Pembroke Welsh Corgi: How to Care for Your Floofy Butt

Pembroke Welsh Corgi on white background

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The Pembroke Welsh Corgi, a small herding dog originally bred in Pembrokeshire, Wales, is known for its friendly demeanor and remarkable intelligence.

Their popularity has surged, in part, due to their association with British royalty, but these dogs are more than just companions to the queen at Buckingham Palace.

Defined by their low-set body, large ears, and a vivacious temperament, Pembroke Welsh Corgis make excellent family pets, responding well to training and displaying an eagerness to learn.

Despite their size, Pembroke Welsh Corgis have a robust build and an active nature, requiring regular exercise to stay healthy.

When it comes to their health, routine veterinary visits are essential, as the breed is prone to certain conditions.

Consistent grooming is also crucial, not just for aesthetics but also for their well-being.

Their double coat is weather-resistant, shedding seasonally, and so it demands regular attention.

Key Takeaways

  • Pembroke Welsh Corgis are intelligent, friendly dogs with a strong herding background.
  • Regular exercise and grooming are key to maintaining their health and appearance.
  • Close attention to their health through routine vet visits can help manage breed-specific issues.

History of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi

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The ancestry of your Pembroke Welsh Corgi hails from Pembrokeshire, Wales, and their tale is one steeped in rural tradition.

These canines come from a lineage of herding dogs very much valued by farmers for their intelligence and agility in herding cattle.

Legends mention that these dogs were used by fairies to pull their coaches or serve as steeds for fairy warriors.

10th CenturyPossible arrival of the ancestors of Welsh Corgis.
Late 1920sKennel Club recognition begins for the breed.
Mid 20th CenturyQueen Elizabeth II’s affection for the breed heightens their popularity.

In the 10th century, some say the breed was established when Flemish weavers settled in Wales, bringing dogs of similar type with them.

Welsh Corgis are divided into two distinct Corgi breeds: the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

Your Pembroke’s distinguishing features include a shorter body and lighter build.

Your Corgi’s rise in modern recognition began in the late 1920s after efforts by breed enthusiasts who brought attention to their unique characteristics and suitability as a family pet.

It was the formation of a Corgi Club in 1925 that really set them on the path to acknowledgment by broader dog-focused organizations.

Owing to their sharp and responsive herding skills, Pembrokes have been an asset on farms, showing remarkable prowess in leading and moving livestock.

Their rich history garnered royal affinity, most notably by Queen Elizabeth II, who became known for her fondness for the breed, contributing to its popularity.

Your Pembroke Welsh Corgi carries a legacy that intertwines with history and fantasy, making it a breed of enchanting origin and practical, modern-day charisma.

They were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1934.

Physical Characteristics of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi

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Pembroke Corgi, recognized for its distinct, athletic build, foxy appearance, short legs, long body and floofy bum remains one of the most identifiable breeds.

With its erect ears and medium-length double coat, this breed exhibits a sturdy and lively presence.

Height Male

Approximately 10 to 12 inches

Corgi males stand tall with a height ranging from 10 to 12 inches at the shoulder, which contributes to their balanced and agile body shape.

Height Female

Typically 10 to 12 inches

Female Corgis share a similar height range as males, ensuring a consistent breed standard and appearance.

Weight Male

Usually 24 to 30 pounds

The weight of a male Pembroke Welsh Corgi reflects their solid, robust constitution while still maintaining their famous agility.

Weight Female

Slightly lighter, 24 to 28 pounds

Female Pembroke Welsh Corgis tend to be on the lighter side compared to males, aligning with their overall size and structure.

Eye Colors

  • Brown (most common)
  • Amber

Pembroke Welsh Corgis typically have round, brown eyes that exude a keen and alert expression, although shades can vary slightly to a warm, amber hue.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi on a window bench in front of window flanked by pink curtains

Coat Colors

Corgis boast a variety of coat colors including:

  • Black and tan
  • Red
  • Sable
  • Fawn

These colors are often combined with white markings, adhering to the characteristic appearance of the breed.

Coat Types

Medium-length double coat

Corgis are equipped with a weather-resistant double coat that consists of a thick undercoat for warmth and a longer outer coat that provides protection, leading to seasonal shedding.

Life Expectancy

Generally 12 to 13 years

A healthy Pembroke Welsh Corgi can enjoy a life expectancy of 12 to 13 years, showcasing the breed’s resilience and enduring nature.

Each Pembroke Welsh Corgi carries its own unique characteristics within the breed’s standards.

While often confused with their close relatives, the Cardigan Corgi, Pembrokes have a shorter body and are a separate breed with distinctive traits like their shorter tails.

The Swedish Vallhund is not closely linked to Pembroke Welsh or Cardigan Welsh corgis genetically, despite their similarities in appearance. 

The AKC claims that Swedish Valhunds are actually a part of the spitz family. Their coats require regular grooming due to shedding. 

The hallmark of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is its friendly and protective temperament coupled with a strong, athletic form that allows this small-sized herder to perform tasks efficiently.

Temperament & Training of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi

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Pembroke Welsh Corgis are known for their affectionate and friendly temperament, making them excellent companions.

They display a loyal nature and are often playful and alert, characteristics that suit family life well as they make excellent watchdogs.

With their herding instincts, these dogs exhibit a strong and active behavior, requiring regular exercise to manage their energy level.

When it comes to training needs, Corgis are intelligent and capable of learning quickly.

They excel in dog sports like agilityobedience, and tracking, reflecting their high trainability

Puppies should be trained early to channel their intelligence and energy positively and it’s never a bad idea to start with early socialization.

Use positive reinforcement techniques as Corgis respond well to rewards and praises.

Key Training AreasTips
BarkingAddress excessive barking with consistent commands.
ChewingProvide chew toys to prevent unwanted chewing.
GaitEncourage activities that promote a healthy gait.

Exercise is pivotal; without it, Corgis may become overweight.

Incorporate playfulness in activities to keep them engaged as they have much unreleased energy.

As natural herding animals, Corgis will appreciate exercises that stimulate their herding skills, and this helps in preventing a sedentary lifestyle.

These dogs can also be good guard dogs due to their vigilant and protective nature but aren’t prone to aggression.

However, their tendency to herd and bark makes teaching obedience to prevent unwanted herding and noise imperative.

Your Corgi may show a tough front but loves to cuddle and play, revealing their endearing side.

A well-exercised and trained Corgi is truly a delightful companion. Remember that consistent, patient, and kind training will foster a happy and well-behaved dog.

Health Issues of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi

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When you bring a Pembroke Welsh Corgi into your life, it’s important to be aware of the specific health conditions that may impact your pet.

Proper care and regular veterinary check-ups can help manage and prevent these problems, ensuring a healthier and happier life for your corgi.

Hip Dysplasia

This is a genetic condition that you may encounter, where the hip joint doesn’t fit properly, leading to pain and arthritis. 


It’s essential to monitor your corgi’s weight and ensure they’re not overweight, as obesity can exacerbate the issue.

Degenerative Myelopathy

Degenerative Myelopathy is a serious condition can affect older corgis, where there is a progressive deterioration of the spinal cord.

Regular exercise and a robust nutrition plan can support your dog if they have this condition.

Von Willebrand’s Disease

Von Willebrand’s disease (vWD) is a hereditary bleeding disorder that can affect Pembroke Welsh Corgis.

This condition results from a deficiency or dysfunction of von Willebrand factor, a blood clotting protein.

Affected Corgis may experience prolonged bleeding after minor injuries, nosebleeds, or excessive bleeding during surgeries.

To manage and diagnose vWD in Pembroke Welsh Corgis, veterinary screening, particularly DNA testing, is crucial.

Responsible breeding practices that prioritize the health history of parent dogs can help mitigate the prevalence of this disorder within the breed.

While there is no cure for vWD, early detection and appropriate veterinary care can enable affected Corgis to lead fulfilling and comfortable lives.

Area of ConcernConsiderations
Life expectancyGenerally between 12-13 years.
Weight managementAvoid obesity to reduce joint stress.
Common ConditionsHip dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy.

Keep an eye on your corgi’s health, paying special attention to their activity levels and mobility.

Early diagnosis and treatment of conditions like hip dysplasia and degenerative myelopathy can make a significant difference to their quality of life.

Always consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice and care for your Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

Grooming Your Pembroke Welsh Corgi

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Proper grooming is crucial for maintaining your Pembroke Welsh Corgi’s appearance and health.

It involves regular brushing, bathing, careful fur trimming, nail clipping, dental care, and ear cleaning.


Your Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a double coat consisting of a thick undercoat and a longer topcoat which requires brushing at least once a week to minimize shedding.

Use a good-quality slicker brush to remove tangles and loose fur.


Bath your Corgi every few months or as needed.

Ensure you use a dog-specific shampoo that won’t strip their coat of natural oils. Remember, over-bathing can lead to skin irritation.

We like this massager because it really gets the soap down through all your dog’s thick fur.

Cutting Fur/Hair

Trimming your Corgi’s fur keeps them looking neat.

Focus on areas like the paws and around the hindquarters.

Scissors or clippers can be used, but avoid cutting too short, especially around the pads.

Clipping or Grinding Nails

Keep your Corgi’s nails well-trimmed to prevent discomfort or issues with walking.

You can use either clippers or a grinder to keep the nails at a comfortable length, checking them every few weeks.

Clip or grind their nails as needed, usually once or twice a month, being careful not to cut into the quick, which can cause bleeding.

If you accidentally cut the quick, dip their nails in Styptic Powder.

If you are nervous about trimming your dog’s nails, check out our article on How to Grind Your Dog’s Nails or How to Clip Your Dog’s Nails Safely.

Dental Care

Regular brushing of your Corgi’s teeth will prevent dental issues.

Use a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste and aim for at least two to three times a week to ensure good oral hygiene.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy being examined by owner

Cleaning Ears

Inspect and clean your Corgi’s ears regularly to avoid infections.

Gently wipe out the ear with a damp cloth or a cleaner recommended by your vet, but never insert anything into the ear canal.

You can use the Pet MD – Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes – Otic Cleanser for Dogs for an easy fix.

Owning a Pembroke Welsh Corgi

When you decide to own a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, you’re embracing the joy and responsibility that comes with the breed.

Be prepared for specific costs associated with purchasing and maintenance and understand the importance of adopting from a reputable source.

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Cost of Purchase

The price for a Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy can range widely depending on the breeder’s reputation, location, and the dog’s lineage.

Expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,200, though prices can be higher for show-quality dogs.

Always ensure that the cost reflects the breeder’s investment in the health and well-being of the puppies.

Maintenance Costs

Owning a Pembroke Welsh Corgi brings recurring expenses. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Food: High-quality dog food is imperative for your Corgi’s diet.
  • Grooming: Due to their thick double coat, regular grooming is essential to manage shedding.
  • Healthcare: Annual vet check-ups and vaccinations are necessary. Factor in potential costs for common genetic health issues such as hip dysplasia.
  • Training and Supplies: Budget for items like collars, leashes, and obedience classes.

Maintenance costs can add up to several hundred dollars annually, so plan this into your budget.

Adopting a Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Adopting a Corgi can be a rewarding alternative to purchasing.

Check local shelters and Corgi-specific rescues where adoption fees can be lower than purchasing from a breeder, generally ranging from $250 to $600.

Additionally, these Corgis often come vaccinated and spayed or neutered, which can save on initial healthcare costs.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy portrait at home on red velvet background looking at camera

Finding Reputable Breeders

It’s essential to find a responsible breeder who prioritizes the health and temperament of their Pembroke Welsh Corgis.

Conduct research, visit in person if possible, and ask for health clearances.

Breeders who are affiliated with Kennel Clubs or Corgi breed clubs are generally a good indication of a reputable source.

Frequently Asked Questions

When considering the addition of a Pembroke Welsh Corgi to your family, it’s essential to understand the common inquiries surrounding their cost, lifespan, health, behavior, temperament, and adoption process.

What factors influence the price of a Pembroke Welsh Corgi?

Factors such as pedigree, breeder reputation, and location can significantly affect the price of a Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

Purebred Corgis from award-winning lineages will often be more expensive.

How long is the average lifespan of a Pembroke Welsh Corgi?

A Pembroke Welsh Corgi typically enjoys a lifespan of 12-14 years, with proper care and regular veterinary check-ups.

What are some common health issues that Pembroke Welsh Corgis face?

Pembroke Welsh Corgis may experience health issues like hip dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, and  eye conditions.

Staying informed about these common conditions can help in proactive care.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi standing on park bench looking at something intently

How do Pembroke Welsh Corgis typically behave in a family setting?

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are known to be affectionate and companionable without being overly needy, making them suitable for various family dynamics.

Can you describe the typical temperament of Pembroke Welsh Corgis?

These dogs are typically alert, intelligent, and good-natured, but they can also have a stubborn and independent streak that benefits from consistent training.

What is the process for adopting a Pembroke Welsh Corgi?

Adoption usually involves researching reputable breeders or rescues, meeting potential Corgi companions, and ensuring you can provide a loving, appropriate home.

Some sources like regional Corgi clubs can offer additional guidance on the process.

Conclusion: The Bottom Line on the Pembroke Welsh Corgi

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The Pembroke Welsh Corgi stands out for its energetic personality and stature.

As a dog breed, their friendly nature and adaptability make them suitable for various living settings, though they do best with regular activity and stimulation.

Key Takeaways:

  • Lifespan: Pembrokes typically live 12 to 13 years.
  • Health: Be aware of common breed-specific health issues.
  • Coat: They have a thick coat that requires routine grooming.
  • Temperament: Known for being affable and loyal, these dogs make great companions.

Your Pembroke will thrive with consistent training and socialization.

Despite their small size, they were originally bred for herding, so they possess a surprising level of strength and agility.

Their history as working dogs means they embrace tasks and activities with eagerness, and they always appreciate mental and physical exercise.

If you decide to welcome a Pembroke Welsh Corgi into your home, prepare for a devoted and active member of the family.

They are generally well-suited for individuals and families alike, and their manageable size can be a good fit even for smaller homes, as long as there is ample opportunity for play and exercise.

Commit to their care and companionship, and in return, you’ll gain a loving and charming friend for life.

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