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Is a Corgi Smarter Than the Average Dog Breed? Canine Intelligence Explained (Vet-Verified Info)

Written by: Chelsea Mortensen

Last Updated on May 30, 2024 by Dogster Team

pembroke corgi with sable coat

Is a Corgi Smarter Than the Average Dog Breed? Canine Intelligence Explained (Vet-Verified Info)


Dr. Luqman Javed Photo


Dr. Luqman Javed

Veterinarian, DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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There’s nothing wrong with a “dumb”-but-loving dog, but some owners have a special place in their hearts for the smart ones. The Corgi often ranks high in canine intelligence estimations and evaluation lists. Corgis rank high in all kinds of intelligence. But owner beware—a smart dog is often more trouble than a “dumb” one. Corgis can often be clever mischief-makers, but when their intelligence is channeled correctly, it can astound you. Let’s take a look at some of the ways Corgis are intelligent.

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Corgis Learn Fast

Learning speed is the most common way for dog intelligence to be ranked. That’s because it is easy to measure. Researchers can teach a group of dogs a new trick and see which one needs the fewest repetitions to learn it. This test is great at measuring how quickly dogs learn and how obedient they are. In The Intelligence of Dogs  by Stanley Coren, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi ranked 11th out of 110 breeds, and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi ranked 26th. These high rankings show that the average Corgi being tested learned a command in between 5 to15 repetitions. In addition, they obeyed the first command at a frequency of 85% or better.

Some people describe Corgis as stubborn and strong-willed and anecdotal claims exist that cite difficulty training these dogs due to these traits. However, others see this stubbornness as a sign of intelligence as well; they claim that the dogs are smart enough to push their limits to see if their owners will give in. Interestingly, this might result in a dog training a human to do their bidding.

Nonetheless, Corgis are considered highly trainable and generally take well to learning by associations such as the American Kennel Club (AKC) 1.

welsh corgi pembroke agility training
Image By: ElfinFox, Pixabay

Can Corgis Solve Problems?

Though dogs do have the ability to solve problems, how quickly they can do so depends on several factors, possibly including their sex as well 2. Interestingly, studies involving dogs have also shown that when challenged with a difficult task, their initial impulse is to seek assistance from their human companions 3. This is a form of social dependence, and it can be argued that being smart enough to solicit the aid of humans to solve a problem can be perceived as a feat of intelligence.

Corgis Have Great Herding Instincts

Dogs are born with strong instincts that are guided by their breed’s history. Corgis are herding dogs, and their background means that some types of learning come easier to them than others. That means that they are pretty smart when it comes to herding animals—in fact, they often do it without being trained. Corgis have also been trained to compete in herding trials.

cardigan welsh corgi dog gathers the sheep together
Image By: Julia Siomuha, Shutterstock

Corgis Have “Street Smarts” Too

There are other aspects of intelligence, including social and emotional intelligence. They include skills like reading others’ emotions, making friends, and having a good temperament. Although it’s harder to measure these “street smart” types of intelligence, we can assume that most Corgis score well. This breed is known for its friendly, affectionate temperament, and like other pet dogs, Corgis have great social and emotional intelligence.

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As far as canine intelligence is concerned, Corgis are considered relatively intelligent. However, it goes without saying that all pets are individuals and their true intelligence remains undetermined. Training a dog also takes time, patience, and of course, a lot of positive reinforcement.

Corgis are natural herders and often need little encouragement to learn how to herd animals. However, if you’re particularly enthusiastic about your dog’s herding potential, you might be able to have them compete in herding trials!

Featured Image Credit: Jus_Ol, Shutterstock

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