Pembroke Welsh Corgi

They may be small, but there’s no other dog of that size you want watching over your livestock than the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. And as a small breed, that must mean one thing, a whole lot of courage.

Indeed, courage is never lacking with the Pembroke. But there’s much more to one of America’s 20 most popular breed.

They are sensitive, loving, affectionate and loyal. A gift bag full of true companionship.

So where does the Pembroke come from and what makes this breed such a popular household pet?

Here is what you need to know about the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

History

Before settling and making a name for themselves in Wales, there is some debate as to where the Pembroke Welsh Corgi comes from. The American Kennel Club posits that the breed came over with farmers out of the Flanders regions. Others point to the possibility of the breed coming from Scandinavia in the 9th or tenth century with raiders.

That said, most assume the breed has been around since 1107 A.D and shares an ancestry with a variety of breeds: Keeshond, Chow Chow, Elkhound, Finnish Spitz, Samoyed, Pomeranian and Schipperke.

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi was originally bred as a herding dog. However, the breed had many significant roles. One role was getting out and ahead of the livestock and droving them to the market. The reason was to protect and chase away predators from attacking the livestock.

Another job the Pembroke Welsh Corgi held respectfully was a fowl collector. On farms, the Pembroke would gather up the flocks of fowl and head them into the stable at night. They would also prevent predators from attacking the poultry.

Ostensibly, if there was a job, it appears the Corgi was the dog to do it, regardless of size. 

The Pembroke is one of two Welsh Corgi breeds. The other being the less popular and older, Cardigan Welsh Corgi. For centuries, both breeds would unite as one at shows. That was until the 20th century, when the Kennel Club in England gave each their own distinction. The Pembroke would gain recognition in 1934. 

In 1935, just a year or so from arriving the United States, the Pembroke would receive recognition by the American Kennel Club. The United Kennel Club would follow suit in 1959.

Since the turn of the 20th century, the Pembroke has become a popular breed of choice for dog lovers. Aside from their incredible work ethic, the breed is highly intelligent and makes for a wonderful watchdog and companion. Although they still hold true their herding talents, companionship is really the bulk of this breed’s purpose presently.

According to the American Kennel Club, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is the 18th most popular breed in the United States.

Size

This high energy, herding dog is a small breed. Either male or female can stand between 10 to 12 inches, according to the American Kennel Club.

With regards to weight, the males can weight up to 30 pounds. Females weigh up to 28 pounds. It is important to note, that the Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a proclivity in suffering from obesity. This is an avoidable issue with responsible ownership.

Personality and Temperament

A Pembroke Welsh Corgi is alert, instinctive and capable of handling a big workload. They are diverse and versatile as to what they can take on or handle for chores. This is a breed that can lead the pack, or work from behind herding livestock. And, because the breed has tons of courage and strong instinctive skills, the breed makes for a great watchdog.

As workers, they are driven and aim to please their owner. They are at the their happiest when the breed has a job or role to do. But the dog will come home with you and work isn’t the only thing that matters to the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

You and your family does! As pets, they are faithful and all so loving. This is the kind of breed that will trail you room to room and await at the door for your arrival. It’s no wonder the breed was such a favorite among Queen Elizabeth. The breed loves attention and has no problem paying you back some.

This is the neighborhood dog, that is very adaptable. While they may be vocal, and they are, the breed is very friendly — even to people they don’t know. With other dogs, they may be a little jealous and a hit and miss depending on if the breed was brought up with others. Smaller children will love the Pembroke Welsh Corgi because they are playful and very protective.

All in all, this is a true family breed. They thrive off of close human contact and love to stay close with their peoples. This is a busy dog, with a very intelligent mindset. The breed loves to get outdoors and chase and play. They may be small, but this is an independent dog with true grit and a hard work ethic capable of multiple jobs.

Health

For the most part, this is a relatively healthy breed, according to their club and the AKC. That said, it doesn’t mean the breed can’t suffer certain complications because the Pembroke Welsh Corgi does have a few items on their health list.

However, when you buy a Pembroke Welsh Corgi from a breeder, you should purchase from someone who is reputable. Read the reviews, ask around, ask questions, and steer clear from puppy breeding mills. This breeder should be able to provide you with the proper health clearances.

Additionally, there are matters you can take in your own hand. This is a Chondrodysplastic breed, or dwarf dog. This may present problems on their back and joints. You should schedule regular veterinarian visits to maintain your Pembroke Welsh Corgi’s health. 

There have been instances with this breed and obesity. The Pembroke isn’t food shy and is a professional beggar. Watch their diet and keep their meals proportional.

Hip Dysplasia is a moderate threat towards the breed. This is the malformation of the hip joint.  When the ball and joint don’t properly align, it can cause the joint to loosen causing pain, discomfort and at times osteoarthritis. The leading authority on this orthopedic issues, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals lists the Pembroke as the 41st worst breed with Hip Dysplasia. The breed has a 20% dysplastic rating out of 13,000 plus evaluations. This ranks them among the Golden Retriever.

The most common form of elbow pain comes from Elbow Dysplasia. This is when there is an abnormal growth development in the elbow, which will cause issues like lameness and pain. The breed ranks 71st in OFA’s survey with a 3.8% dysplastic rating out of 1,000 plus evaluations. This ranks them among the Alaskan Malamute and Border Terrier.

There is a low occurrence rate for the breed to suffer from Patellar Luxation. The OFA ranks them 107th on the list.

Von Willebrands is a blood clot or bleeding disorder, that may frequently affect this breed. There is testing available and most reputable breeders can prevent certain dogs from breeding with this condition.

Degenerative Myelopathy is a degeneration of the spinal cord’s nervous and supportive tissue. This is quite the serious issue that can result in complete paralysis.

Issues with the eyes like Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Retinal Dysplasia and Cataracts have also been found to affect this breed.

The life expectancy for the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is 12 to 13 years.

Care

A Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a high energy rate, and will require tons of mental and physical stimulation. As a breed prone to obesity, it is important to regulate their feeding and keep them active. That shouldn’t be a problem since they thrive on having a job or role, and thrive with K-9 activities like obedience and herding.

Since this is a herding dog, you’ll want to watch them around smaller children. They may try nibbling at the ankles or pushing the children along. Conversely, you should teach your children respect and appreciation for the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. They have short legs, which can present a problem with higher platforms. Children should be gentle when handling the Corgi.

The breed may exude a strong prey drive and will wander off if the chance is there. It is necessary to get them a fence or a leash. You may want to avoid mice, birds, and other small animals around the Pembroke.

This is a breed that is adaptable and as long as you entertain them, give them enough attention and don’t leave them alone for long periods of time — the breed will do well anywhere from apartments to farms. 

You should check their ears for bacterial buildup or any unpleasant odor that could indicate an infection. Trimming their nails will help their comfort level but aso protects them from overgrowth and unnecessary splits. 

Feeding

The big thing with this breed is keeping their weight down. Limit their snacks and free feeding. Most owners recommend a daily feeding  of 1/2 cups to 1 cup of top quality kibble per day. It is important to break that up into two meals a day to prevent Bloat.

The breed should do fine on a high quality, animal protein and protein as the first ingredient formula. Chicken, turkey, beef or bison and fish should suffice their needs. You should throw in fruits, veggies, and make sure the breed is getting their share of omega fatty acids.

Calorie intake is important, just as long as they are quality calories. If your Pembroke Welsh Corgi is 28 to 30 pounds but has a typical energy rate, then anywhere between 850 to  900 calories per day should do the trick. Likewise, for a dog that same weight but  is a moderate working dog, 900 to 1000 calories will be necessary.

As always, you should provide your Pembroke Welsh Corgi with fresh drinking water.

Coat

Typically the Pembroke Welsh Corgi sheds heavily in summer and spring. They are frequent shedders, which will require frequent grooming and regular brushing. A daily brush over will go a long way in keeping your Pembroke’s appearance in high standard.

The breed has a double weather proof coat of medium length. The undercoat is short and thick, while the outside coat is longer and coarse. The coat should be straight or slightly wavy.

According to the American Kennel Club, there are four color options for the breed’s coat: Black and tan, fawn, red, sable.

There is only one acceptable marking: white markings.

Fun Pembroke Welsh Corgi Facts

  • If you’re a fan of the Pembroke and a fan of television, then you’ll like Brooklyn Nine Nine, where Cheddar, is a Pembroke on the show.
  • The breed’s first time appearing in dog shows took place in England during the 1920’s.
  • Queen Elizabeth had an abundant adoration for the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. It is said that she owned 30 Corgi’s total. She got her first Pembroke at the age of ten years old.
  • The famous statue in Egypt, Anubis, may be a possible relative of the Corgi, according to the Pembroke Corgi Welsh Association in Canada.
  • The breed is the 11th most intelligent breed, according to Stanley Coren’s Intelligence of Dogs. This means the breed will obey commands 85% of the time.

Closing Words

Their foxy sweet disposition and loving nature makes the Pembroke Welsh Corgi a no brainer for a first time dog owner. Additionally, the breed is a workaholic, capable of being supervisor and super grunt. 

As a multi-purpose working dog, and a faithful and devout companion, it isn’t unreasonable to believe that the breed will fall into the top ten most popular breeds one day. For those who already own a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, the breed is already number one.

 

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