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Do Corgis Have A High Prey Drive? (+ My Experience Managing It)

Do Corgis Have A High Prey Drive? (+ My Experience Managing It)

corgi in high prey drive chasing something

Last Updated on December 4, 2022 by May Jones

Corgis may be small in size, but boy can they have a high prey drive! But before you start panicking about your corgi hunting down small animals, it’s important to note that a dog’s prey drive can vary greatly based on its individual personality and training.

That being said, as herding breeds, it is in a corgi’s nature to chase after moving objects. So, what can you do to manage this instinct? In this article, I’ll share with you everything that worked for me and what I learned along the way.

What Is a Prey Drive?

A prey drive is a natural instinct that causes a dog to chase and capture moving objects. This can range from small animals like squirrels and birds, to even toys and balls or cars that drive down the road.

Do Corgis have a high prey drive?

Corgis are a herding dog breed, which means they have a natural instinct to chase and round up moving objects. This instinct is called the “prey drive.”

While most Corgis will never actually hurt their prey, they can be a nuisance (and sometimes a danger) if they’re constantly chasing after birds, squirrels, and other small animals.

Corgi running in grass
Image: Joshua Patton

What are the dangers of a high prey drive?

While some people are inclined to think that a high prey drive is cute at times, please take me seriously when I tell you that it can also get very dangerous very quickly. Here are some examples that I’ve personally experienced:

It sucks when your Corgi runs after a moving car

Yep, that happened, and it was really scary.

You don’t want your Corgi to annoy the wrong dog

It’s relatively unlikely for a Corgi to actually hurt whatever it is that they’re hunting, but that doesn’t mean every other dog out there will know this. For example, if your corgi rushes up to another dog that feels threatened by this, the other dog may react and hurt your corgi.

It’s not fair to birds

They don’t want to be chased by your corgi just like the next small animal.

You can be legally liable if your Corgi rushes up to a cyclist which results in an accident

It’s not worth it for anyone involved, trust me.

Corgi chasing something
Image: serjan midili on Unsplash

How do I manage my Corgi’s prey drive?

First of all, do NOT try to suppress or repress your Corgi’s natural instincts. This is not only cruel and inhumane, but it can also do more harm than good in the long run.

Instead, it’s important to properly channel and redirect your Corgi’s prey drive.

Here are some tips that have worked for me:

Daily exercise and mental stimulation

Make sure your Corgi is getting enough physical exercise and mental stimulation every day. This can help release some of their pent-up energy and prevent them from seeking out other forms of stimulation (i.e. chasing after small animals).

Obedience training

Teach your Corgi basic obedience commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” This can help you regain control in situations where they might be tempted to chase something.

Practice recall drills

Practice calling your Corgi back to you in various situations, such as when they see a small animal or a car driving by. This will help reinforce the idea that it’s more rewarding to come back to you than to chase after something else.

Leash training

Make sure your Corgi is properly leash trained and do not let them off-leash in areas where they might be tempted to chase after small animals or other moving objects. And if you’re worried about your Corgi wiggling out of its collar, consider getting a good-quality harness for walks.

Teach alternative behaviors

You can also teach your Corgi alternative behaviors, such as “watch me” or “leave it,” that will redirect their attention away from whatever they’re trying to chase.

Ultimately, a high prey drive can be managed with patience, training, and consistency. If you feel like your corgi has really strong working genes that make it hard to control its prey drive, it’s best to reach out to a qualified dog trainer that is experienced with herding breeds. It’s really important that the trainer is specialised in herding behaviour so they can help find the most effective ways to manage and channel your Corgi’s natural instincts.

Remember, it’s not fair to small animals or people for your Corgi to constantly be chasing after them. So do your part as a responsible pet owner and do what you can to prevent any potential dangers from arising. Your Corgi (and everyone else) will thank you for it.

corgi in high prey drive chasing a ball
Image: Joshua Patton on Unsplash

Why Do Corgis Have a High Prey Drive?

It’s important to keep in mind that a high prey drive is actually a natural trait in Corgis, as they were originally bred as herding dogs. This means they have been genetically predisposed to chase and herd animals, so it’s not something that can (or should) be entirely eliminated.

However, as with any trait or behavior, how a Corgi’s prey drive is expressed can be influenced by factors such as socialization, training, and genetics. So even though it may be more challenging to manage a high prey drive in Corgis compared to other breeds, it’s definitely not impossible with the right techniques and support. Bottom line: do your research, put in the work, and keep everyone safe 🙂

Should You Be Concerned If Your Corgi Has a High Prey Drive?

If your Corgi consistently displays a strong prey drive, it’s important to take steps to manage and channel their behavior in a safe way. Otherwise, your Corgi could potentially harm small animals or even injure people (such as if they were to chase after a cyclist or jogger).

However, keep in mind that a high prey drive does not necessarily mean your Corgi is aggressive. It’s simply a trait that needs to be properly managed and redirected in order to prevent any potential danger or harm.

Tips for Living With a Corgi That Has a High Prey Drive

There are a few things that I’ve found helpful to help manage and channel a Corgi’s high prey drive:

See Also
two corgis outside glass door

Keep Your Corgi on a Leash When Outdoors

This is probably the most important one. Keeping your Corgi on a leash, especially in areas where they might be tempted to chase after small animals or moving objects, can help keep them (and everyone else) safe.

Teach Your Corgi How To Be Calm

The more aroused your Corgi is, the less likely it is to listen to you. So teaching them how to relax and be calm in situations that might trigger their prey drive can be helpful.

Practice Recall and Alternative Behaviors

Properly practicing recall, where your Corgi comes back to you when they’re tempted to chase something, can also be a useful tool. And teaching alternative behaviors, such as “watch me” or “leave it,” can redirect their attention away from whatever they’re trying to chase.

Work With a Qualified Dog Trainer

If you feel like your Corgi’s prey drive is really strong and difficult to manage, it’s best to reach out to a qualified dog trainer that is experienced with herding breeds.

Provide Plenty of Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Making sure your Corgi gets plenty of physical and mental exercise can also help tire them out and prevent them from being as easily aroused.

FAQs about High Prey Drive

Here are some frequently asked questions about high prey drive:

Which dog breeds have the lowest prey drive?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on the individual dog’s prey drive. However, some breeds that are typically considered to have low prey drives include Basset Hounds, Shih Tzus, and Pugs.

Can a dog’s prey drive be changed or eliminated?

A dog’s prey drive is a natural instinct and cannot be entirely eliminated. However, it can be managed and redirected through training, socialization, and providing plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.

How do you know if your dog has a high prey drive?

Signs that your dog may have a high prey drive include consistently chasing after small animals or moving objects, difficulty focusing when in the presence of potential prey, and being easily aroused or excited in these situations.

Is a high prey drive in dogs always a bad thing?

Not necessarily. For some working and herding dog breeds, having a high prey drive can actually be advantageous and help them excel in their job or sport. However, it’s important for the owner to properly manage and channel their dog’s behavior to prevent any potential harm to other animals or people.

Conclusion

So there you have it! Everything you need to know about Corgis and their high prey drive.

If you’re thinking of getting one of these loveable pups, just be aware that they will need a little extra training in order to control their instinct to chase. But with some patience and love, your Corgi will make a great companion for life!

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