Pembroke Welsh Corgi: Breed Information and Care Guide | All Things Dogs

Pembroke Welsh Corgi: Breed Information and Care Guide | All Things Dogs

The Pembroke Welsh corgi is a lively, intelligent dog breed. Easy to train and eager to please, Pembroke Welsh corgis are ideal pets for families and children or households with pets.

Pembroke Welsh corgis are small dogs with a lot of energy to burn. These dogs reach up to 12 inches tall at the shoulder and live between 12 and 14 years. A healthy adult Pembroke Welsh corgi weighs, on average, 30 pounds.

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Corgi Quick Summary

Breed Type: Herding dog
Suitable For: Individuals, families, people with children and other pets, and anyone who has the time to take their dog for lots of walks
Size:10–12 inches
Weight: Up to 30 pounds
Grooming Needs: Groom every 4–8 weeks
Lifespan: 12–14 years
Color Variations: Fawn, red, sable, red-headed tricolor, and black-headed tricolor
Temperament: Intelligent, playful, and outgoing, protective of its owners
Daily Exercise: Exercise for an hour or more daily
Daily Food Consumption: 1–1.5 cups of dry kibble a day, with treats
Known Health Issues:Eye problems, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, retinal dysplasia

Pembroke Welsh Corgi Appearance

Pembroke Welsh Corgi in the park

Pembroke Welsh corgis are short-legged dogs with fox-like snouts and erect, triangular ears. These dogs have thick coats and shed heavily, so you will need to groom them frequently.

Pembrokes are a small breed, and come in a variety of colors, including fawn, sable, red, black-headed tricolor, and red-headed tricolor.

Pembroke Welsh corgis are one variety of Welsh corgi. The other variety of corgi, the cardigan Welsh corgi, has a similar head and body shape and a similar intelligence to the Pembroke Welsh corgi. However, the Cardigan Welsh corgi has a longer tail than the Pembroke corgi and is also heavier-boned and larger than the Pembroke.

Height and Weight

The average adult Pembroke Welsh corgi reaches up to 12 inches tall at the shoulder. It takes most corgis a year to reach their full height.

Male Pembroke corgis reach up to 30 pounds when the dogs are fully grown. Female corgis are lighter than males, weighing 28 pounds on average. After one year of age, most corgis will stop gaining weight. However, some Pembrokes will continue to fill out until they reach 2 or 3 years of age.

Because of their thick coats, corgis can become overweight without the dogs’ owners realizing it. To prevent unhealthy weight gain, use your hands to feel your corgi’s body and monitor any changes in size.

Coat

Pembroke Welsh corgis have thick, double coats. The undercoat is thicker than the longer topcoat. Corgis are continuous shedders and have at least two heavy sheds per year. The color of a Pembroke Welsh corgi’s coat can range from red to sable to black. Most corgis have white markings on their bodies too.

Fur length varies, and while some Pembroke Welsh corgis have long, fluffy coats, others have shorter neater coats. Feathering on the feet, legs, chest, and ears is common in Pembrokes.

Many Pembroke Welsh corgis have a marking on their backs that changes the direction and thickness of the coat. This marking is known as a “fairy saddle,” and gets its name from a Welsh legend, which says that fairies rode corgis and tied their harnesses in the spot where the fur’s direction changes.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi Origins

Pembroke Welsh corgis originate in Pembrokeshire, Wales. These dogs have ties to Welsh folklore, with legend saying that Pembrokes were used by fairies and elves as coaches and work cattle.

The exact origins of the Pembroke Welsh corgi are unknown, but historians believe that the dog breed descended from Swedish dogs called Vallhunds, which the Vikings brought into Wales between the 9th and 10th centuries. Other historians think that Pembrokes descended from the dogs that weavers from Belgium brought to Wales in the 12th century.

Corgi Personality and Temperament

Although Pembroke Welsh corgis were traditionally working dogs, this breed is now more commonly a family dog because of its friendly, loveable personality.

Corgis are intelligent and loving, making them good pets for homes with children and other pets. To ensure the puppies grow into well-rounded dogs, you should socialize Pembroke puppies early, exposing them to different sounds, sights, people, and experiences.

Pembroke Welsh corgis are protective of their owners and suspicious of strangers, making these dogs good watchdogs. If a corgi feels that somebody is threatening your family home, the dog will let you know by barking.

Taking Care of a Corgi Dog

Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy sitting in a forest

As long as you can provide enough daily exercise for your corgi, this dog breed is easy to care for. Being people-oriented dogs, Pembroke Welsh corgis should receive plenty of daily attention. Whether you live in the country or the city, a Pembroke corgi should adapt to your environment.

Because corgis have long backs and short legs, these dogs shouldn’t be expected to make big jumps onto (or off) couches or furniture at a similar height because jumping far could cause fractures.

Food Needs

Pembroke Welsh corgis should eat between 3/4 cups and 1.5 cups of dried kibble per day. Divide your corgi’s meals into two, with one meal at the start of the day and one meal at about 5 pm.

The exact amount of food a Pembroke corgi requires depends on the dog’s age and build. A corgi’s activity level and metabolism can also affect how much food the dog needs. A dog that exercises frequently or has a fast metabolism will need more food per day.

Excess weight is a common Pembroke Welsh corgi problem because corgis love to eat and will happily over-indulge at any opportunity. Measure your Pembroke corgi’s food portions to make sure the sizes are correct and limit treats to two or three per day as rewards for training.

Grooming Needs

Grooming Pembroke Welsh corgis is easy, but these dogs shed heavily, so you’ll need to maintain a regular brushing routine. Daily brushing is recommended during the heavier seasonal shedding periods. Bathing Pembroke Welsh corgis isn’t essential, but some people choose to bathe their dogs to reduce heavy shedding.

As well as brushing the fur, you should brush your Pembroke corgi’s teeth twice per week and trim the dog’s nails once a month or when you hear the nails clicking on the floor. During grooming, check for soreness or rashes, and check for odors or redness in their ears.

Start grooming your corgi when it’s a puppy to get your dog used to the attention. Pembroke Welsh corgis are energetic and don’t enjoy having to sit still. However, if you provide praise and rewards for good behavior during grooming, you should find grooming a corgi easy enough to do yourself.

Exercise Needs

Although Pembroke Welsh corgis have small legs, these dogs are full of energy and need to be walked for at least one hour every day. Exercise is important for a Pembroke corgi, but you don’t have to house a Pembroke in a large home because of the breed’s small size. Pembroke Welsh corgis make good apartment dogs as long as they’re given the right amount of daily exercise outside of the house.

If you have the time to take your Pembroke Welsh corgi on two walks — one in the morning and one in the evening — this will keep your dog’s exercise needs fulfilled.

Mental Needs

Corgis need social interaction and are great family dogs. A Pembroke Welsh corgi should be involved in family life inside the home and should not be kept outside as a guard dog.

Make the time to play with your corgi daily. Corgis are rough players, so you should look for toys that are tough enough to withstand lots of chewing and pulling. Chew toys are great toys for corgis, and ball launchers for playing fetch are guaranteed to go down well with this dog breed because corgis are natural herders and love to chase things.

At least 30 minutes of playtime is ideal for keeping a Pembroke Welsh corgi mentally stimulated.

Common Health Concerns

There are several health conditions that Pembroke Welsh corgis are prone to. Not all Pembrokes will get these conditions, and finding a puppy with healthy parents will reduce the potential for illness.

The most common Welsh corgi health condition is hip dysplasia. This condition is characterized by the abnormal formation of the hip socket, preventing the thigh bone from fitting properly inside the joint.

Hip dysplasia is diagnosed by X-ray screening. Sometimes, a dog with hip dysplasia will show lameness and discomfort in one or both back legs, but other dogs show no signs of pain. Treatment involves surgical hip replacements or, for less severe cases, weight control and medication.

Welsh corgis are also prone to eye conditions, including cataracts, an inheritable trait that causes a cloudy film to set over the lens of the eye, resulting in poor vision. Surgery is currently the only effective treatment for canine cataracts.

If you choose to buy a Pembroke puppy, look for a reputable breeder who can provide health clearances for the puppy’s mom and dad. Health clearances offer proof that a dog has been tested and cleared for disease, whether inherited or otherwise.

How to Train a Corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgi lying on grass

Training a Pembroke Welsh corgi is easy. Corgis are intelligent dogs that enjoy being rewarded and getting mental stimulation. However, corgis are independent and have a stubborn streak, so if your dog is particularly stubborn, you’ll find training them a challenge.

Start training a corgi from puppy age for the most success. From 12 weeks old, corgis are intelligent enough to start learning basic tasks. Before training, make sure your puppy is happy and comfortable around you.

Begin the house training process as soon as you can. Use a phrase that the puppy can associate with trips to the garden, such as ‘go potty.’ Take your puppy outside on a leash and wait for the dog to do its business. Don’t disturb your puppy or encourage playtime during this time.

Corgis are food motivated, so it works well to offer treats as rewards during training. However, corgis easily become overweight with too many treats. Limit treats to two or three per session to prevent overfeeding, or use a clicker for training instead.

It takes a while for some corgis to master important commands. Stay patient with your corgi, and don’t shout, because hostility or aggressiveness will make your dog less keen to please you.

Corgis do well in training classes, so if you think your dog could benefit from training outside of the home, look for training groups in your local area.

Corgi Price

The Pembroke Welsh corgi is an expensive breed. The demand for corgis is high, and breeders know they can easily sell these dogs. This means that breeders can sell corgis for a lot of money because there’s a lot of interest in this breed.

How Much is a Corgi?

A corgi is $900 to $1,000 or more. The price of a Pembroke Welsh corgi depends on factors such as the pedigree of its parents, and the quality of the breeder.

You’ll pay the most for a pure-breed corgi puppy. Some corgi puppies cost up to $2,000, depending on the breeder’s reputation. Adult corgis are $200–$400 cheaper than corgi puppies, depending on the age and health status of the dog.

Adopting a corgi requires an adoption fee of $50–$200, depending on the shelter. However, corgis are very rarely up for adoption, and the dogs you’ll find in shelters are usually elderly or have expensive health problems.

How Much Does it Cost to Raise a Corgi?

Raising a corgi costs $50–$150 per month on average. This includes the costs of food, grooming, and routine healthcare.

After buying a Pembroke Welsh corgi, you’ll need to factor in the cost of the initial setup for your pet. Buying food and water bowls, toys, a collar, an ID tag, a bed, and other pet supplies costs $150–$250.

Should You Get a Pembroke Welsh Corgi?

Pembroke corgis are playful, intelligent, and great pets for families with children. However, Pembroke Welsh corgis aren’t suited for every household or lifestyle.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are Suitable for:

Active families and couples that can give lots of attention to a pet are good owners for Pembroke Welsh corgis. Pembrokes are good pets for children, providing these dogs are given the right socialization training.

Because Pembroke corgis enjoy exercise, these dogs are best suited to families who have the time and enthusiasm for 1-hour-long daily walks. Corgis are better suited to homes with back gardens, but because of their small bodies, these dogs can be apartment dogs, too.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are NOT Suitable for:

Inactive people or people who don’t have the time to train, walk, and play with their pets shouldn’t own a corgi. Corgis enjoy mental and physical stimulation, so if you can’t dedicate an hour or two to walking and playing with a pet, you shouldn’t choose a Pembroke Welsh corgi.

Corgis are strong-willed and have been known to nip childrens’ heels. For this reason, you shouldn’t consider a Pembroke Welsh corgi if you have babies, toddlers, or nervous children.

Although corgis make good watchdogs, these dogs enjoy social interaction and shouldn’t be kept outside. If you’re looking for an outdoor dog, a corgi isn’t the right pet for you.

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