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Understanding Reactivity in Dogs: Types and Solutions for Pembroke Welsh Corgis

Updated: May 6


Pembroke Welsh Corgis, with their iconic stature, intelligent expression, and spirited personality, are beloved companions known for their herding instincts and loyal nature. However, like all breeds, Pembroke Welsh Corgis can exhibit reactive behavior under certain circumstances. Reactivity in dogs refers to exaggerated responses to stimuli, which can manifest as fear, aggression, or frustration. In this article, we'll explore the different types of reactivity seen in Pembroke Welsh Corgis and provide strategies to address these issues, fostering calmness, confidence, and a well-balanced temperament in these charming canine companions.

Understanding Reactivity in Pembroke Welsh Corgis:

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are known for their boldness and tenacity, but they may display various types of reactivity:

  1. Fear Reactivity:

  • Pembroke Welsh Corgis may exhibit fear-based reactivity towards certain stimuli, such as loud noises, unfamiliar people, or unfamiliar environments.

  • Signs of fear reactivity may include trembling, barking, cowering, or attempting to flee from the perceived threat.

  1. Aggression Reactivity:

  • Some Pembroke Welsh Corgis may display aggression-based reactivity, particularly towards other dogs or animals.

  • Aggressive behaviors may include growling, barking, snapping, or lunging, often as a response to perceived threats to their territory or resources.

  1. Frustration Reactivity:

  • Pembroke Welsh Corgis may experience frustration-based reactivity when they are unable to access or achieve something they desire.

  • This type of reactivity can manifest as impulsive behaviors, such as barking, digging, or attempting to chase or control moving objects, especially in situations of restraint or confinement.

  1. Overexcitement Reactivity:

  • Pembroke Welsh Corgis are known for their playful nature and exuberant personality, but they may become overexcited in certain situations.

  • Overexcitement reactivity may result in hyperactive behavior, excessive vocalization, or difficulty focusing, particularly during play or social interactions.

Strategies to Correct Reactivity Issues in Pembroke Welsh Corgis:

  1. Identify Triggers:

  • Determine the specific triggers that elicit reactive behavior in your Pembroke Welsh Corgi, whether it's certain sounds, sights, smells, or interactions.

  • Keep a journal to track your dog's reactions and identify patterns or common triggers that contribute to their reactivity.

  1. Desensitization and Counter-Conditioning:

  • Gradually expose your Pembroke Welsh Corgi to their triggers in controlled settings, starting at a distance or intensity where they remain calm and relaxed.

  • Pair the presence of triggers with positive experiences, such as treats, praise, or play, to create positive associations and reduce fear or anxiety.

  1. Positive Reinforcement Training:

  • Utilize positive reinforcement training methods to reinforce desired behaviors and redirect your Pembroke Welsh Corgi's focus away from reactive triggers.

  • Reward calm, non-reactive behavior with treats, praise, or attention to encourage calmness and self-control in challenging situations.

  1. Management Techniques:

  • Implement management strategies to prevent or minimize exposure to triggers and reduce opportunities for reactive behavior.

  • Use tools such as head collars, harnesses, or leashes to maintain control and create physical barriers between your dog and potential triggers.

  1. Seek Professional Help:

  • Consult with a qualified dog trainer or behaviorist experienced in addressing reactivity issues in Pembroke Welsh Corgis.

  • A professional can provide personalized guidance, develop a behavior modification plan, and offer support throughout the training process.


Reactivity in Pembroke Welsh Corgis can pose challenges for both dogs and their owners, but with patience, consistency, and appropriate training techniques, these issues can be addressed effectively. By understanding the different types of reactivity, identifying triggers, implementing desensitization and counter-conditioning, utilizing positive reinforcement training, implementing management techniques, and seeking professional help when needed, owners can help their Pembroke Welsh Corgis overcome reactivity and develop into well-behaved and confident companions. With dedication and commitment to training, Pembroke Welsh Corgis can thrive in various environments and enjoy fulfilling relationships with their owners.

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