Breeds

Pembroke Welsh Corgi Breed Information Guide: Photos, Traits, & Care

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

June 20, 2019

Pembroke Welsh Corgis (related to another breed, Cardigan Welsh Corgis) were bred to be herding dogs, but today are many people’s favorite pet! Corgis are outgoing, fun-loving dogs that have the energy one would expect from a working dog.

With their smiley faces and funny-shaped bodies, they are photogenic dogs who have stolen many people’s hearts. They’re known for their fluffy backsides, which sometimes make their fluffy bodies look like loaves of bread when they’re lying down. Overall, they are an adorable breed who can also become a loyal family member.

Breed Overview

  • Height: 10–12 inches
  • Weight: 23–30 lbs
  • Lifespan: 12–15 years
  • Breed Size: Small
  • Colors: Fawn, black & tan, sable, black & white, red
  • Good With: Kids, other dogs
  • Temperament: Happy, energetic, stubborn

Also Known As…

Corgi. Pembroke. PWC. The Queen’s Dogs. Floof. Bread loaf. “Wait a second. Corgis aren’t, like, a mythical creature?” “Nah, man, I petted one yesterday.”

What Is The History Of The Corgi?

Pembroke Welsh Corgis probably originated about 1,000 years ago in Wales. They are thought to derive from spitz-type dogs that came to Great Britain with the Vikings or from Flemish weavers who brought the dogs with them on their travels to Wales. Either way, they are related to Swedish Vallhunds and Norwegian Lundehunds.

The Corgi Club was founded in 1925 in Wales to cover both the Pembrokes and Cardigans. It was in 1928 that they were recognized by the Kennel Club and then 1934 when they were recognized as separate breeds that were distinct from each other. The fame of this breed started growing when King George VI gave a Pembroke Puppy to his daughters. Today, Queen Elizabeth II still owns Corgis.

How Big Do Corgis Get?

Height: 10-12 inches tall

Pembroke Welsh Corgis stand between 10 to 12 inches tall on average.

Weight: 23-30 pounds

Weight:  25 to 30 pounds. A male Corgi can be up to 30 pounds, while a female Corgi usually maxes out at 28 pounds.

How Long Do Corgis (Generally) Live?

On average, Corgis live between 12 and 15 years. ​​There’s no exact way to tell the lifespan of each Corgi. While their average lifespan is 12–15 years, this can differ according to the individual dog’s health, genetic makeup, and quality of life. Small dogs have a reputation for living long lives, but there are exceptions to every breed.

What Is A Corgi’s Temperament & Personality Like?

Corgis have a personality fit for the Queen because of their happy, energetic temperament. They want to be a part of family life and will always be happy when you are around. Despite their innocent smile, they may get into trouble if left alone for long periods or if they are too bored. With lots of energy and intelligence, boredom can be common, so providing your Corgi with fun games to play and time with you outside can prevent these issues.

They’re intelligent dogs that can be stubborn at times, making independent decisions that may not always be what you want. Take this as an exciting part of their personality! Embrace this typical corgi personality trait as something fun and interesting! Despite this stubbornness, they are still excited to work on training with you, so the spunky personality can also be kept under control.

Are Corgis Good With Kids? Dogs? Cats?

Playful Corgis usually love to be around children. However, their herding instincts may lead them to herd or nip at little kids. Because of this, it’s important to socialize Corgis at a young age.

With proper training, Corgis can be a great playmate for children. Kids should also be taught how to play with their fluffy friend in a nice, respectful way. Corgis have long backs, so it’s important kids are gentle with their bodies.

Corgis love being around people and will be a loyal pet, making them a great addition to a family.

Corgis usually get along well with other dogs that they have been socialized with, but there’s a chance that they become aggressive with other dogs that they’ve never met before. They may become territorial with unknown dogs.

Despite the potential for aggression with strange dogs, most Corgis are happy with human strangers. Of course this depends on socialization in early life.

Corgis have the potential to get along with cats, but it depends greatly on the individual personality of both the Corgi and the cat. Because of a Corgi’s herding instinct, they may have a tendency to chase the cat, which many felines will not be happy with. A non-aggressive Corgi and a playful cat can make a great pair of friends, as long as they are both socialized properly.

Are Corgis High Energy?

Corgis have high energy because they were bred to herd cattle and livestock. They need ample physical activity to stay happy! Their high energy is also seen in their outgoing personality, so they love to participate in outdoor activities with their families. Their short legs don’t allow them to run very quickly, but they will enjoy going on long walks.

Because of their combination of high energy and intelligence, many Corgis also enjoy dog sports such as agility, obedience, tracking, and herding.

Are Corgis Hard To Train?

Corgis are very intelligent and will succeed in training with the right support. Consistency is key for your Corgi to learn what you want them to learn! They can be sensitive, so using positive reinforcement to encourage positive behaviors will keep your Corgi happy during the training process. They will enjoy the time spent with you when they are going through training and it can make the dog-human relationship a happier one.

Since Corgis come from a working dog background, they are naturally extremely attentive. This high level of alertness usually translates to excessive barking, which can become tiresome after a while. Adequate training is required to keep the unnecessary barks to a minimum. This may be tricky at first, but once you establish yourself as the leader, your Corgi will be more than happy to learn new behaviors!

Best Training Techniques For Corgis

Corgis can be pushy about getting what they want, so being firm and unwavering in your training will help create standards so your Corgi isn’t confused. Corgis have a good work ethic and will love to participate in dog sports and activities, so use these tendencies to your advantage when trying to train them. They can find training exciting, but may become bored in long training sessions, so keep them short and sweet for the maximum gain. With a supportive environment and plenty of positive reinforcement your smart pup will be learning tricks and positive behaviors in no time.

Ideal Environment For Pembroke Welsh Corgis

Though Corgis may look small and cute, they are also very energetic and need to be somewhere where they can get the proper exercise. As long as they are regularly walked and taken outside, there are many places where a Corgi can live. Other than that, they don’t have many environmental constraints and will be happy wherever their family is. Their coats allow them to live in various climates.

Do Corgis Have Any Health Issues?

Pet health is obviously very important, so it is imperative you know what to watch for. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are typically a healthy dog breed, but they should be checked out for some common health conditions. These include hip dysplasia, eye disorders, and cardiac disorders.

Corgis’ long backs make them prone to intervertebral disc disorder (IVDD) which affects spinal discs. Because of this, it is also important to watch out for your Corgi becoming obese.

Besides the health risks associated with obesity in most dogs, it can also cause strain on Corgis’ long backs, so it is extra important to keep them at a healthy weight. The national breed club recommends hip evaluations and ophthalmologist evaluations in order to ensure the health of your Corgi.

Do Corgis Need To Be Groomed?

Corgis have beautiful coats that come in multiple different colors. They have moderate grooming needs and they shed regularly. Their thick coat has two layers: the inner coat is soft and light and the outer coat is coarse. This makes them a perfect weatherproof dog. They shed daily, but shedding increases in late spring and early summer.

Because of their shedding, they need regular brushing to help remove the excess hair. Nail trimming and ear cleaning should also be regular parts of the Corgi grooming process.

Corgi Quirks

This happy breed has become a royal symbol of the United Kingdom. Queen Elizabeth II has had more than 30 Pembroke Welsh Corgis since becoming the Queen. Because of this and their Welsh origins, you may immediately think of the United Kingdom when you see these dogs.

How Much Does It Cost To Care For A Corgi?

Exact cost is difficult to determine, but at a minimum, expect to spend around $800+ per year.

Routine Vet Care (Healthy Dog)

Take into account the cost of maintaining proper vet care as well. The average veterinary appointment will run you at least $50 each visit, not accounting for treatment (vaccines ($20–30/dose, heartworm tests (~$45), etc.) Vets typically recommend a yearly wellness visit, and that doesn’t include treatment that may pop up for issues along the way, like x-rays, antibiotics, or surgeries.

Dog Food

Like with all dogs, Corgis should be fed high-quality dog food that is age-appropriate (e.g. puppy, adult, senior). Expect a quality bag of food to cost around $40–$80+ per bag every month or so depending on how much they eat.

Preventative Medications For Corgis

Monthly heartworm, flea, and tick medications typically cost several hundred dollars for a year’s worth of doses depending on your pup’s weight.

Toys Corgis Would Like Best

Corgis love to chase things, so balls and other Fetch Toys are a great way to keep your Corgi busy. Tug Toys should also be a staple in your Corgi’s toy box. They’ll appreciate the chance to get some of their energy out and will also be happy about the bonding experience with you!

Any Puzzle Toy that’s a treat-dispenser will also be a big hit with your Corgi. They’ll love the ability to complete a task and figure out how to get to the food and the yummy treat at the end will be a great reward for their hard work.

For a more extensive list, check out the following post: What Are The Best Toys For Corgis?

Corgi Grooming Costs

Grooming costs for a Corgi are on the lower end if you choose to groom yourself. You’ll need a dog-friendly shampoo for bathtime, a brush designed for their coat, tooth-brushing supplies, toenail clippers, and an ear-cleaning solution with cotton balls, at minimum. If you choose to have a groomer take care of these tasks, a single session may cost around $40–$90. This will vary depending on location, services, and size of the dog.

Other normal costs associated with caring for a Corgi include:

  • Dog walker (~15–$25/visit)
  • Daycare/boarding (~$25 min for one day of daycare)
  • Training classes (~$200+)
  • Supplements, like hip & joint or skin & coat ($25+/month)
  • Unexpected costs, like emergency care (~$500–1000+)

Recommended Products for Corgis

Corgis have long backs and short legs, so jumping on or off of furniture can be risky for their bodies. A ramp to help them get on and off furniture can help make their lives a little bit easier. Additionally, a nice plush bed is a great way to make sure they’re comfortable after a long day of playing.

Orthopedic Ultra Plush Memory Foam Bed

This dog bed is great for supporting your pup’s tired body. A high quality combination of ergonomic memory foam and gel foam helps ease body aches, joint pain, hip dysplasia and arthritis. This bed offers the best therapeutic support for your hardworking pal. ($27.99-64.99.)

Notable Rescues to Find the Corgi of Your Dreams

Tofu the Corgi is a happy pup in sunny California.

BarkBox Poo York City Best Subscription Dog Box

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Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

June 20, 2019