Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Welsh Corgi Pembroke
Average Cost to keep/care for a Welsh Corgi Pembroke
Pembroke Welsh Corgis may be small in stature, but they are full of character and for their size, they have an impressive bark. Over the years, these charming dogs have fallen out of favour and have as such been placed on The Kennel Club's native vulnerable breed list even though they make wonderful companions and family pets. They have a lot going for them, they are small and therefore just as happy to live in an apartment as they are in a country mansion. On top of this, the Pembroke Corgi boasts a calm, yet fun-loving personality and enjoys nothing more than to be involved in everything that goes on around them.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has been around for centuries with records of these charming little dogs going back to 920 AD. It's thought they were taken to Wales by Flemish weavers and during the 14th right through to the 18th century, they were used to drive cattle to market.
The breed was recognised by The Kennel Club in 1928, but at the time both the Pembroke and the Cardigan were classed as being one breed. It was not until 1934, that the two were separated and the Pembroke was recognised as being a breed in its own right. Today, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is not as popular as they once were and have therefore been classed as a vulnerable native breed by The Kennel Club even though they make wonderful companions and family pets more especially in households where the children are slightly older.
Anyone wishing to share their home with a Pembroke would need to register their interest with Breeders and agree to being put on a waiting list because so few pedigree puppies are bred and registered with The Kennel Club every year, but the wait is always very worthwhile.
Height at the withers: Males 25 - 30 cm, Females 25 - 30 cm
Average weight: Males 10 - 12 kg, Females 9 - 11 kg
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi like their Cardigan cousins, boasts having a low, yet very strong body. They give the impression of being sturdy and alert as well as having a heap of stamina when needed. Their heads are quite fox-like with dogs always having a keen, intelligent look about their eyes. They have a moderate stop and their skulls are quite flat between the ears. Their muzzles gently taper to a black nose and their eyes are set nicely on a dog's face being round and medium in size. Eyes are usually brown to match a dog's coat colour.
The Pembroke has slightly rounded, medium sized ears which they hold pricked. They have a strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite where their upper teeth neatly overlap their lower ones. Necks are quite long with dogs having shorter lower legs that should be as straight as possible. Their forearms mould around a dog's chest and their elbows sit closely to their sides. Shoulders are well laid back and are nicely angulated.
A Pembroke's body is moderately long with dogs having nice, level toplines and their chest are broad and deep being well let down to their elbows. Their hindquarters are strong and muscular while being flexible at the same time. Back legs are short showing a good amount of bone right down to a dog's feet. Their feet are oval shaped with strong, well arched, tight toes with the two middle ones being a little longer than the outer toes. Pads are firm, strong and nails short. Their tails are set in line with a dog's topline which they carry slightly above it when excited or alert.
When it comes to their coat, the Pembroke boasts having a straight, medium length coat and a much denser undercoat that's quite harsh to the touch. The accepted breed colours are as follows:
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi boasts having a fun-loving nature and they like nothing more than to be involved in everything that goes on around them. They thrive in a family environment where the children are slightly older and are not the best choice for people with younger children thanks to the fact they are known to nip at people's heels, a trait that's deeply embedded in their psyche from the days when they were used to drive cattle to market.
They are highly intelligent characters that like to be busy although once they have been well exercised, a Pembroke is just as happy to chill out in front of a warm fire. They may be small in stature, but they boast a tremendous amount of stamina and love to be out and about in the great outdoors as often as possible which makes them the ideal choice for people who live in the country and who lead busy outdoor lives and who enjoy having a canine companion at their side.
They are very enthusiastic about everything that goes on around them which makes them great fun to be around. They are a good choice for first time owners because they are so eager to please and quick to learn new things thanks to their intelligence. However, the downside to this is that a Pembroke can pick up bad behaviours just as quickly which is why their training has to start early and it has to be consistent and fair throughout a dog's life so they understand what is expected of them.
It's really important for these dogs to be well socialised from a young age so they grow up to be confident, outgoing mature dogs. Their socialisation has to include introducing them to lots of new situations, noises, people, other animals and dogs once they have been fully vaccinated. It's also crucial for their training to start early too and it has to be consistent throughout a dog's life. A Pembroke is never happier than when they know their place in the pack and who they can look to for direction and guidance. If they don't know who is the alpha dog in a household they may quickly take on the role of a dominant dog which can make them harder to live with and handle.
For such little dogs they have an impressive bark and they make wonderful watchdogs because they are always ready to let an owner know when there are strangers about or when something is happening that they don't like. They can be a little wary of strangers, but rarely would a Pembroke show any sort of aggression towards people they don't know, preferring to keep their distance until they get to know someone.
Pembroke Welsh Corgis are very intelligent which added to the fact they love to please means they are easy to train and in the right hands, they learn new things very quickly. However, if allowed they will take on a more dominant role which is why their training has to start early and it has to be consistent so that a Pembroke knows what an owner expects of them.
The downside to them being fast learners is they are just as quick to pick up bad habits as they are the good and it’s essential for them to be well socialised from a young age so they mature into well-rounded, obedient adult dogs. Pembrokes are never happier than when they are given something to do which is why they are so amenable to learning new things. The key to successfully training them is to make their training as interesting as possible and to avoid too much repetition. It's also a good idea to keep training sessions that much shorter which helps keep a dog more focussed on what is being asked of them.
They do not answer well to any sort of harsh correction or heavier handed training methods, but they do respond extremely well to positive reinforcement, especially if there are high value treats involved which always brings the best out of these clever, little dogs.
Pembroke Welsh Corgis are best suited to families where the children are slightly older and who therefore know how to behave around dogs. They are not the best choice in households where the children are younger because these charming little dogs have a habit of nipping at people's heels which is their way of trying to move things along. With this said, any interaction between toddlers and a dog should always be well supervised by an adult to make sure playtime does not get too boisterous and rowdy.
They can be a little aggressive around other dogs which is why it's so important for a Pembroke to be well socialised from a young age. If they have grown up with a family cat in a household, they usually get on well together, but if they would think nothing of chasing off any cats they don't know. Care has to be taken when a Pembroke is around smaller animals and pets because they might just see them as "fair game". As such, any contact is best avoided.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
The average life expectancy of a Pembroke Welsh Corgi is between 12 and 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
The Pembroke is known to suffer from a few hereditary health issues which are worth knowing about if you are planning share your home with one of these active, little dogs. The conditions that seem to affect the breed the most include the following:
As with any other breed, Pembrokes need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
Welsh Pembroke Corgis boast having easy maintenance coats. As such a twice weekly brush is all it takes to keep things tidy and to remove any loose and dead hair. They do shed quite a bit all year round only more so during the Spring and then again in the Autumn when more frequent grooming is usually necessary to stay on top of things.
It's also important to check a dog's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up in a dog's ears, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure when it comes to ear infections.
The Pembroke is an active, intelligent dog and as such they need to be given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation for them to be truly happy, well-rounded characters. They need anything from 40 to 60 minutes exercise a day with as much off the lead time as possible. If they are not given the right amount of mental stimulation and exercise every day, a Pembroke would quickly get bored and could even begin to show some destructive behaviours around the home which is their way of relieving the stress they are feeling and not necessarily because they are being naughty.
A shorter walk in the morning would be fine, but a longer more interesting one in the afternoon is a must with as much off the lead time as possible. These dogs also like to be able to roam around a back garden as often as possible so they can really let off steam. However, the fencing has to be extremely secure to keep these active little dogs in because if they find a weakness in the fence, they will soon escape and could get into all sorts of trouble.
With this said, Pembroke puppies should not be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing. This includes not letting a dog jump up and down from furniture or going up or down the stairs. Too much pressure placed on their joints and spines at an early age could result in a dog developing serious problems later in their lives.
If you get a Pembroke puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy eaters, but this does not mean they can be given a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
If you are looking to buy a Welsh Pembroke Corgi, you would need to register your interest with breeders and agree to being put on a waiting list because very few puppies are bred and registered with The Kennel Club every year. You would need to pay anything upwards of £1000 for a well-bred pedigree puppy.
The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Pembroke in northern England would be £20.65 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £42.79 a month (quote as of July 2016). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK, a dog's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed among other things.
When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry making sure it suits the different stages of a dog’s life. This would set you back between £20 - £30 a month. On top of all of this, you need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Pembroke and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying a dog when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over £800 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Welsh Pembroke Corgi would be between £50 to £80 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a pedigree or other puppy.
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