Are Corgis Smart Or Dumb? The Answer May Surprise You

With their exceptionally adorable (albeit derpy) faces and cute little legs, it’s fair to wonder just how smart corgis really are.

The truth is, corgis aren’t dumb at all. A highly intelligent dog breed, corgis are easy to train and possess a unique ability to problem-solve.

Keep reading to uncover common misconceptions about corgi intelligence and why it’s so important that they get adequate mental stimulation each day.

Because a bored corgi can be an annoying corgi!

Let’s go!

Are corgis smart or dumb?

You might be surprised to learn that corgis are one of the smartest dog breeds you could own.

Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh corgis are classified as “bright dogs” according to the canine researcher, Stanley Coren.

Coren is a psychology professor, neuropsychological researcher, and writer on the intelligence, mental abilities, and history of dogs.

Out of more than 100 dog breeds, he ranks Pembrokes as the 11th smartest breed and Cardigans as the 26th most intelligent breed in his book The Intelligence of Dogs.

Corgis earned their position at numbers 11 and 26 because they understand new commands within 5-15 repetitions. They obey a first command 85% of the time or better.

Some of the breeds they outrank include Airedales, Border Terriers, Weimaraners, and Standard Schnauzers.

Are corgis as smart as border collies?

According to Stanley Coren, Corgis are not as smart as Border Collies.

In his ranking of dog intelligence, Border Collies come out on top. They obey a first command 95% of the time or better.

And they need a new command repeated 5 times or less to understand it.

Corgis, on the other hand, obey a first command 85% of the time or better. They understand new commands within 5-15 repetitions.

Why are corgis so annoying?

If corgis are so smart, why can they be annoying?

Here’s the thing about smart dogs—they need lots of mental and (usually) physical stimulation to stay entertained.

This is true for corgis, who need at least 60 minutes of exercise every day and as much mental stimulation as you can provide in the form of games and puzzle toys.

Without this, corgis get bored, frustrated, and potentially destructive, too. They may resort to excessive chewing, barking, nipping, or jumping if they’re not given opportunities to use their brain.

I recommend getting a selection of puzzle toys to keep your corgi mentally stimulated at home or implementing a regular training plan.

Because that’s the other great thing about a smart dog—they pick up training really fast.

As long as you’re consistent and patient, you can teach your corgi a whole host of tricks from spin to high five to play bow relatively quickly.

Corgi looking up at his owner

Here’s why you think corgis are dumb

By now you know that corgis are far from dumb.

But if you’re wondering why they have this reputation, social media might be partly to blame.

Specifically, the popularity of corgi ‘derp’ memes.

Derp face!

When a corgi ‘derps’, they make a silly face with googly eyes and their tongue sticking out the side. For a few moments, they look completely mad.

Even though derp face usually only lasts a couple of seconds, with so many photos and videos of it shared online, it’s understandable why some people have the impression that corgis are dumb!

How can I make my corgi smarter?

If you want to make the most of your corgi’s intelligence and see just how smart they can be, try these 5 activities.

1. Interactive Toys and Puzzles

Provide your corgi with interactive toys and puzzles designed to challenge their problem-solving skills.

Toys like treat-dispensing puzzles or toys that require them to manipulate levers or buttons to access treats will stimulate their minds and keep them engaged.

This is a great way to tire them out mentally and physically!

2. Training and Commands

Corgis thrive on discipline.

Consistent training sessions using positive reinforcement techniques will improve your corgi’s cognitive abilities and keep their bossy tendencies in check.

Teach them new commands, tricks, and obedience tasks, gradually increasing the complexity of the tasks as they master each one.

You’ll be surprised how quickly they pick up new tricks with patience and consistency.

3. Scent Games

Corgis have a keen sense of smell, so why not play scent games to keep them entertained?

Hide treats around the house or garden, and encourage them to use their nose to find them.

4. Agility Training

A mini agility course with hurdles, tunnels, and ramps can be mentally and physically stimulating for your corgi.

This kind of training encourages problem-solving, coordination, and responsiveness, and is ideal for a herding breed like corgis.

5. Social Interaction and Playdates

Don’t underestimate the power of socialization.

Regularly exposing your corgi to new environments, dogs and people will help to improve their adaptability and social intelligence.

Read me next:

Are Corgis Born With Tails? Here’s The Shocking Truth

The 12 Most Famous Celebrities With Corgis

How To Mentally Stimulate Your Corgi At Home

Bella is the founder of Doggy & Pooch. She rehomed Winston the corgi in Jan 2020 and now shares her best tips and interesting facts with corgi lovers globally.

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