Welsh Corgi is an energetic, playful and intelligent dog and it mostly comes in two types, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi.
Cardigan Welsh Corgi
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a long dog which is low to the ground. It has an almost flat skull with a head that is more proportional to the body rather than to its legs. The skull is rounded and pointed. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi has wide eyes and a dark rim at the edges that add depth to them. It has a black nose and a muzzle parallel to the skull. Almost all Cardigan Welsh Corgis have brown eyes with the only exception of the merle Corgi which could have eyes with shades of blue. Their ears are black and large in proportion to the skull. The legs of this particular dog breed are short with the front feet bending outwards. The breastbone is very prominent and deep.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Just like the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a long dog with short legs. The major difference is that the Pembroke Corgi is less heavily boned than its counterpart. It has a more fox like appearance and a much shorter tail. In fact they have been compared to foxes a lot due to their stocky frame, pointy long ears and the long muzzles. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has no tail or in a few instances, a very short one. Some owners also tend to dock that short tail, which is illegal in some jurisdictions.
The Corgis are very intelligent dogs, able to take commands and always happy as well as ready to please their masters. They are loyal and loving dogs which is also a distinct characteristic of their personality and they are protective of their owners. They are able to interact well with kids and other animals but they will exhibit aggressiveness towards other dogs.
Due to their herding instinct, they tend to nip at the heels of people. However, his behavior could be discouraged when the dog is still young. Some Corgis develop small dog syndrome which can be problematic to their owners. Another characteristic, especially with Pembroke is that they bark a lot. Any slight change to their usual environment will make them bark and will only stop once you acknowledge the cause. This is also what makes them excellent watch dogs.
The average weight of Corgis is between 25-30 pounds for males and 11-14 pounds for females. These breeds have been observed to gain weight very easily. They are good feeders and thus their portions should be checked strictly in order to avoid potential obesity problems which could cause a myriad of other health problems for them. The Corgis should also remain very active, and particularly the Cardigan Welsh Corgi even more. You should bear in mind that these dogs used to be herding dogs that spent the whole day out in the fields chasing after stray cattle.
The height of an adult Corgi ranges between 10-13 inches for the males and the females too.
The Corgis have a short or medium length, thick undercoat with a longer fluffy outer coat. The undercoat is water resistant. Both coats are longer in the neck, chest and shoulders. There are four main coat colors in the Cardigans which are summarized on the following:
- Sable- this is a unique coat of these dogs. It has some variations which range from light to dark. Corgis which have this coat color will have a black cast over the tail head, back and withers. They also have a black shadow that arches from the top of the eyes to the point between the eyes. It is commonly referred to as a windows peak.
- Black Headed Tri- these Corgis are fondly referred to as BHT. They have a black shadow on top of the head as the name suggests as well as the ears and around the eyes. The undercoat, underbelly and face may be tan but the outer coat is black.
- Red headed tri- the top of the head is predominantly red. Also parts of the body will be red as well.
- Red and white- this is the last coat color and as the name suggests, this Corgi comes in different shades of these colors.
Some Corgis have longer coats than the others. These are known as the long haired Corgis or the fluffy Corgis.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgis are born with tails, though some are docked when the dogs are still young. However, others have short tails carried over their backs. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi has a long tail.
The Welsh Corgi was brought to Wales from central Europe by the Celtic tribes. In fact this is one of the earliest breeds which came to the whole of Britain around 3000 years ago. The Corgi is descended from the Dachshund and the Basset Hound breeds. The Corgi was initially used as a herd dog by farmers in South Wales. During those times, land was undivided and cattle were strewn all over the land. That was the time that a need for a herding dog arose. The Corgi was perfectly suited for this job. It nipped at the heels of the cattle and sheep to drive them to the desired direction. Because of this nip, the cattle would try to throw kicks at the Corgi which allowed them to develop their agility to duck these kicks while driving the herd successfully.
Besides herding, the Corgis were on the lookout for any predators. The two different breeds of Corgis are thought to have this common ancestry which was distinct in the areas where they were developed. The Cardigan was developed in Cardigan South Wales and hence its name, while the Pembroke was developed in Pembroke South Wales. The Corgis were treasured by both farmers as well as by the rest of the population so much that laws were put into place in order to protect them. Anyone who caused any harm to the dogs or tries to steal them, there was a sentence of heavy punishment waiting for them.
In earlier times, it was thought that the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi to be one and the same breed, but as soon as the Corgis started participating in dog shows, the judges decided that these were two distinct breeds due to their obvious differences. These differences were probably due to the crosses with other distinct breeds. It is thought that the Pembroke was cross breed with the Spitz-type dogs from the Vikings. As land was divided, the Corgis soon found their way into people’s backyards and became more of a companion and guard dogs than herding dogs.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is the most popular breed between the two. This is partly because it was the favorite dog of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II. The particular pet breed was not only popular in Britain but also in other parts of the world.
Common Welsh Corgi Health Problems
In matters health, Corgis, just like any other dog breed have some diseases which normally affect them. This doesn’t mean that your dog will eventually suffer any of these specific infections. It rather means that the chances might be higher for Corgis to get infected with these diseases than for any other breed. However, prevention is better and easier begin with than treatment. Therefore, it is highly recommended to keep your Corgi always vaccinated against the diseases they are exposed due to their genetic makeup as well as other factors. Note that vaccination is not a guarantee that your pet might not get ill.
Corgis have been known to be very susceptible to back and joint problems as they grow older. Hip dysplasia and ruptured discs are also reported amongst many Corgis. Studies show that these conditions are caused by the nature of their physical body structure. Due to their double coat, there is a possibility that Corgis may suffer from skin problems. Several triggers can lead to these problems including pests, parasites and food allergies.
Obesity is a very common problem affecting the Corgis in these modern times. They have a large appetite and without strict control on their diet, they could easily gain excessive weight. They also require intense physical exercises each day. Obesity leads to many other complications including joint pain, arthritis and in rare cases, even sudden death. Monitor your Corgis’ weight closely to determine when there is a problem and take early remedial measure.
Other health problems which have been encountered are eye disorders, Von Williebrand disease and Degenerative myelopathy. These conditions can be avoided through careful breeding by a qualified person.
The average lifespan of a Corgi is 12-15 years.
The Corgis are very active dogs from their nature. Taking their origins into consideration, they were herding dogs which used to spend their entire day in the field. Nowadays, that they no longer herd, they still require a lot of daily exercise. It is highly advised to take your Corgi for a long walk in daily basis. The walk should be no less than 25 minutes and whenever possible, it would be good to include couple of running sessions in the meantime. While walking your Corgi, always be ahead of it. It needs to follow you right behind your heel. It’s also advisable to get it a good training session at least once a week.
Corgis are very easy to groom. Their double coats are well maintained. You only need to comb and brush it when need arises and usually once a week is more than enough. Use a firm bristle brush to do so. Bathe the dog only when necessary since frequent bathing when there’s no need, could strip them off their natural oils that help them against skin diseases. As far as concerned shedding, their undercoats tend to come off all year round and their overcoats twice a year. Females usually shed more than male Corgis.
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Welsh Corgi Videos
A very informative video about Welsh Corgis has been published on Dogs 101 which gives you a very brief as well as informative idea about these very lovable dogs.