Corgis: Everything you need to know about this dog breed

You don’t have to be a corgi fan to recognize these ultra-cute dogs, of course, but let’s face it; you probably love them.

With their short legs, long back and fox-like head, they are a striking, and cute, appearance. And with their friendly, lively natures, they make a lasting impression on everyone they meet.

In this extensive profile we tell you everything about these cheerful sheepdogs, so that you can make an informed decision whether a corgi is the most suitable dog breed for you.

Breed Characteristics of the Corgi

Location: Wales
Size: small
Average life expectancy: 12-13 years (Pembroke), 12-15 years (Cardigan)
Energy Level: Medium
Breed group: shepherd dogs

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In fact, two separate breeds of corgi exist: the Pembroke Welsh corgi and the Cardigan Welsh corgi. In addition, you may have heard of “cowboy” corgis. However, these are not purebred corgis but a cross between the corgi and the Australian cattle dog.

Of the two corgi varieties, the Pembroke corgi is the smallest, with slightly pointed ears and a shorter tail. The Cardigan corgi is somewhat larger and has rounder ears and a longer tail.

The coat of the Pembroke corgi can be a variety of colors, including red, sand, light brown, fawn, and black, sometimes with white markings. Cardigan corgis are allowed a little more variation, so they can also have a brindle or blue merle coat.

Regular coat care is necessary in both breeds. As with other double coat dogs, the medium length hair should be brushed weekly to remove the dead hairs from the undercoat. During the molting period, you should brush your corgi daily to keep its coat clean and healthy. Compared to other dogs, the corgi’s water- and weather-resistant outer coat is more pronounced and needs extra attention.

Another note on grooming: because of his short legs, your corgi’s belly can get wet when he or she walks through puddles, which also causes puddles of water in the house. Many corgi owners have a few towels at the front door to dry their corgi well before going inside. Pay extra attention to this in the winter, so that you prevent the coat from staying wet and causing unpleasant consequences.

Another fun fact is that these dogs are famous among corgi fans for their distinctive ‘corgi butt’, which one says looks like two round loaves of bread and the other looks like… a ripe peach? Whatever name you give it, once you’ve seen the similarities, you won’t soon forget them.

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Character of the corgi

Corgis are originally herding dogs which means they are always busy running after everything and getting everyone together in the same space. They were bred for demanding work making them feisty, adventurous and smart dogs.

If not properly raised, they can have a tendency to boss people and other dogs. Pembroke Corgis tend to have a more gentle disposition than Cardigans, who can be a little more nervous.

Their desire to oversee and control everything makes corgis excellent watchdogs and you can be sure that they will start barking when a stranger approaches. In addition, they are loyal and protective of the people they love.

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The ideal environment for corgis

Like other working dogs, Corgis are busy dogs that need lots of attention and exercise, and love to play and learn new things. Although they adapt easily to urban life due to their size, they require frequent and long walks, even if you live in an apartment.

Corgis do well as family pets when properly socialized: A well-behaved Corgi and a high-energy child are often an inseparable pair.

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The ideal owner for a corgi

The ideal owner of a corgi should have the same personality traits as his or her dog. They are not afraid to stand out, love to play, discover new things and many physical and mental challenges.

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Education and socialization

Because corgis are so intelligent, training them is a pleasure for most owners. They will quickly master the basic obedience commands and then move on to the more advanced tricks.

With intelligent dog breeds like this one, however, the knife cuts both ways: to behave well, the corgi needs sufficient mental stimulation. Learning difficult tricks and hiding things for the dog to find are good ways to keep a corgi occupied.

Because of their herding tendencies, it is good to start training your corgi at an early age learn to walk on a leash and te socialize. By ignoring negative behaviors such as barking, pushing, jumping, or chasing and rewarding positive behavior with snacks and hugs, you can teach your corgi to behave well in the house.

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Like other dog breeds, the Corgi is prone to certain conditions, including problems with their signature long back, epilepsy, eye conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy, arthritis and (less commonly) degenerative myelopathy and von Willebrand’s disease.

Compared to other dogs, they are less prone to hip dysplasia, but that doesn’t mean it never happens. Prevent back problems in your corgi by not letting him jump from too great heights and by not putting too much strain on his back when playing.

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The corgi is an ancient breed. Some experts even claim that the Pembroke Welsh corgis were imported into Wales by Flemish weavers around the 10th century. Cardigan corgis are said to have traveled with settlers from the Northern Regions.

The Pembroke Welsh corgi gets its name from Pembroke shire, the county in Wales where the breed was developed to its current standard. The Cardigan Welsh Corgis are named after the county of Cardiganshire, where they were used to herd cattle and sheep.

Fun fact: Corgis are Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite dog breed. The family started with one Pembroke Welsh corgi in 1933 and the collection has grown to more than 30 corgis and corgi crosses with Dachshunds.

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Corgis and elves?

Given their long history in cultures where many mythical stories circulate, many people in Wales believed that the corgis were the favorite dogs of elves. The elves used the dogs for the same reasons as humans, but they were also used as a kind of horse to ride on. According to some, the saddle-like drawing on a corgi’s back is a remnant of the saddles used by the elves…

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How do you get a corgi?

A corgi is easy to find, but it is important that you are well prepared. If you buy a puppy, you will spend a lot of time obedience training, socializing with other people and dogs, and learning important skills such as sleep through the night and cleanliness.

You can easily find a puppy or adult dog on the internet, but watch out for puppy factories and internet fraud. There are plenty of ways to find a reputable breeder, so ask around, visit before paying and trust your gut.

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Corgi from the shelter

Of course, you can also adopt a corgi rehome or a corgi from a shelter. Unlike a puppy, a shelter dog is often already spayed or neutered and fully vaccinated. Often he has already had an owner, so he or she knows the basic commands and is used to people and dogs.

Even if that is not the case, you can of course still raise him or her. Contact a good dog trainer for more information on how to raise a dog that isn’t very used to structure or how to treat a traumatized dog helps to feel safe and welcome.

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