What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a well-behaved dog? Perhaps they go to their spot the moment they get the command? Or is it just the speed with which they obey commands in general?
Well, for us, it’s the image of a dog walking next to its human with no leash in sight! That’s a show of trust; it makes you think that the dog – no matter how big or small it is – sticks by its human and does whatever it needs!
But how many times have you seen a Corgi walking around so freely and confidently?
The breed is pretty darn hectic, so it would be understandable to wonder – can Corgis walk off leash?
Some Corgi owners might laugh at the idea. Their Corgis might run towards every living thing they see as soon as they pick up a scent of them.
But we’re here to show you that your Corgi, no matter how crazy, can be trusted to walk beside you all on its own. Training them to do so is no easy task, but it is possible!
So let’s get this show on the road, and let’s get your Corgi off that leash!
Can Corgis Walk Off Leash?
So, you have a cute little Corgi that is a little on the wilder side, so to speak. And you would like for the little fella to walk beside you when outside and to have the freedom to go around picking up scents and exploring its surroundings.
But as soon as you step outside, they start pulling their leash like they’re a police dog who spotted a most wanted criminal!
That would make anybody think that taking off that leash would be a terrible idea. And don’t get us wrong, at that moment it is a bad idea.
But that shouldn’t discourage you; any dog can be trained to listen and to obey commands.
Corgis are intelligent dogs, and they have pretty long experience as herders.
That means that they’ve been on their own with herds of animals much larger than them – and they did the job just fine.
So, how come your Corgi wants to bolt at the first person it sees?
The thing is that Corgis are very independent dogs. They think on their feet; they benefited greatly from improvising while they were herders, after all.
So if their owners were once able to leave them all alone for the majority of the day on some hill, why can’t you just let go of your puppy for a minute? What’s the deal?
Well, take a look at the environment there.
Corgis back then had a simple task – take care of the herd, make sure everybody’s in line and safe. Now imagine taking that mentality and putting it out on the street to run around.
It’s madness for them!
Nobody’s in line; they see dogs and people walking all over the place. And not to mention that many things that weren’t exactly common on the hills of Wales can distract a puppy on a city street.
Their instinct confuses them more than it helps in this modern-day environment.
Also, there are always questions about this, so we thought we’d answer them:
Can Corgis Walk Far?
It’s a fair question if you’d like to get them off the leash. If you lose sight of them, you want to know how far your pup will go with those little legs.
Well, pretty darn far, let us tell you. Corgis may be small, but they can walk for a LONG time; it was in this breed’s job description, after all!
They’re stubborn little creatures – and it doesn’t help that they’re pretty fast for their size, either.
The combination of all these things means that you’ll probably rarely see a Corgi walking next to its owner on the street with no leash on. The activity seems reserved for Labs, Retrievers, German Shepherds, and other famous human companions.
Well, we think it is about time we change that narrative!
Why Are Corgis So Stubborn?
So, you probably caught us using the word “independent” once or twice, but that’s not the description that Corgi owners use. Corgis are stubborn; let’s get that straight.
They always think they know best. But what’s their reasoning? What is it that makes them so confident in their decisions?
As we mentioned, Corgis were herders for thousands of years and are used to being alone for long periods of time. It’s not that they had no supervision, but their owners didn’t need to keep an eye on them all day long; they were that good at their job.
And that job wasn’t just herding. Corgis were famous for being great farmhands, always ready to help out with whatever you need.
Well, you can imagine how they feel in modern times.
You know how Corgis get a lot of pent-up energy if you keep them inside for long. That’s not just there because they want to run around the yard. They’re very smart dogs, and they need to be engaged in fun activities.
They don’t have to work all day long; those little legs still need rest. But allowing them to socialize frequently will do wonders.
Don’t worry; you don’t have to get them a herd.
All this is to say that they’re stubborn because – well, they deserve to be. They have been good at what they do for so long that it’s now embedded in their genes.
So, when you take them outside, all those instincts kick in like crazy for them. They want to herd other dogs and run around looking for possible activities to engage in.
And besides that, they love humans and other dogs. Sometimes they just want to say “Hi,” even if it’s in their own overzealous way.
But hey, to each their own.
Because of all this, it’s essential to teach your dog how to behave at an early age.
That way, they grow up with the information already in their head, and you don’t have to teach them from scratch when the instincts have already kicked in. Not that it’s impossible to do so – but it does make the situation much harder for you.
So, if you have a young Corgi puppy, it’s best to start the training right away.
The basic commands like sitting, coming to you, or fetching can help you immensely in the long run. For one, it makes your dog realize that learning is a good thing – and that it usually leads to some pretty neat rewards.
And two, It also builds trust, something you’ll need later when you start considering walking your Corgi without a leash.
Heck, most people that start this young never even need a leash – though we would suggest it when it comes to Corgis. As we said, once those instincts kick in, you’re in for a crazy ride.
How To Train Your Corgi To Walk Without A Leash?
Let’s get something straight before we even consider taking the leash off:
If your Corgi can’t behave while on a leash, do NOT start training it to walk without one.
While it would be possible for them to learn, the fact that your Corgi is pulling like crazy and going its way with no regard for you or other people means that it’s still too early to consider taking the leash off.
Get Your Corgi To Look At You On Command
The first thing you need to cover to make sure that your Corgi isn’t going to pull like crazy is the “watch me” command. Well, we call it that, but you can use whatever phrase you wish.
Look at me, look, watch here – whatever floats your boat!
The trick to this command, and any other, is to make sure that you have a nice reward system ready to go. What we mean is that you should find a nice treat that your Corgi responds to and get LOTS of it.
You’re going to need it.
To get your dog to look at you on command, just hold the treat in front of your face and repeat the phrase that you chose. As soon as your dog makes eye contact, reward them with the treat.
The trick is to wait for eye contact, as your dog will probably be focused on the treat and nothing else. Them realizing that there’s a reward for looking you in the eye is the desired outcome, so repeat the process over and over.
Getting Your Corgi To Stop And Sit
Sitting is an important part of getting your Corgi to stay focused and calm.
Put the collar and the leash on them (while still inside) and stand next to your dog. They will probably try to move and get in front of you at first. That’s normal, as they have a better view and can better control the situation from the front.
But you’re trying to control the situation here. So, you want your dog by your side, standing calmly beside your leg. Once they’re in position, use the “Sit” command and reward them as soon as they obey.
Repeat this over and over before moving the whole operation outside. If you get your dog to sit while walking beside you, you’ll know that they would rather obey you than keep walking.
And trust us, that’s a BIG step.
Once you feel comfortable, start moving around the room and then tell them to sit mid-walk. Doing this enough times will make them remember it when they go outside.
They’ll probably lose focus more often when out in the street – but this is normal, as many things can distract them outside. Just remain calm and keep up the process.
Get You Corgi To Heel
The next step in the process is heeling, and it’s crucial if you want your dog to get off the leash at some point.
First, get your dog to walk by your side. We must point out right away that your Corgi walking next to you and heeling are two different things.
Heeling means that they’re walking exactly where you’re walking, at the same speed. And it means that you’re the one leading.
So, get your dog to walk next to you first. The simplest and best way to do this is to hold a treat in your hand and keep it in front of them while you’re walking.
You’ll get your Corgi besides you; there’s no question about that. But now it’s time to get them in sync with you, as they’ll probably try to jump and grab the treat right out of your hand.
Use all the commands that we talked about so far.
While on your side on the street, get them to look at you, then start walking again, then get them to stop and sit, etc.
Repeating all of this will show them that walking beside you and paying attention is worth it – as they’ll get rewarded once they do.
Once you manage this, it’s time to use a combination of giving out treats and withholding them, depending on whether or not your Corgi is doing what you want it to do.
Make sure that you’re not giving out the treats every single time they do something, though. That would get them to do the tricks, but they won’t be interested in learning; they’re in it just for the treat!
And they’ll be sure that they can get it no matter what.
Use the heel command while you’re doing this and repeat it until they figure out what exactly the phrase means.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat!
Once your Corgi manages to perform all these commands confidently, it’s time to take off the leash.
Do this in an environment where you still have some control and move to the streets once you feel comfortable. Keep up the commands and the training until you’re sure there’s no more room for mistakes.
After this, it’s time to make some mistakes.
What we mean is, it’s time to take your Corgi to the ultimate test of focus – the dog park.
It’s all fun and games until your dog has the choice to go out and socialize. There’s a good chance that they will break focus as soon as you get there!
But that’s understandable.
Just remain calm; go to a corner of the park where there’s less activity while you still have the leash on your dog.
Repeat the whole process over and over until you’re ready to take the leash off again. Once you do, keep up the training and strengthen your Corgis focus.
They’ll lose it at some point – and once they do, just put the leash back on and repeat.
The point of all this is not to keep them away from socialization; far from it! So, make sure not to do this the whole time you’re at the park. Your dog is there to play with others, after all.
The point is to get your dog to trust you and for them to know that it’s a good thing to keep by your side when you say so.
So, can Corgis go on long walks without a leash?
If the training goes well, you don’t have to worry about them losing focus at some point.
So, if you were planning on going for a long leashless walk, as long as you bring some water and some treats, you’ll be just fine!
Learn More: How To Leash Train A Corgi?
So, can Corgis walk off leash?
Well, if you try hard enough, absolutely! The reward system is, without a doubt, the best option for teaching your dog anything. So, get you some treats and start the lessons.
No matter how frustrating teaching your stubborn little Corgi a new command might be, the results are always well worth it!