- The Pembroke originated in Wales some 1,000 years ago and was employed as an all-around farm dog. He herded livestock, killed rats and other vermin, and barked an alarm if strangers came by.
- The Pembroke’s personality has been described as a cross between a cruise-line social director and a high school hall monitor. He likes being involved and being in charge.
- Pembrokes can adapt to any home environment as long as they get plenty of daily exercise.
- The Pembroke has a medium-length double coat that comes in red, sable, fawn, or black and tan, with or without white markings. He sheds.
- The words “cor gi” are thought to mean “dwarf dog.”
- The Pembroke is the smallest member of the Herding Group.
AKC group: Herding Group
UKC group: Herding
Average lifespan: 13 – 15 years
Average size: 24 – 30 pounds
Coat appearance: Short and thick
Coloration: Red, black and tan, fawn, sable
Other identifiers: Long body with short legs, black nose, eye colors in various shades of brown, oval-shaped feet, docked or short tail
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi lineage has been traced
back as far as 1107 AD. It is said that the Vikings and Flemish weavers brought the dogs with them as they traveled to reside in Wales. As far back as the 10th century, corgis were herding sheep, geese, ducks, horses, and cattle as one of the oldest herding breed of dogs.
Pembroke Welsh Corgis are closely related to Schipperkes, Keeshonds, Pomeranians, Samoyeds, Chow Chows, Norwegian Elkhounds, and Finnish Spitz. Pembrokes and Cardigans first appeared together in 1925 when they were shown under the rules of The Kennel Club in Britain. The Corgi Club was founded in December 1925 in Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire. It is reported that the local members favored the Pembroke breed, so a club for Cardigan enthusiasts was founded a year or so later. Both groups have worked hard to ensure the appearance and type of breed are standardized through careful selective breeding. Pembrokes and Cardigans were officially recognized by the Kennel Club in 1928 and were initially categorized together under the single heading of Welsh Corgis, before the two breeds were recognized as separate and distinct in 1934.
Pembroke Welsh Corgis are becoming more popular in the United States and rank 20th in American Kennel Club registrations, as of 2015 . However, corgis are now listed as a “vulnerable” breed in the United Kingdom; the decline has been said to be due to a 2007 ban on tail-docking in the U.K., as well as the lack of breeders in the U.K.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgis my be small, but they pack a lot of dog into a little body. Originally used to herd cattle and hunt rodents in Pembrokeshire, Wales; Corgis were sturdy herding dogs who took their jobs seriously. They would nip the heels of the cattle to keep them in line, and their small bodies enabled them to avoid being kicked. Today, the Corgi is still used on farms and ranches, but is also an energetic family companion.
They are good with other pets, make reliable watchdogs, and are trustworthy around children. Corgis have a mind of their own but still have a desire to please people. They pack a large personality, which varies from clownish and attention seeking, to thoughtful and introspective.
Pembrokes have an average life expectancy of 12–15 years. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are achondroplastic, meaning they are a “true dwarf” breed. As such, their stature and build can lead to certain non-inherited health conditions, but genetic issues should also be considered. Commonly, Pembrokes can suffer from monorchidism, Von Willebrand’s disease, hip dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, and inherited eye problems such as progressive retinal atrophy. Genetic testing is available for Pembroke Welsh Corgis to avoid these issues and enhance the genetic health pool. Pembrokes are also prone to obesity given a robust appetite, characteristic of herding group breeds.
As the Pembroke Welsh Corgi loves to herd, a regular herding session is an ideal form of exercise. If it is unable to herd, take it out for a moderate leash-led walk or play session.
The Pembroke is suited to live outdoors in temperate weather, but temperamentally it prefers to share its owner’s home, while having access to the yard. Coat care comprises of a weekly brushing routine to ride the dog’s coat of any dead hair.
Smart and quick-witted, Pembroke Welsh Corgis learn quickly. But even though the breed is intelligent, you’ll still need to implement firm training methods and consistent training sessions to maintain good behavior and skills. As with most dog breeds, you shouldn’t use harsh or negative training methods on your Pembroke Welsh Corgi – it just won’t work and you’ll end up frustrated. Another thing to keep in mind is that Corgis don’t respond to repetitive training because it gets bored easily. Part of the training should include not to bark at strangers – socialization and obedience training can help this problem. And although the Pembroke Welsh Corgi probably will not respond to commands from strangers, it will respond commands from all family members. Once properly trained, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi makes good obedience and show dogs once they have been properly trained. This breed is natural herders, so herding trails are a good competition to get involved in.
Corgis will do fine in an apartment if they are sufficiently exercised. With enough exercise they can be calm indoors, but will be very active if they are lacking. Will do okay without a yard so long as they are taken for daily walks.
Exercise is important for the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, as it can develop back problems and needs to be kept at a healthy weight. If your dog is obese, its back problems will only get worse. As well, try to make sure your Corgi doesn’t jump. An active dog, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi loves to play and run. Regular exercise is mandatory, so a backyard is a great asset. To wear your dog out, kids make excellent playmates – get them to play tug of war, hide and seek, and chase games. For outdoor activities to do with your Pembroke Welsh Corgi, go for a walk, jog or hike, or take your pooch to the dog park to play with other dogs.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a wash-and-go dog. He has a medium-length double coat that should be brushed or combed at least weekly to control shedding. The coat sheds heavily twice a year, in spring and fall and will require extra brushing during that time.
The Pembroke’s coat should never be extremely long with lots of feathering on the ears, chest, legs, feet, belly, and rear end. Dogs with that type of coat are known as “fluffies.” Some breeders may try to market fluffies as being rare or suggest that the coat can be trimmed, but don’t get sucked in by those tactics. There’s never any need to trim a Pembroke’s coat except to occasionally neaten the feet.
Bathe the Pembroke only when he gets dirty or as often as you like. With the gentle dog shampoos available today, you can bathe a Pembroke weekly if you want without harming his coat.
The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually every week or two. Don’t let them get so long that you can hear them clicking on the floor. Brush the teeth with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for overall good health and fresh breath.
Pembrokes have a remarkable affinity for children, but thanks to their herding instincts, they sometimes nip at children’s feet or ankles. Pems are eager learners, though, and can be trained out of this behavior at a young age.
As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he’s eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog’s food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
They usually are good with other pets in the household, so long as they have been socialized with them.
Is this breed right for you?
A very active breed, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi loves children and wide-open spaces
. Doing OK in an apartment
if sufficiently exercised, this breed would do best with a large yard to roam in. A loud barker, it needs to be trained early to avoid problems and instinctively herding its own people and other animals. Although intelligent, the Corgi can sometimes be hard to train. It is best that you give the breed a lot of attention and socialization, as when left alone too long, it may become destructive. Easy to groom, the dog does shed heavily twice a year.
Did You Know?
Queen Elizabeth II is perhaps the world’s most famous Corgi owner; she typically has four or five at a time and is frequently photographed with them. Her first Corgi, Susan, was a gift on her 18th birthday; most of her current dogs are Susan’s descendants.
In popular culture
- Cowboy Bebop features an extraordinarily intelligent Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Ein.
- Lil’ Lightning from 101 Dalmatians II: Patch’s London Adventure is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
- In RWBY, Ruby and Yang have a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Zwei, who is sent to them by their father Taiyang and may be a reference to Ein.
- Well-known for their association with Queen Elizabeth II, who has owned more then 30 during her reign.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi loves its family and loves to work. It will wake up ensuring that the home is safe and immediately run outside to herd whatever possible. Enjoying playtime, it’ll be happy with a training session and a few brain-stimulating games. A few barks at the mailman and any passerby, you will always know where the dog is in the house. Once it has its daily run, the Corgi will be more than pleased to be with the family for the remainder of the day before heading off to bed.