In recent years, Corgi’s have taken the internet by storm. Their cute photos and videos are all over our social feeds, and the world has fallen in love with these adorable little nuggets. And with good reason, too. As a Corgi owner, I know first-hand the joy these guys can bring to your life. They are amazing little dogs and make great best friends. However, as with any “fad” breed, everyone should be fully aware of the breed history, traits, and characteristics before making a commitment. Corgis are cute, but they may not be a breed for everyone. Here are 7 things you should know before adding a Corgi to your life.
1. They shed - a lot.
Before I got a Corgi, my family has only ever owned Boxers, who have very slick and short hair. Corgis are double coated, meaning they shed constantly. I try to brush my dog’s coat out for 15 minutes at least once a week, and even that only helps a little bit. Be prepared to keep stock in lint rollers and be constantly vacuuming and sweeping up hair. Also, don’t think that just “shaving” your corgi will do the trick – you should never shave a double coated dog! It completely ruins the natural hair coat and doesn’t keep the dog from shedding – instead, you will have short prickly hairs falling out everywhere that are way harder to clean up.
Shaving them also does not keep them cooler in the summer – it actually does the opposite. They were bred to have double coats, therefore their body temperature naturally regulates itself in the heat. Without the normal hair, your dog’s body will be thrown out of sync and not able to regulate heat normally, therefore actually making them hotter and causing skin damage.
2. There are two kinds of corgis.
Corgi tends to be used as a universal term, however, there are two different types. This is a huge pet peeve of mine when people don’t realize this! Any basic research into the Corgi breed will reveal that there are two types, and that is why research is so important. The Pembroke Welsh Corgis are the ones with no tails that you are used to seeing in most photos and videos.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgis are not quite as popular but are often clumped together as the same breed. The Cardigan’s have tails, are a little sturdier and longer, and come in more colors than the Pembroke. I personally have a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, and I fell in love with the breed years ago because of the blue merle color that Cardigans came in. I did my research, waited patiently, and found the blue merle boy of my dreams from a reputable breeder. I encourage you to research both breeds and decide which one suits you better!
3. They love to talk.
A lot of people don’t realize when they get a Corgi that barking is a natural trait of the breed. My boy barks at nearly every little noise, barks for at least 5 minutes after I leave the house, and sometimes just barks because he can and he wants to. While you can correct it and quiet them down, you can’t fault them for doing what is a natural instinct for them. Accepting that you may have to deal with some barking when you get a Corgi is definitely important.
4. They are natural herders.
Corgis were bred to be herding dogs, therefore their herding instincts run deep. They are constantly on your heels, and while part of that is their loyalty and affection towards you, part of it is also their instinctual need to control things and herd them. They should be introduced to children early on as puppies so that they can be taught not to nip or try to aggressively herd them. “Hovering” is normal, as they are quite nosy and always want to “have their ducks in a row” so to speak. My corgi’s favorite thing to do is herd his toys around the floor and separate them into groups.
5. They are extremely smart - and conniving.
Being herding dogs, corgis are wickedly smart. However, they know they are smart and therefore they will test you and find ways around your teaching methods. Training them can be a struggle and you have to be consistent so that they don’t take advantage of you. On and off leash training can be difficult with corgis because of their herding instincts – they are easily distracted by other people, dogs, and animals because of their need to control. My dog is especially distracted on a leash by blowing leaves or anything he thinks he can chase or herd. However, they are loyal to their owners and love to please, so positive reinforcement is important.
6. They are very active dogs.
Corgis were originally bred to be farm dogs, and many still are. Therefore, working and herding are in their blood, and they are very hardy and active dogs. While they can make great apartment dogs, it’s important that they get plenty of exercise and mental stimulation which will encourage better behavior and make them easier to train as well. I am lucky to have one of the more laid-back corgis – and he’s plenty content to have a lazy day with me whenever we want to, however, I still like to take him for long walks or hikes or take him to a dog park. The great thing about corgi’s is they are always ready for the next adventure – no matter how tired I may think my boy is, he is always willing and ready to do something active.
7. They are the sweetest little dogs you'll ever meet.
Obviously, I love my Corgi with all my heart and wouldn’t change him for the world. Corgis are an amazing breed and they have wonderful little personalities. They are extremely loyal and dedicated to their owners, and can be great companions for younger children, too. That being said, it is still extremely important to do your research and find a dog that you know will be a great fit for you and your family and your lifestyle. And if a Corgi seems like the right fit – then you are in for a treat!