Pembroke Welsh Corgis

A Big Dog in a Small Body

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is an active, intelligent, friendly dog that makes a fabulous companion—with good reason.

He is playful and bold and a good watchdog. He is happy in the city or suburbs or on a farm, which makes him a good fit for many different lifestyles.

His fox-like face, long body and stubby legs give him unusual—but fun—style.

And did you know Pembroke Welsh Corgis have very short tails, and some lines are born without one? The breed is gaining in popularity, and last year was 22nd in AKC registrations.

History of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has been around for a long time—since A.D. 1107.

There are a couple theories on how the breed came to be. One is it was the result of breeding the Cardigan Corgi with a Valhund.

Another theory has the dogs arriving in England with Flemish weavers, who Henry I forced to live in Wales. These Flemish were also farmers. They moved to the southwest corner of Wales with their dogs, and the breed developed there in Pembrokeshire.

The Pembroke Welsh Corgis were used to drive cattle by barking and nipping at their heels—then rolling out of the way to avoid being kicked. Watch Pembroke Welsh Corgis at play now and you will see the same rolling action.

According to legend, Pembroke Welsh Corgis also had another function. They often have markings over their shoulders created by fur growing in different directions.

This is known as a “fairy saddle”: the Pembroke Welsh Corgis were said to have pulled carriages and served as steeds for the wee folk.

You will have to decide for yourself whether this breed is a magical dog!


Pembroke Welsh Corgis love to play and need some mental stimulation—a great game of fetch, regular walks and even agility training—to keep them from getting bored and destructive.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Fun Corgi Facts

  • It’s the favorite breed and pet of Queen Elizabeth II, who reportedly owns 16 Pembroke Welsh Corgis.
  • In the popular anime “Cowboy Bebop” there is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Ein, who is super-intelligent and can even drive a car.
  • In the 1993 movie “Dave” the two "first dogs" are Pembroke Welsh Corgis.
  • The first dog to win the AKC Champion Tracker title was a Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

Corgi Health Issues

  • Spinal problems and arthritis are common because of their long backs.
  • They can easily become obese, which puts added pressure on their spine, leading to arthritis.
  • They are prone to degenerative myelopathy, a disease that affects the nerves around the spine and causes muscle weakness and lack of coordination in the back legs. It can eventually lead to paralysis.

Have your pet checked regularly by your veterinarian to make sure your Pembroke Welsh Corgi is at the correct weight. Your veterinarian can also detect early signs of any other disease in your pet.

Is a Corgi the Right Pet For You?

The compact size of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi means he doesn’t need a great deal of space or exercise to keep him fit and content. He should maintain muscle tone with a medium amount of exercise.

His coat is thick and can be red, sable, tan, fawn or black, with or without white markings. And yes, he sheds…a lot. Regular brushing will help.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis love to play and need some mental stimulation—a great game of fetch, regular walks and even agility training—to keep them from getting bored and destructive.

Train them or they’ll get bossy. They are herding dogs by nature and will nip at heels—especially those of children—if they’re not corrected.

They are not necessarily recommended for families with small children for that reason, but if trained well, he will be a fiercely loyal and fun friend.


Return to the VPI Pet HealthZone

Email this article to a friend or share it via your favorite social network.

Share This page

Related Articles

Clawdius

Clawdius' sudden weight loss wasn't a result of a new diet. A visit to the vet revealed he was in the intial stages of hyperthyroidism.
 Full Story