Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Perky ears and a wiggly rump are characteristic of the Pembroke Welsh corgi. These little dogs are full of big personality that makes them well-suited to a variety of homes. They are bright and friendly in most cases, but retain the sharp alertness of many other herding breeds. Read on to learn more about the Pembroke Welsh corgi.

Description of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The Pembroke Welsh corgi is similar to, but separate from the Cardigan Welsh corgi. The Pembroke is slightly smaller and more affectionate than the Cardigan, and generally has a docked tail. Additionally, the Pembroke is slightly more susceptible to health issues like epilepsy. Otherwise, it can be quite challenging to tell the two breeds apart.

This breed is a generally well-mannered small dog that is affectionate and cuddly. These dogs tend to be more confident and friendly with strangers than many other smaller breeds, making them a generally good apartment dog.

These dogs are long and low, surprisingly agile, with a muscular body. Bred to herd cattle, the corgi retains much of the fearlessness, independence, trainability, and vigilance characteristic of herding dogs. They require a fair amount of exercise given their small size. Their popularity on the internet in memes has led to a surge in popularity that is not undeserved.

That said, the Pembroke Welsh corgi is not the perfect dog for every home. They can be feisty and stubborn, especially if they are not given adequate exercise, enrichment, and training. They thrive on clear direction and having a job to do.

Life Expectancy and Size

The Pembroke Welsh corgi is generally a hardy little dog that lives 12 to 13 years. They are stocky and muscular, despite having a low-slung frame. They stand roughly 10 to 12 inches tall, and weigh up to 30 pounds.

This corgi’s ears are upright, and his expression generally bright. They are generally red, sable, fawn, or black and tan, and often have white markings along their faces and bellies. The Pembroke Welsh corgi generally has its tail docked (cut off) shortly after birth. This gives them a characteristic wiggly look.

Protective Ability

If you are hoping for a little dog with a big bark, the Pembroke Welsh corgi might fit the bill. However, their close relative – the Cardigan Welsh corgi – tends to have slightly more protective instincts. Standing less than a foot tall, the corgi is not very intimidating to most people.

Like many herding dogs, the corgi can be naturally suspicious of strangers if not socialized properly. Despite an alert nature and a big bark, the corgi is not generally a great choice as a guard dog.


An enthusiastic learner, the Pembroke Welsh corgi responds well to treat- and toy-based training. They are quick learners with a zest for play and treats that makes them fun training partners. They thrive on mental enrichment provided by training.

Many of these dogs enjoy agility and obedience training. They also excel at herding-based sports, such as Treiball and herding trials.

While generally outgoing and friendly, the corgi benefits enormously from gentle exposure to the world as a puppy. Their popularity is largely due to an affable nature, which shines best thanks to training and socialization.

Energy Level

Don’t be fooled by their stubby legs – the Pembroke Welsh corgi is a bundle of energy! With a body that’s bred for herding cattle all day, and a brain that’s made for problem-solving, this dog is not a good fit for sedentary owners. If you aren’t ready to commit to daily exercise, this is not the breed for you.

This breed is a great walking, jogging, or dog sport companion but should avoid fast-paced activities, such as jogging alongside a bicycle, thanks to their short legs.

What Living with a Corgi is Like

The corgi is a goofy, affectionate addition to many homes. They are easy to engage in training and play, and tend to be quite friendly. Do not expect their short legs to slow them down, though. Keep in mind that this cute YouTube video sensation was developed to run miles every day while herding cattle. Be prepared to provide regular training and exercise.

These dogs can do well with children, but may attempt to herd them if unguided. Be aware of this tendency in young corgis, especially if you notice lots of nipping behaviors, and be prepared to intervene with gentle redirection.

Care of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi

This breed is popular for a reason. Their cute looks are matched with a generally amiable personality, good health, and relatively easy coat care.

Environmental Needs

Like all dogs, the corgi should not be left in extreme heat or cold. They should not be exercised in extreme heat. Otherwise, these hardy dogs are quite adaptable.

Exercise Needs

The Pembroke Welsh corgi, like many herding breeds, needs adequate exercise for both brain and body. A regular mix of in-home games, lengthy walks, puzzle toys, and training will generally be enough for this dog.

Do not try to skip regular exercise, though, or your bored corgi may start to create new games for himself! These “games” often entail barking, nipping at moving objects, or destroying the house. Prevention (in the form of sufficient exercise) is the best cure for these ailments.

Shedding and Grooming

Despite having a relatively short coat, this dog requires regular brushing to stay sleek. They shed quite a lot, but are easy to groom at home with a rake-type brush and a slicker brush. Shedding can be managed seasonally with additional baths, but be sure to wait until the dog is dry before brushing him.

Ideal Home Environment

The Pembroke Welsh corgi does well in apartments or houses with relatively active and engaged owners. They can be overwhelmed by young children, thanks to their herding instincts. With careful training and management, this situation can work out.

In general, the corgi is a good fit for most homes, provided they have the time for a high-energy, intelligent dog. However, thanks to their relatively demanding exercise and enrichment needs, the corgi is not a good fit for busy families that don’t have time for training and games.

Health Concerns

This breed is generally quite healthy, though there are some genetic concerns. The corgi may suffer from hip or elbow dysplasia, eye issues, heart conditions, and von Willebrand’s disease (a bleeding disorder). Be sure to ask your breeder about health testing before purchasing a puppy or putting a deposit down.

Behavior Problems

As stated above, the corgi is generally a highly affectionate and friendly dog. While they can display shyness, aggression, destructive tendencies, or barkiness – like any other dog breeds – the corgi is most susceptible to herding-instinct-related behaviors. These may manifest in nipping at the heels of moving objects (including people, dogs, or cars), or lunging and barking on leash.

Gentle and consistent direction can work wonders with this breed. They do best with a “job,” even if that job is lying on a mat in exchange for treats! Rewarding your corgi for appropriate behavior should be enough to keep him friendly and well-behaved.