Getting a dog is a big step. The little rascals can give us an unlimited amount of happiness. But on the other hand, they can be impossible to manage! And no, we’re not talking about them not giving a 100% in a work project. Dogs are a big responsibility, and if you don’t know what to expect once it starts, it can get challenging.
But what about Corgis? After all, we’re not talking about just any breed here. We’re talking about the Corgi. They have quite a bit of a reputation. We all know that they’re cute, but you might have also heard that they’re kind of loud and temperamental. So what’s the truth?
Well, many things can help you manage a puppy like the Corgi. But we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. First of all, it may seem like we’re making the Corgi out to be an impossible breed to handle. That’s far from the truth! Any dog can be lovely or challenging; they’re not born as one or the other.
Sure, some breeds seem as if they’re predestined to behave a certain way. But some things influence a dog’s behavior, and the best way to learn about this is to go through its history. Don’t worry, though; you won’t have to do a bunch of research; that’s what we’re here for! So, what to know about Corgis before getting one – the guide begins!
What To Know About Corgis Before Getting One?
So how are they different? Let’s find out:
Pembroke Welsh Corgis
The Pembroke is what some would consider the more famous part of the family. While it’s actually the younger of the two breeds, it reached its fame with the royal family’s help in the second part of the 20th century. While its popularity has gone down in the United Kingdom in the last decade or so, it’s still one of the most popular dogs in the US.
Cardigan Welsh Corgis
We mentioned that Pembrokes are considered the kind of younger part of the Corgi family. That’s because of the fact that it’s the Cardigan that’s been herding and working on those Welsh hills all these years!
Don’t get us wrong, Pembrokes did their fair share too, but the Cardigan was simply the first choice for farmers and shepherds most of the time.
There are no real differences between these two dog breeds. The Cardigan is bigger and stronger, but even that is not by much. The behaviors are the same, and as far as possible, owners are concerned; it’s a matter of coat color and looks more than anything else.
Now with that said, let us continue:
There are a couple of things you need to know about any breed before getting a dog. The most important, as far as we’re concerned, is this:
- You need to know what kind of climate the breed is used to. While some dogs can get used to tropical weather as easy as they would a Siberian winter, they’re few and far between. If you live on the seaside and the summer days are extremely warm; obviously, you won’t get a Siberian husky! But more on this in a minute.
- The temperament of your possible new dog is a significant factor. If you already have dogs, you might want to know if your new one will get along with the furry family. Speaking of families, some dogs might not get along with children.
- Health issues that chronically impact certain breeds are big factors. There are some dogs that genetically carry certain health problems. Some people just can’t handle such responsibilities.
- Having a big yard is a definitive plus if you’re getting a dog. But what about people who love city life? Can Corgis live in apartments?
These are the things we plan on covering in our little guide. We’ll add a thing or two here and there; we always love to add some tips and tricks!
Before we continue, the thing we have to mention is that the age of your new dog is a big factor that you need to include in your equation. A young puppy has the potential to be a lot of things, and the owner is responsible for its development. We’ll talk about puppies in this article, but just know that the things we’re saying apply to the breed in general.
For instance, no dog is born jealous. Your puppy learns this trait. But it can’t be inherited genetically. But some behavioral traits are there for a reason, and understanding them is crucial. So let’s stay on the topic of behavior:
A Quick History Course
Corgis are famous; there are no two ways about it. Like other purebred dogs, they have a certain reputation and prestige that separate them from other breeds. But you would be surprised to know that they don’t come from a royal background!
Yes, even though the Queens pack of cute Pembroke Welsh Corgis makes all the headlines – the breed actually has a working heritage. The Corgi comes from Wales, and it’s the go-to breed that the people of the area used for herding.
The fact that our little friend has working-class ancestors means that it will still try to do the work they’re famous for. If they’re in a group of other dogs, there’s a good chance that they will treat the group as a herd. And while this is cute and sometimes funny, it’s not great for the other dogs. But don’t worry, your dog can learn not to do this. You’d be surprised as to how far the reward system will get you.
You can imagine that when the Corgi was out in the field, it didn’t have an umbrella and a jacket to keep it warm and safe from the rain and the wind. After all, the hills of wales are not the friendliest places. Well, that dense double coat that they’re famous for is a direct result of them adapting to the conditions.
That type of adapting is something that they still do, and they’re pretty darn good at it. So let’s take a look at what kind of climate is the Corgi best suited for:
We have already mentioned that the Corgi is pretty great at adapting to pretty much any conditions. But just like with any other breed, this ability has its limits. Sure, your dog will manage its way in rainy or windy conditions – but a tropical climate can get a bit harsh for its warm coat.
What does it mean for them to adapt?
Well, dogs adapt in a number of ways. They don’t have sweat glands in case they get hot. And they’re not going to buy a jacket during winter. Them adapting is a year-long process.
During summer, they are shedding away as much hair as possible. The summer coat is already lighter than its winter counterpart – but you’ll still be surprised as to how much they can shed.
This is definitely an important note. If you’re getting a Corgi, get ready for shedding. There will be a lot of hair, and it will seem as if it never stops! Sure, during winter, they already have thick coats that are ready for the cold, but that coat is always replacing itself. It’s like a separate organism that keeps regenerating itself.
So what does this all mean?
Well, here it is: Corgis can’t handle the extremes. Tropical climates should be avoided, as well as freezing ones. Wales has all four seasons pretty well represented, so if you live in a part of the world where the weather matches this – a Corgi would be perfect for you!
Corgis are not known to be temperamental dogs – well, not all of them at least. They might be small, but they’re passionate. When they get angry, you’ll know it. And you’ll have a hard time not noticing them when they’re running around the house.
So why is this? Well, let’s take a look at what causes the Corg to behave the way it does.
They Can Get Loud
One of the things that Corgi owners will tell you is that they’ve most likely been startled to buy their dogs in on many occasions. For such a small dog, you would think that they don’t have the capacity to get so loud. But their sudden barking is not without reason.
See, Corgis are guard dogs. They are famous for herding, yes, but guarding the home or a small village would also fall into our little buddies’ work description. They can’t fight off an invading army, but hey, they never had to. All that guarding instinct is still embedded in your dog’s genes.
They also, because of all this, developed great hearing throughout the years. Those amazing ears can catch anything, which is not so great when you’re in an apartment. You Corgi will pick up a sound that’s coming from someone else’s home – naturally, they’ll warn you about it. They have been trained to alert after all.
This can be a tricky situation. On the one hand, you don’t want your dog to bark anytime it hears a sound in the middle of the night. Well, some sounds are fine, we guess. A warning about somebody opening your front door without permission is more than welcome!
Don’t worry though, with time; your Corgi will figure out which sounds are threats and which should go unnoticed. But you are warned, it’s not going to be a quick process!
Two Corgis Under One Roof Could Mean Trouble
This is something that is pretty unique to Corgis.
If you have a male Corgi, and you plan on getting another one – reconsider. While not always the case, two males living under the same roof can be incredibly annoying. The same goes for two females. For some reason, they just don’t get along!
So if you already have a male Corgi, get a female one. They will get along just fine. As long as they’re mixed up – everything will be fine. Sre, this may not always be the case, but at least bring a check to see how your dog reacts.
So we mentioned that any dog could pick up some sort of bad behavior and run with it. We also mentioned that all dogs could be thought that behavior is bad and that they should stop it. But are Corgis easy to work with? Cn corgi learns something easier or harder than other dogs.
While some lists say that certain breeds are smarter than others, no such list is based on hard science. One dog can belong to a breed that’s low on the said list but still learn anything you throw at it!
But just for the fun of it, we found one of those lists! Our little friends are on the eleventh spot, which is pretty darn good by any standards. They belong to a group of excellent working dogs and are said to obey the first command you give them 85% off the time. Sounds pretty great, right?
Well, it is! The problem is that even with such great news, you still need to know how to train your dog. This is something that people take for granted. How hard can it be, right? And it isn’t hard, but that doesn’t mean that people know how to do it! The problem is that throughout history, people have come up with some not-so-great training methods.
Firstly, and we can not stress this enough, punishing your dog does not work. The only thing that your dog will learn if you punish them every time they do something wrong is that they should be afraid of you. And if that’s not enough, you will soon find out that Corgis are a pretty darn stubborn breed with this method.
We won’t go into a full lesson on how you should train your dog, but know that it won’t be very difficult with Corgis. Sure, they can be stubborn here and there – but they are wonderful and loyal dogs. Don’t forget that we’re talking about a family of workers here! They have been doing what they’re told for thousands of years. As long as you treat them with kindness, they listen to your every command!
Possible Health Issues
One of the things that any new owner should look into is possible health problems. All dogs can carry some problems in their genes. These aren’t some awful diseases that they inherited from their ancestors. Most of these are caused by us humans, while some just naturally accrued and stuck around for one reason or another.
All in all, we’re very glad to say that most of these health issues are not serious or life-threatening. But still, we have to mention them, and we heavily advise you to inform yourself on the subject.
The first health condition that we’re going to mention is Hip Dysplasia. This is something that Corgis are faced with very often. We haven’t actually managed to figure out why it happens to Corgis specifically, but there are a couple of things that can cause it.
One of the ways it can happen is if your dog has canine arthritis. With arthritis, there’s a good chance that the hips will get affected after a certain amount of time. This amount can range from years to a decade. The symptoms are actually similar to a severe version of canine arthritis.
To explain it as simply as we can, Hip Dysplasia means that your dog’s thigh bone (one or both) doesn’t fit properly into the hip joint. This is a slight to major discomfort throughout the Corgis lifetime.
While Corgis can develop Hip Dysplasia, it’s usually an inherited condition. While the Corgis that suffer from this shouldn’t be bred, irresponsible breeders usually make the mistake. This means that the condition keeps getting transferred from generation to generation.
Hip Dysplasia can be spotted early in life with a simple X-Ray if the symptoms are obvious enough.
Von Willebrand Disease
Von Willebrand disease is actually a condition that both dogs and humans can suffer from. In simple terms, the disease causes the blood to not clot properly. This can cause nose bleeds; it can cause your dog to bleed more than it normally would say after surgery or a flesh wound.
The disease manifests itself between the ages of 3 to 5. So if your dog is showing no symptoms a while after the age of five, there is a good chance you shouldn’t worry about it.
While this can be a serious condition if not tended to properly, it’s nothing life-threatening. The disease can be managed but not cured. Don’t let this bring you down. Corgis that are suffering from Von Willebrand disease can lead a normal and healthy life thanks to proper medication, surgery, or a simple transfusion if necessary.
You’ve probably heard about Epilepsy. There’s even a chance of you knowing someone who suffers from it. Well, canine Epilepsy is pretty much the same thing. While it’s not as common in Corgis as some other diseases on this list, it’s definitely worth mentioning.
Your dog could suffer an epileptic seizure. These can usually look as if your dog is running uncontrollably in circles while being chased. He/she can also stiff up as if it’s paralyzed.
This can be a serious condition if it’s not managed, so go to your vet’s office immediately if you think that your Corgi may have suffered a seizure. This is a manageable condition, as long as it’s caught on time and you inform yourself as much as possible.
Obesity is a problem for any dog. Heck, it’s a problem for any animal, period. But Corgis seem to get affected by obesity more than other dogs. Well, we’re bending some words here; it’s quite simple, really. Corgis are small. Small dogs can gain weight quicker than big dogs because it takes them less food to gain more weight.
But gaining weight can be dangerous for Corgis. You might have noticed that they don’t have the longest or strongest legs In the business. Because of this, those little legs have to handle much more than they’re designed to if your Corgi becomes obese.
There are other problems, don’t get us wrong. Diabetes, heart problems – the list goes on.
We know that they’re kind of cute when they’re jumping around with those fat little bodies, even if the numbers on the scale go just slightly up – it’s time to change something. Either your dog isn’t getting the exercise it needs, or it’s getting too much food. Well-planned meals and basic knowledge of nutrition should do the trick, though!
Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
This is by far the worst of the bunch. Degenerative Myelopathy, or DM, is a progressive disease that affects the nerves and the spinal cord of the Corgi. Unfortunately, if a Corgi suffers from this condition, it will slowly become paralyzed and eventually die from the consequences.
We know that this all sounds bad, but unfortunately, there’s no other way to put it. This is a disease that has an almost 100% death rate. The only positive side is that it starts manifesting late in a Corgis life and that there is no pain.
It Starts at the age of ten to twelve. There are some tests that can confirm whether your dog is carrying the gene responsible for the disease – but none are 100% effective at this point in time.
There’s a 50% chance of you Corgi having a gene. Breeding dogs that inherited the disease is illegal, but as with anything, there are some irresponsible breeders who still do it.
No Two Corgis Are The Same
As far as informing you about the health risks that the breed might face, all we can do is speak in generalities. Your dog is unique, and by that, we mean that it can get any of these conditions given to it at birth. But it can also mean that your Corgi specifically may not get any of these conditions in its genes.
All in all, we suggest you find a good vet. That’s a piece of advice that we would give any pet owner. If you do that and try your best to inform yourself and take care of your Corgi, you’ll have a healthy and loyal pet!
Are Corgis Apartment Dogs?
One final question we need to answer is this:
Are Corgis apartment dogs? It’s an important question. Some dogs just can’t handle life in an apartment or house. The house obviously has the advantage of having a yard. But the thing is, that’s really not that important. Unless you have a national park as your yard – your Corgi will probably get bored of it after a while.
This is because a dog walk isn’t just for walking, as far as your dog is concerned. Our little friends like to explore. That’s why it’s important to walk your dog even if you live in a house with a big yard.
The space in your backyard helps if your Corgi feels like running around, but the mental stimulation just won’t be there after a while. Your puppy needs to walk around, pick up on smells, and meet other dogs and people. Sure, if you live in an apartment, taking your dog to the park for some running around is important, but socializing is the number one priority.
Now, Corgis are not giant dogs. We say this because they don’t need the same exercise level that a German Shepard would need, for instance. But they need it nonetheless. Fortunately, Corgis get tired quite easily; after all, that herding we were talking about didn’t include running around for hours on end.
So yes, if you live in an apartment, your Corgi will be just fine!
So there you have it, everything you need to know about your possible new family member! Corgis are great little dogs. They’re loyal, and fun. It doesn’t matter if you get a Pembroke, or a Cardigan, both of them are beautiful little workers that will fill every day with excitement and joy!
Knowing everything you can about a breed before you get a dog helps quite a bit with. The possible health risks sometimes look scary, we know, but it’s all worth it in the end. A puppy isn’t just something that runs around the house, they’re a part of the family.
So check all the boxes you need to check, get yourself a Corgi, and enjoy every single second you spend with it!