Pembroke Welsh Corgi: The Ultimate Guide


As long as the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is running through the vales and valleys of its native land, there will always be a welcome in the hillsides when everyone comes home to Wales. And as the Corgi loves everyone it meets, it naturally assumes that everyone is, by default, Welsh.

Which, if the good-natured temperament of this diminutive denizen of Pembrokeshire is anything to go by, seems to be an almost idyllic and perfect state of being.  

Bred to be a hard-working herding dog, the Corgi knows its role in life inside out and loves to lead its pack on all sorts of adventures before heading home for an evening filled with belly rubs and snuggles on the sofa.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

They’re the all-purpose family dog whose lust for life and all of the endless gifts and surprises that it endows on those who live it to the fullest is infectious and make anyone who has ever spent any time in this dog’s company, spontaneously burst into song and celebrate each and every day with the same voracious spirit as the Corgi does. 

The favored dog of British Royalty, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi has always split the canine-loving community down the middle, as it’s always been the subject of rumor and gossip.

In order to help anyone with a Corgi-sized hole in their heart to better understand and find out what is and isn’t true about the breed, we’ve put together a simple, straightforward go-to guide that covers all the bases and fills in all the blanks about this Pembrokeshire native. It’s time to get down with the world-famous Welsh herding dog…

Key Facts Of The Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Corgis love to be involved in everything that their owners do, adore being in the middle of family life and the center of attention, so any potential owners will need to be prepared to alter their lifestyle to make room for the little dog with a big bark and even bigger bark.

That means they’ll need to understand how much time they’ll have to devote to looking after and exercising a Corgi, and how much of an economic impact catering to, and for, its everyday canine necessities will have on their bank balance.

That’s why we thought we’d run through some of the must-know basic facts about giving a Corgi a home before plunging into the detailed minutiae that their determined would-be human companions should arm themselves with.

So let’s apply the brakes for a moment and spend some time getting used to the more mundane and boring facts, before moving on to the more interesting fun stuff, as they might just be a Corgi game changer… 

Average Lifespan

Little dogs live longer, that’s one of the inescapable fundamental truths of the canine world. And being a lot smaller than the average dog means that Corgis tend to live for anywhere between twelve and fifteen years. 

Minimum Exercise (per day)

Don’t let their size fool you, the Corgi may be small, but it’s a working dog and needs to get out and about to burn off the energy that it would use to round up sheep and cattle if it was still clocking into its daily job.

And that means that a Corgi needs at least sixty to ninety minutes of exercise a day, which ideally should be split between a morning yomp and an evening adventure. 

Coat Length

Corgis are a double-coated breed, the shorter undercoat is designed to keep them warm when temperatures plummet (as they often do in its native Wales), and its outer, longer coat is waterproof to protect it from the rain, which again, it often does in Wales. Rain, that is. 

Minimum Cost Per Month

After accounting for the cost of a pet insurance plan, which every prospective dog owner needs, and taking note of the dietary requirements of a Corgi after choosing the right dog food, they should cost a minimum of sixty-five to seventy-five dollars a month. 

Appearance

There are two breeds of Corgi, the Pembroke, and the Cardigan, and while they might look the same, there are a few subtle differences.  The Pembroke Corgi is slightly smaller than the Cardigan, has straighter legs and shorter ears.

It does however share a number of physical characteristics and has the same fox-like head, always alerts ears that stick straight up, a long body, and short legs. 

All Corgis are naturally born with short tails, which some breeders dock to conform to the letter of the breed standards law, but isn’t absolutely necessary as the AKC (American Kennel Club) and other show organizations don’t require a dog’s tail to be docked in order for them to be show dogs. 

Size

Pembroke Corgis are technically classified as dwarf dogs, but also fall into the broader small breed category. 

Average Height

Both male and female dogs should stand between ten and twelve inches (twenty-five to thirty centimeters) tall at the shoulder. 

Average Weight

Males tend to be slightly heavier than females do, and should weigh between twenty-three and thirty pounds (eleven to fifteen kilograms), while bitches (females) should weigh between twenty-one and thirty pounds, or ten to fourteen kilograms

Temperament

Fearless, independent, alert, and affectionate, the Corgi has an almost inexhaustible supply of energy and loves to spend as much time with its family as it does exploring the world on long walks.

A kind and trusting dog, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is an item, wise and loyal breed that is a perfect companion for families of all shapes and sizes. 

Apartment Living

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is an infinitely adaptable dog and as long as it’s exercised properly and gets to spend as much time as possible with its family, can happily live in any apartment.  

Good For Novice Owners

As long as an owner is willing to properly exercise and devote the time needed to train the sometimes stubborn breed, and understands that Corgis are a needy breed, then they’ll have a friend for life, whether they’re a novice or a veteran. 

Sensitivity Level

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are incredibly bright, sensitive dogs who are eager to please their owners and respond well to positive reinforcement and reward-based training. They can become aggressive and withdrawn if they are treated poorly or repeatedly punished for behaving “badly” or “refusing” to do as they’re told. 

Tolerates Being Alone

The breed is prone to separation anxiety and doesn’t cope well with being left alone for extended periods of time. If they’re left by themselves for too long, they can become destructive and could chew their way through your furniture or start barking and howling and refuse to turn the volume down until their owners stroll through the door again.

And while the former won’t endear them to their new family, the latter won’t exactly help to foster and nurture a friendly relationship with neighbors and nearby residents. 

Tolerates Cold Weather

They’re a double-coated breed that was raised in the often unwelcoming climate of the Welsh mountains and valleys, and as such Corgis aren’t phased by the cold at all. 

They’ll keep on running through the wind, rain, and snow, and the only question any potential owner needs to ask themselves is “Can I keep up with a Corgi when the temperature begins to drop?”

Tolerates Hot Weather

Even though their coats protect them from the worst of the heat when the temperatures start to climb, and they can cope with warmer climates, if it’s too hot for their owners to comfortably stroll around outside, then it’s too hot for a Corgi. 

Affectionate With Family

Corgis tend to form intense, affectionate bonds with their families and don’t like to be separated from them.

They’re not the cuddliest dogs in the world, but they will happily soak up all the belly rubs, scratches, and strokes that their owners can give them and will usually insist on drowning their families in a tsunami of Corgi kisses. 

Kid-Friendly

Their playful nature and boundless energy make them great with children, and as they’re tolerant, patient, and surprisingly tough dogs, they’re not overly bothered by being “man-handled” by younger kids who aren’t used to dogs and don’t know how to behave around, or treat them.

Dog Friendly

Corgis are sociable dogs who adore the company of humans and other dogs in equal measure. However, they do need to be socialized with other dogs from an early age in order to curb their herding instinct, which could be misinterpreted by other dogs as aggression. 

Friendly Toward Strangers

They’re friendly, sociable dogs who are usually happy to greet anyone with a wag of their docked tail, but can become overly protective of their owners if they think that a stranger poses, or could be a possible threat to them. 

Health & Grooming

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are hardy, healthy little dogs, but because of their inherent dwarfism, can be prone to health problems associated with their size as well as certain breed-specific genetic conditions.

Before we move on to, and discuss those in a little more depth though, we’re going to a take a couple of moments to focus on the everyday things any owners needs to know to ensure that their dog stays healthy, bright and alert. 

Shedding

They’re daily, and seasonal shedders so any owner who isn’t prepared to brush and vacuum after their dog probably isn’t suited to life with a Pembroke Welsh Corgi.  They shed. They shed a lot. 

Grooming

It isn’t all bad news though, and as long as they’re brushed for around fifteen minutes two or three times a week, the amount of hair that they leave on the furniture and the floor of a house will be significantly reduced.

Drooling

And the news just keeps on getting better and better, as Corgis don’t drool. Or more accurately they don’t drool all the time and they won’t leave lakes of dog dribble all over the floor, but they might leave a few drops on the linoleum in the kitchen while they’re waiting for their dinner bowls to arrive. 

General Health

As we’ve already mentioned, they’re generally healthy, hardy, strong dogs who enjoy life and all that it will throw at, and for, them. 

Common Health Problems

  • There are, however, a number of breed-specific genetic conditions that Corgis are susceptible to, and these include Intervertebral Disk Disease (as the breed has an elongated spine they’re more prone to disk separation and disease than other dogs are), epilepsy (which can be controlled and managed with medication) and hip dysplasia, a painful condition that can also lead to arthritis in which the ball of the hip is malformed and doesn’t fit properly in the socket.
  • However, we should point out that just because a Pembroke Welsh Corgi could develop any of these conditions, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will. 

Potential For Weight Gain

Corgis have a tendency to pile on a few pounds as they get older, which increases the pressure on their joints and can lead to other health complications.

Any potential Corgi owner needs to keep a careful eye on their dog’s diet and how much they’re eating and needs to nip any weight gain in the bud as soon as possible. 

Trainability

All dogs, whatever their breed, should be socialized and properly trained from an early age to help them to cope with the frantic, and often frightening pace of life in the modern world. 

Easy To Train

Corgis have an innate desire to please their owners, which makes them easy to train, but as they were bred to be working dogs they’re also independent thinkers and can be stubborn. 

Both traits can make them a little more difficult to train, but with a comprehensive reward-based training program, they should quickly and easily master whatever their owners want, and need, them to.

Intelligence

They’re commonly regarded as being the eleventh most intelligent breed of dog, which means that they’re incredibly clever, bright, and adaptable and are, their stubborn streak aside, relatively easy to train.  

Potential To Bite

When they’re young, immature dogs can nip at the heels of their owners and other dogs and people, which is a historical behavioral hangover from being bred to herd cows and sheep.

As long as they’re trained not to do it, and are properly socialized with other dogs and people while they’re young, Corgis won’t bite anyone or any other dog unless they feel directly threatened. 

Tendency To Bark Or Howl

They’re bright and alert and one of their secondary jobs when they were a working breed, was as a watchdog.

Unfortunately, this means that Corgis do bark at the slightest provocation or when they want to alert their owners to a threat or something interesting that they’ve seen. Corgis don’t howl, but they do bark a lot. 

History

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is an ancient breed of dog and has been a trusted and true companion of farmers in its country of origin for at least a thousand years.

Originally bred to herd cattle and sheep and hunt rodents, the Corgi is the subject of myth and legend in its homeland and was, until the middle of the twentieth century an incredibly popular family dog in the UK. 

Even though its popularity has waned in its country of origin, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is slowly becoming an increasingly popular family pet in the United States and was ranked as the twentieth most popular breed by the AKC (American Kennel Club) in 2015.

Despite their ancient lineage though, Pembroke Welsh Corgis weren’t recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club until 1928. 

Costs

They may be small, but Pembroke Welsh Corgis are reassuringly expensive, and depending on the bloodline of their parents and the professional reputation of a breeder, a puppy can cost anywhere between one and two thousand dollars.

It’s an expensive way to introduce a dog to your family, but absolutely worth every single cent. 

There is, however, a more humane and easier on the pocketbook way to add a Corgi to your family, and that’s adoption. While they don’t usually appear in local shelters, there are dedicated Corgi rescues who would love to hear from any prospective Corgi parents. And as we always say, it won’t just be the dog that you open your heart and home to who will be eternally grateful to you, your bank balance will as well, as it’s a lot more affordable to adopt a dog than it is to shop for a dog. 

Fun Facts Of The Pembroke Welsh Corgi

  • The word “Corgi” means dwarf dog in Welsh, and has been the name that the breed was, and is identified by for almost a thousand years. 
  • Pembroke Welsh Corgis are the favorite dog of Queen Elizabeth II, and in the seventy years that she has reigned as the monarch of Great Britain and the Commonwealth, the Queen has owned more than thirty Corgis. Her first Corgi was a gift from her father, King George VI, and was named Dookie, and in 2021 she was given two new Corgi puppies by her family.

Kerry White

Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.

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