Unlike some dog breeds, Corgis do not have a traceable breed history. Its origins are obscured by tales and folklore and even contain ties to the wee folk of the British Isles. According to legend, two children tending their family's cattle on royal lands found a pair of puppies, which they thought were foxes. When they brought the puppies home, they were told the dogs were a gift from the fairies. Welsh legends tell us that the fairies would use the little dogs to pull their carriages or as mounts for them to ride into battle. If you look close, you can still see the marks of the fairy saddle on their shoulders (especially pronounced in the sable color). As the little puppies that the children brought home grew, they learned to help their humans watch over their cattle and take care of the farm, a task to become a responsibility for their descendants for the centuries to follow.
Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis are of different origins. Pembroke Corgis come from the same lines as Terriers, Spitz and Schipperkes and became popular due to the Queen's influence. Cardigans are an older, rarer breed, coming from the same heritage as the Tekdal dogs, such as the Dachshund. They remained in the hands of the old farmers and breeders, who continued to breed them selectively for the purpose of herding and family companions. The Cardigan temperament is more like a Collie or a well-bred German Shepherd Dog, but both types of Corgi have many similarities.
Corgis are a very intelligent and versatile companion animal. The most suitable home is with a family who is looking more for a companion than just a decoration, someone who is looking for a dog who is as happy going for walks around the neighborhood as for romps in the woods. Corgis are very people oriented and are at their best when incorporated into full family life.
Corgis are a herding breed and if they don't have sheep or something else to herd, they will try and herd you! They herd by nipping the ankles of cows, sheep, etc. This means that you could get a few nips on the ankles when you are walking to the garage, barn or pantry. This is the reason we will not place a Corgi in a home with young children.
The independence of a Corgi's working dog lineage coupled with their innate intelligence means that they can get bored easily. They are happiest having a "job" or having a variety of exercises to keep their interest. This makes agility the perfect outlet for your Corgi - requiring the dog to run an obstacle course accompanied by it's owner, all the while competing against the clock. The obstacle course is a scaled-down version of the course police or military dogs train on. Pembroke Welsh Corgis, along with Cardigan Welsh Corgis, dominate agility in their size class, and are as enthusiastic and competitive as Border Collies. Pems frequently love agility much more than obedience and can be found enthusiastically roaring through an agility course barking happily the whole way, or "yelling" at their owners to hurry up! USDAA, NADAC, NCDA and now the AKC provide agility competition and titles for corgis to compete in.
Corgis shed and shed and shed. We recently took a Corgi into rescue that was in three homes because - he sheds! If you do not have the time to brush your Corgi at least twice a week - and there will still be dog hair everywhere - do not adopt a Corgi.
As evidenced by the above video, Corgis are vocal. They talk and they bark. If this is not for you, do not adopt a Corgi.
It is important to have a veterinarian that knows and understands your breed. Corgis are a dwarf breed. This is very different from a short dog breed. For example, what may look like an enlarged heart on a Corgi x-ray, may actually be a normal Corgi heart. They are also a stoic breed. This means that they do not usually cry in pain but will bear pain in silence. Locate a veterinarian that you are comfortable with, one who knows the breed, and understands the behavior and quirks of the herding dogs. Never choose a veterinarian because they are close to home or a neighbor recommended them. Always choose wisely. Your Corgi's health depends on your decisions.
Do NOT over feed your Corgi. An overweight Corgi is a back problem waiting to happen. In addition, extra weight is hard on all joints and the heart. Excessive weight, especially in older dogs, can lead to numerous problems including kidney failure. If your Corgi is too fat, YOU need more exercise! We will happily give anyone information about how to put your Cogi on a diet - feel free to contact us HERE
Dental health is as important for your dog as it is for you and your family. Ask the vet to check your dog's teeth each year. If the teeth need to be cleaned, get it done immediately to avoid much worse problems down the road. Pet toothpaste and toothbrushes are available from your veterinarian and from pet stores. DO NOT use your Tartar Control Crest!
Visit the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America for interesting information about the Pembroke. Learn everything from breed standards to confirmation to names of local Corgi clubs, where you can meet great Corgi people and Corgis, too.
Yes, there are Cardigan Welsh Corgis and Pembroke Welsh Corgis. And they are originally from Wales. Want to know more of the history of Corgis? Visit Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America
Dr. Ava Frick is a lifesaver for our Corgis. Dr. Ava keeps all the kids in peak performance condition. Wiley visited Dr. Ava several times during the agility trial season. Once, after a trial, Wiley began carrying his left rear leg. Dr. Ava soon discovered that two vertebra in his back had slipped from place. Wiley had two adjustments and returned to the agility field the following weekend.
Visit Animal Fitness Center to learn more about Animal Rehabilitation Medicine. Be sure to say “Hello” to her little Corgi, Cheerio!
We highly recommend our orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Todd Allen of K9 Surgery . He has performed many surgeries on our rescues and the personal and foster dogs of our board members. Recently, two seven-week Corgi girls suffered from severe hip dysplasia, and Dr. Allen performed JPS surgery at 14 weeks. At five months, follow-up x-rays showed NO dysplasia. Always consult with a specialist before agreeing to any orthopedic surgery for your Corgi. Basic cruicate repair or TPLO? It’s always best to consult with a surgeon.
Whether in competition or as a hobby, agility is a great way to give your Corgi "a job", build confidence, and have a wonderful time with your dog! It’s all about team work. Have a Corgi mix? Your Corgi mix can be registered with the AKC and compete in agility.
Fun Corgi Facts
- Corgis are big dogs in small dog suits.
- They are the smallest members of the AKC herding group.
- Welsh Cardigan Corgis sport a long tail (remember long like the sleeves of a Cardigan sweater) and Pembroke's have none, or only the tiniest stub.
- The word "Corgi" is possibly derived from the Welsh "cor" (dwarf) and "ci" (dog).
- A trained Corgi is a happy Corgi!
- Queen Elizabeth II of England has owned corgis since her dad bought her a Pembroke puppy for her 18th birthday in 1933
- The plural of corgi is corgyn