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Corgi: Everything You Need to Know About Pembroke Welsh Corgi



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Corgis are one of the most charming and recognizable dog breeds, celebrated for their short legs, expressive faces, and spirited personalities. These small herding dogs from Wales have won the hearts of dog lovers worldwide, including royalty.


But what makes Corgis so special? Is it their unique appearance, their boundless energy, or their loyal nature? In this comprehensive guide, we'll uncover the fascinating history of Pembroke Welsh Corgis and Cardigan Welsh Corgis, delve into their distinctive features, and provide essential care tips to help you keep your Corgi happy and healthy.


Whether you're curious about Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppies or want to learn more about the differences between the Corgi breeds, we've got you covered. Ready to discover more about these adorable companions and why they’re favored by the American Kennel Club?


Origin and History of Corgi

Origin and History of Corgi


The history of the Welsh Corgi is rich and fascinating, encompassing two main breeds: the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. These breeds have roots in Wales, where they were bred to herd cattle and sheep, showcasing their agility and intelligence.


Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The origins of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi date back to at least AD 1107. These dogs were brought to Pembrokeshire, Wales, by Flemish weavers, where they were utilized as herding dogs. Over time, their herding skills and endearing appearance gained them popularity.


The breed's modern prominence was significantly boosted by Queen Elizabeth II, who has been a well-known enthusiast of Pembroke Welsh Corgis. Her lifelong association with the breed has brought global recognition and affection towards these charming dogs.


The Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club has been instrumental in maintaining the breed's standards and popularity. The American Kennel Club officially recognized Pembroke Welsh Corgis in 1934, which further solidified their status as one of the most beloved dog breeds.


Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Cardigan Welsh Corgis are an ancient breed believed to have been in existence in Wales for over a thousand years. They originated in Cardiganshire and were brought to Wales by Celtic tribes. Cardigans are known for their robust build and slightly longer body compared to their Pembroke cousins.


They also feature distinctive rounded ears and bushy tails. Despite being less popular than Pembrokes, Cardigan Welsh Corgis have a dedicated following and are celebrated for their hardworking nature and loyal temperament.


Today, both Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgis are adored for their intelligence, agility, and distinctive appearance, continuing to win the hearts of dog lovers around the world.

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Physical Characteristics of Corgi

Physical Characteristics of Corgi


Corgis are a distinct breed known for their short legs, sturdy build, and expressive faces. They have a double coat, with a coarse outer coat and a soft undercoat, which helps them adapt to cold weather. Both Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgis share these traits, but there are some differences.


Distinctive Features

Corgis have a fox-like appearance, with a robust body and a confident stance. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is known for its pointed ears, while the Cardigan Welsh Corgi has rounded ears. Pembrokes often have white markings on their face, chest, and legs. Additionally, Corgis are famous for their fluffy butts, which add to their charming and adorable appearance.


Size, Weight, and Build

Corgis are small but muscular dogs. The average Pembroke Welsh Corgi stands about 10-12 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs between 25-30 pounds. Cardigans are slightly larger, with males weighing up to 38 pounds. Despite their small size, they are sturdy dogs built for herding.


Coat Types and Colors

Corgis have a variety of coat colors, including red, sable, fawn, black, and tan, often with white markings. Their double coat requires frequent grooming to manage loose hair and dead hair, especially during shedding seasons. Regular brushing helps maintain their coat and reduces excessive barking due to discomfort.


Temperament and Personality of Corgi

Temperament and Personality of Corgi


Corgis are renowned for their lively and affectionate nature, making them great family pets. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi personality is marked by its friendly and outgoing demeanor. These dogs are highly intelligent, which means they need plenty of mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. Their herding instincts make them vigilant and sometimes a bit bossy, but this also contributes to their loyalty and protective nature.


Pembroke Welsh Corgis are sensitive dogs, often forming strong bonds with their pet owners. They thrive on interaction and can be quite vocal, using their barking to communicate. To ensure a well-socialized dog, early training and exposure to various environments are crucial. This not only helps curb any excessive barking but also ensures they grow up to be well-adjusted and adaptable pets.


Despite their small stature, Corgis are sturdy dogs, full of energy and enthusiasm. They can get along well with other pets, especially when raised together from a young age. However, responsible breeders will always emphasize the importance of early socialization to nurture their natural friendliness.


Overall, Pembroke Welsh Corgis make for great family pets due to their affectionate nature, intelligence, and adaptability. Their loyalty and cheerful personality endear them to most dog lovers and make them a popular choice among pet owners.


Living with a Corgi

Living with a Corgi can be a delightful experience, as they are known for their spirited and affectionate nature. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi temperament is marked by its friendly and outgoing demeanor, making them great family pets. Their herding instincts mean they are vigilant and sometimes bossy, but this also contributes to their loyalty and protective nature.


Ideal Living Conditions

Corgis are adaptable and can thrive in various living environments, from apartments to houses with yards. However, they need regular exercise to manage their high energy levels. Daily walks and play sessions are essential to keep them fit and happy.


Exercise Needs and Activity Levels

Corgis are high-energy breeds that require ample physical activity. They enjoy activities that challenge both their body and mind, such as agility training, fetch, and herding exercises. Mental stimulation is crucial to prevent boredom and related behavioral issues.


Grooming Requirements for That Luxurious Coat

Corgis have a double coat that sheds year-round, with more intense shedding periods in the spring and fall. Regular brushing helps manage loose hair and keeps their coat healthy. They are relatively low-maintenance but do benefit from occasional baths, nail trims, and ear cleaning.


By providing a balanced routine of exercise, mental stimulation, and grooming, pet owners can ensure their Corgis remain well-socialized dogs and great family pets. Responsible breeders emphasize the importance of these routines to maintain the overall well-being of these sturdy dogs.

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Corgi Health

Corgis are generally robust and healthy, but like all breeds, they are prone to certain health issues. Understanding these potential problems can help pet owners take proactive steps to maintain their Corgi’s well-being.


Common Health Issues

  1. Hip Dysplasia: Corgis are among the top 15 breeds affected by hip dysplasia, with around 17% of Pembroke Corgis impacted in the US. This genetic condition affects the hip joints, leading to pain and mobility issues. Regular vet check-ups and maintaining a healthy weight can help manage this condition.
  2. Elbow Dysplasia: Similar to hip dysplasia, this affects the elbow joints, causing discomfort and potential lameness.
  3. Degenerative Myelopathy: This is a progressive disease of the spinal cord, leading to loss of coordination and eventually paralysis. While there is no cure, supportive care can improve the quality of life.
  4. Von Willebrand's Disease: A blood clotting disorder that can lead to excessive bleeding. Regular screening and careful management are essential.
  5. Obesity: Given their love for food, these little gluttons can easily become overweight. Monitoring their diet and ensuring regular exercise is crucial.


Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy of a Corgi is around 12-15 years. Factors such as genetics, diet, exercise, and regular veterinary care play significant roles in their lifespan. Queen Elizabeth II's Corgis have highlighted the importance of responsible breeding and dedicated care for extending the life expectancy of these beloved pets.


Maintaining Corgi health involves regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and an active lifestyle. Responsible breeders focus on health screenings to minimize genetic issues, ensuring healthier puppies. By staying informed about common health issues and taking preventive measures, pet owners can help their Corgis lead long, healthy lives.


Corgi Diet and Nutrition

A balanced diet is crucial for maintaining Corgi health. Providing high-quality dog food tailored to their specific needs is essential for their well-being.


Best Foods for Corgis

Corgis, like other herding dogs, require a diet rich in protein to support their active lifestyle. High-quality dog food that lists meat as the first ingredient is ideal. Additionally, ensure the food contains essential vitamins and minerals to support overall dog health.


Feeding Schedule and Portion Control

Establishing a consistent feeding schedule helps manage your Corgi's weight. Strictly control what they should eat; this is key to maintaining a healthy weight. Your vet will tell you the same.


  • Puppies: Including Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppies, need more frequent meals compared to adult dogs.
  • Adults: As your Corgi ages, adjust portion sizes to match their activity level and metabolism.


Overfeeding can lead to obesity, which exacerbates health issues like hip dysplasia.


Special Dietary Considerations

Corgis are prone to weight gain, so monitoring their calorie intake is crucial. Avoid feeding them table scraps and focus on providing a balanced diet. For those interested in the cowboy Corgi, the same breed guidelines apply, as both Corgi breeds have similar nutritional needs.


Managing Weight of Corgi

Managing a Corgi's weight is crucial for their overall health and well-being, given their predisposition to obesity and related health issues such as joint problems and diabetes. To maintain an optimal weight, it is important to provide a balanced diet tailored to their specific needs, typically involving high-quality, portion-controlled meals that are rich in protein and low in unhealthy fats and fillers.


  • Homemade Meals: Consult a veterinary nutritionist if you want to prepare homemade meals or do raw feeding for your Corgis. Cooking for your pup is the best, but it needs to be done with the right experts.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise, such as daily walks and playtime, is essential to keep them active and burn excess calories.
  • Monitoring: Monitoring their weight through regular vet check-ups and adjusting their diet and activity levels accordingly can help prevent obesity and ensure a long, healthy life for your Corgi.


By providing high-quality dog food and maintaining proper portion control, pet owners can support their Corgi's health and ensure they maintain their playful, energetic nature. Watching out for the infamous Corgi butt wiggling with joy is a sign of a well-fed and happy pet!


Joint Health for Corgis

Joint Health for Corgis


Maintaining healthy joints in Corgis is essential due to their unique body structure and predisposition to joint issues like hip dysplasia and arthritis. Joint supplements can play a pivotal role in supporting their mobility and overall well-being.


Recommended Supplements

  • Jope's Hip & Joint Dog Chews: These high-quality chews are formulated with UC-II® collagen, which is shown to be more effective than glucosamine and chondroitin.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These provide additional anti-inflammatory benefits, helping to reduce joint inflammation and pain. One of the most studied and supported ingredient for joint health for dogs. You can ask any veterinarians.
  • Curcumin: Known for its anti-inflammatory benefits, curcumin helps reduce joint pain and stiffness.


Regular supplementation with Jope's Hip & Joint Dog Chews, combined with a balanced diet and appropriate exercise, ensures that Corgis can remain active and comfortable throughout their lives. Remember to consult with your veterinarian before starting any new supplement regimen to ensure it’s the right fit for your furry friend.


Why not glucosamine for Corgis' joint health?


Although glucosamine and chondroitin are widely used, recent studies have shown they are no more effective than a placebo. Additionally, there are very few studies on MSM. However, newer ingredients have shown more promising results and you should prefer them considering Corgis joint issues.


Training and Socialization of Corgi

Training and Socialization of Corgi


Training and socialization are vital for Corgis to develop into well-behaved and happy pets. Given their intelligence and herding instincts, Corgis excel in training but also require consistent guidance.


Importance of Early Training

Starting training at a young age is crucial for Corgis. Early obedience training helps establish good behavior patterns. Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppies are quick learners, making early training sessions effective and enjoyable.


Handling Their Independent Streak

Corgis can be a bit headstrong due to their herding background. Using positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise works best. This approach helps manage their independent streak and keeps training sessions productive.


Socializing With Other Pets and People

Well-socialized dogs are more adaptable and less likely to develop behavioral issues. Introduce your Corgi to different environments, people, and other pets from a young age. This helps them become well-rounded and confident.
By focusing on early training and socialization, pet owners can ensure their Corgi grow up to be well-behaved, confident, and happy companions.


Did you know?

The Pembroke is more widespread than the Cardigan and owes its letters of nobility to King George VI who gifted one to his daughter – Queen Elizabeth II – who introduced it to court.


Interesting Facts About Corgis

Corgis are full of intriguing quirks and historical tidbits that make them even more lovable. Here are some fun facts about these delightful dogs:

  • Royal Connections: Queen Elizabeth II has owned more than 30 Pembroke Welsh Corgis during her reign, highlighting their royal appeal.
  • Cowboy Corgi: A mix of Corgi and Australian Cattle Dogs, this breed combines the best traits of both herding dogs.
  • Herding Skills: Originally bred to herd cattle, Corgis are agile and have a natural herding instinct, making them effective working dogs.
  • Social Media Stars: Corgis are very trendy, especially on social platforms. A famous example is Maxine, a Corgi who adventures around NYC in a backpack. Follow her on Instagram at @madmax_fluffyroad to see her explore iconic landmarks and enjoy city life.


Corgi Care Tips

Proper care is essential to keep your Corgi healthy and happy. Here are some tips to ensure your Corgi thrives:


  • Regular Exercise: Corgis are high-energy breeds that need daily physical activity. Engage them in activities like fetch, walks, and dog sports to keep them fit.
  • Grooming: Frequent grooming is necessary to manage their double coat. Regular brushing helps reduce loose hair and keeps their coat healthy.
  • Health Check-ups: Schedule regular vet visits to monitor for common health issues like hip dysplasia and von Willebrand's disease.
  • Mental Stimulation: Provide toys and puzzles to keep their intelligent minds active.
  • Balanced Diet: Feed them high-quality dog food to support their overall health.



Corgis are remarkable dogs known for their distinctive looks, intelligence, and loyal nature. Whether you’re captivated by the charm of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi or the unique traits of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, these breeds make great family pets. By understanding their history, physical characteristics, temperament, and health needs, pet owners can provide the best care for their Corgi. Remember, a well-socialized, well-trained, and well-cared-for Corgi is a joyful and loving companion. Ready to welcome a Corgi into your life?

Author: Dr. Jeremy

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), MS

Meet Jeremy, a passionate veterinarian and co-founder of Jope, with a decade of experience—7 years in the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industry and 3 years as a veterinarian. Passionate about enhancing the well-being of pets, Jeremy's mission is to provide practical, evidence-based advice and products that support pet parents and their furry companions. His favorite breed, the Australian Shepherd, holds a special place in his heart for their playfulness, cleverness, and beauty.

Join Jeremy on an insightful journey through the world of pet health and discover how science and compassion come together to improve the lives of pets.

The content presented here is for informational purposes and reflects Jeremy's own opinions, expertise, and experience. It is not intended to replace professional veterinary consultation, diagnosis, or treatment. For personalized advice and care for your pets, always consult with your veterinarian.


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