Aggressive Behavior in Corgis: Fact or Fiction?

Written by Dr. Marcelle Landestoy, DVM


Are you considering adopting a corgi into your family? If so, you must consider all aspects of their personality and general temperament.

Even though these dogs are on the smaller side, you’ll need to know if they’re aggressive or not, especially if you have children or other pets.

Corgis can be aggressive when put into stressful situations. Many suffer from separation anxiety that can cause them to lash out at others. Corgis are also herding dogs, which means they can be more stubborn than other breeds. If your pup has outbursts, you can correct their behavior with training.

Overall, corgis are very playful dogs, though many people mistake their stubborn nature for aggression.

If you want to learn more about the behavior patterns in this breed, keep reading! Using my knowledge as a veterinary doctor, I put all of the essential information in this article.

Are They Aggressive to Humans?

You will want to socialize with your corgi when they’re a puppy. That way, your pet is much less likely to grow up to be aggressive towards people.

If isolated, your dog could feel uncomfortable around people and lash out at them.

Most corgis aren’t aggressive towards people. The breed may have sudden outbursts, but adult Corgis shouldn’t bite you. Your dog may also be overprotective and step in if others get too close to you. These herd dogs don’t fear humans, as they always handle large threats.

So, you’ll want to make sure you train your pet early on in their life.

You can do this by socializing them with many different people.

Doing so ensures that your dog doesn’t feel uncomfortable around other humans, making them less aggressive.

Family Members

Corgis are an excellent choice for a family dog. The breed is very playful and loving and will do anything to make their pet parents happy.


While they do have some aggressive tendencies from their herding instincts, corgis are gentle with their family members.

You’ll want to spend some time familiarizing your dog with your family and showing them that it’s alright to be around them.

Don’t encourage your dog to get in between you and your family, as they could easily make it a habit.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how your corgi will interact with your family:


You can introduce your corgi to the babies in your family, but you should always be close by.

Because of their herding instinct, corgis might become frustrated with babies.

It’s best that only older kids over the age of eight play with your dog unsupervised.

Corgis that don’t have much training also tend to bark at babies. These dogs are very loud, which could easily startle a baby and make them cry.


Corgis also shouldn’t be around toddlers alone. While not aggressive towards toddlers, your dog may try to herd them.

If a corgi nips at a toddler’s foot to make them move, the child could panic and scare the dog.

There should always be adults around to discourage this type of behavior.

Older Kids

Kids over the age of eight get along very well with corgis! Corgis have a lot of energy and will love to play with kids.

They make the best playmates, and both can interact for hours without getting bored.

Your corgi also isn’t likely to try herding older kids either.

It’s best that you also train your corgi to be gentle so that you can avoid any mishaps with the kids in your home.

It would help if you also taught your kids how to interact and play with the dog. That way, everyone can get along!


Corgis are not aggressive towards adults that they’re familiar with. Your dog should show everyone in the home plenty of love and affection.

They’ll also enjoy socializing with the adults in your life who come over often.


However, your corgi may be nervous around people if they don’t interact with them from a young age.

It would be best if you had your puppy spend a lot of time around adults that don’t live in your home.

Aggression usually appears in corgis when they are between the ages of six and 14.

If you need help raising a puppy, you should read this Pembroke Welsh Corgi Training guide from

The book covers all the training your corgi needs to have good behavior patterns. The steps are also clear, concise, and practical. 


Most of your corgi’s aggression will be directed at strangers.

If the stranger makes your dog uncomfortable or feels threatened, the corgi may start nipping at their feet to make them move away.

In Your Home

However, they do tend to treat guests and intruders very differently.

Your corgi can pick up on your emotions and understand what strangers are “good and bad.”

Here’s what you should consider.


Some corgis might not be fond of guests, while others love them. You want to oversee your dog and see how they react to your visitors.

Suppose you have plenty of friendly guests while your pup is young.

In that case, they should respond very positively to any visitors you have when they’re older.

Corgis are usually very social pets. However, in the past, their breed was used as a guardian and herding dog.

Because of this, they tend to bark at any people they deem suspicious.

This behavior is tough to deal with but can change with proper training.


Corgis are very aggressive towards intruders. This small dog is fearless and will always put itself between you and an intruder.

The dog will also bark very loudly at the unwanted guest, letting you know that something’s wrong.


Corgis are excellent watchdogs. Humans raised them to protect herds of farm animals from threats that were much larger than themselves- corgis are courageous dogs because of this.

Overall, corgis are very protective and know when an intruder is a threat.

Outside Your Home

Corgis can be very friendly towards strangers you bump into on your walks. If the stranger is friendly and doesn’t make you uncomfortable, your dog will pick up on this and act kindly to them.

Your dog will play with strangers and try to lick them, just like any other friendly dog.

Corgis are very good at picking up on threats. As long as you seem safe and fine around the stranger, your corgi won’t be aggressive with them.

Are They Aggressive to Other Animals?

If you have other animals around, you want to make sure to consider how a corgi would react to them.

Corgis usually feel distrust of other pets in your home until they’ve been around them for a long time.

Corgis can get along with other dogs and even cats. Your dog won’t seem to trust them at first but can be friends with them after proper training. You can also improve their interactions with other animals with early socialization.

In short, you’ll want to make sure your pup interacts with plenty of animals when they’re young.

Doing so ensures they don’t act as aggressively towards them in the future. 

Other Animals in Your Household

Corgis want to be the dominant animal in the house unless trained correctly. The dog might start fights with other dogs in the home.

It’s essential to watch your dogs when they eat. Corgis are very aggressive when it comes to their food. If another dog tries to take it, the corgi will lash out at them.

However, corgis do still love to make friends with the other pets in your home! You want to encourage positive socialization. 

This YouTube video will help you to do just that:

If you don’t know how to socialize your corgi with other pets, make sure to ask your vet about it.

Your local vet can offer professional tips and advice unique to your corgi.

Animals They Encounter Outside

Corgis can be very aggressive with wildlife, especially rodents. As herd dogs, part of their job was to remove rats and vermin from the cow pastures.

Due to this instinct, your corgi may react aggressively to any small animals they see outside.

You should keep them away from squirrels or other animals you want in your yard.

Are Female or Male Corgis More Aggressive?

Neutered male corgis are very relaxed and less aggressive than female dogs. It’s much easier to train a neutered male over female corgis, who tend to be more stubborn. Although, you can still train females with a bit more time.

However, you can still find corgis with alpha personalities, no matter their gender.

Socializing and proper training are required to remove these aggressive traits.

You’ll want to meet with your vet to learn more and develop a personal training routine.  

What Can Cause Aggressive Behaviors?

Corgis are generally not aggressive without reason. However, the Pembroke breed is more likely to be aggressive when compared with the Cardigan Welsh corgi.

Your dog may lash out if they have trauma in their past, struggle with separation anxiety, or are simply bored.

The most significant cause of aggression in corgis is food- this is a breed that loves to eat! You’ll want to make sure to train them regarding food, especially if you have kids or other pets at home.

One way to train your corgi with food is to show them that you own it, not them.

Every time you feed your dog, make sure to hold their bowl and wait for them to calm down.

Please do not give it to them when they’re displaying any aggressive behaviors. It would be best if you waited until they could sit entirely still without growling.

Is Your Corgi Being Aggressive or Protective?

corgi puppy

Corgis have a very protective nature. This breed is always listening for signs of trouble.

The dog may get between you and others until they determine whether or not that other person is a threat to you. 

Your corgi may snarl or snap if they’re aggressive, but if they’re just protective, it will seem like they constantly have their eyes and ears on you instead.

Corgis also bark very loudly when they want to alert you of suspicious behavior.

This barking could be towards an intruder or a squirrel they see outside.

Learn To Recognize the Signs That Your Corgi Is About To Get Aggressive

You’ll need to know what the signs of aggression in corgis are so that you can react accordingly.

If your dog is aggressive, you’ll want to calm them down or move them to another place before the situation escalates. 

Here are the aggression signs you need to recognize in corgis:

  • Curling lips or showing teeth
  • Growling
  • Nipping at feet
  • Snarling
  • Lunging towards a “threat”
  • Barking loudly at a “threat”

What To Do During an Aggressive Episode

If your dog experiences aggressive episodes often, you’ll want to bring them to see your vet.

The professional can teach you how to deal with the behavior and help you correct it. Sometimes, medical conditions can cause your corgi to lash out in fear due to pain.

During an aggressive episode, you’ll want to do the following:

  • Stay still and speak calmly to the dog.
  • Avoid eye contact and don’t smile at the dog.
  • Remove the corgi from the situation and give them time to calm down.

When To Get Professional Help

If your corgi is often aggressive, you’ll want to make sure you seek out professional help.

Your dog shouldn’t snap at you when you feed the dog or take away a toy.

Plus, you don’t want them herding kids or other pets in your home.

You want to work with your pet on these behaviors as you notice them.

Allowing them to stick around without correction will only worsen the aggression in the long term, making them much harder to undo.

Overall, it’s best to seek out professional help as soon as you can. The sooner you find a solution for your dog’s aggression, the sooner they can become happier and healthier.

It’s essential to meet with your local vet whenever you can. You can also bring up these problems during routine checkups. 


To summarize, corgis are usually only aggressive when put into stressful situations.

You’ll want to watch out for how your dog reacts to others and learn when to remove them from their stressors.

Corgis are herding dogs, so they may try to herd other animals or children when they feel stressed. 

corgi eating


  • PetEducate: Are corgis aggressive? 
  • How to train the dog: Are Corgis Aggressive? An In-depth Analysis of Corgis’ Temperament
  • Dogs and Clogs: Are Corgis Good With Kids? The Truth + 11 Dangers & 3 Tips
  • Corgi Care: How Affectionate Are Corgis? Are Corgis Affectionate Dogs?
  • Corgi Adoption: Male vs. Female
  • Pets The Nest: What to Do With an Aggressive Corgi?

Learn more about this breed on my one-page Corgi guide

Veterinary Hospital Director at UCE
Dr. Marcelle is a general veterinarian with a Small Animal Medicine Specialty | Director of the UCE School of Veterinary Medicine | Certified by the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society

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