The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is so named because the breed is supposed to have originated in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Corgis, though small in height, are herding dogs with big personalities and a very athletic nature.
Corgis are often described as a “big dog trapped in a small dog’s body,” and this is an accurate description. As for size, a corgi will only grow 10 to 12 inches high at the shoulder and 12 to 15 inches long. Males weigh between 25 and 30 pounds as adults, and females weigh 20 to 27 pounds. Their head and ears are foxy in shape, and tails are either naturally short or normally docked. There is a movement to not dock tails, so sometimes, Pembrokes will not have docked tails.
Pembroke Welsh Corgis come in a variety of coat colors, including red and white, sable, fawn, and tri-color. The dogs have varying markings of white on legs, chest, collar, muzzle and forehead. The breed standard considers a short length coat as standard, although there are “fluffy” corgis with long hair. This is considered a flaw, and fluffies are not eligible for showing, but they are perfectly acceptable as pets, and are often quite adorable. Pembroke Welsh Corgis do shed a lot, however. They have a soft undercoat which sheds all year round and has twice-annual seasonal shedding that can be annoying. They also have a coarser overcoat, which also sheds.
Because corgis are prone to back problems due to the length of their spine and the fact that they are voracious eaters, it is important to make sure not to overfeed a corgi and allow it to maintain and active lifestyle. The dog should be lean, with definition in the body and haunches. You should be able to feel the ribs under the fur, but there should be a layer of muscle or fat above the ribs. If you cannot feel the dog’s ribs, it is likely overweight.
Corgis are also prone to genetic hip dysplasia and various eye disorders. Life expectancy for Pembroke Welsh Corgis is 12 to 14 years old if a corgi maintains a healthy lifestyle.
Positives to Owning a Pembroke Welsh Corgi
- Corgis are very intelligent and easy to train, so they make excellent working dogs and learn lots of tricks and activities. You will likely be able to teach your dog tricks like play dead, roll over, and teach it to fetch a ball.
- Corgis are cheerful, happy, and eager to please their owners. They often like people and will likely be friendly to those they know.
- They are compact and do well in apartments, although they do require regular exercise.
- They make excellent alert dogs, because they can be protective of their owners.
- They are too short to jump onto high furniture, like beds.
- They excel in agility, tracking, herding, and obedience exercises.
- They get along with other dogs if socialized early.
- Very loyal and loving, and cute to boot!
Negatives to Owning a Pembroke Welsh Corgi
- They do shed a lot, and often, their coats are many different colors, so all of those colors end up on clothing.
- They can be stubborn and sassy, especially the females of the breed. They need to have strong leadership.
- Sometimes their protective nature can result in barking at neighbors or at the door. Training will be required to keep them in check.
- They are intelligent, so they need activities and exercise, or they will become bored and destructive.
- They will bug you to play constantly.
- You will not be satisfied with just one. Just ask the Queen Elizabeth II, who owns a minimum of 5 corgis at any given time.
If you are considering adopting a corgi, please be sure to adopt from a reputable breeder or a Corgi Rescue. Please do not support puppy mills!