It is impossible not to love a Welsh Corgi – such a small but stubborn dog breed that just can’t get enough of playtime and outdoor activities. The breed is ideal for someone who wants an energetic dog that can tag along for any adventure, but that still needs a dog that won’t take up too much space and that is easy to transport.

Corgis are extremely versatile, and it is hard to resist their characteristic smile where their tongue will often hang out of their mouths. The breed is ideal for active families and those who share the Corgi’s carefree outlook on life.

Corgi Breed Introduction

The Welsh Corgi, both the Pembroke and the Cardigan, belong to the herding group, and they were originally bred to herd. It is a short and robust dog breed that gets along well with children if properly introduced, and it loves to run around and play without ever seeming to get tired. Their intelligence and fun-loving attitude make them very trainable, and there are few things they love as much as a run around the dog park or a good game of fetch.

It is a breed that has maintained its subtle popularity for many years, and you are likely to bump into the occasional Corgi no matter where you go in the world. It is important to choose a responsible breeder when acquiring a Welsh Corgi, as the breed is prone to some troublesome health issues that could land you with some pricy veterinary bills if not taken care of in time.

The Welsh Corgi loves to have fun and the outdoors is the preferred place for a Corgi, so put your running shoes on and head out! Your short-legged friend will love you for it.

Physical Appearance

Welsh Corgi Puppy

The most characteristic feature of the Welsh Corgi is their short legs and wide chest. Many jokes about how they are shaped like a big dog but with legs that look like they’ve been chopped off, and there is a certain truth to that statement.

It is a small dog that usually won’t weigh more than 30lbs for a male and about 27lbs for a female Corgi. Height ranges from 10-12 inches and they have an expected lifespan of approximately 12-13 years depending on diet, exercise, and overall care. Corgis are prone to weight gain, so if you are thinking of getting a Corgi you may wish to consider the best diet and foods for Corgi dogs.

This is a dog breed with a deep chest, long back, surprisingly muscular thighs and short legs that can walk and run around for hours. The breed has a long snout, a flat head, and dark almond-shaped eyes; they are agile for their body-built and quick on their feet (paws), which makes them a great breed for herding cattle and other activities where tenacity is important.

Temperament

Two Welsh Corgi Playing

This is a high-energy dog that is ideal for those who enjoy spending time outdoors, as a bored Corgi is likely to eventually develop destructive behaviors like digging, chewing and barking.

They are naturally enthusiastic barkers and can be very vocal both when trying to alert to a potential threat, and when running and playing at the park or during games like fetch. Their intelligence makes them trainable, but the barking is unlikely to ever stop entirely. It is natural for a dog to bark, and the Corgi often seems to be the perfect example of this.

It is a big dog in a small body, and they can get very offended if you choose to leave them out of fun adventures with the family. The Welsh Corgi is extremely strong-willed and stubborn, which – when taken advantage of correctly – can be an asset, but it can also be a problem if you fail to set boundaries for your dog. The Corgi will try to call the shots, just to see if they can get away with it, and they need strong leadership and positive reinforcement training.

They are generally good family dogs and good with small children (provided the children are taught how to treat a dog respectfully), and they tend to get along well with smaller animals like cats if they have grown up with them. The Corgi may sometimes develop the bad habit of nipping at the heels of by-passers, which is due to their herding instincts more than anything else.

Breed History

Originally, both the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi were used for herding, and they belong to the herding dog group “heelers,” which would nip at the heels of the cattle, but without causing harm. The low body shape is believed to have been developed due to it being easier for such a short dog to move effortlessly between the hooves of the animals they herded.

The name possibly means dwarf dog (where “cor” means dwarf and “gi” stands for dog) in the Welsh language, and there are old stories that speak of how the dog breed was once given to man by the woodland fairies. This, of course, is only a legend, but it is a fun anecdote to share with other dog lovers.

The true origins of the breed have never been established with 100% certainty, but it is believed they may be related to a Scandinavian dog breed called Swedish Vallhund. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi has existed for longer than the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and it is therefore highly likely that the Cardigan was used when developing the Pembroke breed. It was in 1925, in Wales, that the first registered Welsh Corgi appeared in the dog show rings, and shortly thereafter the Welsh Corgi Club was founded.

Pembroke vs. Cardigan

The first thing we need to establish that there are two different Corgi breeds – the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. The AKC (the American Kennel Club) classifies these as two breeds rather than two variations of the same breed, and they compete separately in most dog shows worldwide.

The two breeds are very similar, and they both have the characteristic long back, short legs, a double coat, and flat skulls, but the main difference you will find between the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is the tail.

The Pembroke is born with no tail, while Cardigan Welsh Corgis have a long wagging tail to show off their moods. The Pembrokes may also be slightly shorter and smaller than the Cardigan, and it has fewer color varieties approved by the AKC.

For the untrained eye, the two could be easy to confuse as they are quite similar, have similar personalities and the same average lifespan, so the best thing is simply to have a look at what is going on at the very back of the Corgi – is there a wagging tailor isn’t there?

Health

The most common reasons for death in the Welsh Corgi are age and canine cancer, where the Pembroke Welsh Corgi also seems somewhat more prone to kidney failure than the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Other known health problems associated with the breed are eye problems, bone- and joint diseases such as arthritis, reproduction issues, and false pregnancies, urethral obstruction and canine glaucoma.

Hip dysplasia, however, which is common in many dog breeds, is slightly less commonly occurring in the Welsh Corgi, studies show. The long back may sometimes cause pain and discomfort, plus increase the risk of injuries, but other than that the Corgi is quite a healthy breed.

Final Words

Welsh Corgis, both the Pembroke Corgi and the Cardigan, are wonderful dogs to be around, and they have the ability to have even the grumpiest person crack a smile. They love to run around and play, and sometimes it is almost as if they act goofy on purpose just to make their owners happy.

It is an ideal breed for apartment living, provided they get the exercise they need, and it is a good idea to take a Corgi for regular vet visits to catch any health issue at an early stage.

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Janni
Janni is a dog loving writer who currently shares her home with two rescue dogs - Emmett and Frankie. Writing doggie-inspired articles is a way for Janni to share her knowledge, find inspiration, and help others.