Introduction To Dog Breeds – Corgis

Introduction To Dog Breeds – Corgis

Are  you looking for a medium-sized canine that is full of energy and affection? Then a Corgi could be exactly what you need! Both Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgis make excellent family pets!

History Of Corgis

history of corgis

Cardigan Welsh Corgis

Cardigan Welsh Corgis were first bred in Cardiganshire Wales over 3,000 years ago, making them the eldest of the two breeds of Welsh Corgis. They were originally bred to herd cattle as their short stature gave them the ability to nip at the heels of the herd without being kicked or injured. 

Cardigan Welsh Corgis were brought then brought to Great Britain in the 1800s where they were worked on tenant farms. They soon became adored by both farmers and British royalty alike. Many royal families have adopted and bred Corgis.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis

Like Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Pembroke Corgis were best bred in Wales, although they were native to Pembrokeshire Wales. They are also used to herd farm animals, mainly horses. As well, they were known for being hunting dogs and similar to Cardigan Corgis, they were well-loved by royalty.

Until the 1800s, Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgis were interbred. It wasn’t until the 1920s that they were officially recognized as two separate breeds by the UK Kennel Club and 1935 by the American Kennel Club. To this day, they are among the top 50 most popular dog breeds.


cardigan welsh corgi

Cardigan Welsh Corgis

Cardigan Welsh Corgis are typically 26.6cm to 31.75cm (10 ½ to 12 ½ inches) in height.

Males generally weigh thirty to 17.2kg (38 lbs) while females weigh in around 12.7kg to 15.4kg (25 to 34 lbs).

Their small, long bodies are similar to that of a box, including the shape of their face and their long, bushy tail. They have rounded ears while Pembroke have pointed ears.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is typically 25.4 to 30.4cm (10-12 inches) in height and weighs in between 12.7kg to 13.6kg (28-30 lbs).

With coats can be black and tan, fawn, sable and red with white markings. Their heads are fox -like with firm ears that form a tapered point, and they usually have a bobbed tail. 

Corgi Temperament

corgis temerament

Cardigan Welsh Corgis

Cardigan Welsh Corgis tend to adapt well to most situations. Early socializing is the key to training. They get along well with children and other animals if they are socialized properly. In fact, this playful breed will do well with a buddy if you have a cat or another dog to keep them company. 

Early socialization will help ease their general apprehension to strangers. While they are extremely loyal to their family, they may tense up around newcomers. However, with proper socialization and introduction, they can warm up to almost anyone. 

Pembroke Welsh Corgis

It is best to socialize your Pembroke Welsh Corgi at an early age and expose them to an array of places and people during the first 4 months of their lives. They are extremely intelligent, so they will respond well to training, especially reward based training programs. 

Pembrokes Welsh Corgis were originally working dogs, and many still are. However, today they are an extremely popular family pet. They can be a bit stubborn at times but are extremely loving and always happy. They tend to be suspicious and cautious around strangers, which is why early socialization is the key.

Pembroke Corgis are happiest when they are the center of attention. They love to feel like they are a part of the family so you should not adopt this breed unless you have lots of time to devote to your Pembroke Corgi. They also love to be assigned “jobs” and enjoy playing fetch and going on adventures.

Health and Lifespan

corgis lifespan

Cardigan Welsh Corgis

Cardigan Welsh Corgis have a estimated life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. Overall, they are a healthy breed, although, like any animal, they may develop certain illness during their lifetime. As with any pet, it is best to keep them up-to-date on their vaccinations and make sure they see the vet regularly. When adopting, always be sure to adopt for a reputable Corgi breeder.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis

Pembrokes Welsh Corgis have an average life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.  They are generally a healthy breed but can be prone to certain health issues, like any breed. Regular vet care and vaccinations can mitigate or prevent most health issues. However, like any breed of animal, or human, Pembroke Welsh Corgis can suddenly develop illnesses during their lifespan. If you are buying your Corgi from a breeder, make sure they are a reputable breeder and that the Pembroke has passed their health clearance for genetically inherited diseases.

Following are some health conditions that are common with both Cardigan Welsh Corgis and Pembroke Welsh Corgis:

  • Cataracts
  • Cutaneous Asthenia
  • Cystinuria
  • Degenerative Myelopathy (DM):
  • Epilepsy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Intervertebral Disk Disease
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) with Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Retinal Dysplasia
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease

Grooming your Corgis

grooming for corgis

Cardigan Welsh Corgis

It is advisable to trim the hair on the bottom of your Cardigan Welsh Corgis feet as this will keep them from tracking excessive amounts of dirt into your home. Trim their nails regularly and clean their ears and teeth as well. It is best to brush them at least once a week to keep their coats healthy and prevent shedding.

As well, they should not be exposed to long periods of heat or humidity during the summer due to their thick coat, this is especially true with black-haired Cardigan Welsh Corgis. Do not leave them outdoors for extended periods of time in hotter temperatures. Their coats come clean easily with a good brushing, so they rarely need to be bathed. Trim their nails when needed brush their teeth to promote good dental hygiene. 

Pembroke Welsh Corgis

Pembroke Welsh Corgis have a soft undercoat that is lighter than their coarse outer-coat. They tend to shed year round, but more so in the early summer and late spring months. You should both brush and comb them daily to help with shedding. Trim their nails regularly, clean their ears as needed and brush their teeth several times a week to ensure good dental hygiene.

Since they spend a lot of time playing, their coats tend to get dirty quickly. You may bathe your Pembroke weekly if needed using a gentle dog shampoo. 

Care and Nutrition

corgi care and nutrition

Cardigan Welsh Corgis

Due to their small stature, Cardigan Welsh Corgis are prone to noticeable weight gain. To keep your Cardigan Corgi at a healthy weight, feed them according to their age and recommended weight. Do not overfeed them and space their meals to twice a day to prevent overeating. Make sure they get enough exercise every day to ensure a happy and healthy life.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi require a decent amount of attention and entertainment. They do not like to be left alone for long periods of time. While they love to cuddle up next to you while you are watching television, they also enjoy lots of playtime and attention. They will do well in apartments as long as they ample outside time, such as a long walk or a romp at the local dog park.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis

Originally bred to herd livestock, Pembroke Welsh Corgis thrive on physical activity. They will do well with daily exercise and especially enjoy long walks. However, due to their short legs, they do not enjoy running alongside their owners while cycling. They will do well with both obedience and agility training and enjoy activities such as tracking and herding.

Pembrokes Welsh Corgis will adapt well to apartment life given they are provided with regular exercise. Try discouraging your Corgis from jumping up on the couch or other heights due to their long backs and short legs to prevent injury.

Pembrokes have a tendency to overeat so it is imperative that you monitor their food intake and do not overfeed them. They should typically be fed a dry food diet of ¾ to 1 ½ cups, depending on their size and age, divided into two meals. Occasion treats are permissible, but do not go overboard as you want your Pembroke to maintain a healthy weight. 

Where to Find Corgis?

getting a corgi

You might want to consider getting your Corgi from a reputable breeder. Always research a breeder before buying any breed of dog to ensure that their breeding conditions are up to standard. Of course, adopting your Cardigan Welsh or Pembroke Welsh Corgi from your local animal shelter would always be a better choice if you want to save a life.

Fun Facts about Corgis

corgi fun facts
  1. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are known for their legendary tales in Wales and are believed to have been “enchanted” by elves and fairies to pull their carriages. 
  2. Queen Elizabeth has owned over 30 Corgis in her life.
  3. There are videos that show Corgis running from zucchini and pumpkins that have gone viral on YouTube.
  4. Their guttural growl sounds like Chewbacca from Star Wars, even though they look more like soft and lovable Ewoks.
  5. The name “Corgi” is derived from the Welsh term for “dwarf dog.”
  6. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are often born without a tail. Otherwise, they will have a bobtail. The presence of a mutation is the cause for this phenomenon. This is typically the easiest way to distinguish between a Cardigan Welsh Corgi and a Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

Is the Corgi the right dog Breed for me?

Have we sold you on this adorable breed? Whether you adopt a Cardigan Welsh Corgi or a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, you will fall in love with this affectionate, playful and loyal breed!