pembroke welsh corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgi: All About This Popular, Playful Dog Breed

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is one of a kind (let’s not mention the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, at least not yet). The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a unique look, with a fox-like face, pointy ears, and a long, low-slung body. And don’t get us started on those cute, stubby legs!


The breed also has a special personality, a blend of determination and goofiness that can’t be matched. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi’s adorable features and loving nature has made it one of the most popular breeds in the world. So should you become a Corgi owner yourself?


In this guide, we’ll let you know all about the Corgi’s grooming, training, and exercise needs, as well as its personality traits. Read on to see if the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is right for you!



Pembroke Welsh Corgi Characteristics

This dog breed is instantly recognizable. From its large, pointy ears to its stubby legs, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is one of a kind. While they may look a bit goofy, the Corgi is built to herd. This is a working dog that’s agile, fearless, and vigilant.


Pembroke Welsh Corgi Dog Breed Size

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is categorized as a small to medium-sized dog breed. They are about 10 to 12 inches wide at the shoulder and range from 27 to 30 pounds. The female Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a bit smaller.



corgi in a field of yellow flowers




The Corgi is considered “moderately long and low” by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Their back is firm and level, meaning it’s the same height from shoulder to tail. They have a well-sprung rib cage and a deep chest.


One very recognizable trait is the Corgi’s “booty.” Their hefty haunches and thick fur around that area create a bubbly rear end that seems to shake when they walk.



The Corgi’s tail should be “docked as short as possible,” according to the AKC’s official breed standard. Some puppies are born with naturally docked tails. Docking isn’t necessary and is done due to historical tradition or to conform to the breed standard.



Pembroke Welsh Corgis have short legs! But despite being small, the Corgi’s legs are straight and strong. Their back legs are strong and flexible with “well-muscled” thighs. The Corgi has oval paws with strong pads.


The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a very free and smooth gait. Their shoulders allow for long strides, and their back legs should drive them forward. As a herding dog, the Corgi should have a build that allows for agility and freedom of movement.



The Corgi’s face and head are described as “foxy.” That’s due to the shape of their skull, big, perky ears, and long muzzle. But, the kennel club notes that the Corgi’s eyes should be intelligent but “not sly.” Their head sits atop a long, arched neck.



Pembroke Welsh Corgi Personality

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is said to be a big dog in a little package. The breed has become extremely popular due to their kind, playful nature, vigilance, and loyalty.


The Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America‘s Judge Education Chair, Marilyn Van Vliet, notes that the Corgi has a “wonderful sense of humor.” This is a breed that loves toys and playing with their owners. A lot of people are surprised by the Corgi’s abundant energy.


The Corgi is a people lover. They enjoy spending time with their families whenever possible. This can be cuddling in bed, playing outside, or taking your Corgi with you while running errands. If you’re there, you can bet your Corgi will enjoy any activity!


The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is very loyal to their families. Due to their protective nature and tendency to bark, they are often used as watchdogs. Sometimes the Corgi can be a bit wary around unfamiliar animals.


Bred to herd cattle while also watching over children, the Corgi is a great blend of determination and gentleness. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi can be a bit stubborn, but they are known to be very sweet and kind. Still, this intelligent breed sometimes wants to do its own thing, making training a bit tricky for people without experience.



corgi running on a field



Pembroke Welsh Corgi Dog Breed Exercise

Pembroke Welsh Corgis may be stubby, but they are very active dogs. This dog needs daily exercise to stay stimulated and healthy, usually around one hour at least.


When it comes to types of exercise, Corgis are game for anything! This can be long walks, romps at a dog park, nature hikes, throwing toys in the backyard, or even agility training. While your Corgi won’t be winning any medals against star athletes like the Border Collie or Australian Shepherd, their boundless energy and intelligence make them quite exciting to watch in an obstacle course!



Pembroke Welsh Corgi Training

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is loving and loyal. But boy, are they stubborn! This dog breed takes a bit of patience, a lot of consistency, and some experience to ensure that they are properly trained and socialized.


It’s very important to put your Corgi in obedience courses at a young age. This will help teach your puppy the basics and give them exposure to other pets. But it will also give you the tools you need to ensure you can continue consistent training at home.


When teaching your Corgi to walk, you’ll notice that they often want to lead the way. They might even pull on the leash. You have to establish that you are the leader quite early on. Here’s how:


  • Hold some small treats in your hand to make sure your Corgi walks beside you.
  • If they walk in front of you, stop walking immediately.
  • Don’t start walking again until your Corgi makes eye contact with you or walks back to you.
  • If your Corgi starts pulling at the leash or rushing at other pets, stop walking again.
  • If they continue to pull and ignore you, turn around and walk in the other direction.
  • Do this consistently, so your Corgi understands the cause and effect of their actions.


Corgi Habits

These dogs have two bad habits: Barking and herding. Corgis are bred to be herding dogs. This means they will sometimes tend to chase after animals or “herd” children. Sometimes Corgis will nip at people’s heels. Owners should make a point to correct this immediately.


Whenever your Corgi attempts to herd you, instantly stop walking. Command your dog to stop or walk with you. Don’t start walking again until they listen to your command. It would help to instruct your friends and family to do the same. With consistency, your Corgi will start to understand that herding won’t get them any results.


Pembroke Welsh Corgis love to bark. This is often done to alert you of things, but sometimes they seemingly bark unprovoked. Like other training methods, you need to ensure that you don’t respond to your Corgi’s barking. Only give them their food once they stop. Only play with them once they stop. Don’t punish your Corgi for barking. Don’t start yelling. Instead, ignore them until they stop. Your pup will start to realize that barking doesn’t lead to anything.



Pembroke Welsh Corgi Dog Breed History

This breed came to Wales around 1100 AD. Henry I of Britain invited weavers from Flanders, now northern Belgium, to move to southwestern Wales. These weavers accepted Henry’s invitation and brought with them everything they needed to recreate life in their homeland. This included their cattle herding dogs, which were derived from Nordic Spitz and had notoriously short, sturdy legs.


These farmers needed a dog that was strong and had the endurance for cattle and sheep herding. But the dog also needed to be short to keep out of the way of a cow’s hoof during herding. Small dogs were also easier to feed and fit in the home at the time. While determined and work-oriented, the Corgi was also bred to be gentle so they could help with children or hens on the farm.


The result is the Pembroke Welsh Corgi we know today. They are versatile and sturdy but also friendly and loyal. The breed was recognized in England in the 1920s and then in the 1930s in the United States. The Corgi became quite popular when royalty took a liking to the breed. In 2018, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi was the 13th most popular dog breed.



woman playing catch with a corgi



Common Health Problems Found in the Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi lives to be 13 years old when given proper treatment and regular vet visits. This dog breed is generally quite healthy but does have some hereditary conditions you need to be aware of.


It’s very important to only adopt a Corgi from a trusted, reputable breeder. Each litter should come with health certificates and health guarantees. The breeder should also be open about possible health conditions and remove dogs carrying these conditions from the breeding pool. If you’re not able to meet the puppy’s parents or the breeder can’t give you a health certificate, go to a different breeder immediately.


Since Pembroke Welsh Corgis have a long spine and short legs, they are often the subject of controversy. A few animal wellness groups are concerned about the Corgi’s legs, which are the result of a mutation. Tail docking is another controversial topic. But overall, the Corgi is generally healthy.


Here are conditions to ask a breeder about and make vets aware of.


Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)

This disease causes spinal cord degeneration in older dogs. It usually starts being noticeable in Corgis around 11 years old. While not painful, your dog will become paraplegic over time. Unfortunately, this disease has no cure. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your breeder removes any dog that carries this disease from the breeding pool. Avoid questionable breeders and puppy mills.


Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD)

Canine Hip Dysplasia is a condition that affects a dog’s hip joint. It’s often hereditary, but weight gain and rapid growth can also lead to CHD. Your dog’s hip joint will lose laxity, or the parts won’t fit properly anymore, causing them to be in pain and lose mobility. If you notice your dog limping or refusing to participate in physical activity, you should immediately take them to the vet.



Epilepsy is the most common neurological disorder seen in dogs. It affects about 0.75% of dogs. While seizures are not painful, they can stress out your dog or leave them disoriented. If your pet has more than one seizure a month, veterinarians will provide treatment for your dog.


Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

This is a condition that causes the cushioning discs between the vertebrae in your dog’s spine to burst. It’s commonly called a slipped disc or herniated disc. This is a very serious condition that can lead to limping, weakness in the rear legs, lameness, anxiousness, hunched back, paralysis, loss of bladder control, crying out in pain. This is something your vet should check for regularly.



How to Care for a Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgis have a lot of love to give! But in return, there are some things you need to give your pup to keep them happy and healthy.


Despite their small size, Corgis prefer living in a large home with a big yard. Just make sure that the yard is securely fenced in, and your Corgi can’t escape. They are prone to chase other animals and may end up lost.


But Corgis can thrive in an apartment if you give them plenty of daily exercise. And no matter the house size, make sure that there are plenty of toys to choose from. Corgis LOVE toys. Have some chew toys and ropes in the living room. And have a lot of stuff to throw in the backyard!


The Pembroke Welsh Corgi loves to cuddle with you whenever possible. If you want to be mindful of their back, provide ramps to your bed and couch. This can help your Corgi reach these spots without potentially hurting their back in the process.



awesome corgi on a skateboard



Nutrition and Feeding for a Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is very susceptible to weight gain. To keep your Corgi at a healthy weight, make sure you provide them with the right amount of food each day. It would be best if you split their daily portions into two, breakfast and dinner.


The generally recommended amount for an adult Corgi is ¾ to 1 ½ cups. But it would help if you always talked to a vet to discuss a healthy amount for your dog, determined by their age, weight, activity level, and conditions.


Always choose high-quality dog food brands that will provide a balanced diet. The most important ingredients to look for are proteins, carbohydrates and grains, vegetables, fruits, oils and fats, vitamins and minerals, and water. The protein source should come from something like chicken, beef, or lamb. No meal!



Coat Color and Grooming

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a medium-length coat that’s short and thick. The undercoat is water-resistant and thick, and the outer coat is longer. The fur is straight and lies flat against the Corgi’s body.


Pembroke Welsh Corgis come in five basic colors, all of which include white trim. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi can be red, red-headed tricolor, black-headed tricolor, sable, and fawn. White is usually on their legs, chest, and neck.


Grooming is essential if you own a Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Their thick double coat regularly sheds, especially in the spring and fall. You’ll have a lot of hair in your home if you own a Corgi. So you’ll want to comb and brush them with a firm bristle brush quite regularly. A monthly bath can also remove dead hair.



Children and Other Pets

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is known for how gentle they are. They get along great with children, whether it’s enjoying a good petting session or running around after balls in the backyard. Always supervise interactions to ensure that your Corgi isn’t attempting to “herd” kids (and teach children how to respond if that does happen).


The Corgi can also become close to other dogs in the household if socialized properly as a puppy. They may attempt to herd smaller animals at first, including cats, but you can stop this with consistent training. It would help if you supervised their interactions whenever possible.


Pembroke Welsh Corgis are not as friendly with random dogs, especially when approaching their family or territory. Corgis can be a bit wary of other animals and may start to bark. But they are never really aggressive.



Pembroke Welsh Corgi Dog Rescue Groups

Since Pembroke Welsh Corgis have become so popular throughout the United States, there are more in shelters than ever before. This can be due to the breed’s stubbornness or something outside of a family’s control (like moving or someone passing away).


If you’re looking for a Pembroke Welsh Corgi to add to your own family, try adopting first! Here are some rescue groups dedicated to rescuing and rehoming this unique breed.


  • Sunshine Corgi Rescue: This is a Florida-based non-profit organization specializing in saving Pembroke Welsh Corgis from abuse and unethical treatment. They rehome abandoned and surrendered Corgis all over the state.
  • Southeast Corgi Rescue: This all-volunteer organization provides help for Corgis in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. They provide a foster home for Corgis in need of a new home.
  • East Coast Corgi Rescue: Corgis in need from the District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey can rely on ECCR’s foster system. All Corgis undergo health examinations and behavioral training.
  • Lakeshore Pembroke Welsh Corgi Rescue: Corgis from Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota are safe in the hands of PWCR. They foster Corgis in need of a new home, providing behavioral evaluations along the way.



Pembroke Welsh Corgi Dog Breed Organizations

When looking for more information on the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, look no further than breed organizations. They provide a way for Corgi owners to connect, meet, and participate in Corgi events. This could be dog shows or even agility and obedience tournaments. You’ll also be able to read more about the Corgi’s history and judge standards.


The biggest organization is the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America. Its mission is to encourage and promote quality in breeding purebred Pembroke Welsh Corgis and educate the public about this special dog.


Other clubs are region-specific. This includes:


  • Golden Gate Pembroke Welsh Corgi Fanciers
  • Cascade Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club
  • Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of the Potomac
  • Ohio Valley Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club
  • Columbia River Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club



More About the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Dog Breed

Did you know that there are two Corgi breeds? There’s the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and then there’s the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. They have been two separate breeds since the late 1800s. The only noticeable differences are their ears and tail. The Pembroke has pointed ears, and the Cardigan’s are well-rounded. And the Pembroke’s tail is much shorter than the Cardigan’s.


Currently, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is more popular than the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. The Pembroke is the 14th most popular dog breed, while the Cardigan is in 66th.


The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has always been popular! Elizabeth II was known for having Corgis. Her first Pembroke Welsh Corgi was Dookie, adopted in 1933, and she always had a Corgi ever since then. In fact, she has owned over 30 of them!


If you want a Pembroke Welsh Corgi of your own, it can cost you up to $4,000. But for many dog fanciers, the price tag is more than worth it. Corgis are friendly, loving, and fun dogs to have as part of your family. They are extremely loyal and care about every member of the family, even the cats! They may be a bit stubborn, okay, a lot stubborn, but with the right training, Corgis are eager to please pups with hearts of gold.

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