Pembroke welsh corgis
They are small in stature but big in heart. Developed to work on farms the Pembroke Welsh Corgi retains their herding instincts but can do more than herd. “Cruiser” completed the requirements for Tracking dog, Tracking Dog Excellent” and “Variable Surface Tracking” title after having won his show championship for conformation. Proving a pretty dog can work Cruiser was the first conformation champion of any breed to earn a champion tracking title.
“Ceri” was the first Pembroke to win a master agility champion title. Corgis with proper training can be hearing dogs and work in other service capabilities.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi historically has a history that speaks of legislation and adaptation. The Romans classified dogs according to use. In the 10th century the only dogs allowed to peasants were small dogs for pest control. Shepherds were allowed to keep their dogs but they had to be mutilated but the shepherds dogs were allowed a docked tail which allowed them to work. Later taxes were charged on dogs except for those with docked tails – the Pembroke had a natural bob-tail that was an early selection trait.
The lack of a tail separates him from the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the two have been maintained as separate breeds since the mid 19th century. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has gained recognition as the breed kept by Queen Elizabeth II.
Thus the corgi was a dual purpose dog – herding and pest control. This is a breed that is low set but strong. They should have enough bone for strength but not coarse. They’re bold, intelligent dogs without any shyness. The ears are stockier and their erect ears more pointed than the Cardigan.
By the standard they are 10-12 inches and fewer than 30 pounds for dogs. They have a medium length coat that is weather-resistant. They are seasonal shedders with an undercoat that can vary their appearance. Regular brushing helps the dog maintain a good coat and when they lose the heavy undercoat there will be plenty of hair for lining bird nests or composting! Apart from this shedding they require little grooming.
Low to the ground with a fox like head with dark eyes this is a dog that is more than he appears. They may be red, sable, fawn or black and tan. Like many herding breeds they may follow movement and nip at heels, which bear training away from the trait. They can be barky and a good alarm dog. Males can be aggressive with other dogs.
They need regular exercise including walks and play. They often duck and roll in play as well as avoiding kicks from larger livestock. Some can be quite possessive with toys and other treasures including children.
The long body can present problems sometimes with back issues. They are heavier muscled than some other breeds so more durable but shouldn’t be allowed to play on stairs. Regular exercise is good but watch they don’t overdo it.
There are some genetic issues that occur in the breed and should be tested for before breeding. Among these are hip dysplasia, eye problems, cancer and autoimmune system issues, sterility in males and uterine inertia during whelping. Other issues that can affect the breed include hot spots, epilepsy, glaucoma, corneal ulceration, lens luxation and progressive retinal atrophy. Breeding for health is important as generally speaking this is a healthy breed.
They’re affectionate dogs but allow people to come to them. They are highly intelligent and trainable. They are energetic but do take heavy praise of doing the right thing rather than heavy correction to keep them motivated. They are sensitive and want to please so are eager to repeat things that get praise.
The food can be an issue – in particular the amount of it. Keep them in good condition without being too thin or too heavy. You should be able to feel but not see the ribs and a good layer of covering over their rumps. Too heavy puts more stress on his spine and increases the chances of serious health problems.
Regular training and activity are needed to keep him from getting bored and creating his own entertainment which usually is less entertaining to you!
Keep him confined at home. His small size means he doesn’t stand a chance of defense either running or fighting against aggressive larger dogs. While he is active and athletic for his size there is just no way he can stand up to a dog twice or three times his size. Their basically trusting nature also leaves them open to theft and unsupervised herding dogs that learn to chase cars can find it a fatal pastime. Many corgis never meet a stranger but love and trust everyone.
Even among herding dogs there are dogs that were used different purposes. There were breeds like the border collie that were sent out into the field to gather the livestock and bring them in then there were droving breeds that drove cattle to market. The latter is reported to be where the Corgi fit in. He could run in and nip a heel then drop and roll safely out of the way to avoid getting kicked.
Those looking at herding can find understanding the difference between these two styles can save a great deal of frustration. Many get irritated when moving cattle and their herding dog circles and stands right in the gate you want them to go through – and often these are dogs that bring them to you, not driving away. On the other hand some of the drovers are less adept at getting around to stare down and turn livestock as their nature is to follow and gently guide but not as much to bring them to you.
Corgi puppies are so cute it’s especially important to steel your resolve when training and stick to discipline and boundaries. The effort that you put into training your puppy will come back to you many times over in a happy, healthy, well mannered adult corgi. One allowed to misbehave and run wild can be a destructive terror created by your lack of boundaries. Training from all owners is highly important. Selection of a stable dog from a breeder is important but training much more so as the dog lives with you.
The Pembroke Welsh corgi is a cute puppy, a loyal companion and an intelligent canine that can do a wide variety of things to help their owners. They take little care but give much back! Research, choose wisely and pick the best individual for a loyal pet that will last many years.