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Pembroke Welsh Corgi

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Pembroke Welsh Corgi Books

Group: Pastoral - Breed Standard


The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is one of two dog breeds known as Welsh Corgis that originated in Pembrokeshire, Wales. These herding dogs are believed to be descended from Swedish Vallhund dogs that came to Wales with the Vikings. The phrase "cor gi" is frequently translated as "dwarf dog" in Welsh. The Corgi is actually the smallest dog in the herding class.


Height: approximately 25-30 cms (10-12 ins) at shoulder. Weight: dogs: 10-12 kgs (22-26 lbs); bitches: 9-11 kgs (20-24 lbs).

Pembrokes can be red, sable, fawn, or black and tan (tri color) with or without white markings on the legs, chest, neck, muzzle, underneath, and as a narrow blaze on the head. Too much white is considered a fault in show dogs. Historically, the Pembroke was a breed with a natural bob tail (very short tail). Corgis have a short undercoat as well as a longer thicker overcoat. These coats shed continuously all year round, with extensive seasonal shedding occurring at least twice each year (as well as after the weaning of pups in the intact females). Also common is a "fairy saddle" marking over the dog's withers, caused by changes in the thickness and direction of hair growth. The phrase supposedly comes from mythology, with the dogs being used as steeds or carthorses for fairies, but it is possible the legend is a modern explanation that came after the term.


Though still sometimes used as a working dog, today Pembroke Corgis are more commonly kept as companions. They are happy, and loving, but can have a stubborn streak due to their natural instinct to command their surroundings.

Breed Health

The length of the spine can cause spinal problems and early arthritis. Pembroke Corgis, if not kept active or if overfed, can easily become obese, which is bad for their elongated backs. They should also not be forced to jump from large heights, such as from a couch, for they could fracture their relatively short legs or damage their very long backs. Lifespan usually about twelve to fourteen years.


Like most herding breeds, they are active, intelligent, and athletic dogs despite their short legs and plump body. The short legs may seem to be a disadvantage, but they can run and jump just as well as any other dog of comparable size. Although short, Corgis are fast runners and, like most herding breeds, need a minimum of an hour's exercise daily. They are, contrary to appearances, a medium-size dog and should not be thought of as a toy dog or one who needs less attention and activity.


Pems are extremely intelligent and quick thinkers, which can make them easy to train, but they are not subservient— for instance, they might not respond to "come" if they have found something such as a gopher hole that intrests them more than the reward offered. In training, the most success has been found using food/treat based praise as the Pem has an insatiable appetite to a fault. Care must be used when using this type of training praise. Corgis can become overweight quickly so in using food/treat based praise, moderation should be one's top priority. See our books on training

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Last link added: 16 Mar, 2008