corgis the beloved short-legged breed with quite a history

Corgis: The Beloved Short-Legged Breed with Quite a History

We don’t know about you, but when we think about Corgis, we definitely see the Queen of England herself, Queen Elizabeth the II. Is there a reason why the queen loves this breed so much? Is the breed history tied to England? Did they always have short legs? Wouldn’t short legs be something natural selection would weed out? So many questions! 

One thing is for sure, the Corgi is a very beloved breed and is popular all around the world. Thinking about bringing a stout, happy and energetic dog home? Wonder if the Corgi is right for you? Wonder no more!

What is a Corgi?

A Corgi
Image by Lucio Liu from Pixabay

Corgis immediately invokes the image of cute short legs and an elongated body. It doesn’t belong to a specific breed, but there are two types of Corgis – the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. The two breeds have subtle differences that are pretty distinct if you know what to look for. Not to mention, they also have different histories, which we will cover in a bit.

Let’s take a look at the physical attributes first. Both breeds are dwarf breeds with short legs, a longer body, similar coloring, large heads, and perky ears (though Cardigans have larger ones). However, the similarities stop there. Let’s start with the tail. Cardigan Welsh Corgis have longer tails while their counterparts have shorter ones.

Cardigan Welsh Corgis are also larger, with males typically coming in at around 38 pounds while Pembrokes are around 30. The overall look of the corgis also vary slightly with the Pembroke exhibiting a more angular and rectangular frame while the Cardigans are more rounded and typically have a sloped back/rear.

Where Did the Corgi Originate From?

Where Did the Corgi Originate From
Image by Szabolcs Molnar from Pixabay

Both Pembrokes and Cardigans are from Wales, just different areas. Cardigans originate from Cardiganshire, a region with rockier terrain, and Pembrokes are from Pembrokeshire, which is flatter. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is also much older than the Pembrokes – by 2000 years to be specific!

Their origins can be traced as far back as 1200 BC! Cardigans descended from the same lineage as the Dachshund, the German Teckel, and came to Wales way back then.

The Pembroke’s arrival in Wales was alongside the Vikings, and although they look very similar, the Pembroke actually descends from spitz breeds.

What Was the Corgi Bred For?

What Was the Corgi Bred For
Image by Szabolcs Molnar from Pixabay

Both types of corgis were bred for herding. It’s quite intriguing to picture a short-legged breed running fast enough and having command over herds of cattle and sheep, but it’s true. Even now, corgis compete in herding competitions and prove to still excel at what their ancestors were bred to do.

What Does a Corgi Look Like?

What Does a Corgi Look Like
Image by Elena Rogulina from Pixabay


If you want to have a dog with more special coloring, then go for the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. The breed has more coat colors from the more common brindle, black, and tan with white to red and sable with white. They also come in the coveted and very rare blue merle (a pattern more often seen in breeds such as the Aussie Shepherd).

As for the Pembroke, they come in more common colors such as red, sable, and a tricolor pattern with white.

Unique Physical Characteristics


Corgis can have blue eyes, but the most common are dark brown to almost black. While we love the blue eyes, they are more commonly seen in the blue merle pattern in Cardigan Welsh Corgis


As we mentioned, the tail is a differentiator between the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. The latter have shorter docked tails that sit close to the body while the latter have longer drapey tails.


The ears are another trait that can set the two breeds apart. Yes, both breeds have erect ears, but the ones seen on a Cardigan Welsh Corgi are larger and have a rounder shape as opposed to Pembroke’s smaller and pointier ones.


Corgis have regular snouts that are longer and have black noses. What’s adorable about their expression is that they can give the impression that they are always happy and always smiling! This will definitely put a smile on your face as well.

How Big Does a Full-Grown Corgi Get?

A Full-grown Corgi
Image by Szabolcs Molnar from Pixabay

There are two types of corgis and we mentioned the difference in size previously, but let’s delve into more detail. 


The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is the smaller one of the two, with adults standing at 10-12 inches. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is slightly larger standing at half an inch taller and weighing.


As for the weight, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is heavier measuring in at 30 to 38 pounds while its smaller counterpart comes in between 28 to 30 pounds. 

Male vs Female

Females in both corgi breeds are smaller and shorter. Typically female Pembrokes are 28 pounds and around 10 inches tall and the males are 30 pounds and 12 inches tall.

The same goes for Cardigans where the females are 10.5 inches and around 30 pounds and the males are between 30 to 38 pounds and 12.5 inches tall. 

Different Types of Corgis

Different Types of Corgis
Image by Andrey Muzychuk from Pixabay

As we mentioned, there are Pembrokes and Cardigans. Their history is different, with the Cardigans being the much older breed. Despite their physical similarities, the two corgis have noticeable differences. Even though their personalities are similar, there are some variances still.

How to Take Care of a Corgi?

Corgi Playing a Ball as an Exercise
Image by Elena Rogulina from Pixabay


You would think that a breed with short legs wouldn’t require much exercise, but you would be wrong. But don’t worry, they don’t need anything excessive like some other sporting and working breeds do (we’re looking at you, Sibes).

The Cardigans are a very adaptable breed and can accompany you on outdoor adventures and can also be perfectly happy curling up on the couch with you at home. Pembroke corgis are the ones who love physical activity and need things to do. The best is to give them daily walks and play time.


Another thing that sets the Pembroke and the Cardigan Welsh Corgis apart is their coat. While both have a double coat, the Pembrokes are the ones that can have longer fur. You should brush a Cardigan corgi at least once a week, trim the fur under their paws, and do nail clippings when necessary.

It isn’t necessary to give them a shave during the summer months. A corgi is able to regulate body temperature automatically. 

A Pembroke corgi’s coat is thicker and coarser on the exterior with a soft undercoat. They shed a lot so would require daily brushing. It would also be ideal to keep the paws and nails trim but there is also no need for summer shaves.

As for bathing, both corgis should be bathed as needed.


How Much to Feed

How much you feed your corgi depends on the dog. Is yours on the larger and heavier side? Does it get a ton of exercise? If so, then your corgi will likely need more food than one that’s more of an indoor dog. 

Also, keep in mind that appetites may drop in the summer heat and during various phases of the dog’s life. Dogs in their senior years typically don’t need as much food as they did in puppyhood and at the peak of their prime. 

How much to feed also depends on the food and diet you pick. If you’re not too sure about the amount, a pet nutritionist, vet, or the guidelines on the food package can offer some guidance. 

How Often to Feed

Puppies require more frequent meals throughout the day in lesser amounts (about 4 times per day). It’s easier for digestion until the pup has fully developed. Around 6 months to a year is when you can start decreasing the feeding frequency and increasing the amount. Gradually, your dog can be fed twice a day.

Common Food Allergies

Food allergies could be hereditary or develop later in life for your dog. It’s a good idea to ask the breeder or shelter for information about the dog’s parents to decipher what allergies you could expect.

Keep in mind that while many allergies are food related, it’s entirely possible that the allergy is caused by environmental factors as well such as grass or pollen. There are tests for some allergies but none for food. The best way to figure out what type of ingredient your dog is allergic to is with an elimination diet. Most likely, it will be a protein source such as beef or chicken, so that is a good place to start.

Are Corgis Easy to Train?

Owner Training a Corgi
Image by Elena Rogulina from Pixabay

Corgis are intelligent and very active. They are essentially working dogs, which means they excel at tasks and are usually eager to please. This makes them easier to train, but they can have a stubborn streak sometimes too!

What can really help make training easier for you and your pup is early socialization. Socialization means introducing your pup to as many new experiences, things, and people as possible before it is 6 months old.

Doing so will ensure your dog has the best chance and starts off on the right foot to becoming a very well-rounded and well-behaved adult. 

Are they Easy to Potty Train?

The same concept applies to potty training, although it also depends on the dog. Some dogs just have a harder time with it and that’s okay. It doesn’t speak to your dog’s overall intelligence or personality, but dogs will master potty training over time. Just make sure you come at it with a positive attitude, reinforcements, patience, consistency, and lots of love!

What is the Corgi Temperament?

Corgis Are Very Friendly and Person Oriented
Photo by ANTONI SHKRABA on Pexels

Both types of corgis are very friendly and people-oriented. They just love to spend time with their humans! They are very smart dogs and love to please, which makes training a bit easier sometimes. You may notice that they are quite vocal, and this stems from their ancestry. Corgis in the past would yap and nip at the cattle to get them going, and you may see this behavior in your pooch as well.

The vocalness also makes corgis good watchdogs, but there is a chance that they will bark at innocent passersby as well.

Pembrokes are usually more high-energy, while their larger Cardigan cousins are a little more laid-back and relaxed. Just keep in mind that the temperament will also depend on the dog. Just make sure to give adequate mental and physical stimulation every day.

Does This Breed Do Well with Children?

Yes! Corgis do well with kids. You may even find your corgi to be an excellent helper and “herd” the kids to keep them in line! As loving dogs, corgis are great with kids and can match the high energy of children and toddlers.

Does It Do Well with Other Pets?

Corgis can generally get along with other pets whether the corgi is the new one to the family or if there is a new addition after it. What really determines how well a corgi gets along with another pet is how well it was socialized. A dog that was socialized early and exposed to many different people and animals will be more accepting of others.

Are Corgis Aggressive?

Again, it really depends on the dog, but corgis are not generally aggressive dogs. There are definitely ones that are less friendly (we’ve experienced this personally) but there are plenty of nice and well-behaved corgis that are welcoming and loving.

What Environment is Ideal for the Corgi?

Cold Weather is Ideal for Corgis
Image by Szabolcs Molnar from Pixabay

Since they are a double-coated breed, corgis do better in colder weather. They don’t have very long fur, so they can still get cold. A sweater in brisker winters will help your corgi stay warm. 

Most dog breeds don’t do well in very hot weather as heatstroke can be deadly for dogs and corgis are the same. If you live in a hot climate, keep your dog indoors and give them plenty of water throughout the day.

As for city life vs rural living, corgis can do both. Dogs are animals after all, and we don’t know the one that would typically say no to large acres of land to run free on, but corgis don’t necessarily need that. They can live perfectly happy lives in an apartment in the city or a small house in the suburbs.

What Is the Average Life Span of a Corgi?

Corgi With Average Life Span
Image by Csilla Ozsvath from Pixabay

Corgis can live anywhere between 12 to 15 years with good care. If we compare the Pembroke with the Cardigan, the latter has the longer life span of 15 years while the other has a general life expectancy of 12 to 13 years.

Corgi Common Health Issues

Corgi With a Common Health Issue Due to Its Elongated Body
Image by Elena Rogulina from Pixabay

The biggest health concern for corgis is invertebral disc disease. This is due to their elongated bodies and this condition can be seen in Dachshunds as well. Aside from that, you may also see hip dysplasia due to the disproportion of their short limbs and regular bodies. Again, this is something common in dwarf breeds.

How Much Does a Corgi Cost?

How Much Does a Corgi Cost
Photo by Ibrahim Boran on Unsplash

Corgis can cost a few hundred to over $2000! It all depends on the pedigree of the dog. If you’re looking to save some money, there are shelters and rescues in all parts of the world that may have corgis looking for a forever home. 

Other Similar Dog Breeds

Dachshund is a Corgi Similar Dog Breed
Image by Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels

Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is a classic dog breed that can sometimes be confused with a corgi if you just look at the face. These adorable spitz dogs are actually an ancient Japanese breed with a very long history. They are a proud breed that was originally bred for hunting. 

Aside from coloring and a face that may resemble some corgis, they can be very affectionate like our beloved dwarf breed but exude a calm demeanor that corgis may not have.


There is no need to explain why a Dachshund is a similar dog breed to the corgi – they’re both dwarf breeds! Aside from that and some similar coloring and coat lengths, the two breeds are quite different. The Dachshund was originally bred for hunting, while the corgi is a working herding dog.

The temperament of these two breeds is quite similar. They are high-energy, loving, and affectionate and will make very loyal furry best friends.

Swedish Vallhund 

The breed that exhibits the most similarities in terms of appearance to Corgis is the Swedish Vallhund (or just Vallhund). You can see a similar body shape, although Vallhunds aren’t quite as stout, and the coloring varies between the breeds. 

The Vallhund is also a herding dog that possesses seemingly unlimited energy like some Corgis do and is also very intelligent. 

Finding the Right Breeder 

Right Corgi Breeder Takes Care of the Dogs and Train Them
Image by Elena Rogulina from Pixabay

If you’re looking for a corgi directly from a breeder, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself from supporting a puppy mill or getting one of very ill health. We believe that all dogs should be loved, regardless of health, size, appearance, etc.

A good way to weed out backyard/irresponsible breeders is by considering a few questions.

A reputable breeder will engage in the following:

  1. Answer questions about the breeding environment and let you visit.
  2. Only produce 1-2 litters a year or less. If they produce more they should have many sires and moms and rotates between parents.
  3. Have a waiting list due to responsible breeding circumstances and times.
  4. Know everything about the breed, how to care for the dog, and offer training tips
  5. Properly socialize the dog and do some basic training before sending off the pups. This is not always true but it will definitely help you!
  6. Not send a puppy home before 8 weeks.
  7. Work with a reputable vet.
  8. Engage in responsible mating.
  9. Have positive references, reviews, etc.
  10. Care about where their pups end up and will ask you questions about your circumstances as well to ensure their pups are going to good homes.
  11. Always be available for questions and support. It is a lifetime commitment between breeder and pet parent.
  12. Want the puppy returned to them rather than resold or given up at a shelter. And the contract should come with a health guarantee.
  13. Provide necessary documents and paperwork (for pedigree and where applicable).
  14. Not set off any alarm or warning bells. You should feel very comfortable with the breeder you choose! Go with your gut!

Conclusion: Is the Corgi Right For You?

Getting a dog is not just about finding one with an appearance that appeals to you. You should also consider your lifestyle, the time you have, and where you live. If you’re super active and love to go hiking and climb mountains on the regular, it could be a little tough on your corgi. However, there are similar breeds we introduced that could do better on rocky terrain. Remember that it isn’t just you getting used to your dog, your dog has to adjust to your lifestyle too!

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