The Welsh Corgi dog has a mythical ancestry. Legends state that these gorgeous dogs were used by elves and fairies to work with their cattle, as riding creatures and to pull coaches. In more recent years, the breed has been used as a cattle herder, farm protector and of course, as a loyal companion.
Key facts about the Welsh Corgi
Origins and history
Dating back many centuries to 920 AD, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is thought to have been introduced into Wales by Flemish Weavers. They utilised these small dogs to drive their cattle herds to market. The Corgis did this by nipping at the heels of the cattle.
In 1928, the UK Kennel Club recognised both the Cardigan and the Pembroke Corgis as one breed. However, some 6 years later, the two breeds were recognised separately. Both breeds are declining in popularity in the UK, and have been placed on the Kennel Club’s list of vulnerable native breeds.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 1 - Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs)
Section 1 : Sheepdogs
Physical characteristics of the Welsh Corgi
Female : Between 10 and 12 in
Male : Between 10 and 12 in
Female : Between 20 and 24 lb
Male : Between 22 and 26 lb
Cardigan: red and white, sable and white, black and white, brindle, blue merle
Pembroke: red, sable, tan, fawn, black (all with or without white markings), tricolour
Type of coat
The Welsh Corgi has coat hair of medium length.
This breed has a straight, harsh to the touch coat, with a dense, thick undercoat.
Eyes of this breed are brown.
The Welsh Corgi dog is a sturdily built, compact shaped dog who is always active and alert. His head has a foxy appearance and shape, is flat between his ears and his muzzle tapers slightly. The Pembroke Corgi has no tail, which distinguishes him from his relative, the Cardigan Welsh, who does actually have one. Similarly, the Pembroke is the slightly smaller of the two breeds.
Good to know
There are 2 types of Welsh Corgi – the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh. They look very similar in appearance but because they have been bred from totally different blood lines, are considered as different breeds. The most noticeable difference is the fact that the Pembroke Corgi has no tail. The Pembrokes tend to have pointed ears while the Cardigan Corgi’s ears are a rounded shape.
The Welsh Corgi is certainly a Royal dog. During her lifetime, Queen Elizabeth II has owned more than 30 dogs from this breed. Her very first Corgi was gifted to her by her father in 1933. He was given the name of Dookie, and both Princess Elizabeth, as she was at the time, and her sister, Princess Margaret, fell in love with the tiny dog. On her 18th birthday, the Queen received another Welsh Corgi as a gift, who she named Susan. Her love of the breed continues to this day.
Welsh Corgi Cardigan
Welsh Corgi Pembroke
The Welsh Corgi is always friendly and outgoing, never aggressive or nervous. The majority of owners consider this breed to be very agreeable and affectionate, yet not overly needy.
With a very playful and fun-loving side to their characters, these small dogs love to be entertained, and to entertain too. When the mood takes him he can be quite mischievous and will often push his boundaries, just for fun.
Although he isn’t the most calm of the small dog breeds, the Welsh Corgi has a watchful, alert nature due to his herding background.
Above all, these small dogs love to please their owners, and as very intelligent dogs, they pick up new skills very easily. He does like to be kept busy, although likewise, after his daily exercise, is just as happy to chill out by the fireside.
Although the Welsh Corgi is a very sociable dog, as they have a heritage of herding and working ancestors in their blood lines, they have a high prey drive too. When they get the chance, they will chase after small animals, including the neighbour’s cat!
Fearful / wary of strangers
Often quite wary of strangers, but never showing any aggressive tendencies. This dog probably prefers to get to know someone before he will call them a friend and will keep his distance from any strangers.
Certainly a very strong-willed, independent little dog, who needs a confident owner who can show he is the master.
Behaviour of the Welsh Corgi
As the Welsh Corgi forms strong bonds with their family, they don’t tolerate being left alone for long periods. They are certainly happy if their owner is at home during the daytime. Separation anxiety in the Corgi can lead him to display destructive tendencies as a way to keep himself occupied. He will often bark incessantly to show his disaproval of being left alone.
Easy to train / obedience
The Welsh Corgi is very responsive to most training methods and he is willing and eager to learn new skills. Although quite a sensitive dog, he is a quick learner and will respond well when tasked with obedience skills.
For such a small dog, he can certainly make noise. With an impressive bark, he will alert you to something he’s not happy about, or when strangers are around.