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Welsh Corgis

Corgis have been herding cattle in Wales for at least 1,000 years! From neighbouring farming regions, Pembrokeshire, and Cardiganshire, the two Corgi breeds got their names, the Cardigan, and the Pembroke respectively. The name Corgi originally stemmed from the Celtic word ‘kergie’ meaning ‘dwarf dog’ referring to their short stature, which helped them avoid injuries from cattle hooves as they nipped at their heels to hurry them along.

Although the two types of Corgis have been considered two distinct breeds since the late 1800’s they were only officially classified as two separate breeds in 1934. The Cardigan Corgi is thought to be the older of the two breed and are one of the oldest dog breeds in Britain. There is some conjecture as to the origins of the breeds, with some claiming that the two breeds have shared ancestry, where others believe that the Pembroke arrived with Flemish weavers in the 1100’s and the Cardigan with Nordic settlers.

Both types of Corgi are renowned for muscular bodies on their short and squat legs. The main differences between the two Corgis are that the Cardigan Corgi has a longer tail, is a larger dog overall, and has rounded ears. The Pembroke has pointed ears and a stumpy tail and is smaller than the Cardigan. The Cardigan comes in any colour, whereas the Pembroke comes in sable, and reds, black and tan or fawn. Both have a short, thick double coat that sheds but the Cardigans coat can grow to a medium length. Their lifespan is around 10 to 12 years.

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Dog Breed Facts & Characteristics

Origin

Wales

Also known as 

Corgi; Welsh Corgi; Corgwyn; Pembroke Welsh Corgi; Cardigan Welsh Corgi; Pembroke Corgi; Cardigan Corgi 

Size

Small - Pembroke 25 to 30cm tall, 12 to 17kgs

Cardigan - 27 to 32cm tall, 14 to 17 kgs

Weight Range

Small - 12 to 17kgs

Cardigan - 14 to 17 kgs

Colours

Sable and white, tricolour, merles, blue

Life expectancy

10 to 12 years

Coat

Short to medium length, thick, double coat; sheds 

Temperament 

Adoring, clever, faithful  

Activity levels

Moderate - high

Best suited for

Active families with experience with dogs

Apartment friendly

Yes 

Personality 

Like so many of the working dogs, Corgi’s are smart! Mental stimulation is vital for these spritely little dogs, and they typically do well at sports like agility. At home they will need plenty of exercise and toys to play with, so they do not become bored. Corgis can have an independent streak so early training is important so that they don’t end up ruling the roost. That said, they maybe better suited to a household with an experienced dog person rather than first time pet parents. They tend to be quite loyal and protective of their household and posses a rather large bark for one so small. Bear this in mind if you are an apartment dweller, but otherwise with plenty of exercise and entertainment they can adapt to apartment living. With appropriate socialisation, they can be friendly to other pets and are generally good with children.

Grooming

Both the Corgi’s have a thick, double coat that sheds. The Pembroke is said to shed more often, but both will benefit from brushing a couple of times a week to help remove loose hair and debris like grass seeds from the coat. Flea control all year around is recommend as is tick control if in a tick area. 

Feeding

When choosing a food for your Corgi, select a premium breed dog food appropriate to your dog’s age. Help your fur baby avoid becoming overweight by ensuring that you follow the recommended feeding guides on the food appropriate to your pet’s size. Make sure your dog always has a supply of fresh, clean water available.

Common health concerns 

In 2020, the most common reason for Corgis to visit the Vet according to PetSure claims data was for gastrointestinal conditions which included diarrhoea, vomiting and dietary indiscretion. Corgis were also seen frequently for allergic skin disease and tumours. The little adventurers were also noted to have traumatic injuries and musculoskeletal complaints feature in the top five reasons they saw the Vet in 2020. 

The five most common reasons for Corgis to visit the vet (excluding routine care visits) according to PetSure data in the 2020 calendar year:

Rank

Condition

Average cost for single treatment
(average pet insurance claim amount)

Highest cost for single treatment (highest pet insurance claim seen for this condition)

1

Gastrointestinal conditions, including diarrhoea, vomiting and dietary indiscretion 

$363

$5, 961

2

Skin conditions, including allergic skin disease, and dermatitis 

$163

$1, 309

3

Traumatic injury, including bites, claw injuries and broken toes

$321

$1, 980

4

Tumours and cancers 

$486

$6, 608

5

Musculoskeletal conditions, including lameness and spinal pain 

$298

$3, 006

Disclaimer: Reimbursement for these claims would be subject to limits, such as annual benefit limits or sub-limits, benefit percentage, applicable waiting periods and any applicable excess. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider

Most popular Corgi names (PetSure data, 2020)

Most popular names

  1. George
  2. Luna
  3. Winston
  4. Frankie
  5. Mochi
  6. Poppy
  7. Alfred
  8. Charlie
  9. Daisy
  10. Milo

Most popular female names  

  1. Luna
  2. Frankie
  3. Mochi
  4. Poppy
  5. Daisy
  6. Pippa
  7. Ruby
  8. Bonnie
  9. Lola
  10. Nellie

Most popular male names

  1. George
  2. Winston
  3. Alfred
  4. Charlie
  5. Milo
  6. Apollo
  7. Archie
  8. Arlo
  9. Arnold
  10. Cooper

Did you know?

The distinct “saddle” pattern on the back of many Corgis is sometimes referred to as a “fairy saddle”, coming from a Welsh legend that Corgis were the transport of choice by fairies (and possibly elves as well!).     

Where can I get a Corgi?

Although they are a pure breed of dog, breed specific rescues may have Corgis or Corgi crosses available for adoption. It may also be possible to find a wonderful small dog for your family at the local shelter or rescue organisation who is looking for a loving home. 

References

  1. AKC Cardigan Corgi, Accessed on 03/06/2021    
  2. AKC Pembroke Corgi, Accessed on 03/06/2021   
  3. Dogtime Pembroke Corgi, Accessed on 03/06/2021  
  4. Wikipedia, Welsh Corgi, Accessed on 10/06/2021

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Kylie Mitchell is a veterinarian with over 17 years experience in animal health and welfare, including in the veterinary and pet insurance industries

She has three rescue cats (Noah, Bei Bei and Meeka), four very old cockatiels and a pond-full of fish.

Kylie's pets

Noah
Noah
Bei Bei
Bei Bei
Meeka
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