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Corgis may be known as the “short-legged” dogs, but they are far from being short on abilities.
These lively and intelligent dogs have strong natural that can be trained and honed.
In this blog post, we’ll answer questions like, “Is a Corgi a herding dog?” and explore topics like corgi herding, herding instinct tests, and how to train your corgi to herd.
Is a Corgi a Herding Dog?
Corgis are adorable, compact dogs that are recognized for their cute derriere and affectionate nature.
However, these little furballs are also herders by nature.
Yes, that’s right – these cute little dogs are not just meant for cuddling but also possess a strong inclination towards herding.
But did you know that you can train your corgi for herding?
Corgi herding – the basics:
Corgis were initially bred to herd sheep in Wales, and they still retain their instinct to herd.
Their short size and stocky build make them excellent at zigzagging between cattle and sheep without getting trampled or kicked.
These dogs are smart, intuitive, and curious, which makes them an excellent choice for a herding subject.
However, corgis do require adequate training and socializing to be successful and safe herd dogs.
Herding Instinct Tests
Corgis have a strong natural instinct to herd. This means they are genetically predisposed to herd.
To determine how strong your corgi’s herding instinct is, you can conduct a herding instinct test.
Herding instinct tests assess a dog’s herding ability and how well they respond to commands when dealing with livestock.
There are several organizations that specialize in testing dogs for their herding instincts, and they offer various levels of tests.
These tests can range from simple assessments to fully-fledged trials, which can help measure your corgi’s potential for herding success.
If you want to learn more about these tests, you can check out the resources provided by the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America here.
Training a Corgi to Herd
Once you have determined your corgi’s herding potential, it’s time to train them to herd safely and effectively.
The first and essential step is socializing your corgi and introducing them gently to livestock.
You can begin by letting your corgi smell, observe, and get used to the sound and smell of other animals.
Keep the sessions short, positive, and offer lots of rewards and treats. Once your corgi is comfortable, you can slowly introduce them to sheep, cattle, or ducks.
Always supervise your corgi when around livestock and use positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior.
If you are just getting started, I highly recommend reaching out to local dog training clubs that offer herding classes.
You can search for these on the AKC website for clubs that teach performance events.
These training programs will be the best way to safely and effectively introduce your dog to the sport of herding.
Benefits of Corgi Herding
Corgis are an energetic, intelligent and demanding breed.
They require lots of both physical and mental exercise to be healthy.
As such, herding can be a rewarding activity for both owners and corgis because it provides a great source of exercise for your dog, as well as mental stimulation.
In addition, participating in herding competitions can be a fun way to spend time with your corgi and connect with other dog owners who share your passion for herding.
Plus, it’s always impressive to see a corgi in action!
Herding tips for corgi owners:
Herding can be an enjoyable and rewarding activity for corgi owners, offering an excellent bonding opportunity between the dog and the owner.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when herding with your corgi:
- Choose a trainer who has experience working with herding dogs (preferably corgis specifically).
- Keep your commands simple, clear, and consistent. Use words like “come by,” “away,” and “stop” to direct your dog, and reinforce your commands with hand and body gestures.
- Always follow any rules and regulations established by the livestock owners or the organization hosting the herding event.
- Be patient. Herding requires patience, practice, and persistence to develop your corgi’s herding skills.
- Always prioritize the safety of your corgi and the livestock. Use a harness or a leash to keep your corgi secure when around livestock.
Herding can come naturally to corgis, and it’s a great way to channel their energy and intelligence.
If you’re considering training your corgi to herd, start by assessing their herding potential, socialize and train them gently, and always prioritize their safety and the safety of livestock.
Remember, with time, patience, and plenty of rewards, you can unleash your corgi’s natural herding instincts and enjoy a new activity with your furry best friend.