Do Corgis Have Tails? (Why Pembrokes Get Their Tails Docked) | Instacorgi (2023)

So, you’re wondering if Corgis have tails.

  • Do they naturally have tails?
  • Are they supposed to have tails?
  • Why do some corgis have tails and others don’t?

These are very common questions that confuse a lot of people who are considering buying a corgi for the first time.

This post will answer common questions and explain why you see some Corgis with tails and some without.

We’ll talk about the two different breeds of corgis and why some have their tails docked and some don’t.

By the end of this post, you should have a clear understanding of why some Corgis have their tail intact and some don’t.

Sound good? Let’s get started.


Are corgis supposed to have tails?

Do Corgis Have Tails? (Why Pembrokes Get Their Tails Docked) | Instacorgi (1)

By nature? Yes, corgis are supposed to have tails.

As you may know, there are two types of corgis that are classified into their own breeds.

You have the Cardigan corgis and the Pembroke corgis. Cardigan corgis are considered to be the older breed and many folks believe that Pembrokes were actually bred out of the cardigans.

The Cardigan corgis typically do not have their tails docked.

However, the Pembroke corgis do have their tails docked

Both breeds are supposed to have tails and are born with them, but only the Pembroke corgis get their tails whacked at about 3 days old.

What’s the difference between the Cardigan and Pembrokes AKC standards?

Do Corgis Have Tails? (Why Pembrokes Get Their Tails Docked) | Instacorgi (2)

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is born with a tail and the AKC standards allow it.

Whenever you see a Cardigan, it will have a tail.

The Pembroke Welsh Corgis, on the other hand, are required to have tails docked by the AKC breed standards.

This is why if you buy an AKC registered Pembroke, it won’t have a tail. That’s what the standard requires.

Pembroke corgis were also bred with a gene that affects about two-thirds of all Pembrokes where they’ll naturally have no tail.

There’s a smaller percentage that will have a tail- and those corgis usually get their tails docked regardless.

Note that this depends on the Corgi you’re looking at and if it has the gene where it was intentionally bred to have no tail. It’s getting harder and harder to find Pembrokes without that gene.

Most Pembroke corgis nowadays will have a docked tail or are naturally tailless.

Why do Pembrokes get their tails docked?

Do Corgis Have Tails? (Why Pembrokes Get Their Tails Docked) | Instacorgi (3)

The AKC standard for Pembroke corgis requires that their tail be docked.

The origin of this ritual was because their tails were traditionally docked as the breed was created as a cattle herder. The tail had no purpose in herding cattle and only served as a liability for the dog.

As a puppy, many folks argue that they don’t feel pain.

However, many pet owners disagree.

Some breeders are actually against the act of tail docking because they believe that puppies still feel pain even at 3 days old. There have been reports of puppies crying for days afterward after the tail was docked.

Some readers even called this ritual barbaric in nature.

This is why some countries search as Europe and the United Kingdom, tail docking has been banned entirely.

Unfortunately, in the United States, tail docking is still widely practiced among most US breeders. This is largely in fact to the American Kennel Club, or AKC.

Nowadays, how many Pembroke corgis are actually used to herd anymore? Since we don’t use them for herding, why are we still docking their tails?

We’re still exercising this ritual for a purpose that’s no longer relevant. A lot of people also don’t like the docked tail look on Pembrokes and consider it pointless and cruel.

Corgis are supposed to have tails

Do Corgis Have Tails? (Why Pembrokes Get Their Tails Docked) | Instacorgi (4)

Most corgis are born with a tail.

It’s just that the breed standards for Pembrokes require having a docked or no tail at all.

Only the Cardigan Welsh Corgis have tails.

There are Pembrokes that exist with tails as they were never docked as a puppy. Corgi tails are typically present at birth unless they’re born without out.

The only reason you see some Corgis with it and some without is because of the species.

The AKC requires that the Pembroke Corgis have a docked tail while the Cardigan corgis are allowed to have one.

There some corgis that are naturally tailless

Naturally, they both have tails when they’re born.

It’s just the ritual that takes place in order to meet AKC standards. If you go to other parts of the world, you’ll see both species of Corgis with tails.

It’s only here in the US where the Pembrokes are missing tails.

Note that Pembroke Welsh Corgis do carry a gene for natural taillessness.

So up to two-thirds of all Pembrokes are bred for tailless and thus are born with no tail. And the one-third that are born with tails will have their tails docked.

Which Corgi has a tail?

Both corgi breeds have tails.

They’re born with tails and their tails are docked when they’re a puppy. But you typically only see Cardigans with tails.

The Pembrokes also are born with tails, though the majority of them are now naturally tailless.

You can find Pembrokes that are born with tails and some born without tails.

However, here in the United States, they’re docked so this leads to confusion over the two breeds and which one has a tail intact.

Depending on if the breeder registers the dog with the AKC- this is where the Pembroke will meet its fate. An AKC-registered Pembroke will have a docked tail. There are no exceptions to that rule because that’s the breed standard defined by the club.

However, a breeder that is not registering the dog with the AKC and had a litter born with a tail it’s entirely possible. The chances of finding a Pembroke with an intact tail aren’t bad.

How do their tails look like?

Pembrokes naturally have a short and fluffy tail that extends upward just like any other dog. The tails are bobbed tails that stick up into the air.

This is probably the reason why their tails were docked in the first place. Because they hang so high in the air, they were a liability for Viking and Flemish herders.

Cardigans typically have lower hanging short tails.

Do corgis have short tails?

The cardigan corgis typically have the lower hanging short tails.

The Pembroke Corgis have the fluffy or tails that are upright.

Both breeds have short tails, but the Pembroke stale is more noticeable since it’s stuck upright into the air.

This is likely why the practice of tail docking even began back when they were used extensively for herding purposes.

Cardigans vs. Pembrokes

Do Corgis Have Tails? (Why Pembrokes Get Their Tails Docked) | Instacorgi (5)

Cardigans are the older of the two breeds and are actually descendants of the dachshunds or wiener dogs.

Pembrokes are actually more related to Swedish Vallhunds and Spitz dogs.

Both of them are herding dogs and Cardigans typically work behind the herd to move the livestock from the rear. Pembrokes, on the other hand, would gather to livestock and bring it toward the shepherd.

So they are two different species with two different roles.

Cardigans were also known to work with an entire family whereas Pembrokes were instinctively had to work with a single person.

The two breeds were separated some time ago and distinguished with their own sets of standards. Pembrokes are traditionally smaller and more yappy with red, sable, or black colorations. They also have pointed ears with a foxy look.

They also have some slightly different temperament and aggressiveness levels.

Cardigans are a little bigger and more quiet with a wider variety of colors. If you want a corgi with a tail, you should probably look into cardigans.

Then comes the question of actually registering the dog with the AKC.

Do the Queen’s corgis have tails?

The Queen’s corgis are a hot topic and whether they have tails or not is often asked.

There are many pictures of her with her corgis and they do have tails intact.

Rumor has it that the queen has actually sought out Corgis with natural bobtails when she breeds for dogs.

From the various pictures, we can see online, they do have tails intact. However, it is entirely possible that some of her dogs have docked tails before the band went into place.

Her newer corgis that were acquired after the ban have their tails intact. And that explains why we can clearly see them in her various pictures.

The corgis without tails may have been acquired before the ban was enacted.

Corgi tail docking ban

Some countries have already banned the practice of tail docking such as Europe and the United Kingdom.

The US is the only other first-world country where are corgis are bred and sold that still practices tail docking.

Because many prospective buyers look for an AKC-registered Corgi, they’ll end up with a docked tail.

Does that mean we shouldn’t buy an AKC registered Corgi?

Do Corgis Have Tails? (Why Pembrokes Get Their Tails Docked) | Instacorgi (6)

It depends.

If you really want a Pembroke Corgi with a tail, you won’t find one that’s registered with the AKC. It’s not possible.

Not that there’s anything wrong with buying an AKC registered dog, because they do typically have much better health.

Most AKC breeders are also very experienced and know what they’re doing when it comes to corgis.

They can also provide pedigrees, paperwork, and a detailed record along with guarantees for the dog help.

So there are many reasons why you should buy an AKC-registered Corgi. But if the tail is a deal-breaker for you, you won’t be able to get one.

If this is the case, you should seriously consider getting a Cardigan Welsh Corgi rather than a Pembroke.

This way, you can get a registered dog with a tail. But if you really want to Pembroke that has a tail, you won’t be able to get an AKC registered one.

In this case, you need to do your research with the breeder or find another type of breed certification.

There are people, such as vets, that could inspect dogs for you. This is probably the best route to go if you don’t know what you’re doing.

What if I want a Pembroke with a tail?

If you want to buy an AKC-registered Pembroke, it will have a docked tail because that’s what the standard entails.

However, if you don’t buy an AKC registered dog, you may end up getting a Pembroke with a tail.

Although the genes favor the tailless variant, you still have a chance of getting a Pembroke with its tail intact.

So it’s really all up to you and what kind of dog you’re looking for. If you wanted to be AKC registered Pembroke then it will have a docked tail.

Or you can not play by the AKC rules and possibly find a Pembroke with a tail. It’s really up to you.

Personally, I like the look of the fluffy tail on the Pembroke.

I think all dogs should have tails and docking it shouldn’t be necessary because how many of us are actually going to use are corgis for herding?

The only gripe with this is that you have to buy a non-registered dog.

So there are definitely pros and cons to this. You’re going to have to trade off a lot of stuff just to get a dog with a tail. It really depends on your situation here.

Pembroke tails are upright and fluffy just like their ears and make them really look like foxes. I wish tail docking would be removed here in the United States in at the AKC would reconsider their breed standards for the Pembroke corgis.

Times have changed. Shouldn’t the standards change as well?

Just something to think about. Food for thought.

What do you think about tail docking here in the United States?

Does that answer your question?

Do Corgis Have Tails? (Why Pembrokes Get Their Tails Docked) | Instacorgi (7)

Well, that’s about it.

Now you should know why some Corgis have tails and some don’t.

Note that depending on where you are in the world, you’ll see some Pembrokes with Tails and some without tails. Cardigans will always have tails.

But I hope this post does help you distinguish between the two breeds of corgis.

I hope this also makes you reconsider buying an AKC registered Pembroke.

If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment.

Thanks for reading.

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