Can Corgis Be Left Alone: 9 Steps To Keep Your Corgi Happy, Stimulated And Busy

If you work outside the home and your Corgi will need to spend time alone, you’re probably wondering, “Can Corgis be left alone?” 

Corgis can be left alone provided you’ve taken steps to help your Corgi adjust to your schedule and not being home. They will need exercise and being kept busy with distractions like toys which stimulate them physically and mentally. By providing a happy, healthy Corgi-friendly environment, alone time won’t result in unexpected disruption to your family or possible damage to your home.

Corgis are energetic working dogs, who love to spend time with their family. They thrive when they have something to do that involves others. If your family spends a lot of time out of the house you’ll need to understand what “alone” means for a Corgi (puppy or adult), and how to provide the time, training, stimulation, and exercise needed to keep them happy and healthy. And that’s what we’re going to cover in this comprehensive guide.

Simple Steps + Patience = Happy Alone Time

It’s more than just putting your dog in a crate and hoping for the best when you leave the house. A well-adjusted Corgi that can be happy alone in your home will need:

  • A safe environment
  • Regular exercise that changes things up once in a while
  • Games and routines that stimulate
  • Socialization time.

Taking their working-dog nature into account means setting up activities, rewards, and training that reinforce the friendly, family-oriented behaviors you want, and trains out the nipping, barking, and high energy behaviors that can make life for you and your Corgi a stressful existence.

My Own Experience With A Corgi Puppy

I got my Corgi about 15 years ago. 

At just 8 weeks old he had no bad habits, but a lot to learn (and unlearn)! 

My family and I all worked full-time outside the house, so the newest addition to our family needed to adjust quickly to being alone. 

But he wasn’t my first puppy.

By that time in my life, I’d had 4 dogs each needing their own personalized training program to adjust to our family. 

Since that time I’ve also welcomed an additional dozen dogs into our family. Everything from foster puppies, to hospice dogs. With each, I took the time to teach them the rules of the house, including how to spend time alone, happily. 

I created an environment that worked for them and allowed me to live my life, including working outside the home. 

Whether you’re asking yourself, “Can Corgis be left alone for 8 hours?” or “How long can Corgis be left alone?” The answer depends heavily on you

Can Corgis Be Left Alone?

For puppies, the length of time alone increases over time because of their need to toilet. Refer to the chart below. 

Adult Corgis also have their limits (usually 8 – 10 hours maximum) but crate training an older dog is a challenge worth taking. Crating comes in handy for car rides, illness or injury, and hotel stays as well as providing your dog with a space to call their own

As a rule, though, no dog should be left alone for long days and nights

Without enough mental stimulation and exercise, they can become destructive: peeing in the house, or barking non-stop. 

Can Corgis be left alone all day? Yes, but they cannot be ignored.

How Long Can Corgis Be Left Alone?

Puppies

With puppies, the time relates directly to housebreaking

Crate training can help with housebreaking and also help with answering that question of how long can Corgis be left alone. 

When you’re housebreaking your puppy, use the crate to prevent accidents

In the same manner, if you cannot be with the puppy, the puppy goes in the crate. The American Kennel Club offers these steps to crate train a dog

Adult Corgis

For adult Corgis, after they’ve been crate trained, most can be left alone for 8 – 10 hours. But only if they’re exercised before your leave for work and ideally, when you get home. 

If you regularly work a full day and then head out for an evening, a Corgi may not be the right breed for you. They need to be around their humans and are known for their companionship. That’s why they make perfect pets for the Queen of England.

How Can Corgis Be Left Alone During The Day?

As they get accustomed to the house, and the routine of you going to work, your Corgi may put themselves in their crate when you pick up your car keys. 

Once they’ve adjusted to the routine, you may even consider allowing them free reign of the house. 

But this can cause additional stress for your dog, even if it sounds good to you. 

Personality and temperament can impact the ability to be alone

Get to know your dog’s personality and interests in order to provide an environment that works best for their enjoyment.

Corgis act out when they’re not happy. Whether because they’ve been left alone, jealousy, or an abundance of energy. 

Pay attention to your Corgi and their behavior. If they start picking up bad habits, ask yourself if their exercise has been getting short-changed. All Corgis are different, but lack of exercise and less family interaction can make even the mildest tempered dog unhappy.

Aside from personality and interests, there are other factors that will generally influence your Corgi to behave whilst being alone in your home.

Corgis with separation anxiety

This is a real thing. This newspaper article observes that many dogs, including Corgis, will suffer from “severe social anxiety” once their owners stop working from home as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Corgis feel responsible for keeping the herd together. 

When everyone has left for school or work, or spread throughout the house, Corgis feel the need to herd everyone back together. 

Special treats to keep busy, or puzzle toys to figure out while you’re away can be a great help. 

Also, consider background noise: music, a talk station, or television on low volume. 

If your dog is having an ongoing issue, speak to your vet, or try one of the natural remedies that contain chamomile, ginger, L-Tryptophan, and melatonin. There are even pheromone-based scent diffusers to comfort dogs. We recommend the Adaptil Diffuser kit and convenient refills.

“While calming pheromones may help with many issues in both dogs and cats, they don’t work for every potential issue or behavioral problem your pet might be experiencing.”

PetMD

And remember, it takes time to get your dog accustomed to your routine. Give them a chance.

Age can make a difference in being home alone

How long can Corgis hold their pee? Adult Corgis can hold their pee for 8 – 10 hours

With puppies and senior dogs, the rules change

This doesn’t mean you can’t have a Corgi or need to get rid of an older dog. It just means you need to get creative. The following table provides guidance:

Corgi AgePotty Breaks Schedule
2 monthsevery two hours
3 monthsevery three hours
4 – 6 monthsevery four hours
7 – 8 monthsevery eight hours
9 – 12 monthsevery 8 – 10 hours
1 – 2 yearsCorgis may not be fully grown at 1 year, so the decision for potty breaks needs to be determined by your dog. 
>7 years oldWhile Corgis can live 13 – 15 years, they are considered seniors once they hit 7 – 8 years old. At this point, you’ll need to monitor your Corgi for any changes. Certain illnesses can also require more frequent breaks. Speak to your veterinarian about any sudden changes in potty habits.

What Could Happen When Your Corgi Doesn’t Want To Be Left Alone?

Corgis can be destructive

They’re chewers when bored. 

They may also start marking your house with urine, or barking incessantly whether you’re home or not. 

Remember, Corgis are herding dogs. They nip and bark as part of their job, it’s what they’ve been bred for. 

But it is possible to train this behavior out of them.

The Smart Canine has a simple method for teaching your Corgi to stop barking. 

But when they want your attention or are feeling neglected, these behaviors come back in ways that get their message across. They want your attention and time

can corgis be left alone for 8 hours

Corgis can also get depressed. You may see this if they’ve had a long stay at the kennel, or you’ve worked multiple long days in a row. It’s time to make some changes, and create a situation where your Corgi knows they will not be neglected further.

9 Steps To Improve Your Corgi’s Alone Time?

Time away is sometimes unavoidable. Here are the 6 steps you can take to make that “alone time” not feel so alone. These steps will keep your Corgi happy, stimulated and busy whilst you’re not at home.

Step 1 – Walk your Corgi before you leave home

Corgi’s love exercise.

If you can, take them for at least a 30-minute walk before you leave home so they can burn off some energy early in their day. That way their energy is less likely to be taken up with destructive behavior.

Step 2 – Give your Corgi their favorite treats just before you leave

Devon from Willow The Corgi blog, giving your Corgi treats just before she leaves home. It’s a great suggestion!

Take them to the area in your home where they will spend most of their day. Leave enough treats to keep them busy as you head out the door.

If you crate your Corgi during the day, bring them to the crate, put the treats inside and close the crate.

Devon says:

“The treats create such a positive association that she forgets about the fact that I’m about to leave her. I leave her enough treats to keep her busy while I sneak out the door, and hope that she doesn’t even realize that I’m gone.”

Willo The Corgi

Here are the treats that are Willow’s favorites which your Corgi may love as well:

Notice the treats Devon recommends are small. She raises a valid point in not offering chews like Bully Sticks that your Corgi could choke on when you are not at home supervising.

Step 3 – Change up the routine

Remember your Corgi will benefit from releasing some of their high energy before you leave your house.

Change up the daily routine to keep the week interesting:

  • Hire a dog walker to take your dog out
  • Visit a different destination on your regular morning walks
  • Do a training session before your walk
  • Head to the backyard for a game a few times a week. 

Don’t skip your regular morning play sessions.

Step 4 – Offer some games they can play by themself

There are a couple of options for self-play that will stop your Corgi from being bored. We’ve made some recommendations below that will help pass the time away whilst you are not home.

Treat dispensing toys

Dog treat toys are a particular favorite of Corgis. Depending on the type of chewer they are, there may be toys you can leave with them unmonitored, or provide as part of your homecoming ritual. 

The classic Kong toy is great to keep a Corgi busy during the day. 

Another popular treat-dispensing toy is the Bob-A-Lot. Your Corgi pushes the wobble toy with their nose in the right way to have the treats fall out.

If your Corgi is mad about balls, try this tough durable treat-dispensing toy called the StarMark Treat Dispensing Chew Ball.

Mental puzzles

This type of puzzle requires your Corgi to move bits of the puzzle to reveal treats. These Nina Ottoson puzzles really work for curious and food-motivated Corgis. 

You can start your Corgi at Level 1 (Beginner/Easy), move through Levels 2 (Intermediate), Level 3 (Advanced) and Level 4 (Expert) as you increase the level of difficulty, interaction and mental stimulation.

Our recommendations below are all on Amazon’s best seller list for dog toys. You can vary the puzzles every day to change up the routine.

LevelNameDescriptionBuy
1Dog SmartFlip over the 9 dog bone-shaped pieces to reveal treatsCheck latest price on Amazon
2Dog BrickMove and lift the treat brick-shaped compartments to access treatsCheck latest price on Amazon
2TornadoTwist and open 12 compartments to find the hidden treatsCheck latest price on Amazon
2Treat MazeShake the dog toy so that the treats fall outCheck latest price on Amazon
2Hide and SlideHide and seek challenge where a dog needs to move certain pieces on the game board to reveal the treatsCheck latest price on Amazon
4MultipuzzleComplete a series of moves in the correct order to access the treats. Suited to Corgis who have mastered these Ottoson puzzles from Level 1 – 3.Check latest price on Amazon

Interactive toys

Here’s a list of our favorite interactive toys. Of all the toys we’ve recommended to prevent boredom in your Corgi whilst you are not home, these ones entertain for the shortest time.

CategoryToyDescriptionBuy
Most favorite squeaker plush toy (with no stuffing)Zippy Paws Skinny PeltsSqueaky toy to keep your Corgi entertained. No stuffing to reduce choking risk.Check latest price on Amazon
Most favorite squeaker plush toy (with stuffing)Outward Hound Hide-And-Seek with SquirrelsThese cute squirrels velcro stick into the little holes. Your Corgi pulls out the squirrels one by oneCheck latest price on Chewy
Most favorite hide and seek toyZippyPaws Burrow Squeaky Hide and Seek Plush Dog ToyLittle plush monkeys get velcro to a banana. Your Corgi pulls out the monkeys.Check the latest price on Amazon

Step 5 – Add some background noise

Every dog is different, but  “white noise” helps mask sounds from outdoors that can cause anxiety. It also helps them to feel less alone. 

You can play these calming waves on low volume through your TV, Apple or Google devices.

Step 6 – Get a companion for your Corgi

Having another dog around is a great way to keep a dog company

If your household can manage it, having two dogs, or even a couple cats around can make sure everyone is feeling a bit less alone

Step 7 – Set some boundaries

Crating your dog

Your dog’s crate should be a safe, comfortable place. 

Rather than have your dog associate their crate with a negative experience of you not being home, be sure to use the crate when you are at home. Perhaps you could give them treats in their crate or let them sleep there at night. 

Here’s some guidance on how to crate train a dog while at work.

You should not crate your dog for more than 5 hours in a day, especially if your Corgi is prone to anxiety. 

Here’s some useful guides when buying crates:

If you are away from home longer than 5 hours, consider the alternative below.

Dog friendly rooms

Many people don’t like crates, and if your dog is bored and starts trying to open their crate before you get home, they can also injure themselves or damage their teeth. 

That’s when it’s time to limit their freedom. 

Select a single, dog-friendly room (no wires, no drapes, or furniture to chew) with a comfy bed, water, and treats. 

Consider adding something with your scent on it, an old towel, or blanket works great to keep them company until your return.

Step 8 – Set up a monitoring system

There are inexpensive camera systems available that allow you to keep an eye on your pet. 

Having good monitoring systems can make you feel less anxious and can let you check in on your furbaby, ensuring they are safe even if you have to leave them alone for a longer period of time. 

The Furbo Dog Camera is one example of a way you can monitor your dog with a two-way communication system, automatic bark alert and even a treat dispenser. You can talk to your dog during the day. How cool is that?

Step 9 – Setup a doggy door into an enclosed yard?

For some households, giving your Corgi access to the yard is a great distraction for when they are home alone (apart from the toileting benefits).  

But you don’t want your dog stuck outside in bad weather or at risk of running into wildlife or another dog, which results in them being injured or worse yet, bringing that other creature into your house! So installing a doggy door will give your pooch access to the inside and outside of your home.

DogTipper offers some things to consider when asking yourself whether a doggy door is right for your dog.

Step 9 – Make your home-coming special

Even if you’ve had a tough day, clipping on that leash and taking that furry friend for a brisk walk before settling in will do great things for you AND your dog. 

When Not To Leave Your Corgi Alone 

As dogs get older, they can have health issues, including issues with mobility, sight, and hearing. 

These factors can result in your dog not being safe at home alone. 

They may need medication during the day, or if they are sight-impaired they may get lost in the house during the day. 

Just like puppies, some older dogs need additional trips out or care that cannot be given when they’re left alone. 

The answer isn’t to get rid of the dog, but instead, take them to work if possible, or hire someone to stop in throughout the day to provide the care and company your older dog needs. 

Final Thoughts – Can Corgis Be Left Alone For A Long Time?

No dog should be left alone for a long time. When you bring a dog home, you bring a family member home.  That doesn’t mean you can’t work a full-time job. You just need to take the steps necessary to ensure while you’re away your Corgi has treats, toys, and people available to provide them with the care they need. It’s not much to ask, and for Corgis, generally happy go lucky, energetic, and intelligent dogs, it just takes a little planning.

Want More Information About Corgis?

Products Mentioned

Here’s a convenient summary of all the products we’ve mentioned in this article that will improve the time that your Corgi spends home alone.

Treats

Dog treat dispensing toys

Dog mental puzzles (by Nina Ottoson and Outward Hound)

Interactive toys

Crates

Buyers Guide: how to buy a crate for your dog.

Bed

We recommend this bed as the most comfortable for your Corgi.

Monitoring system

The Furbo Dog Camera.

Author - Madeline

Madeline lives in Massachusetts USA with her 14 year old Corgi (Tucker) and 5 year old energetic Jack Russel Terrier (Quinn). They love to walk and hike, even in the snow. And they enjoy winter hikes, but camping is strictly June-September. Madeline does a lot for the dog community: fosters dogs, drives Freedom Train Animal Transport and takes in hospice fosters to make sure their final days are happy, and filled with love and care.

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