How To Stop A Corgi From Nipping Once And For All

If you want to stop a Corgi from nipping, you need to work on redirecting their attention to things like chew toys, keep them well-rested, and avoid overstimulation. 

Having a puppy is a rewarding experience, and it’s part of the journey to building a lifelong bond with your new best friend. But one of the worst parts of puppyhood, in my opinion? It’s got to be the nipping.

When they’re puppies, dogs have some of the sharpest teeth you’ve ever encountered, and they’re more like piranhas than pups. 

You’re here to figure out how to stop a Corgi from nipping, and the good news for you is that I’m something of an expert in this area!

I’m going to take you through everything you need to know about why your stumpy herder likes to nip and the ways you can stop it from happening… including techniques I tried myself with great success. 

Let’s get those little needles under control (and save your skin further pain in the process). 

Key Takeaways:

  • Corgis are herding dogs, which means they are more likely to nip as puppies and adults 
  • Being tired and overstimulated can lead to increased nipping 
  • You should always use positive training methods 
  • Using exciting new chew toys and being loud when they nip are great deterrents
  • Sometimes a behaviorist or dog trainer can help you nip the problem in the bud 
  • It’s important to tackle nipping early to help prevent problems such as resource-guarding or food aggression 
How to stop a corgi biting

How to Train a Corgi Puppy Not to Bite

The most important thing to remember when training your Corgi puppy to stop nipping is that this is going to take a while, and it won’t happen overnight. These are some of the best methods that worked well with both the Corgis I have trained and my own dogs. 

Redirection 

This is one of the best and easiest methods to help stop your Corgi puppy from biting. As soon as they latch onto your skin, distract them with a toy they love and gently push it into their mouth. They will start playing with that instead, and you can shower them with praise for redirecting their attention. The important thing is that the new item is more exciting. 

Inhibition 

Bite inhibition is important, and it is also referred to as teaching them to be soft-mouthed. With this, you have the option to get them to reduce the amount of pressure they apply or stop nipping completely. How do you do it? The training here is simple and requires a little patience

When they grab you with their teeth, all you need to do is yelp loudly like a dog. Or you can yell “Ow”. When you do that, take your hand away and act sad and hurt. Your puppy will stop immediately, and they will learn how to be gentle over time. It’s exactly the way puppies play with each other and learn how to be softer. 

How to stop a corgi nipping

Poking the Mouth

This method works well, but it is important to remember that you need to be very gentle. If your Corgi puppy grabs your finger, simply curl it slightly. Then give the roof of their mouth a little push. This should be incredibly gentle. Even a little pressure is enough to feel slightly uncomfortable and make them realize that they don’t want your finger in their mouth. 

Buying Harder Chews 

Most new puppy owners seem to forget about how important hard chews are for puppies – especially when they start teething. Things like knuckle bones and bones from the pet store are perfect for them to get their teeth into. The same goes for antlers and ears. It’s hard enough that they get the satisfaction of curbing their teething cravings without resorting to nipping you.

However, it is important to note that rawhide products should be avoided as much as possible. They can be dangerous for dogs, especially if they are left unsupervised. It’s best to stick with knuckle bones from the pet store and hard chews that are safe for dogs. 

Socialization and Exercise 

Dogs learn from other dogs, and puppies need their elders to teach them boundaries. If you don’t have an older dog at home to tell them off when they’re being too rough, your Corgi is going to need to be socialized properly once they are old enough. It’s up to these older dogs to give them a quick growl or snap to let them know they are biting too hard. 

It’s the equivalent of teaching a dog manners. As long as you supervise them, you’ll find it’s a great way to teach them how to behave. And don’t panic too much, a telling-off can sound a lot worse than it is. Plus, they’ll be out getting some exercise. And exercise is the perfect way to get your little Corgi too tired to want to run around and nip you. 

Top tips to stop your corgi nipping

Training Alternatives for Nippy Corgi Puppies

If you’re struggling to get your Corgi puppy to stop biting, there are two other options you can use. You can hire a behaviorist or a dog trainer. Now, while there is some overlap between these two professions, there is a distinct difference between these types of trainers. 

  1. Dog Behaviorist: They get right to the root of behavioral issues. These can include more serious things such as fear aggression and guarding behaviors. They tend to have a more in-depth knowledge of how the mind of a dog works and their thought patterns. 
  2. Dog Trainer: They focus primarily on obedience and commands. These help your dog become more biddable and get a firmer grasp on their general training. 

Both are excellent options when you are looking for help stopping your puppy from nipping. The trainer you choose will depend on whether there are additional issues you would like them to address or further assistance with training that might be needed. 

Why Do Corgis Nip? 

Corgis are really cute, and their stumpy little legs only add to that. But what most people forget is that they’re also intelligent herding dogs. This means they’ve been bred with a demanding job in mind and have the traits to go with it. Nipping is a very common trait in smaller herding dogs. This is because, as adults, they’ll gently nibble the ankles of sheep or cattle to get them moving. 

It’s part of why dogs like Corgis are often nicknamed ankle biters. When they nip your ankles, they are simply mimicking the behavior that they would normally use for herding livestock. Running around or engaging in fast-paced and stimulating play is the perfect way to trigger this behavior. And, it’s very common for Corgis to slip into these genetic traits.

Why do corgis nip?

Why Do Puppies Nip? 

Nipping is not a behavior that is exclusive to Corgi puppies, and all pups go through it as they learn and grow. It’s sometimes referred to as mouthing, and there are several reasons why your little friend might be feeling nibbly. 

It’s Playtime 

Puppies play with their mouths, and that’s something that will continue into adulthood when they meet other dogs and play with them. But it can be a problem when they want to play with us and do the same, especially as we play with our hands and our skin is a little more fragile. This is why it’s important to play with them using toys instead of roughhousing with your hands. 

Overstimulation 

Sometimes, puppies get excited and overstimulated, and this is something that is very common in herding dogs. Your Corgi is high-energy as it is, and until you’re able to take them on walks, you need to understand that they are going to get big bursts of energy that can result in more nipping than usual (the number of bandaids on my hands during this phase was comical). 

Too much excitement and stimulation can cause them to get a bit wild and might result in a major case of the zoomies. It’s super cute, but when they’re getting all freaked out during playtime, their puppy nips can quickly draw blood as they get a little too into it. They don’t know they’re being too rough, and that’s why it’s important to stop and calm down immediately. 

Why corgis nip

They’re Tired 

You know how toddlers and kids get grumpy when they’re tired and they throw little tantrums (and sometimes even us adults get the same way.)? Well, puppies are exactly the same. Your Corgi puppy needs plenty of sleep, and they can nap for between 16 and 20 hours a day. They need it because they’re growing and developing, and you have to make sure they get enough. 

This is why you need to ensure your puppy gets plenty of quiet time where they can snuggle up and take a long nap. Their space should be somewhere that’s not busy during the day so they can rest without being disturbed until they’re ready to get up. If you don’t give them this time, your puppy is going to end up nippier than usual. 

Teething Troubles

When puppies go through teething, they want to bite anything and everything. I’ve had dogs that have destroyed the baseboards in my home because they just can’t sink their teeth into enough chews. It’s a frustrating period for them (and you when you realize you’re on your sixth pair of new shoes!). 

This is also when you’re going to start finding puppy teeth on the floor and potentially stepping on them in the morning. Keep your eyes peeled because, trust me, it’s not nice picking those little razors out of your feet. Teething is tough, and our hands are the perfect chew toys – all you need to do is find something they love more. 

How to stop a corgi puppy nipping

Things to Avoid When Training Your Puppy

There was a time when punishment training was seen as the best method, but the truth is that positive reinforcement works worlds better. It’s more effective, you end up with a happier dog, and you don’t have to exhaust yourself with yelling. The methods I highlighted in this guide for you all use positive reinforcement to help you build a stronger bond with your Corgi. 

So, what are some of the things to avoid when training your puppy?

  • Never put them in crates to punish them; it just makes the crate feel like an unsafe space and it will hinder your progress in the long run. 
  • Don’t hit them to stop them from biting; this can cause fear-aggression later. 
  • Avoid wrestling and rough games, as this can be confusing for them.
  • Praise them when they do something right (stopping biting) and ignore them when they do something wrong. This is what positive reinforcement is about. 
  • Be consistent for the best results and to avoid your Corgi getting confused. 
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When Does Nipping Become Serious?

Nipping is very normal for a Corgi puppy, but there comes a point when things can escalate. You’ll know when nipping becomes a more serious form of biting because you’ll be able to feel the aggression in the bite, and their body language will become more threatening and nervous. 

These are some examples of more serious forms of biting:

  • Resource guarding 
  • Food aggression 
  • General aggression 
  • Aggression caused by lack of stimulation
  • Fear-aggression 

These can all become quite serious and harmful. If you notice your puppy starts to become more aggressive for no reason or begins to snap and try to bite when anyone approaches their food or items they might be guarding, you will need to take further action. Hire a trainer or behaviorist to help get rid of the negative behavior and make them feel safe again. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why Does My Corgi Nip Me? 

Your Corgi might nip you because they are playing, tired, overstimulated, or teething. It is perfectly natural for a puppy to be nippy, and herding dogs are always more prone to it. 

Do Corgis Grow Out of Nipping?

Yes, Corgis do grow out of nipping. However, you will need to help and guide them along the way as you train them to be gentler and stop biting. 

When Do Corgis Stop Nipping?

Corgis usually stop nipping at around 5-6 months old. This is when they stop teething, and their adult teeth come in, which makes them less prone to their nippy habits. 

What Behavioral Problems Do Corgis Have?

Corgis do not have any generic behavioral issues, but they are herding dogs, which means they have much higher energy levels than normal. This can lead to biting and aggression if they are left without enough exercise or the proper outlets for all their energy. However, there are health issues to keep in mind.

Final Thoughts 

Corgis are herding dogs, and they will always be nippy when they’re young. Even when they’re adults, there might be times when they get a little too excited and slip into their instincts. But training your Corgi puppy to stop nipping and biting isn’t as difficult as you think – it just takes a little time and patience. With my advice, you’ll be there in no time.

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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