About Pembroke Welsh Corgis
Low-set, strong, and sturdily built, we Pembroke Welsh Corgis give an impression of substance in a small space. We are some of the most agreeable small house dogs, as well as avid competitors in many dog sports including conformation, agility, herding, and obedience. Pembrokes have a short body and straight, light-boned legs. Our ears are pointed at the tip and stand erect, and we have a docked tail. Our coat can be red, sable, fawn, black, and tan with or without white markings.
We Corgis are a breed of considerable antiquity. Our direct ancestors were brought across the Channel in 1107 by Flemish weavers at the request of King Henry I. They needed a smart herding dog for cattle and sheep that wouldn’t eat them out of house and home… and we fit the bill. Our early progenitors are said to have a resemblance to the old Schipperkes and sprang from the same family that includes the Keeshond, Pomeranian, Samoyed, Chow Chow, Norwegian Elkhound, and Finnish Spitz.
My site has some helpful links to Corgi information and resources… and a lot of fun information about us noble little dogs. We are a part of history that goes back over a thousand years, and there is a wealth of lore about us who, according to Welsh children’s tradition, have been warriors and steeds for fairies.
And if you didn’t know, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II quite fancies us.
Considering a Corgi?
The Character of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi
The secret to the character of any breed lies in the function for which they were created. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is no exception—as you might expect from a herding breed, the Corgi is sensitive, highly-intelligent, and very keyed to her people. When you look at this short, solid 25-30 pound dog bred to move tons of cattle to Welsh markets, protect the homestead and police vermin, you will see a tough, clever dog with the muscle and brains to do its job, as well as be a high companionable member of the family.
We joke that a Corgi is “a dwarf German Shepherd,” and their keen intelligence, trainability, determination, and adaptability would support that. But the Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a charm and sense of humor all their own; one joke is to convince people that they are lap dogs! Although they can be sweet as pie, a lap dog they are not, and without firm, fair training, a Corgi can take over your household, laughing the whole time.
Corgis are energetic optimists and today are found working on farms and ranches, in hospitals as therapy dogs, as hearing ear dogs, and assistance dogs for the handicapped. Some are even known to retrieve birds, but most are cherished as loyal family members. The long and short (so to speak) of it is that a Corgi is a fantastic dog for those who want a real companion, but could be a mistake for those who desire an ornament for a living room or garden. They are thoroughly capable of creating their own amusement and the lively wit is best channeled into constructive play and/or work.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is essentially a healthy breed, but there are some problems of which the future owner should be aware. Ask a breeder regarding:
- Certain hereditary disorders like hip dysplasia and eye disorders are possible but can be tested for.
- Von Willebrand’s disease (VWD) has been recognized in Corgis. The disease is an inherited bleeding disorder similar to hemophilia.
- Some Corgis are prone to urinary tract problems. Urine sediment that in more severe cases leads to stone formation can be responsible for recurrent bouts of cystitis or bladder inflammation.
- Found in many breeds, canine Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) is a very rare progressive disease of the spinal cord and ultimately the brain stem and cranial nerves which, at its end stages, results in complete paralysis and death. The closest human equivalent may be Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. This is being successfully bred out of canine lines with the help of modern DNA testing.
The Corgi’s grooming needs are minimal. A regular once or twice a week combing will usually keep a coat in top form, except in shedding seasons when a free fall of loose hair can make you wonder how all that fur can come from such a small dog! (More frequent combing, however, can keep the shedding under control.)
Nail trimming is a must for most Corgis. Ideally, nails should be trimmed once a week to keep the quick in the nail well back.
Is a Corgi Right for You?
If you are considering the purchase of a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, please consider all aspects of the decision. All breeds have their positive and negative points—please be sure that you are prepared to deal with both the good and the bad.
Corgis do shed … While it is easy to sweep or vacuum, it’s hard to brush off. So if you are bothered by dog hair, or unwilling to groom the dog and perhaps vacuum a bit more often, you may be unhappy with a Corgi. Also, if there are allergies in your family, a shedding dog may be a problem.
Corgis need exercise … They need perhaps more exercise than those short legs would suggest; daily walks and some vigorous play are necessary for her to keep her figure.
Corgis with children … Some Corgis can be marvelously patient and gentle with children, others may be too vigorous to recommend them for families with small children. Much depends on the individual temperament of the dog, the training she receives, and the lines she is bred from . . . all of which makes the selection of the right dog crucial.
Corgis are herding dogs … It must be emphasized that Corgis were bred for herding, and this herding tendency is likely to appear when a dog is playing with a child (or an adult, for that matter). When a child does a lot of running in play, a Corgi may very well try to herd and nip at the ankle. This doesn’t mean the dog has turned mean, it’s just the appearance of an innate tendency.
On the positive side … The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is generally not a destructive dog, is naturally clean, house trains very easily, and is an alert, courageous watchdog. An energetic dog, they are not prone to the perpetual motion of many other small dogs, and with proper care, exercise and training can adapt to almost any lifestyle. Corgis are wonderful, intelligent, loyal companions and excellent family dogs. They are sensitive to human moods and do their best to cheer up their gloomy human friends. Corgis are a great deal of fun for the whole family and quickly become family members.
Corgi Humor and Stories
The Truth About Pembroke Welsh Corgis, as told by a Corgi himself