Pembroke Welsh Corgi: Breed Facts and Temperament
If you have ever heard the phrase “big dog on short legs,” then you know we are talking about the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. But what the Corgi dog lacks in height, it makes up in being athletic, dependable, brave, and spirited. If these are the qualities you want in a canine best friend, then the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is just for you. This Corgi is all about defying the odds. It has speed levels that belie its short legs, and enthusiasm that you won’t find in many other dog breeds. In this article, we will provide you with vital information about this special dog breed ranging from diet to training and temperament.
History of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi
One thing that most Welsh Corgi admirers wonder about is where this dog breed came from. Thus, a little history about the origin of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is important before we move on. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi, also known as the dwarf dog, has its origin in Pembrokeshire Wales (just as its name suggests) about a thousand years ago. It was originally ‘designed’ to be a cattle herding dog. Aside from that, it was also used to heald sheep and horses. Some Welsh folklore suggests that the Pembroke Welsh Corgi was a gift from fairies. But it is best to settle for a more pragmatic explanation. We find such an explanation from dog experts who suggest that the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a descendant of the spitz kind of dogs that became a part of Viking’s way of life.
Other dog experts suggest that they could be related to the Norwegian Lundehund and the Swedish Vallhund. However, yet some other dog experts have suggested that there is a possibility that the ancestry of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi lies with the Flemish weavers in the twelfth century. However, it was not until 1933 that the Pembroke Welsh Corgi gained some level of popularity when the daughters of King George VI of Britain (Margeret and Elizabeth) received a Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy as a gift from their father. A year later, the American Kennel Club made its first Pembroke Welsh Corgi recognition. Currently, the breed is ranked as the 27th most popular dog breed in America. And oh, just in case you are wondering, Queen Elizabeth II, is still a fan of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
Quick Facts About the Pembroke Welsh Corgi
So, at this point, we know now that Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a stint of royalty in its history. But, what else do we not know about this dog breed? Let’s consider some quick facts about the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
- Corgi size: An adult Pembroke Welsh Corgi stands at the height of 10 inches to one foot at the shoulder. This is true for both male and female corgis. However, sometimes a corgi can grow as tall as 12 inches. Pembroke Welsh Corgi can weigh from 25 pounds to 30 pounds. Again, this is for both genders. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is considered as the smallest member of the herding dog group.
- Life span: The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a lifespan of 12 to 14 years, all things being equal. That is to say that if it is well taken care of and protected.
- Corgi coat: The Pembroke Welsh Corgi comes with a double coat that has medium length. The coat colors are usually available in red, tan, black, fawn, and sable. Some of the coats have white markings, while some do not. Plus, corgi coats shed. A fluffy corgi has a long, fluffy-like coat that is different in appearance from other corgis.
- Corgi personality: The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a strong and energetic personality. It is naturally inclined to be in charge and does not like to be left out of the fun.
- Family integration: Pembrokes are very adaptable dogs and can live with any family size and environment.
Things You Should Know About the Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Okay, we are getting into some very important information that any corgi lover must know before they dash off to the pet store. If you have any intention of getting a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, then you should take the time to read this section.
Let us start off with corgi health problems. Just like any other breed of dog, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is prone to a number of health challenges that you should know about.
- Hip dysplasia: Corgis are prone to a maldevelopment in the hip known as hip dysplasia. This condition occurs when the thigh bone does not properly connect with the hip joint. It can be painful and can cause immobility.
- Cryptorchidism: This is a condition that occurs when one of the testicles is retained inside the body. This condition can also be painful and can lead to challenges when passing urine.
- Degenerative Myelopathy: Simply known as DM, degenerative myelopathy is a kind of paralysis that progresses very quickly and, unfortunately, cannot be cured. It is recommended to visit the vet for a DNA test to be done to ascertain whether your corgi is at risk or not. The test produces three one of three possibilities – At Risk, Carrier, or Clear.
Because the Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a long back in relation to its legs, it is usually prone to a condition known as intervertebral disc disease. This condition causes the discs located in the spinal cord to bulge. The mild form of this condition can be solved through proper crate training. The severe form will need surgery. Some dog experts have also linked a corgi with a long coat (commonly called a fluffy corgi) with genetic abnormalities.
Aside from being very adorable, corgis are very intelligent and gentle dogs. Yet, a dog is still a dog. Thus, your corgi needs proper house training. To have the best results, training should begin at a very young age. Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppies are less stressful when it comes to training, as compared to other breeds. However, you need to have enough patience and shower your dog with a lot of treats and reassurances. There are a few patterns you need to be aware of about your corgi puppies – the sleep patterns and the bathroom pattern. This will help you know what times to introduce the litter box. Introduce the litter box at four minutes before your dog’s bathroom time and give them at least ten minutes to get their job done. Introduce a spacious and comfortable crate to your puppy’s favorite spot in the house and encourage it to use it with the help of treats. Keep the door of the crate open and leave some treats there. Do this as often as it takes for your dog to feel comfortable with the crate. Once it is, start closing the crate with your puppy in it for a couple of minutes. Stay beside the dog to reassure it of your presence while rewarding it with some treats. Even when your dog is comfortable using the crate without treats, never leave it in there for more than two hours.
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The first thing that most people are surprised about when it comes to the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is how athletic that short dog is and the amount of speed that can be found in those tiny legs. But that shouldn’t be a surprise considering the fact that corgis were bred to be used for cattle herding. And this requires a lot of agility, athleticism, and speed. As a working farm dog, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a lot of energy to burn and stamina. Thus, it requires enough exercise to make up for the lack of ‘work’ in being a home dog. A healthy corgi needs about one hour of exercise a day to help maintain its health and stamina. Because of its body’s natural demand for activity, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi gets bored very easily when it is inactive for a while. Thus, if you cannot afford to give this dog the amount of time for exercise that it needs, then it is probably not the kind of dog for. Alternatively, you can always opt for the service of a professional dog walker. When a corgi does not get enough playtime, it has the potential of leading to certain behavioral issues. In order to keep your corgi happy and healthy, it should have three main activities as part of its daily exercise – daily walks, purposeful playtime, and mentally-stimulating games.
Nutrition, combined with good exercise, play the best roles when it comes to ensuring that your Pembroke Welsh Corgi remains a healthy and happy dog. As mentioned earlier, this is a high-energy breed of dog. Thus, its diet should reflect its energy requirement. However, you must be careful not to feed your dog with too many carbs in order not to risk it becoming overweight. The ideal diet for your dog should be made up of not less than sixty percent high-quality animal-based protein and not more than thirty percent carbs. This is to prevent the risk of your dog being obese. In spite of the fact that the Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a lot of energy to burn, it is still prone to being overweight. To ensure that your dog’s diet is well balanced, it should have a good amount of essential nutrients and minerals. The easiest way to ensure that your dog gets the proper nutrition it needs it to opt for already-made dog food. There are various brands available that have been specially formulated to suit the requirements of high-energy dogs. You can speak to your vet for some recommendations. Most dog experts recommend opting for high-quality dry dog food. If you intend to feed your dog with the food you make yourself, then it is best to first consult with a vet. When feeding with already-made dog food, opt for compositions that are designed especially for high energy dogs. Normally, about one and a half cups of high-quality dry dog food, served twice a day should be enough.
Some dog experts have described the Pembroke Welsh Corgi as a “wash-and-go” breed of dog. This is because it has a double coat with medium-length hair that requires frequent brushing or combing. It is recommended you brush your corgi at least once every week to help you control the problem of shedding. However, during the Fall and Spring seasons, the coats shed extra heavily. Thus, brushing your dog’s coat at least two times a week during these periods is highly recommended. It is important to note that no matter how long the hair coat of your corgi is, you should not attempt to trim or cut it. A fluffy corgi, for example, has been passed off by some dog experts as a special breed of a corgi that should be groomed by trimming its hair coat. Again, there is no reason to trim a Pembroke Welsh Corgi’s coat.
Bathe your corgi when the need arises. Be careful not to use any human-grade shampoo on your dog as doing so will cause skin irritations. There are several dog-grade shampoos available to choose from. However, unlike other dog breeds, it is possible to bathe your corgi every week without doing harm to its coat. Be sure to trim its nails regularly to prevent any toenail injury. Your dog’s teeth also need regular brushing, preferably three times every week. Again, stick with dog-grade toothbrush and toothpaste. Be sure to inspect its ears regularly for dirt, infections, and excess wax build-up. Use a soft and damp towel to gently clean out the inner part of its ears when you need to.
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If there is a dog that wears a smile, it will be the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. This dog breed is full of energy and ever ready to have fun. Aside from its love for fun and playtime, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi does not appreciate being left out of family activities. In fact, it wants to be the dog-in-charge of any activity. This is as a result of its natural herding instincts. Aside from its love for playtime, Pembroke Welsh Corgi is ever ready for work. Because the kind of work it is ‘designed’ for is usually not available in the modern home, it needs to be preoccupied with intelligent games that will help to keep its mind stimulated. The corgi dog is intelligent and a very strong competitor. Thus, it is very easy for you to teach them new skills. It has a very strong personality, which requires its owner to prove that he/she is in charge. In short, a big dog on small legs.
In conclusion, do not let the small legs of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi fool you. This breed of dog is packed with athleticism, energy, and speed. Plus, it has a personality that also belies its size. It is an intelligent dog with a great work ethic that is ideal for any family size. Only be sure that you are willing to give the amount of time and attention it requires.
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