Corgi to daycare or a dog park and have them interact with other dogs and people. This lessens their fear.
- Get a friend to act as a threat. Make them run to your dog without warning. Corgis will see this as violence and bark immediately.
- Hire a dedicated trainer for personal protection. A guard dog has to recognize specific threats like strange sounds or clothes. If you do it yourself, it may take months of repetition and personal work. Hiring a dog trainer will make training less stressful.
Bonus Tip: The core of guard duty is the bark because it turns your Corgi into a natural alarm system. You can make them bark on command by doing the following:
- Use a clicker. This will inform your Corgi that their reward is coming.
- Say ‘Speak’ or ‘Bark.’ Close your 4 fingers on your thumb to mimic speech.
- Give your Corgi a treat. Only reward them for barking once, otherwise you’ll be rewarding inappropriate barking.
Caution: Guarding is exhausting work. Before training, have your Corgi checked. If your vet recommends against training them, obey their advice.