Listen: When the Queen chooses to have dozens of dogs of one breed nipping around her ankles at the palace, you know they’ve got to have something special. Yes, Corgis are known as Elizabeth II’s pet of choice, but there is much more to them than a regal air.
The Corgi comes in two forms: The Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, both of which are descended from spitz-type dogs. The Kennel Club originally registered both types as one breed in 1925, leading to lots of dog show controversy, eventually leading to separate recognition for the breeds in 1945.
In Wales, some people believe that the Corgi is an enchanted breed, and that the faint markings on their back look like a saddle and harness, which fairies use in battle, according to legend!
Corgi Quick Facts
- AVG Weight: 24 – 31lbs
- AVG Height: 10 – 12 inches at the shoulder
- AVG Lifespan: 12 – 14 years
- Apartment Living: Yes
- Level of Exercise: High
Corgi Trademark Traits
- Very short legs!
- Obedient and willing to please
- Friendly to non-canine animals
- Prone to small dog syndrome
- Protective and loyal
Corgi Breed Temperament:
Both breeds of Corgi are reliable, eager to please and loving towards their owners. They can be a little wary around strangers and other dogs. Corgis have a habit of trying to herd people by nipping at heels if not taught that this is unwanted behaviour, so they need lots of early socialisation and training.
A devoted dog who is great with children when firmly established as a non-leader of a pack, this charming dog makes an intelligent, active companion.
Suitable Environment For Corgis:
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a noisy breed who would make a great watch dog with its barking, but may not endear you to neighbours in an apartment. Welsh Corgis are quieter and are suitable to apartment living.
Both breeds are prone to obesity and therefore need lots of exercise. For this reason, a garden is a ‘good to have’, along with access to some long walks.
Corgi Ideal Owners:
An owner without other dogs is recommended for this breed unless they have been well socialised around dogs from an early age (although this hasn’t stopped the Queen, she has owned 30 Corgis over her reign!)
An owner who is able to establish themselves as a leader is critical for this breed, who will take advantage and develop unwanted behaviours if not properly trained. They have been known to use barking as a dominance tool so this needs to be checked. If trained and acclimatised to family living from an early age, they get on well with children and other pets.
The Corgi needs LOTS of exercise, so any owner will need to be active and mobile to provide long walks!
Corgi Breed History
The origins of the Corgi are a bit muddled, with some saying they were brought to Wales by Vikings in the 800s, others claiming introduction by the Celts in 1200s and still others saying Flemish weavers brought them across the ocean in the 1100s.
Regardless of where they came from, Corgis were originally bred as herders, clearing the way of predators for herds of cattle before working the herds by nipping at the heels of cows.
They were also used as guard dogs on farms, protecting fowl and fauna with their loud bark and as drivers of animals to markets. Nowadays, they are popular family pets rather than working dogs.
Both breeds of Corgi are currently on the English kennel Club’s ‘vulnerable’ list, with less than 100 purebred puppies being born in the UK each year.