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
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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 owned more than 30 Corgis. 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 little 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.
This isn’t the calmest of the smaller 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.
Tendency to run away
These dogs are hunters as well as herders, and only need to catch a glimpse of a small animal in their vicinity to start chasing it if they can.
This small dog doesn’t tolerate solitude very well, and will easily become bored and display destructive tendencies.
Greedy / Gluttony
These small dogs can certainly be quite greedy, especially where titbits and treats are concerned.
You wouldn’t think that this small Welsh Corgi would make a good watchdog, but you would be wrong. He is quick of the mark to alert his owner to any strangers at the door. With a strong guarding and herding instinct too, he will always protect his family.
Its great fun to be around these small canines, as they are so enthusiastic about everything they do. As an intelligent breed, he is very eager to please and is able to pick up new things very quickly. He is a good choice for a first time dog owner, as long as the owner is committed to providing him with both the mental and physical stimulation he needs.
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Welsh Corgi in a flat
If the Welsh Corgi receives sufficient daily exercise to meet his needs, he will reside quite happily in an apartment. Likewise, he doesn’t need a large outside space for exercise if he is taken out for his daily walks. This is quite an adaptable dog breed.
Need for exercise / Sporty
Although they have the appearance of a small dog, they have lots of stamina and love nothing better than being outdoors. They love all forms of exercise and spending time with their owners. Chasing balls, agility, obedience and herding are just some of his favourite pastimes. As a smart dog, he needs to be active most of the time.
Travelling / easy to transport
As a smaller sized dog, he is accepting to travelling in the boot of a car, or in a dog crate, without any issues.
Welsh Corgi and cats
As the Welsh Corgi breed has previously been used as a herder and ratter to get rid of vermin, his instincts are to round up and chase any vermin. He might include other pets and small animals too, cats included. This behaviour can be curbed with early training.
Welsh Corgi and dogs
This breed tends to get along fine with other dogs in the same family, however, with strange dogs they tend to be more territorial.
Welsh Corgi and children
With a fun-loving nature, the Welsh Corgi will thrive in a family environment, especially if the children are slightly older. These small dogs have an in-built instinct to nip at people’s heels, which doesn’t go down too well with smaller children.
Welsh Corgi and the elderly
Providing this dog has daily exercise to meet his needs, he will settle quite happily with an elderly person as a companion. Remember though, that he is quite an active dog and loves nothing more than being outdoors, running around and burning off his energy.
As the Welsh Corgi breed is quite rare, expect to pay an average price of £1,180 for KC Registered Welsh Corgi and around £870 for a Non-KC Registered pup. When buying a pup from this breed, you actually commit to a 12 to 15 year care plan too.
In addition to the purchase cost, there are various other expenses to take into consideration. These costs include, but are not limited to – the dog’s food, veterinary costs, vaccinations, annual boosters and pet insurance cover. He may be a small dog, but he can be quite expensive to own. Expect to spend between £40 to £60 each month, after you have paid for him in the first place.
Daily grooming is advised for this dog, as his coat is quite thick and dense. He does shed his hair, so frequent grooming will help to prevent this.
Welsh Corgis are known for shedding their coat quite copiously during the year.
Nutrition of the Welsh Corgi
The ideal, nutritious feeding schedule for your Welsh Corgi, is to offer 2 meals each day. Of course the amount will depend on several factors, such as the dog’s size, age and levels of activity. Take care not to over-feed, as this breed is known to put on excess weight.
Health of the Welsh Corgi
The life expectancy of the Welsh Corgi is between 12 to 14 years.
Strong / robust
Welsh Corgis are a lively, active breed with lots of stamina. This breed is used to herd cattle and as such is bold and fearless.
The Welsh Corgi dog is very adaptable in various temperatures. Corgis cope very well during the summer months without any huge problems.
With his double coat and dense hair, the Welsh Corgi can certainly withstand the chilly temperatures of the winter season.
Tendency to put on weight
As they are small dogs, they are quite prone to obesity and weight gain if they don’t receive adequate exercise and other activities. Older Corgis will quite happily lie around in front of the fireside and can become fairly sedentary.