ABOUT THE PEMBROKE WELSH CORGI
Pembrokes are very smart, sensitive dogs who respond well to training and mental challenges. As herding dogs bred to move cattle from one place to another, they are fearless and independent workers. They are very protective; with acute senses and a “big dog” bark Pems make excellent watchdogs. Families who can meet the Pembroke’s need for activity and togetherness will never have a more loyal or loving pet.
Low-set, strong and sturdily built, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi gives an impression of substance in a small space. They are known for being happy, loving and intelligent, but with a stubborn or independent streak at times. While Pems are easy to train, they are not subservient and like to think for themselves.
Dog Friendly Exercise Need Grooming Needs Health Issues Intelligence Playfulness
Both of the corgi breeds, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi originated from the Swedish Vallhunds brought to the areas around Wales in the 800s. From this known ancestors there are varying tales of how the breed actually developed. Many breeders and experts believe that the Pembroke Welsh Corgi has definite spitz ancestors that likely were introduced to the line early on in the development of the breed. Sometime in the 1100's Flemish weavers came to the Pembrokeshire area of Wales and brought the original Pembroke Welsh Corgis to the area. Bred with the local Swedish
Vallhund descendants the breed was more completely developed. It is often reported that the short legs and statureoccurred from breeding with Pomeranians, and there is somewhat of a resemblance with both this breed and the Schipperkes which may also be in the lineage.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is shorter in body and straighter in leg than the Cardigan, and its coat is finer in texture. Pembrokes have erect, pointed ears and a short-to-nonexistent tail, while Cardigans have more rounded ears and a long, plume-like tail. Breed authorities suggest that the Pembroke is stockier and a bit more excitable than the Cardigan, although in modern times the breeds have become increasingly similar in appearance and disposition. This is an extremely affable breed that makes a wonderful canine companion.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgiwere not recognized as separate breeds until about eighty years ago. Prior to that both breeds were developed for their herding and watch dog abilities. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi makes an ideal herding dog and will drop and roll to avoid being kicked.
They are so low to the ground that this natural movement is very graceful andallows them to change directions and move very quickly rather than stopping or backing up as larger herding breeds will do.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi became a popular dog when Queen Elizabeth the Second started breeding and raising them herself. They have been used in many commercials and advertisements both in the United Kingdom and around the world, and the breed has become very popular since its first official showing in 1926. No longer used as much as a herding dog they are considered an ideal companion dog in almost any type of setting.
American Kennel Club (AKC)
Official standard of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
Low-set, strong, sturdily built and active, giving an impression of substance and stamina in a small space. Should not be so low and heavy-boned as to appear coarse or overdone, nor so light-boned as to appear racy. Outlook bold, but kindly. Expression intelligent and interested. Never shy nor vicious.
Originating in Pembrokeshire, Wales, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is an enchanting dog whose background is steeped in folklore. According to Welsh legend, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi sprang from the lairs of fairies and elves!
As the legend goes, one day two children were out in the fields tending to their family's cattle when they found a couple of puppies. The children thought they were foxes, but recognizing something different about them, bundled them up and took them home. Their parents immediately saw that the pups were not foxes, but dogs, and told their children that the pups were a gift from the fairies that lived in the fields. The fairies used them to pull their carriages and sometimes ride into battle.
As proof that Pembrokes were indeed the mounts of fairies, the parents pointed to the marks on their backs where the fairy saddle had been placed on their shoulders. The children were delighted and cherished their pups. As they grew, the dogs became treasured companions and learned to help the children take care of the family's cattle.
For those who don't believe in fairy tales, there are historians who say that the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is descended from Vallhunds, Swedish cattle dogs that
were brought to Wales by the Vikings in the 9th and 10th centuries. Others think they may have been descended from dogs that were brought to Wales by Flemish weavers in the 12th century.
Either way, the breed has a rather misty historical pedigree. Farmers who kept workingdogs in the past bred the best dogs for the jobs they wanted them to do. They didn't keep good records about the matings.
In the 1920s, the UK Kennel Club recognized Corgis as purebred dogs. They were officially known as Welsh Corgis when exhibited for the first time in 1925. At that time, Pembrokes and Cardigans were shown in the same class as one breed.
Then, in 1934, the Kennel Club recognized the Pembroke and the Cardigan as two separate breeds. In that same year, the American Kennel Club followed suit. Pembrokes were first shown in the U.S. in 1936.
Pembrokes have slowly gained in popularity in the U.S., and today, are among the top 50 most popular breeds for family pets. They're also popular with Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of England, who received her first Pembroke Welsh Corgi from her father (King George VI) in 1933.
The puppy's name was Rozavel Golden Eagle and was a playmate for Elizabeth and her sister, Margaret. Elizabeth has loved the little dogs ever since, and currently has a pack of them lounging around Buckingham Palace.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is an overall happy, jolly and very loyal dog that is completely devoted to the family and tend to follow wherever their owners go. They pack a large personality, which varies from clownish and attention seeking, to thoughtful and introspective. Although they are small in height they are a big dog at heart and can handle a fair amount of rough and tumble play. Corgis have a mind of their own and can be somewhat dominant at times but with proper training and socialization this should not be a problem with the breed.
They have a great desire to please their owners, thus making them eager to learn and train. Besides herding, they also function as watchdogs due to their alertness and tendency to bark to ward off critters or alert you to the presence of someone approaching the house. While their watchdog nature is a plus it can also become a nuisance if they are not taught to turn it off. Most Pembrokes will seek the attention of everyone they meet and behave well around children and other pets. It is important to socialize this breed with
other animals, adults andchildren when they are very young to avoid any anti-social behavior or aggression later in life. As a breed that has been developed to herd livestock,they have a natural instinct to try to keep everything that moves in a group. As puppies they may be prone to nipping at people's heels to try to get them to move in the right direction.
Overall the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is an easy breed to train and will often learn new tricks and lessons very quickly. Since they are required to work independently they are good problem solvers but tend not to be as stubborn and independent as some of the other herding breeds. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi does not do well with highly repetitive training and should be challenged with new routines and training concepts to avoid boredom. At times the PWC might seem to be a little too bright. They get bored doing the same old thing over and over and they are known for putting a creative spin on obedience exercises and other activities.
Don’t get the idea that the Corgi is perfect. Perfectly funny, maybe, but that’s about all. They like to have their own way and can be quite pushy when they want something. It is important to set firm rules and stick to them or you will soon find that your Pembroke is running your life. Once you let them get away with something, it is very difficult to persuade them not to do it again. Corgis have a strong work ethic and they need a job to keep their very intelligent brains occupied and out of trouble, as well as to burn off excess energy. Pembrokes are naturally curious and they are always eager to explore new sights and smells; therefor they enjoy long walks and are enthusiastic competitors in dog sports such as agility, rally, tracking, flyball and, of course, herding. Teach them tricks, take them hiking, or get them qualified as a therapy dog — they can do it all.
Breed Group: Herding
Life Span: 13 - 15 years
Height: 10 - 12 inches
Weight: 25 - 30 pounds
Coat Length: Medium
Colors: black & tan, fawn, red, sable
Living Area: Indoor/Outdoor
Temperament: Affectionate, bold, smart
Pembrokes are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they're prone to certain health conditions. Not all Pembrokes will get any or all of these diseases, but it's important to be aware of them if you're considering this breed. As with all long bodied breeds Pembroke Welsh Corgis may have health issues with their backs in the form of intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). Eye problems such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Glaucoma and Retinal Dysplasia can occasionally be seen in this breed. von Willebrands Disease (vWD) and Epilepsy are not commonly seen but may occasionally be found in some bloodlines. Additional conditions include hip dysplasia, Ehler-Danlos syndrome, hypothyroidism and degenerative myelopathy (DM).
One of the most serious conditions threatening the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is degenerative myelopathy (DM). DM is a progressive disease of the spinal cord in older dogs that cannot be cured. The disease has an insidious onset typically between 8 and 14 years of age. It begins with a loss of coordination (ataxia) in the hind limbs. The affected dog will wobble when walking, knuckle over or drag the feet. This can first occur in one hind limb and then affect the other. As the disease progresses, the limbs become weak and the dog begins to buckle and has difficulty standing. The
weakness gets progressively worse until the dog is unable to walk. The clinical course can range from 6 months to 1 year before dogs become paraplegic. If signs progress for a longer period of time, loss of urinary and fecal continence may occur and eventually weakness will develop in the front limbs. Another key feature of DM is that it is not a painful disease.
Pembrokes are also prone to obesity given a characteristic, robust appetite of herding group breeds. Pembrokes like to eat and have been described as “walking stomachs.” Keeping a Pembroke at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways to help prevent joint problems and extend his life.
Coat & Grooming
The coat of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is very thick and water resistant with a coarse outer coat and a thick soft inner coat. Pembrokes are easy to groom. Their medium-length coat only requires a weekly brushing to remove loose and dead hair. Twice a year, typically in the Spring and Fall, the Pem will shed heavily and daily brushing may be required. The coat comes in colors of red, sable, fawn, or black and tan, with or without white markings. Individual coat length varies. Some Pems have fluffy coats — long with excessive feathering on the ears, chest, legs and feet, this length is consired to be a mismark and is faulted in the show ring. Some Pembrokes have wavy hair, others have straight hair. Many have a “fairy saddle over the back,” which is a distinct marking caused by a change in direction and thickness of hair.
Pembrokes are naturally very clean dogs. They only need to be bathed as needed but many find that regular bathing also helps control heavy shedding. The Corgi's ears should be checked on a regular basis for signs of wax buildup, irritation or infection. Clean them with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved cleanser; never use a cotton swab in a dog's ear canal. Teeth should be brushed on a weekly basis to prevent tartar buildup, promote gum health and keep bad breath at bay. Their strong fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking.
Nutrition & Feeding
Choosing a food made with high-quality ingredients that is free of corn, wheat and soy enhanced with antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits, and specifically selected superfoods for countless nutritional benefits is extremely important to the overall health of a Corgi.
Pembrokes are prone to obesity. They need to have a proper diet to maintain an ideal weight.