How to Train Your Corgi Dog to Stop Barking

Hard
1-6 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

It's a running joke with your family that the house will never be robbed. This is because your Corgi dog is a pocket rocket when it comes to barking when people approach the door. For a while, when the dog was a puppy, you found it amusing that a fluff-ball would throw himself at the door and sound so fierce. A small part of you was even proud that such a little dog could make such a big noise. 

However, times change and now the novelty has worn off. Rather than being a good house-dog he's become something of a nuisance in the noise department. From kids playing in the street to the mailman, it doesn't take much for the dog to erupt into the canine version of World War 3 on the Richter scale of barking. To make matters worse, the neighbors have started to grumble about the noise and you've no idea how to quiet the dog down... especially as shouting at him only seems to make matters worse.  

Defining Tasks

At first sight, teaching a dog 'not' to do something, such as to stop barking, is tricky. After all, how do you give him the idea that the absence of a behavior is what's desired. However, this isn't quite as difficult as it sounds, because for a barking dog, silence is actually quite an active thing... he has to make a conscious decision not to make a noise, which is where you step in and teach him that this absence of barking is called "Quiet".

Getting Started

Many owners accidentally teach their dog to bark by giving them attention and telling the dog to be quiet. Ideally, avoid an ingrained barking habit from becoming established by ignoring any experimental woofs that the puppy attempts when visitors call. Also, it can be helpful to merely acknowledge the dog's alert, by saying "Thanks, I have this now." Since barking is a way of alerting the pack to possible danger, acknowledging that alert can be sufficient to settle the puppy down. 

For the seasoned adult barker, you need persistence, patience, and consistency in order to re-educate your Corgi. You'll also need some or all of the following:

  • Treats
  • A treat pouch so you always have rewards handy
  • A mat for the dog to lie on
  • Etched glass effect plastic to restrict the view from a window
  • A collar, leash, and balls for energetic walks

The Bark on Command Method

Effective
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Step
1
Understand the idea
When a behavior or action is put on command, this enables you to take control. For example, having the dog bark when told to can reduce his natural inclination to bark at other times when he's not commanded to do so. But for the hardened barker who is addicted to the sound of his own voice, having the bark cue can enable you to teach the 'quiet' command, which allows you to silence a noisy Corgi.
Step
2
Find a way to make the dog bark
The first step is to work out a way of making the dog bark when you want him to. Most people find that standing with their back to a door, and knocking on the door with a fist behind their back does the trick.
Step
3
Praise the dog for barking
Encourage the corgi to bark by knocking (unseen) on the door. When he barks, praise him, saying "Good dog" and give him a treat. Repeat this, so that the dog readily barks when you knock on the door.
Step
4
Label the action as "bark"
Now knock on the door and say "bark". When the dog responds, praise him and give a treat. Practice this. Now try saying "bark" but without tapping the door. If the dog obliges with a "Woof" then praise and treat him.
Step
5
Practice
Now practice having the dog bark under different circumstances and in different places, until you have the behavior on cue. You may find that when the dog barks of his own accord, you can now say "Bark" and he'll woof, and then come looking for a treat, hence bringing a premature end to a volley of barking.
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The Teach 'Quiet' Method

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Step
1
Understand the idea
If you can teach the dog to bark then you can teach him the opposite command, which is 'quiet'. This is done by teaching the dog that silence (such as when he's barked and is eating a treat) is called "quiet" and it can also earn him a reward.
Step
2
Have the dog bark
Have the dog bark, as in the 'Bark on Command' method. Give the dog a reward for barking, and while he is eating the treat, say "Quiet".
Step
3
Reinforce 'quiet'
You are now going to alternate the dog barking on cue, with periods of quiet (when he eats a treat). To strengthen the idea that quiet is an absence of barking, gently hold his muzzle shut after he's finished the treat and say "Quiet" again, in a firm voice. Then give another treat to reward this.
Step
4
Alternate 'bark' and 'quiet'
Practice having the dog bark on cue, and then be quiet. Start to stretch out the time between holding his muzzle and giving him the reward, during which time he is expected to make no noise. When he is quiet for a period of time, make a big fuss of him.
Step
5
Use the "quiet" cue to interrupt barking
Once the dog has learned the difference between 'bark' and 'quiet', you can try interrupting his bark in a full-blown 'bark at the mailman' scenario. It may be helpful to acknowledge the dog is alerting you to a visitor's presence, by saying "Thank you, Bonzo, good catch. I have this now." Then command him "quiet" in a firm voice and reward him when he does good.
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The Do's and Don'ts Method

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0 Votes
Step
1
Do: Avoid boredom
Corgis are active dogs that were bred to herd cattle and nip at their heels. This need for plenty of exercise and mental stimulation continues into the modern day breed. Be sure to give your dog plenty of exercise and a chance to work off excess energy that might otherwise be diverted into barking.
Step
2
Don't: Shout at the dog
When your Corgi barks he is alerting you to a situation, such as a visitor at the door. Shouting at him to be quiet is counterproductive as he's likely to think you are also trying to bark but making a poor job of it. Shouting is likely to escalate the whole situation and unlikely to achieve anything helpful.
Step
3
Do: Look for barking triggers
Does your dog bark at people in the street as they walk by the window? Corgis are naturally territorial dogs and if they perceive a threat to their patch they will bark to defend it. The answer may be as simple as placing etched-glass effect plastic film on the lower half of the window, in order to obscure the dog's view.
Step
4
Don't: Leave the dog unattended in the yard
Don't leave the Corgi out in the yard as a means of exercising him. As mentioned above, Corgis are highly territorial and likely to patrol the boundaries of the yard on high alert for opportunities to bark and ward off intruders.
Step
5
Do: Consider alternative strategies
There are many ways to teach a dog not to bark. Another good strategy is to keep the dog busy at times when he is likely to bark. Teaching the dog to go to a mat or rug when the doorbell rings is a useful way of channeling his desire to react, in a quieter and more appropriate way.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Dash
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
8 Months
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Question
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Dash
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
8 Months

My puppy LOVES to grab things in his mouth, most importantly: socks. He'll grab whatever he finds, especially my sons blanky, and will play with it. With my sons blanky, he has even ripped through it before. What do we do? Most importantly, how do I get him to stop chewing on my sons blanky?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
394 Dog owners recommended

Hello Xavier, First work on teaching Dash the "Leave It" command. To teach this, place a couple of treats into your hand, close your hand, and let him sniff your hand. Tell him :to "Leave It" while you do this and wait for him to give up on getting the treats. As soon as he gives up, praise him and give him a treat from your free hand. Do not give him what is in your closed hand ever though. Practice this until he will immediately leave your treat filled hand alone when you tell him to "Leave It". As he improves, increase the difficultly. You can increase the difficultly by placing the treats on the floor and covering them with your hand or foot, by moving further away from the treats, so that he can see them, but quickly covering them again if he tries to get them, and when he is really good at this, by dropping them on the floor while you tell him to "Leave It". When he has mastered this with treats then practice "Leave It" with house hold items, such as blankets and socks, the same way. Once he has mastered leaving house hold items alone during training sessions you can use "Leave It" every day whenever he begins to bother something that he is not supposed to have. When you tell him to "Leave It" in every day life, when he obeys give him one of his own toys instead. It is natural for puppies his age to chew and carry things in their mouths, but he needs to learn to chew on his own toys. Also work on keeping socks and blankets and other objects picked up. Most dogs will out grow the tendency to chew on every thing if you can prevent them from forming habits of it. Managing his area better, in addition to teaching him "Leave It" and practicing with items when you can supervise him, should help. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Ein (German for 1)
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
10 Years
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Question
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Ein (German for 1)
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
10 Years

I found the barking article very helpful and will be using it to help train Ein. On the same subject, he barks at my wife. More specifically, when my wife approaches me. We joke with the dog, that if she was going to kill me she would have done it by now. Anytime she comes into the same room, goes up stairs and I'm there, he barks at her. She has been with him his whole life. Why does he do this? Is he trying to protect Alpha?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
394 Dog owners recommended

Hello Dan, It may be an issue of respect. It sounds like he is being possessive of your wife - essentially, he thinks he owns her and wants to keep others away, like a dog would with a bone - this type of behavior is pretty common and often confused with protectiveness. I suggest a doggie bootcamp to establish you and your wife are in charge and to set some boundaries. Check out the working and Consistency methods from the article linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Respect building commands: Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo I would also correct the barking behavior and reward not reacting. Purchase a Pet Convincer - which is a small canister of pressurized unscented air. When he starts barking at you around your wife, your wife should calmly tell him "Ah Ah" and spray a small puff of pressurized air at his side to interrupt the behavior. When you approach and he doesn't react, you can toss a treat at his paws - do this for about a month, then phase the treats out too. You can use his daily kibble as treats for this and just carry a little ziplock bag of them in your pocket at home. Practice the respect building exercises above for a bit before using the Pet Convincer so that when you use the Pet Convincer you have already established your leadership in a calm way - so the correction should then be received by him better. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Oliver
Aussie-Corgi
8 Weeks
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Question
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Oliver
Aussie-Corgi
8 Weeks

I just got a Aussie corgi puppy. He loves playing with my older dog. She’s really his favorite toy. When he wants to play with her I can’t get him interested in anything else. He currently isn’t too food driven. More so just playing. We haven’t really been able to get him to successfully walk on his own. If she is there he does the stop and go. But in open areas he likes to chase and wrestle.

My other dog is a real barker. But Oliver only barks when he wants her attention. Even when she is barking he doesn’t bark. He doesn’t bark when anyone comes home or even left alone too long. So far he is pretty quiet UNLESS he wants to play with her.

Any ideas on how to train Bark? And how to get him to stop herding her essentially? I can’t really trigger him unless since he only barks for her. Any ideas on toys for distraction? I also don’t want to discourage them from playing but she is 8 and he is 8 weeks so naturally there are some varying energy levels.

Thanks!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
394 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kalin, First, work on teaching both dogs Out- which means leave the area, and Place, and crate train pup. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Out -leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Surprise method - crate training: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate For the walking, your will need to teach puppy heel without your other dog around at first - even practicing in your backyard or a culdesac is great. You can still walk the dogs together at other times. I recommend a front clip harness (not backclip) for walking pups that still pull when you go on walks where you can't train as much, but spend intentional time training a structured heel in-between walks with pup by himself too. If you are willing to continue training puppy while your other dog is around, instead of depending on a harness for those walks that's even better, just walk pup by himself some also for training purposes: Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel For the roughhousing, crate pup, put pup in an exercise pen, or tether pup to yourself when you are not able to moderate their play. Use "Out" when they get too excited and rough. Puppy needs time by himself to prevent separation anxiety later in life, to give him opportunity to practice self-soothing and self-entertaining, and to learn calmness. Give a hollow Kong with puppy's meal kibble stuffed inside while in the crate or exercise pen. There are lots of good tutorials online for different ways you can stuff Kongs to make them interesting. Frozen Kongs are my favorite for puppies. Use Out to teach your older dog not to pester puppy when he is clipped to you with the leash. Give structure to the dogs. Playing occasionally is great, but you want them to learn to focus on you and simply hang out with each other the majority of the time - right now puppy is more used to other dogs than people, so spend some one-on-one time with puppy, provide some structure like Place and learning heel, confine when you can't moderate them together at this age, and reward and encourage the dogs when they are calm around each other and sweet to each other. I also suggest getting puppy into a puppy kindergarten class so he can play with other puppies who will teach him to be gentler with his mouth pressure (puppies play differently than older dogs) if that class has time for off-leash puppy play - where you give pups brief breaks when they get too excited or overwhelmed. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Arya
Corgi Australian Shepherd
11 Weeks
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Question
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Arya
Corgi Australian Shepherd
11 Weeks

Okay well I exercise her and give her lots of play. But she won't stop barking at our other dog (keeshound) he puts up with it.but drives me crazy. And if he doesn't react she starts barking at me.im not sure what to do. I give her work like keeping the chickens in order I play with her train her and still won't stop with the barking. Do you have any suggestions maybe something I haven't tried. Is it just because she's a puppy?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
394 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kayla, This is a behavior some puppies do. She is probably trying to get your other dog to play - but she needs to learn how to calm herself down. As a puppy she doesn't have that skill yet and needs to be taught. I suggest teaching her the following commands to teach her focus, calmness, and quietness in general as she grows. She will probably bark in protest at first but stay persist and calm. Quiet method for teaching Quiet command: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Out command - make her leave the room when pestering your dog and not responding to your Quiet command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Crate Train her and when she gets too wound up put her into a crate with a fun, food stuffed chew toy, stuffed with her dog food and a bit of peanut butter, soft cheese, or liver paste - many puppies need quiet times and naps and will get super wound up when overdue for rest: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Place command - this is an important command for her to build an 'off' switch in general. Staying on place forces her to learn to calm herself down: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-place-command-the-good-dog-training-tips/ Crate Manners - teaches respect around the crate and helps teach self-control similarly to a place command - introduce the crate first: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Oliver
Welsh Corgi
1 Year
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Question
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Oliver
Welsh Corgi
1 Year

Oliver will bark at any noise, I mean anything, someone walking outside(even when the blinds are closed and they are a block a way still). Other dogs except his brother Milo, a noise on the tv, sometimes it can be completely silent and he will just start barking out of nowhere for no apparent reason. We try not to yell at him and say no with a firm voice. However once he starts barking, milo(his adopted brother 6yrs old) has to join in the barking completely drowning my fiancé and I’s voices. We have tried waiting it out but sometimes it can go on for over an hr with no break, usually when we’re outside. He knows how to sit and lay down and has done roll over but we can usually only get him to sit. I am mostly concerned about getting the barking to stop and am running out of ideas. Side note he is 1.5 years but it wouldn’t let me do 1.5 in the how old is your dog box

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
394 Dog owners recommended

Hello Blake, I would try desensitizing him to things first by following the videos linked below. If he has become overly sensitive to things, then desensitization is a good place to start. Barking video series: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAA4pob0Wl0W2agO7frSjia1hG85IyA6a Barking at noises (one of the barking series' videos linked above): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp_l9C1yT1g If being overly sensitive is the issue or if fear is the issue, then you want to desensitize. Even if there are other things going on also, you likely still want to desensitize but there may be additional training needed on top of that if the barking has become habit, is obsessive, or is boredom based. Barking is actually a self-rewarding behavior. There are certain chemicals that are released in a dog's brain when they bark that encourage them to keep barking - that's part of why it can be so hard to stop for some dogs. If you have a dog that's not simply afraid or overly sensitive, but does it for pleasure, obsession, or out of habit, then you will probably need an interrupter in combination with the rewards for being quiet around what he currently barks at. Some examples of interrupters are: unscented pressurized air canisters called Pet Convincers that you would squirt a small puff of air at his side with. A high quality stimulation bark collar (read reviews and be picky about which one you get - they are not all created equal), a vibration collar for super sensitive dogs (most respond better to stimulation or the pet convincer though), or a remote training collar that's not automatic. For any corrections, teach Quiet first, and give the correction if he disobeys your Quiet command by not stopping the barking or by starting barking again soon - Done this way, the correction is clearly understood. A bark collar will automatically correct for you, but tell him quiet when he should be quiet, so that what follows (a possible correction) is understood, then the collar will continue to reinforce the lesson when you aren't there later too. Quiet method for teaching Quiet (there is also additional details on desensitization found in this article): https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Do NOT use citronella spray collars - the scent of the citronella is actually extremely punishing because of how sensitive a dog's nose is, and the scent can linger for a very long time - which means the dog is continuing to be corrected long after they stop barking, which is terrible for learning and a bit cruel. A Pet Convincer should only be used in unscented normal air - because normal air doesn't smell and isn't scented - the spray of the air just feels weird so surprises a lot of dogs enough to get them to be quiet. Finally, if there is an underlying respect or anxiety issue, then work on that also. The follow exercises are usually helpful for dogs with respect, trust, or anxiety issues: Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Working method - additional methods in this article are also worth reading too: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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