As Corgi lovers and dog parents, we’ve gotten pretty good at reading our Corgi’s behavior, but sometimes they do things that seem to defy explanation (“zoomies,” anyone?). Every Corgi has little quirks and individual ways of expressing themselves, but there are certain behaviors that are almost universal because they’re biologically ingrained. We've decoded five common dog behaviors that we hope will help you answer that nagging question: Why does my Corgi do that?!
- Kicking up grass after pooping
I always figured it was a dominance thing, but I was surprised to learn that dogs have scent glands in their paw pads. So when they’re done using the bathroom, scratching the ground with their paws is an additional way to mark their territory with their own scent, which sends a message to other dogs that they "own" the space.
- Chasing (aka Prey or Chase Drive)
There’s a difference between prey drive and chase drive. Chase drive is less intense in that your Corgi will chase after something but doesn’t fully commit to it as a target. Once your Corgi reaches the target, in chase drive he will continue to run past, whereas in prey drive, he’ll actually make contact with the target. For example, if you’ve ever tried to play fetch with your Corgi only to have him run up to the ball and then leave it, you’ve seen chase drive in action.
Dogs are predators by nature, so it’s their biological instinct that compels them to chase and hunt things. Since dogs experience the world through their noses and their sense of smell is so much more powerful than ours, when they smell an animal that can be prey, they instinctively act on it and chase after it. In most cases, this is harmless behavior and the dog can be called off or distracted by his owner. If your dog can’t be called off, gets unduly fixated, or heaven forbid, harms another animal, seek professional behavioral training immediately.
- Butt Scooting
The reason dogs scoot their butts is because you have company over. Just kidding - it’s because their floofy little butt is itchy. This could be due to a couple of issues. People used to believe that a dog dragging its tail across the carpet had worms, but with all the modern parasite prevention available to indoor dogs, your Corgi’s itchy bum is most likely due to something else – full anal sacs.
Dogs have two small sacs on either side of their anus that are supposed to empty when they poop. The fluid inside the sacs has a distinctive scent that helps “mark” their territory. When the sacs aren’t emptying properly, they get full and irritated, causing your dog's bum to itch. To relieve the itchiness, your Corgi will drag its butt along the floor.
To check this theory, take your Corgi to the vet and ask a tech to do an anal expression (it's relatively inexpensive at around $40, depending on your area). The vet tech will tell you whether or not the sacs were full. If they were full and the tech was able to empty them, your Corgi’s butt-dragging should stop. If they weren’t full, you'll need to continue to look for the culprit. Make an appointment with your vet.
- Turning around before lying down akaTrampling Behavior
The prevailing theory about why dogs spin around before lying down is that they do it to beat down the surface and ensure there aren’t snakes or bugs where they are going to lay. This behavior is ingrained in their genetics from when they were in the wild and sleeping outside. They may also do it to uncover a cooler surface.
- Tail Chasing
Tail chasing is typically seen more in puppies. It could be they’re still mastering motor skills and are curious and easily entertained. If your older Corgi occasionally chases his tail, it’s probably just for entertainment purposes as well. Your Corgi likes getting attention from you so if you give them a positive reaction such as laughing and smiling when they chase their tail, they may be doing it just for this reason.
If your Corgi frequently or aggressively chases his tail there may be an underlying problem. His tail might have fleas or be injured in some way. Alternatively, your Corgi may be exhibiting tail-chasing behavior due to boredom or separation anxiety. If your Corgi doesn’t seem to outgrow the tail-chasing phase, examine his tail for fleas, other parasites, or injury. If your Corgi frequently chases his tail for no apparent reason and is causing harm to himself in the process, consult with your veterinarian right away.