What is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi?

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Written By Dane Michael

I am a passionate dog owner for 10+ years. MyFavCorgi is a community of 500,000+ corgi fans with advice to buy, raise and care for your corgi.

Everything you need to know about the history, personality, and physical traits of one of the world’s most popular dogs

The Pembroke Welsh corgi boast a rich history as a devoted companion. Their fluffy appearance, short legs, and long bodies endears them to their loving owners.

But what distinguishes the Pembroke Welsh corgi from other breeds?

Pembroke Welsh corgis are a small to medium-sized breed characterized by a lengthy body, short legs, and a dense double coat. These dogs are not only active, cheerful, and sociable but also display strong signs of intelligence and trainability. They are protective of their owners, making them excellent watchdogs for households.

As a proud corgi owner, I’ve spent a lot of time with the breed. Let’s dive in to see just some of the reasons that make them so unique.

History of the Pembroke Welsh corgi

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a small breed of herding dog that originated in Wales, United Kingdom. The history of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is steeped in tradition and folklore, making it a beloved and iconic breed.

You can trace the corgi’s ancestors back to the Celtic people of Wales, where they were used as herding dogs for cattle and other livestock.

They were agile and quick, nipping at the heels of the cattle to keep them in line. Their low stature was an advantage, allowing them to avoid kicks from the livestock out on the farm.

The breed gained popularity in the 20th century when King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II, fell in love with Pembroke Welsh Corgis.

He kept a number of corgis, and since then, the breed’s popularity skyrocketed and has become a favourite among British royalty. Queen Elizabeth II has also been a notable enthusiast of Pembroke Welsh Corgis, owning several throughout her reign.

In terms of breed recognition, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi was officially recognised as a distinct breed by the Kennel Club (UK) in 1934. 

The breed has since become a beloved family companion and an admired show dog, with intelligenceloyalty, and an endearing appearance.

Physical trait of Pembroke Welsh corgis

​How tall is a Pembroke Welsh corgi?

A Pembroke Welsh Corgi typically stands between 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm) in height at the shoulder.

They are a small-sized breed, with short legs and long body. This gives them a unique and adorable appearance. Despite their small stature, Pembroke Welsh corgis are quick, fast and nimble.

How much does a Pembroke​ Welsh corgi weigh?

An average Pembroke Welsh corgi weighs 25–30 pounds (11 to 14 kg). They are slightly smaller than Cardigan Welsh corgis.

For male Pembroke Welsh corgis, their weight should not exceed 30 pounds (approximately 13.6 kilograms). Female Pembroke Welsh corgis should not exceed 28 pounds (approximately 12.7 kilograms).

Maintaining a healthy weight is important for the overall well-being and longevity of these adorable dogs. Proper nutrition, regular feeding, and regular exercise are essential in ensuring they stay within the recommended weight range and lead a happy and active life.

What does a Pembroke Welsh corgi look like?

Pembroke Welsh corgis are small dogs. They a sturdy long body with a deep chest and a level back. Despite their small size, they have a strong and athletic build.

One of the most noticeable features of a Pembroke Corgi is their short legs. Their legs are sturdy and well-boned, making them look like they are almost hugging the ground.

Unlike their close relative, the Cardigan Welsh corgi, Pembroke Corgis have a docked tail. In some regions, docking is no longer allowed, so you may see them with a natural tail.

They have a foxy-looking head with a slightly rounded skull. Their eyes are oval-shaped, medium-sized, and dark in colour. Their ears are erect and pointed, adding to their expressive and intelligent appearance.

The Pembroke Corgi has a medium-length double coat, with a dense undercoat and a weather-resistant outer coat.

Common coat colours include red, sable, fawn, and black and tan, often with white markings on their chest, legs, and face.

How are Pembroke Welsh corgis different to Cardigan Welsh corgis?

Pembrokes come in brighter colours than their Cardigan siblings, and are typically shorter and weigh less. Of the two, they more closely resemble a fox than the cardigan.

When comparing Pembroke Welsh corgis to Cardigan Welsh corgis, some noticeable distinctions arise.

Firstly, Pembroke Welsh corgis tend to be smaller and more outgoing, while Cardigan Welsh corgis are slightly larger and more reserved. The facial appearance sets them apart, as Pembroke Welsh corgis exhibit a more fox-like visage compared to Cardigan Welsh corgis.

Both breeds share certain characteristics, such as short stature and elongated bodies. However, in terms of size, Cardigan Welsh corgis generally outweigh Pembroke Welsh corgis and also stand taller.

The Cardigan Welsh corgi boasts a longer, thicker coat and a brush tail of greater length.

Notably, the facial features differ; a Cardigan Welsh corgi possesses a less pointed chin and ears, while Pembroke Welsh corgis sport a more squared-off behind in contrast to Cardigans’ curvier appearance due to their sloping rear.

​Despite these differences, both breeds are intelligent and adaptable. You can read more about the differences between Cardigan Welsh corgis and Pembroke Welsh corgis.

What is the breed standard for Pembroke Welsh corgis?

The breed standard for Pembroke Welsh corgis is a set of guidelines. These describe the ideal physical and temperament of the breed.

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a low-set, strong, and active breed with a sturdy build, conveying substance and stamina in a small size.

The ideal corgi should not be too heavy-boned to appear coarse or too light-boned to seem racy.

They should have a bold but kind outlook, an intelligent and interested expression, and should never exhibit shyness or viciousness.

The American Kennel Club have set the full breed standard for the Pembroke Welsh corgi. Key points from the breed standard include:

1. Size

Height should be 10 to 12 inches, and weight should not exceed 30 pounds for males and 28 pounds for females. The preferred weight is around 27 pounds for males and 25 pounds for females. Oversized or undersized individuals are undesirable.

2. Head

The head should have a foxy shape and intelligent expression. The skull should be fairly wide and flat, with a slight stop. The muzzle should be tapered, and the eyes should be oval and medium-sized with a brown colour in harmony with the coat. Ears should be erect and of medium size.

3. Body

The neck should be fairly long, slightly arched, and well-blended into the shoulders. The topline should be firm and level. The rib cage should be well-sprung and moderately long. The tail is preferably docked short, or if naturally short, it should not be carried too high.

4. Forequarters

Legs should be short with ample bone, forearms slightly turned inward. The shoulder blades should be long and well laid back. Feet should be oval, turning neither in nor out.

5. Hindquarters

Strong and flexible with moderate angulation at the stifle and hock. Hocks should be short and perpendicular to the ground when viewed from the side.

6. Coat

Medium length with a thick, weather-resistant undercoat and a coarse longer outer coat. The coat is preferably straight but slight waviness is acceptable. Seasonal lack of undercoat should not be overly penalised.

7. Colour

Self colours in red, sable, fawn, black, and tan with or without white markings are acceptable. White is permitted on various parts of the body. White on the body or bluish/smoky coloration are serious faults.

8. Gait 

The movement should be free and smooth, with well-reaching forelegs and driving hind legs. Feet should travel parallel to the line of motion.

9. Temperament

Pembroke Welsh Corgis should have a bold but kindly outlook. Excessive shyness is not desirable, and any overly shy Corgis should be dismissed from the show ring.

For more information on the breed standard, read the full description from the American Kennel Club.

Lifestyle traits of Pembroke Welsh corgis

Are Pembroke Welsh corgis affectionate with families?

Yes, Pembroke Welsh Corgis are affectionate and devoted to their families.

They make great family pets and are loyal companions. They enjoy forming strong bonds with their owners and are generally good with children and other family members.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are social dogs and often thrive in a family environment where they receive attention and love.

They have a playful and energetic nature, which makes them a wonderful addition to a family home, especially if there are young kids who can play with them.

Are Pembroke Welsh corgis good with young kids?

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are friendly dogs. They are well-suited for families with children.

They are affectionate, loyal, and playful, and they love spending time with their families, engaging in games and activities.

Supervision is advisable when introducing a Pembroke Welsh corgi to young kids to ensure everyone stays safe.

​Are Pembroke Welsh corgi good with other dogs?

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are a sociable breed and easily befriend other dogs. This proves very advantageous if you already have another pet dog or love visits to the dog park.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis genuinely relish interactions with both dogs and people alike.

If you own a Pembroke Welsh corgi, you know the sheer delight of taking them to the dog park, watching their excitement when they meet their furry pals.

As with any breed, ensuring proper socialisation and training is crucial to promote positive play. 

Socialisation involves exposing your corgi to various people, places, and experiences between 3 and 12 weeks of age.

It also helps discourage barking or attempting to dominate larger dogs (which typically do not end well).

A reputable breeder will socialise your corgi before you bring the dog back home. They will offer guidance on continuing their socialisation process.

Training is also vital in ensuring that your Pembroke Welsh corgi gets along well with other dogs. Basic obedience training can help your corgi follow commands, listen to you, and behave appropriately around other dogs.

​Do Pembroke Welsh corgis shed?

Yes, Pembroke Welsh Corgis do shed a lot. They have a thick coat with two layers of fur, and they lose hair all year round.

In spring and autumn, they shed even more as they prepare for the changing weather.

To keep their fur under control and prevent a lot of hair around the house, it’s important to groom and brush them regularly. This helps get rid of loose fur, avoids tangles, and keeps their coat looking healthy.

While you can’t stop shedding completely, regular grooming makes a big difference in managing it and keeping your corgi well-groomed.

Do Pembroke Welsh corgis drool?

No, Pembroke Welsh corgis do not drool a lot. Particularly, when you compare them to other breeds.

However, like all dogs, individual corgis may drool occasionally, especially when they are anticipating a treat or food.

If you notice your corgi drooling more than usual, monitor them and take them to your vet if necessary.

How often do you need to groom a Pembroke Welsh corgi?

You should groom your corgi at least once a week to keep their coat healthy and prevent tangles and matting in your corgi’s fur.

To keep a corgi’s coat in good condition, regular grooming is necessary. This helps to remove loose hair, prevent matting, and keep their coat looking neat and healthy.

During shedding seasons, which typically occur in the spring and fall, you may need to increase grooming frequency to two or three times a week to manage the increased hair loss.

In addition to regular brushing, it’s essential to check their ears, teeth, and nails regularly and address any issues as needed. 

Social traits of Pembroke Welsh corgis

​Are Pembroke Welsh corgis good with strangers?

Pembroke Welsh Corgis, as a breed, tend to be friendly and outgoing dogs. This helps them get on well with strangers.

Proper socialisation from a young age can help ensure that Pembroke Welsh Corgis are comfortable and well-behaved when meeting new people.

Early exposure to different environments, sounds, and individuals can help them develop into confident and well-adjusted dogs, making them more likely to be at ease with strangers.

It’s essential to remember that each dog is unique, and there may be exceptions to the rule.

Some Pembroke Welsh corgis may be more reserved or shy around strangers, but with proper training and positive experiences, they can become more comfortable and friendly in social situations.

​Are Pembroke Welsh corgis good watchdogs?

Pembroke Welsh corgis can make good watchdogs, as they are alert and attentive to their surroundings, but they are not the best guard dogs due to their small size.

Corgis are intelligent dogs and are quick to react to any strange sounds or movements.

Certain corgis may naturally be more vigilant than others. A corgi that has received proper training is better suited to being a watchdog compared to an untrained one.

Although Cardigan Welsh corgis can be effective as watchdogs, they are generally not as big or intimidating as some other breeds used for guarding, and they are not suitable for protection work.

Their main role is being companion dogs, and they are famous for their loving and loyal personalities.

​Are Pembroke Welsh corgis playful?

Yes, Pembroke Welsh Corgis are playful dogs with lots of energy.

They are generally active and enjoy engaging in fun activities with their family members. Corgis have a lively and cheerful temperament, which makes them enthusiastic playmates.

Their playful disposition also makes them great companions for children and other pets.

However, it’s essential to provide them with regular exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and prevent boredom-related destruction!

Playing games and providing interactive toys are excellent ways to satisfy their playful instincts and keep them entertained.

You’ll find that whenever you go out for a walk, they are always eager to say hello to anyone you encounter and they love making new friends.

​Are Pembroke Welsh corgi adaptable?

Yes, Pembroke corgis are an adaptable dog breed. They can adjust to many different homes including apartments, town houses, the suburbs, and out in the country and on farms.

Their adaptability also extends to different family structures, making them suitable for singles, couples, and families with children.

While they are relatively adaptable, it’s essential to provide them with enough stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.

Regular exercise, mental enrichment, and social interaction are vital for their wellbeing, regardless of the living environment.

Personality traits of Pembroke Welsh corgis

Do Pembroke Welsh corgis bark a lot?

Yes, Pembroke Welsh corgis have a loud bark and they bark a lot. By using up their excess energy, you can make them bark less frequently.

Corgis have a strong herding instinct, and they often use their barking as a way to communicate, alert their owners to perceived threats or strangers, or express their excitement or boredom.

It’s important to understand why your corgi is barking and work out what you can do to help them.

Without proper bark training and attention, excessive barking can become a behaviour issue. To reduce your corgis barking, it’s important to make sure they get enough exercise to tire them out

​Are Pembroke Welsh corgis easy to train

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are quite clever and you can train them with ease.

They are intelligent and like to make their owners happy, which helps in their training.

Using positive methods like treats and praise works well when teaching them. It’s essential to start training early and expose them to different experiences to ensure they grow up well-behaved.

Being patient, consistent, and having regular training sessions will give the best results in teaching them commands and good behaviour.

With the right approach and dedication, you can train your Pembroke Welsh corgis to become well-behaved.

​Do Pembroke Welsh corgis have lots of energy

Yes, Pembroke Welsh Corgis have lots of physical energy to burn up.

They are an active and lively breed, and their energy levels can be quite high. Corgis were originally bred for herding cattle, so they have a natural instinct to be on the move and remain alert.

To keep them happy and healthy, it’s essential to provide them with regular exercise. Daily walks, playtime, and engaging activities are essential to channel their energy in a positive way. 

​Do Pembroke Welsh corgis need lots of stimulation

Yes, because Pembroke Welsh corgis have a lot of mental energy. You must give them lots of attention and exercise to keep them from getting bored.

Cardigan Welsh corgis are clever and energetic dogs that require lots of exercise to stay in good shape and keep their minds active.

They love playing fetch, going on walks or runs, and having fun with toys.

Besides physical exercise, it’s vital to give their brain a workout as well. Activities like puzzle toys, training sessions, or interactive play help keep their brains engaged and happy

Buy a Pembroke Welsh corgi

How do I buy a Pembroke Welsh corgi?

There are several steps you can take to buy a Pembroke Welsh corgi including finding a breeder, choosing the right dog, and creating a home for them.

If you’re considering getting a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, here are some steps to follow:

  1. Research the breed: Take the time to understand the characteristics and needs of Pembroke Welsh Corgis. This will help you determine if they are a good fit for your lifestyle.
  2. Find a reputable breeder: Look for a responsible breeder who follows good breeding practices. Check if they can provide health clearances for the puppy’s parents. It’s best to visit the breeder in person and meet the puppy’s parents to assess their health and temperament.
  3. Ask questions: Talk to the breeder about the puppy’s health, temperament, and breeding background. Inquire about any common health issues or genetic conditions in the breed.
  4. Choose a puppy: Select a healthy and well-adjusted puppy that suits your lifestyle and experience. Ask about the puppy’s feeding, vaccination, and socialization routines.
  5. Bring the puppy home: Ensure you have all the necessary supplies ready for your new puppy, including a crate, bed, food, water bowl, toys, and a leash. Also, have a reliable veterinarian lined up for your puppy’s ongoing care.

Doing thorough research and choosing a reputable breeder is crucial to getting a healthy and well-bred Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

Don’t buy puppies from pet stores or online sellers. It’s likely the puppies have not been bred responsibly and could have health or behavioural problems.

Find out more about the process with my complete guide to buying a corgi.

Final thoughts on Pembroke Welsh corgis

Pembroke Welsh corgis are delightful and clever dogs with an affectionate and playful nature.

They are quite small, which makes them suitable for living in apartments and cities, but they have lots of energy and need regular exercise.

Pembroke Welsh corgis are friendly and get along well with children, other dogs, and people in general.

They are smart and can be trained to do various tasks like obedience, agility, and herding. However, they might be a bit stubborn and need patience and consistent training to learn new commands.

Pembroke Welsh corgis are loyal and loving pets, and they can become wonderful companions for the right owner. My beautiful boy has been a highlight in my life, and I can only wish the same for you!

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