Is My Corgi Purebred? Signs You Should Look for

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Written By Dane Michael

MyFavCorgi is a community of corgi fans and owners with advice to buy, raise and care for your corgi.

Corgis are a beloved breed. They have short legs, stumpy tail, and playful personalities.

But now, with their increasing popularity, it’s not uncommon for breeders to breed mixed breeds and sell them as purebred corgis.

As a corgi owner, it’s important to know if your furry friend is a purebred or not, as it can affect their health and behaviour. It’s also extremely important if you plan on entering dog shows.

So, how can you tell if your corgi is purebred? Let’s take a look how you can determine the purebred status of your corgi.

What is a purebred dog?

A purebred dog is one that has been bred to a specific standard for several generations and has the same unique set of traits and characteristics that define its breed.

This means that all purebred corgis will have similar physical and behavioural characteristics. This makes them easily recognisable as a corgi.

What is a purebred corgi?

A purebred corgi is a dog that has a pedigree, or papers, that verifies its lineage and confirms that both of its parents were of the same breed.

Purebred corgis belong to either the Pembroke Welsh corgi or the Cardigan Welsh corgi breed. Their breed characteristics, temperament, and appearance must be consistent within the breed.

The Pembroke Welsh corgi is a small, muscular breed with a distinctive short stature and a fox-like appearance. You can recognise the breed by their rounded ears and a tail that is often docked. They are loyal dogs that are intelligent and playful.

The Cardigan Welsh corgi is similar in appearance to the Pembroke Welsh corgi, but has a few key differences. They are slightly larger than Pembroke Welsh corgis and have a more robust build.

Cardigan Welsh corgis also have a longer tail and a slightly different ear shape. They have a friendly and affectionate nature.

How can I tell if my corgi is purebred

If you’re thinking about buying a corgi (or already have one and are curious about its purebred status), there are several signs that you can look.

These will help you to determine if your corgi is indeed purebred. ​Let’s look at some of them now.

1. Examine their physical characteristics

The first and most obvious way to determine if your corgi is purebred is by looking at its physical characteristics.

Purebred corgis have distinct physical traits that set them apart from mixed breeds. Some of these traits include:

  • Short legs and a sturdy body
  • Pointed ears that stand upright
  • A tail that is either short or docked
  • A double coat that is dense and waterproof
  • A distinctive “foxy” face with a short nose and big, expressive eyes

 ​These traits should all align closely with the American Kennel Club breed standard for the Pembroke Welsh corgi and the Cardigan Welsh corgi.

If your corgi has these physical traits, it’s a good sign that it’s purebred. If your corgi doesn’t fit these physical characteristics, it may not be one.

As a word of advice, some mixed breeds can have similar physical characteristics, so it’s always best to look for additional signs.

2. Check for their pedigree and papers

One of the most reliable ways to determine if your corgi is purebred is to check its pedigree and papers.

A purebred corgi should have a complete pedigree that traces its lineage back several generations. The papers should also be from a recognised breeding organisation, such as the American Kennel Club (AKC).

However, it’s still possible for purebred corgis to not have papers, so it’s important to look for additional signs.

If your corgi doesn’t have a complete pedigree or its papers are not from a recognised breeding organisation, it’s a strong indication that it may not be what they say it is.

Likewise, if the breeding history of your corgi is unknown or if there are gaps in the lineage, it’s possible that your corgi may not be purebred. They should have a known breeding history that can be traced back several generations.

3. Look at their behavioural characteristics

Purebred corgis also have distinct behavioural traits that set them apart from mixed breeds.

Some of these behaviours include: 

  • Playful and energetic personality
  • Intelligence and trainability
  • A strong herding instinct
  • A tendency to bark
  • A strong attachment to their owners

 If your corgi displays these behavioural traits, it’s a good sign that it’s purebred. It is risky however, to use these factors without relying on others as well.​

4. Check if they are in good health

Purebred corgis, as a breed, are known for having a good overall health condition with a moderate lifespan of around 12 to 14 years.

However, like all breeds, they are prone to certain health issues that are common to the breed.

Some of these health issues include intervertebral disk disease, hip dysplasia, and progressive retinal atrophy, among others.

If your corgi is free from these common health issues and is generally in good health, it could be a sign that it is a purebred corgi.

You should however keep in mind that the absence of health issues does not guarantee purebred status and a veterinary evaluation and genetic testing may be necessary to confirm it.

5. Seek an expert opinion

If you’re still unsure if your corgi is purebred, consider seeking the opinion of an expert.

A reputable breeder or a veterinarian who specialises in corgis can help you determine if your furry friend is purebred or not. Your breed can also assist you in arranging a genetic test for your corgi to determine its true history and lineage.

How do purebred corgis differ from mixed breeds?

A purebred corgi is a dog that has been bred to conform to a specific breed standard, with specific physical and temperamental traits. Mixed breed corgis, on the other hand, are dogs that have been bred between two different breeds, resulting in a mix of traits from both breeds.

One of the biggest differences between purebred and mixed breed corgis is predictability.

Purebred corgis have a more predictable appearance, temperamental traits, and health concerns as they are bred to conform to a specific breed standard.

Mixed breed corgis, on the other hand, can be a bit more unpredictable as they may exhibit a mix of traits from both breeds.

This is a golden corgi. It is not a purebred breed.

This is a corgi mixed with a golden retriever.

How important is it to have papers for a purebred corgi?

When it comes to owning a purebred corgi, having papers, also known as a pedigree, can be an important aspect for some owners.

There are several reasons why having papers for your purebred corgi can be beneficial:

  1. Confirming purebred status: A pedigree confirms the purebred status of your corgi and provides information about their lineage, including the breeds of their parents and grandparents. This can help to ensure that you have a genuine purebred corgi and not a mixed breed.
  2. Breeding: If you plan on breeding your purebred corgi, having papers is essential. Most breed clubs and organizations require a pedigree as proof of purebred status before allowing a dog to be used for breeding.
  3. Competition: If you plan on competing in dog shows or performance events with your purebred corgi, having papers is a requirement. This allows the judges to verify the purebred status of your corgi and ensures that the competition is fair for all participants.
  4.  Health: Knowing the health history of your purebred corgi’s lineage can be valuable in predicting potential health issues. A pedigree provides information about the health history of your corgi’s ancestors and can help you to be proactive in addressing any potential health concerns.

While having papers for your purebred corgi can be beneficial, it is important to remember that the most important aspect of owning a one is their health, well-being, and happiness.

A lack of papers does not mean that your corgi is not a purebred, but it may limit your options in terms of breeding, competition, and access to information about their lineage.​

How do you know if your purebred corgi is show quality?

A “show quality” purebred corgi refers to a dog that meets the breed standard and has the physical and temperamental traits required for competitive showing in conformation events.
To determine if your purebred corgi is show quality, it is best to have them evaluated by a professional dog show judge or a breed specialist.

​Additionally, show quality purebred corgis should have a sound structure, including correct proportions, correct bite and teeth, and strong movement. They should also have a friendly and confident temperament, with a strong work ethic and intelligence.
It is important to note that even if your purebred corgi is not show quality, they can still make great companions and pets.

What is the average cost of a purebred corgi?

The cost of a purebred corgi can vary greatly depending on the breeder, location, and the breed). On average, a purebred corgi can cost anywhere from $1000 to $2,500 or more.

When it comes to purchasing a purebred corgi, it is best to invest in a reputable breeder to ensure that you are getting a healthy and well-bred pup.

While a lower price may seem attractive, it can sometimes mean that the puppy comes from a puppy mill or a backyard breeder with little to no concern for the well-being of their dogs.

A purebred corgi that is registered with a breed club or organisation will have a documented family tree, and its lineage can be traced back several generations to the original foundation stock of the breed.

This allows breeders to maintain the breed’s standards for appearance, temperament, and health.

Final thoughts on how to tell if your corgi is purebred

Determining if your corgi is purebred can be a complex process, but it’s important to know for the health and well-being of your furry friend.

By looking at its physical characteristics, pedigree and papers, behavioural traits, and seeking the opinion of an expert, you can get a good idea of whether your corgi is purebred or not.

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