Pembroke Welsh Corgi Breed: Characteristics, Care & Photos | BeChewy (2023)

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Pembroke Welsh Corgi Breed: Characteristics, Care & Photos | BeChewy (1)

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Life with a Pembroke Welsh Corgi is not for the shy. Why? Every stranger you pass will want to stop and say hello on your walks—and your Corgi will welcome all the extra attention. You’ll be taking lots of walks, too, because these energetic pups love a good adventure. (But with their little legs, your outings will need to be short.) This dog enjoys making new friends, but rest assured: You’re the only person they want to snuggle up with at the end of an activity-filled day.

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:

12 to 13 years

Size:

Small

Maintenance Level:

High

Shed Level:

High

Temperament:

EnergeticIntelligentSocial Butterfly

Coat Color:

Black And TanFawnRedSable

Pembroke Welsh Corgi Breed: Characteristics, Care & Photos | BeChewy (2)

Best For

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are best for active pup parents and families who are able to meet the dog's activity needs. They can do well with kids and other pets as long as they're properly socialized. And with their compact size, they can thrive in an apartment.

In this Article

Traits Temperament Breed Care Health History FAQs Related Breeds Top Names

Here are the qualities you can expect when raising a Pembroke Welsh Corgi on a scale of 1 paw (low) to 5 paws (high). These attributes were rated by several pet experts, including a dog trainer, veterinarian and behaviorist. Remember that dogs are individuals, and not all dogs, even of the same breed, will fit the mold.

Friendliness

Exercise Needs

Health Issues

Barking Tendencies

Grooming Needs

Shedding Level

Training Needs

Good With Kids

Good With Cats

Good As A Service Dog

Good For Apartments & Small Homes

Biting Tendencies

Energy Level

Good With Other Dogs

Playfulness

Sensitive to Cold Weather

Sensitive to Warm Weather

Good For First Time Pet Parents

With perky ears and large, expressive eyes, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy could be mistaken for an adorable stuffed animal. As they get older, the dog grows into their characteristically long, slinky body but retains the goofy smile of their puppyhood. Short in stature, stocky and sturdy, Corgis are surprisingly agile and fast. They’re known for their floofy backsides that are missing a tail, often called momo, which is Japanese for peach. And if you google “Corgi sploot,” we guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi Breed: Characteristics, Care & Photos | BeChewy (3)

1.Ears

Pembroke Welsh Corgi ears are erect, medium-sized and taper to a rounded point.

2.Eyes

Their eyes are oval, and their color is a variation of brown that harmonizes with their coat color.

4.Height

Male: 10-12 inches
Female: 10-12 inches

5.Coat Length

Corgis have double coats: a short, thick and weather-resistant undercoat and coarser, longer outer coat. The fur is medium length and slightly thicker around the neck, chest and shoulders.

6.Coat Color

Their colors can be black and tan, fawn, red or sable with white markings.

7.Tail

Their tails are docked as short as possible.

8.Weight

Male: Up to 30 pounds
Female: Up to 28 pounds

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Pembroke Welsh Corgi Temperament

The happy-go-lucky Pembroke Welsh Corgi loves life. This breed makes the most of every moment, whether they’re capturing the attention of everyone at the park or bonding with their family at home. The Corgi is independent, bold and adventurous—they want to go out and explore the world—but they won’t explore too far without their favorite person. (Hint: That’s you.)

Social interactions and training are important to curb their herding instincts. They’ll often nip the heels or feet of those who move too quickly around them, especially young children or other pets. This means they will explore new things with their mouth (often by biting or chewing), which can be particularly painful when it comes to those puppy teeth, and can also be off-putting to other dogs as they get older. In general, though, they enjoy playdates with other dogs, especially those who can match their energy level.

Corgis aren’t known for being aggressive or biting. Still, they pack the personality of a big dog into their little bodies, including a stubborn streak. That’s another reason why early socialization and training are so important.

These short stacks can make excellent family members—as long as they get regular exercise to burn off their generous supply of energy. While Corgis love to play with toys, they really need a daily long walk. Some Pembroke Welsh Corgis may enjoy a slow jog, but their short legs make it too difficult for them to keep up with a bicycle or someone running very fast. (They are not known to be very speedy.)

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How to Care for a Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Raising a Pembroke Welsh Corgi is rewarding but takes some effort. Corgis are very intelligent and high-energy, so your dog will need a good amount of training. Thankfully, grooming them isn’t especially complicated or time-consuming. These small dogs seem to have fun no matter what they’re doing, as long as they’re with their person, so you’ll likely find yourself looking forward to the tasks involved in caring for them.

A Pembroke Welsh Corgi’s grooming needs are moderate compared to other dog breeds, mainly because of their thick double coat, a short, light undercoat with a longer, coarse outer coat. The good news is they don’t need a haircut, and you can manage their maintenance at home. They shed year-round, but more in the late spring or early summer. Daily brushing with a comb and slicker brush is the best way to keep their hair off the floor and furniture, and a bath once or twice a month (especially during shedding season) will loosen the dead hair and make it easier to comb out.

Every dog’s nails grow at a different rate, but a general rule is to trim their nails every two to four weeks or before you hear them clicking on the floor. You’ll also want to check your Corgi’s ears weekly for dirt or signs of infection, like redness or swelling, and clean them as needed. (Every dog is different, so consult your veterinarian about how often to clean your dog’s ears.)

It’s recommended that you brush your dog’s teeth at least two to three times a week, and every day if possible, to reduce plaque and tartar. Periodontal disease can lead to sore gums, loss of teeth and even more serious issues like organ failure. Besides regular brushings at home, be sure to get an annual professional dental cleaning by a veterinarian to keep your Corgi’s teeth in tip-top shape.

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi breed was born to herd, so they have a lot of energy and require significant training to keep their brains busy and occupied. The dog is very intelligent and loves to learn, so they respond well to training activities. They may be strong-willed but are highly sensitive, so they do best with positive, reward-based training. Be sure to use lots of treats, praise and play breaks to reward your pup for doing a good job.

Teach your dog the basics, like sit, stay and come and how to walk nicely on a leash. You may find that commands like leave it and drop it are useful, too; a Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy loves to explore with their mouth, which can get them into trouble from time to time. After your pup masters the basics, work with your pup on curbing their barking and herding tendencies. You can help them learn when it’s appropriate to bark and herd, but you’ll never completely train those instincts out of your pup.

Early socialization, especially between the ages of 7 weeks and 4 months, will help your Corgi grow up to be a confident, well-adjusted adult dog. Take your pup on walks to let them meet new people and dogs, and enroll them in puppy school. Puppy school is a great place to meet new people and learn to play nicely with other puppies.

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi breed typically does well on a high-quality commercial dog food. Be sure to factor in your dog’s age and choose a formula that fits their stage in life (puppy, adult or senior). Be sure to look for the statement on the packaging that says it meets the nutritional standards of the Association of American Feed Control Officials. Your veterinarian can help you nail down a feeding chart to guide you on how much and how often to feed your dog based on their specific needs.

Clean, fresh water should be available at all times, especially on hotter days or after long walks.

Corgis are prone to overeat and gain weight, so you may have to watch your dog’s calorie consumption. Instead of leaving the food bowl out so your pup can graze all day, only put the bowl down at mealtimes. And don’t forget to factor in the treats! Treat calories count too, so be mindful of how often you give your Corgi snacks and resist giving them scraps from the dinner table.

Concerned about your Corgi’s diet or weight? Consult with your veterinarian, as they are in the best position to help you pick the right food for your dog based on their needs.

As puppies, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi has seemingly boundless energy. As they grow up, they tend to chill out a bit; however, adult Corgis still need about an hour of exercise every day. A daily long walk or even slow jog will do the trick, but their short little legs can’t keep up with faster-paced pursuits. If you’re looking for a good summertime activity, Corgis love the water and are great swimmers.

Corgis are working dogs, aka dogs bred to perform a job, so they love physical activity and having a task to complete. They were bred to herd cattle, after all! Many Pembroke Welsh Corgis also excel in dog sports such as agility, herding and tracking. Corgis are smart and need to keep their minds occupied, too. Whether that’s through agility work or puzzle toys, keeping your Corgi busy will keep them out of trouble. If they’re bored, they’ll let you know with their high-pitched bark, or they’ll run around and steal things, like your socks.

Thanks to their thick double coat, Corgis don’t mind cold weather, but get hot easily. So, make sure you keep your outside activity to the cooler parts of the day in the summer months.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis can make great pets for active pet parents or families—if they’re trained not to herd the kids. If you’re looking for a pup who will wear out the kids and vice-versa, the Corgi may be a good choice.

Corgis love people and assume that everyone around them is there to pet and play with them, so guests should be prepared to interact with your dog. And if you have other pets, that’s not a dealbreaker: Corgis can be trained to live successfully with cats and typically enjoy the company of other dogs.

As long as you can give your Corgi the exercise they crave, they can thrive in any home environment, whether that’s an apartment or a home with a large yard. This loyal breed loves hanging out with their people, so they’re happy wherever you are.

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Pembroke Welsh Corgi Health

Pembroke Welsh Corgis have a life expectancy of 12 to 13 years, and the breed is prone to several health issues. Knowing what these health problems are and purchasing your pup from a reputable breeder can help ensure your dog lives a long and happy life. If you’re adopting a dog, be sure to get a copy of the vet wellness exam.

  • Elbow and Hip Dysplasia: Dysplasia is more common in larger breeds but can occur in any dog. Canine elbow dysplasia occurs when the elbow doesn’t develop properly and eventually causes pain, lameness and eventually arthritis. Hip dysplasia is when the ball and socket of the joint don’t fit together properly, and the joint grinds, which eventually wears the joint down. Treatment may include anti-inflammatory medication or even surgery.
  • Cataracts: Corgis often develop cataracts, which is when their eyes become cloudy and may eventually lead to blindness. Many dogs adjust to vision loss, but surgery is sometimes an option.
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus: Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) is the condition where the small vessel that carries blood between two parts of the heart does not close shortly after birth. Vets listen for a specific heart murmur, and surgery is often required to close the blood vessel.
  • Degenerative Myelopathy: Because of their long bodies, Pembroke Welsh Corgis are highly susceptible to degenerative myelopathy, which is a chronic, progressive and often fatal disease of the spinal cord. Unfortunately, there is no treatment, and it can cause paralysis in all four legs.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease: This blood clotting disorder can be identified with a blood test and is important to check for before your Pembroke Welsh Corgi undergoes surgery. There is no cure for it, but it can be managed with activity modification to prevent injury.

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Pembroke Welsh Corgi History

The origin of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi dates back to the medieval period, when the kings of Europe showed off their luxurious carpets, textiles and tapestries to demonstrate their wealth. At the time, Flemish weavers were considered the most skilled, and kings often encouraged the weavers to relocate to their kingdoms. In 1107, Henry I of Britain invited a few Flemish weavers to move to southwestern Wales, and the weavers brought the dogs they bred to herd cattle and sheep with them. Those dogs became what we now know as Pembroke Welsh Corgis.

Best known as Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite breed, Pembroke Welsh Corgis have risen in popularity as a pet in the United States in recent years and are more popular than their cousin, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. (Originally considered one breed with two types, the two have been separate breeds since the 1800s.) The American Kennel Club recognized the Pembroke Welsh Corgi in 1934, and the breed is No. 13 on the list of most popular breeds in the AKC.

Are you looking to add a Pembroke Welsh Corgi to your life? You can find a list of reputable breeders on the AKC’s website. Depending on the breeder, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi price averages $1,000 to $2,000. For that, you usually get a puppy who’s been screened for health and temperament issues and may come with pedigree papers. If you’re looking to adopt, contact a Corgi rescue group or look out for the breed at your local animal shelter.

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FAQs

Do Corgis shed?

Yes, Corgis shed year-round, but their shedding is heavier in the late spring/early summer.

What is the difference between a Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgi?

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi are two different breeds. While they look similar, Cardigan Welsh Corgis ears are larger and rounder, they have a long tail and are slightly larger overall. They also come in more coat colors. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are usually more social and outgoing and don’t have a tail.

Are Corgis good with kids and cats?

Corgis can be good with kids and cats when properly trained. Corgis have natural herding instincts; they tend to nip at the heels of kids and might chase cats. They can be trained not to herd and chase, but it’s best when the dog grows up with kids or cats.

Are Corgis smart?

Corgis are very smart. They’re quick learners and easy to train, but they’re sometimes too smart for their own good and can get into trouble. Remember, a tired Corgi is a well-behaved Corgi!

What are the most popular Corgi names?

The most popular Corgi names are Luna, Lucy, Charlie, Bella, Cooper, Daisy, Winston, Stella, Piper and Lola. Get more dog names here.

What are the most common Corgi mixes?

The most common Corgi mixes are:

  • Corgi-Husky mix (Horgi or Siborgi)
  • Corgi-German Shepherd mix (Corman Shepherd)
  • Corgi-Chihuahua mix (Chigi)
  • Corgi-Golden Retriever mix (Golden Corgi or Corgi Retriever)
  • Corgi-Dachshund mix (Dorgi)

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Pembroke Welsh Corgi Breed: Characteristics, Care & Photos | BeChewy (4)

Top Takeaways

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a lot of personality packed into a small body. Corgis absolutely love life and are loyal to their families, making for a vigilant watchdog at times. This intelligent breed is easy to train and loves having a job to do, whether that’s a herding class or solving a puzzle toy.

Expert input provided by Dr. Mandy Boos, a veterinarian at Laurel Veterinary Clinic in Broomfield, Colo., Mindy Jarvis, ABC-CPDT, CGC evaluator, and owner of Noble Beast Dog Training in Denver, Colo.

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