You’ve probably seen pictures of the Queen of England with her small and beloved dogs.
Queen Elizabeth II received her first Pembroke Welsh Corgi dog from her father the King when she turned 18, and since then she has bred and owned more than 30 dogs of the breed.
They have been her beloved companions during her entire reign, and their long bodies and alert, loyal faces have appeared in countless photographs with the Queen.
We have put together a wealth of Pembroke Welsh Corgi Dog Information for you to get to know this adorable breed and figure out if it’s right for your family.
Highlights About the Pembroke Welsh Corgi
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a great family dog.
They are highly affectionate, intelligent and trainable, and they are small in size.
Corgis are playful, loyal and make fantastic companions, since they like to be close to their people.
They can bark a lot and do not like to be left alone for long periods.
Their lovely coat comes in different colours, red, sable, fawn or tri-colour, and is prone to shedding, which you can manage with regular grooming.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi Breed Information
Other Names for the Breed
- Welsh Corgi, Corgi, Pembrokeshire Corgi, PWC
History & Area Of Origin
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi originated more than a thousand years ago in Pembrokeshire, Wales as a cattle herding and farm guarding dog, so they are athletic and fearless despite their small size.
The breed was recognized in 1934, as a breed separate from the Cardiganshire Corgi, which is larger and has some differences in body shape and coat colour.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a breed of the Spitz Nordic group of dogs that have a fox-like face, and includes the Swedish Vallhund and the Norwegian Lundehund.
Male: 10–12 inches (25–30 cm)
The word “Corgi” is thought to originate from the Welsh “cor” (dwarf) and “ci” (dog), and, like Basset Hounds, Dachshunds and some humans, they have a genetic mutation that leads to dwarfism.
Therefore, they have very short legs and a standard height is 10-12 inches from the ground to the shoulder.
Female: 10–12 inches (25–30 cm)
The height of the female is similar to the male, about 10-12 inches from the ground to the shoulder, and they tend to be shorter than the males.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppies are born very small, and will reach their full grown height between 9 and 14 months of age.
Male: 24 – 31 pounds (10 – 14 kg)
Depending on the size of your Pembroke Welsh Corgi, the healthiest adult weight for a male will fall somewhere between 24 and 31 pounds, with an average ideal weight for a medium sized Corgi of 27 pounds.
Female: 24 – 28 pounds (11 – 13 kg)
Female Pembroke Welsh Corgi’s can be slightly smaller than the males, with a healthy range of 24 to 28 pounds, and an average ideal weight for a medium sized female is about 25 pounds.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppies are very small, around 10 ounces, and grow over the first year to reach their full grown height, with regards to weight, some can continue to fill out until they are about 2 years old.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi Breed Purity
Two Types of Pembroke Welsh Corgi
In the 1930’s, two distinct types of Welsh Corgi were finally defined and recognized, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
The Cardigan is a darker breed, is thought to be more than 3000 years old, and is descended from the same ancient line as the dachshund, brought to Wales by the Celts around 1200 B.C.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a newer breed, and is more popular today than the Cardigan.
Is Pembroke Welsh Corgi Dog PureBred or Mixed?
A purebred puppy, registered and with papers from a breeder, will bring a very high price tag and can bring inherited genetic health issues made worse by inbreeding to maintain breed purity.
Some people prefer a mixed breed dog, as they can be healthier due to lower incidence of genetic diseases.
Corgis have been mixed with other breeds to create hybrids, such as Dalmatians (Corgitian), Huskies (Husgi), Shepherds (Shepergi), Labradors (Labragi) and Chihuahuas (Cohuahua), and the results are long, low and absolutely adorable.
Behaviour And Temperament
There is evidence of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi working alongside people since the 10th or 11th century.
They were bred as a working dog that helped with many jobs around the farm, such as herding livestock, killing rats, and barking an alarm if any stranger or predator approached.
Therefore, they have a loud bark for their size, and a strong personality that likes to be in the lead.
They require lots of exercise since they were bred to keep up with much larger livestock.
They love to please us and are a loyal and affectionate addition to any family.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a dog bred to assist humans all around the farm, including acting as a guard and alarm dog.
They will bark at almost anything and can be wary of strangers or territorial with other cats and dogs, since they are bred to chase strays and predators from farms.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is, in general, a very cheerful and friendly dog breed.
They like to be the centre of attention, love to spend time with family, and will make everyone laugh with their humorous, playful and affectionate personality.
Because the Pembroke Welsh Corgi was bred to hold its own against much larger livestock, they are a strong and confident breed that requires a strong-willed and confident owner, or they may try to make their own rules.
They are not aggressive dogs, but they can nip at heels due to their breeding as livestock herders, so it is best to watch them when playing with children.
Like many working dogs such as border collies and Australian cattle dogs, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is very intelligent.
They rank as the 11th smartest dog breed, able to learn new commands within 5 to 15 repetitions and able to obey the first command 85% of the time or better.
Because of their high intelligence, they require diligent training so that they do not become stubborn and willful.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi loves to play, and is quick to offer affection with his family, but is more wary of strangers, and can be territorial.
Their temperament is generally considered kindly and bold, but should not be shy, nervous or vicious.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi dogs have a big personality in a small body.
They like to be in the middle of all the action and will bark, nip, dig or chew if they don’t get enough exercise.
Corgis love people and to work with them and enjoy training.
They do very well in herding and agility competitions. Many people claim they even have a sense of humour.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a short but thick coat that is considered “weatherproof” because it is a double layer coat that keeps the elements far from their skin.
The double coat consists of an inner insulating layer and an outer, longer layer.
Corgis need regular (weekly) brushing and grooming to control their shedding, and they are a breed that is known for shedding a lot.
Proper nutrition and exercise will help to keep the dog’s coat healthy and shed less.
For show dogs, the coat should be medium length and straight.
Sometimes, Pembroke Welsh Corgis are born with a fluffy long coat, which is not accepted at dog shows.
Pembroke Welsh Corgis come in 5 colours, often with white legs, chest, neck and parts of the muzzle.
The colours are red, red-headed tri-colour, black-headed tri-colour, sable (red with dark hair on shoulders, head, and base of tail), and fawn (very light red).
According to the official show dog standards for Pembroke Welsh Corgis, the eyes should be a variation of brown to match the coat, not black eyes, yellow or bluish.
They should be oval and medium in shape and size, not round, protruding, or deep-set.
Eye rims should be dark, preferably black.
Their expression should look intelligent, interested and good natured, not devious.
The face of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi should be pointed like a fox’s, with a triangle shape from each pointy ears tapering down to a fully black nose.
In the past, people shortened or docked the tails of Pembroke Welsh Corgi dogs a few days after birth, to prevent injury when herding livestock.
A docked tail was the breed standard for the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, however, since many people think it is cruel to dock a dog’s tail, dog shows now accept natural tails.
Therefore, the Corgi’s tail can be short, as either a natural bob or docked, or a full length natural tail that can be behind the dog, straight up perpendicular to the back, or curved over the back, but not tightly curled or straight and flat against the back.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has an average litter of about 6 puppies, and they usually have litters of 6-8 puppies.
The breed has a fairly large head but a small body and a narrow pelvis, and is prone to birth complications, so the rate for c-sections in the breed is around 37%, something to take into account if you are thinking of breeding your Corgi.
Pembroke Welsh Corgis have an average life span of 12-14 years.
You can help your beloved Corgi live longer and stay in great health with a nutritious diet and regular exercise, and many live to 15 or 16 years old.
Because the Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a thick double coat, with soft, light short inner hair covered by coarse, long outer hair, they shed a fair amount daily, and more in the late spring and early summer when they shed their winter coat.
To avoid excessive hair all over your home, you can groom your pup as often as daily with a comb and a brush to remove a lot of the shed hair.
Regular baths also help to loosen the dead hairs, wait until your pup is fully dry to rake the undercoat and brush the hair.
If you are looking to show your Corgi, no trimming is permitted except to tidy the feet and whiskers.
Since Pembroke Welsh Corgi dogs are meant to work hard and herd livestock, they require regular physical exercise and mental stimulation or they will become bored and possibly destructive.
Your Corgi will be much happier with a minimum of two activities a day for a total of about 1.5 hours.
Try some of the following activities to keep her fit and challenged:
- Jogging or fast walking
- A very long walk, with some off-leash time if possible
- Playing fetch using a Frisbee or ball in a fenced enclosure
- When they are still growing, Corgi puppies shouldn’t be forced to do exercise that keeps them moving, and should mostly play with other puppies and people.
Pembroke Welsh Corgis require lots of exercise, a nutritious diet without overeating, mental stimulation and social interaction to be in optimum health.
Training is a great way to exercise your Pembroke Welsh Corgi dog that also stimulates her mind.
Practice basic obedience, teach your Corgi tricks, or set up an obstacle course in your backyard.
Remember to have fun, reward your pup, and keep training sessions short, 5 to 10 minutes, 1 to 2 times a day.
Physical Characteristics Of Pembroke Welsh Corgi
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a very cute breed, with their short legs and long body.
Their faces are friendly and foxy with large upright ears and alert eyes.
Although they are a small dog, they were meant to keep up with working all day and herding larger animals, so they are sturdy and muscular.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a very adaptable breed.
They can easily live in the country and will even happily do work around a farm, but they can also do well in a city.
It is important Corgis get lots of affection and exercise no matter where they live.
Because of their weatherproof double coat, they can handle cold winter temperatures and snow.
The coat also works as natural air conditioning by trapping air against the skin to cool the dog off.
In hot weather, make sure your pup has a lot of water available, stay in the shade, and stay inside if it’s too hot.
Other Dog Friendly
Corgis and other dogs can live together very well, but your Pembroke Welsh Corgi, thanks to a long history of chasing strays away from farms and livestock, will likely be aggressive towards strange dogs, so be sure to keep them on a leash close to you on walks, and supervise your pup closely in an off-leash dog park.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a dog breed that sheds a lot, so before you get one, it is important to be aware that there will be dog hair in your home.
They shed an extra amount in the spring when they lose their winter coat.
You can help reduce the amount of dead hair and skin around your home if you keep up with a regular daily brushing schedule, a weekly bath, visits to a dog groomer, who can use special techniques to remove excess hair and skin, and remember to keep your dog healthy through proper diet and exercise.
Pembroke Welsh Corgis bond deeply with their human family and are loyal and affectionate.
The Corgi dog enjoys time with his family, and rewards his family with lots of love and affection.
It is important to exercise your Corgi twice per day, with a longer session in the morning.
Corgis love to walk, run, hike, practice agility training, and to play with other dogs at the dog park (when they are well socialized).
It would even be a special treat for this dog to practice his herding abilities.
Pembroke Welsh Corgis are sociable dogs and they hate being left alone for long periods, they can get canine separation anxiety, which can lead to excessive barking, destructive behaviours such as chewing on furniture, or getting into other forbidden items.
You can try to mitigate this by making sure your dog gets lots of exercise, not saying sentimental goodbyes, and making sure he is not alone for long periods.
A Pembroke Welsh Corgi dog can live well in an apartment due to their small size and the fact that they love to be around their people.
They are not a lap dog, however, and will need regular (twice a day) exercise and mental stimulation through training and playing to stay happy.
If a Corgi gets bored they can start to become destructive, especially if they are left alone for long periods of time.
Thanks to the Pembroke Welsh Corgi’s thick coat, you should groom your pup daily with a comb and a brush to remove dead skin and hair.
Regular baths with a proper product that is gentle and de-shedding are important; talk to your vet about frequency, because some sources recommend weekly bathing while others say no more than once every 3 months to preserve skin oils.
Once your Corgi is fully dry, brush the hair.
You can also visit a groomer who will use special tools to expertly remove unwanted extra hair and keep your dog’s coat in the best condition.
Because the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a guard dog and watchdog, he is initially wary of strangers, and will bark at newcomers who approach or enter your home.
A well socialized and well trained Corgi can be managed so he is not overly aggressive or territorial.
Because the Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a long history as a watch and guard dog, they have a loud voice that will alert you to new sights and sounds that could be dangerous, whether it is the mailman or the neighbourhood cat, and they are vocal dogs that will also bark when they are excited and full of energy.
It is important to burn off excess energy through lots of exercise, and you can control excessive barking by ignoring your Corgi when it barks, showing it that barking means it is left out.
Once he stops, even if it is just for a few moments, give him a reward such as a treat, to show that silence is desired and barking is not.
You can also train him to stop via the following method: choose a command such as “stop” or “no bark” and say it firmly when they are barking, approach their nose with a treat, then when he is silent, say “good dog” or “good quiet”.
After 3 seconds give the dog the treat, and increase the length of the silence by 5 seconds every time you do a training session.
Eventually, even without a treat, your Corgi will stop barking at your command.
Pembroke Welsh Corgis, like all breeds, can be prone to some health problems, such as:
- Hip dysplasia, an inherited abnormality of the hip joint
- Eye conditions like cataracts, and retinal problems
- Von Willebrand Disease, a blood clotting disorder
- Degenerative Myelopathy, a spinal cord disease that usually develops in senior dogs
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a herding and livestock guarding breed, so your Corgi may have a tendency to be suspicious of unfamiliar people and animals, especially when outside your home.
It is important to give puppies lots of socialization prior to 6 months of age.
Cats and Pembroke Welsh Corgis can live together, and a playful cat and a Corgi can even become happy playmates.
If a Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy is raised alongside cats, she will see a family cat as a friend.
A cat can always jump on a high perch and observe from above if they are irritated.
Corgis that are older and have never met cats can be a little aggressive, but you can correct the behaviour through training.
Since Corgis are very greedy eaters, make sure the cat’s food is out of reach.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi ranks as the 11th smartest breed of dog, behind Rottweilers and Australian cattle dogs and ahead of the Miniature Schnauzer and the English Springer Spaniel.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi, thanks to his herding and working history, is a highly intelligent dog, and rates a 9 out of 10 in trainability.
Your Corgi will crave mental stimulation and will want to please you and learn from you, and can excel in dog sports such as agility and herding.
Like with all animals, dogs and children should be supervised, but Pembroke Welsh Corgi dogs are generally great family dogs who relate well to considerate children who play respectfully with them.
A corgi will be patient and protective of his family’s children.
Some Corgis may try to herd children by nipping at their heels, and can be trained out of this behaviour.
People often describe Pembroke Welsh Corgis as playful, mischievous, humorous, cheerful, and energetic, so make sure to give your Corgi plenty of love, attention and playtime.
In addition to herding animals, an important function the Corgi served on farms was guarding the domestic animals such as geese and pigs.
Therefore, they are fearless, have good hearing, and are very vocal when a stranger approaches, or another animal, such as an unknown cat or dog, that could be a threat to the family and home the Corgi considers his.
They are intelligent and can be trained not to bark so much but cannot help their protective instincts.
Pembroke Welsh Corgis make great family pets because they are friendly and get along with other dogs and pets, also.
They may be protective of your family when a strange dog or cat approaches, but you can teach them to respond to commands and behave appropriately through proper training.
Feeding your Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Because of their energetic nature, Pembroke Welsh Corgis have a hearty appetite, but like other long and low dogs, they are prone to gaining too much weight and back and health problems, so it is best to keep your Corgi slim to maintain excellent health.
Make sure you only feed your pup at feeding times and do not leave food out in a bowl or she will likely eat all of it.
Like all puppies, Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppies need lots of protein and fat to have energy and grow up healthy and strong.
A high protein content (for muscle) and moderate fat content are best for Corgis, with a minimum of 22% protein and 8% fat.
Once your Pembroke Welsh Corgi is fully grown, his food should be 18% protein and 5% fat. Avoid high-fat foods that might encourage unhealthy weight gain.
You can include healthy snacks but avoid giving your puppy human food that can have ingredients that will upset his digestive system and cause unhealthy weight gain.
Once your Corgi is a senior dog, his metabolism will probably slow down, so choose a food formulated for senior dogs, usually lower in fat and calories and higher in of joint-supporting nutrients.
Famous Pembroke Welsh Corgi Dog All Over the World
King George VI, then Prince Albert the Duke of York, bought his first Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Dookie, and his young daughter Elizabeth, the future Queen of England, loved the dog, beginning the royal family’s relationship with the breed.
On her 18th birthday, King George VI gave Elizabeth her own Pembroke Welsh Corgi, named Susan. Susan almost never left Elizabeth’s side and even went with her on her honeymoon.
Susan was typical of her breed, protective and watchful, and there were humorous stories in the newspapers when Susan bit various policemen and staff at the royal palace.
Ten generations of royal corgis were descended from Susan and when she died at age 14, Queen Elizabeth designed her headstone.
Holly was the second last of the Queen’s Pembroke Welsh Corgis, she was in a James Bond sketch at the opening ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympics, and was featured alongside the Queen in a portrait by Annie Liebovitz.
Willow was the last of the Queen’s Pembroke Welsh Corgis, she died in April of 2018.
Willow was also in the James Bond sketch at the opening ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympics, and was also in Annie Liebovitz’s portraits of the Queen.
Molly, or, “The Thing of Evil” is author Stephen King’s Pembroke Welsh Corgi who he frequently talks about on social media.
He had a Corgi named Marlowe in the 1990s and has featured Corgis in some of his books, including Under the Dome’s “Horace” and “Daisy” in The Regulators.
Ein is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi in the anime Cowboy Bebop.
Ein is a “data dog”, a research lab animal that was engineered to have supernatural intelligence.
Rufus was Amazon.com’s mascot, he was owned by one of the engineers and attended company meetings and chased tennis balls in the office.
Although Rufus died in 2009, his spirit lives on at dog-friendly Amazon, where employees are free to bring their dogs to work and there is a building named after him.
Playboy playmate and reality TV star Kendra Wilkinson has a beloved Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Rascal.
Purchasing a Pembroke Welsh Corgi
How Much Does a Pembroke Welsh Corgi Cost?
The cost of a Pembroke Welsh Corgi will depend on the circumstances in which you buy one.
A rescue organization will charge an adoption fee, and a cross with another breed or an unregistered puppy might be available through a private sale.
A purebred Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy with registration papers from a reputable breeder with good blood lines will be quite expensive, between 800 and 2000 US$.
Herding Group (AKC:1934)
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a herding dog breed and competes in the herding group at dog shows.
Dogs in this group, such as the shepherds and collies, have the ability to control other animals, and will even try to control human groups especially children.
They were bred to gather, herd and protect livestock.
Many herding dogs are used today for police and protection work because they are smart, trainable and fearless.
Working Group (Historical)
Dogs in the herding group were originally part of the working group until the 1980’s.
Working dogs are intelligent, strong, watchful, alert and highly trainable.
They are good at jobs like guarding and are great companions, but can be protective and need knowledgeable owners.
The working group now includes only very large dogs such as the Great Dane, Husky and Doberman, but the Pembroke Welsh Corgi still shares similar traits with these other breeds.
National Breed Clubs
- Lakeshore Pembroke Welsh Corgi Rescue
- Corgi Rescue (all US)
- Queen’s Best Stumpy Dog Rescue
- PWCCA National Rescue (US): Chairman Mary Day 360-456-1226
Conclusion – is the Pembroke Welsh Corgi your Next Family Member?
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is an adorable, loyal and popular family dog that will provide your family with tons of fun and affection.
If you can commit to regular grooming, exercise and attention, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi will make a wonderful companion.
What did you think of the breed’s history and information? Do you think they were a magical gift from the fairies?
What do you think is the most important thing to keep in mind when adopting a Corgi?
Let us know in the comments!
Please share this article with your friends and family so they can learn if a Corgi is right for them!
Ciao for now.