Pembroke Welsh Corgi

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Get the facts on the energetic Pembroke Welsh Corgi and learn about their traits  in our complete guide.

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
12 to 13 years
Size:

Small

Maintenance Level:

High

Shed Level:

High

Temperament:
EnergeticIntelligentSocial Butterfly
Coat Color:
Black And TanFawnRedSable

Best For

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are best for active pup parents and families who are able to meet the dog's activity needs. They can do well with kids and other pets as long as they're properly socialized. And with their compact size, they can thrive in an apartment.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi Traits

What makes the Pembroke Welsh Corgi a Pembroke Welsh Corgi? Let's find out how they stack up.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi Temperament

The happy-go-lucky Pembroke Welsh Corgi loves life. This breed makes the most of every moment, whether they’re capturing the attention of everyone at the park or bonding with their family at home. The Corgi is independent, bold and adventurous—they want to go out and explore the world—but they won’t explore too far without their favorite person. (Hint: That’s you.)

Social interactions and training are important to curb their herding instincts. They’ll often nip the heels or feet of those who move too quickly around them, especially young children or other pets. This means they will explore new things with their mouth (often by biting or chewing), which can be particularly painful when it comes to those puppy teeth, and can also be off-putting to other dogs as they get older. In general, though, they enjoy playdates with other dogs, especially those who can match their energy level.

Corgis aren’t known for being aggressive or biting. Still, they pack the personality of a big dog into their little bodies, including a stubborn streak. That’s another reason why early socialization and training are so important.

These short stacks can make excellent family members—as long as they get regular exercise to burn off their generous supply of energy. While Corgis love to play with toys, they really need a daily long walk. Some Pembroke Welsh Corgis may enjoy a slow jog, but their short legs make it too difficult for them to keep up with a bicycle or someone running very fast. (They are not known to be very speedy.)

How to Care for a Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Raising a Pembroke Welsh Corgi is rewarding but takes some effort. Corgis are very intelligent and high-energy, so your dog will need a good amount of training. Thankfully, grooming them isn’t especially complicated or time-consuming. These small dogs seem to have fun no matter what they’re doing, as long as they’re with their person, so you’ll likely find yourself looking forward to the tasks involved in caring for them.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi Health

Pembroke Welsh Corgis have a life expectancy of 12 to 13 years, and the breed is prone to several health issues. Knowing what these health problems are and purchasing your pup from a reputable breeder can help ensure your dog lives a long and happy life. If you’re adopting a dog, be sure to get a copy of the vet wellness exam.

  • Elbow and Hip Dysplasia: Dysplasia is more common in larger breeds but can occur in any dog. Canine elbow dysplasia occurs when the elbow doesn’t develop properly and eventually causes pain, lameness and eventually arthritis. Hip dysplasia is when the ball and socket of the joint don’t fit together properly, and the joint grinds, which eventually wears the joint down. Treatment may include anti-inflammatory medication or even surgery.
  • Cataracts: Corgis often develop cataracts, which is when their eyes become cloudy and may eventually lead to blindness. Many dogs adjust to vision loss, but surgery is sometimes an option.
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus: Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) is the condition where the small vessel that carries blood between two parts of the heart does not close shortly after birth. Vets listen for a specific heart murmur, and surgery is often required to close the blood vessel.
  • Degenerative Myelopathy: Because of their long bodies, Pembroke Welsh Corgis are highly susceptible to degenerative myelopathy, which is a chronic, progressive and often fatal disease of the spinal cord. Unfortunately, there is no treatment, and it can cause paralysis in all four legs.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease: This blood clotting disorder can be identified with a blood test and is important to check for before your Pembroke Welsh Corgi undergoes surgery. There is no cure for it, but it can be managed with activity modification to prevent injury.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi History

The origin of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi dates back to the medieval period, when the kings of Europe showed off their luxurious carpets, textiles and tapestries to demonstrate their wealth. At the time, Flemish weavers were considered the most skilled, and kings often encouraged the weavers to relocate to their kingdoms. In 1107, Henry I of Britain invited a few Flemish weavers to move to southwestern Wales, and the weavers brought the dogs they bred to herd cattle and sheep with them. Those dogs became what we now know as Pembroke Welsh Corgis.

Best known as Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite breed, Pembroke Welsh Corgis have risen in popularity as a pet in the United States in recent years and are more popular than their cousin, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. (Originally considered one breed with two types, the two have been separate breeds since the 1800s.) The American Kennel Club recognized the Pembroke Welsh Corgi in 1934, and the breed is No. 13 on the list of most popular breeds in the AKC.

Are you looking to add a Pembroke Welsh Corgi to your life? You can find a list of reputable breeders on the AKC’s website. Depending on the breeder, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi price averages $1,000 to $2,000. For that, you usually get a puppy who’s been screened for health and temperament issues and may come with pedigree papers. If you’re looking to adopt, contact a Corgi rescue group or look out for the breed at your local animal shelter.

FAQs

Do Corgis shed?

Yes, Corgis shed year-round, but their shedding is heavier in the late spring/early summer.

What is the difference between a Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgi?

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi are two different breeds. While they look similar, Cardigan Welsh Corgis ears are larger and rounder, they have a long tail and are slightly larger overall. They also come in more coat colors. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are usually more social and outgoing and don’t have a tail.

Are Corgis good with kids and cats?

Corgis can be good with kids and cats when properly trained. Corgis have natural herding instincts; they tend to nip at the heels of kids and might chase cats. They can be trained not to herd and chase, but it’s best when the dog grows up with kids or cats.

Are Corgis smart?

Corgis are very smart. They’re quick learners and easy to train, but they’re sometimes too smart for their own good and can get into trouble. Remember, a tired Corgi is a well-behaved Corgi!

What are the most popular Corgi names?

The most popular Corgi names are Luna, Lucy, Charlie, Bella, Cooper, Daisy, Winston, Stella, Piper and Lola. Get more dog names here.

What are the most common Corgi mixes?

The most common Corgi mixes are:

  • Corgi-Husky mix (Horgi or Siborgi)
  • Corgi-German Shepherd mix (Corman Shepherd)
  • Corgi-Chihuahua mix (Chigi)
  • Corgi-Golden Retriever mix (Golden Corgi or Corgi Retriever)
  • Corgi-Dachshund mix (Dorgi)
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Top Takeaways

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a lot of personality packed into a small body. Corgis absolutely love life and are loyal to their families, making for a vigilant watchdog at times. This intelligent breed is easy to train and loves having a job to do, whether that’s a herding class or solving a puzzle toy.

Expert input provided by Dr. Mandy Boos, a veterinarian at Laurel Veterinary Clinic in Broomfield, Colo., Mindy Jarvis, ABC-CPDT, CGC evaluator, and owner of Noble Beast Dog Training in Denver, Colo.

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