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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
Breed Specific Buying Advice
Pembroke Welsh Corgis may be small in stature, but they are full of character and for their size, they have an impressive bark. They are smaller than the Cardigan Corgi, but are just as intelligent and thrive in a home environment. 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. There is a legend telling how Pembroke Corgis were the mounts of Welsh Fairies and that is how they got their saddle markings on their backs.
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 foxlike 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:
When a Welsh Pembroke Corgi moves, they do so with an active and free movement. They throw their front legs well forward without dogs lifting them too much off the ground. They have a lot of drive from their hindquarters with dogs throwing forward their hindlegs.
The Kennel Club frowns on any exaggerations or departures from the breed standard and would judge the faults on how much they affect a dog's overall health and wellbeing as well as their ability to perform.
Males should have both testicles fully descended into their scrotums and it is worth noting that a dog can be a little lighter or heavier as well as slightly taller or shorter than set out in the Kennel Club breed standard which is given as a guideline only.
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 must start early and it must be consistent and fair throughout a dog's life so they understand what is expected of them.
It's important for these dogs to be well socialised from a young age so they grow up to be confident, outgoing mature dogs. Their socialisation must 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 should 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.
The Welsh Pembroke Corgi is a good choice for first time dog owners because they are so amenable and people-oriented, loving nothing more than to please and to entertain their families. They are particularly good with children and older people too although playtime can get a bit boisterous at times especially when they are still young.
Although Pembrokes are very social by nature, they have working and herding in their lineage, as such they have a very high prey drive. and will chase a smaller animal whenever they get the chance which includes the cat from next door. With this said, care should be taken as to where and when a Pembroke can run free off the lead more especially if there are other animals or livestock nearby.
Pembrokes have a very playful side to their natures and love to entertain and be entertained. They are known to be a little mischievous when the mood takes them and being so clever, a Pembroke quickly learns how to please an owner, bearing in mind that they would also tests the boundaries from time to time just for the fun of it.
Welsh Pembrokes are highly adaptable dogs and providing they are given enough daily physical exercise combined with as much mental stimulation to prevent boredom from setting in, they are just as happy living in an apartment in town as they are living in a house in the country.
Pembrokes form very strong ties with their families and are never happy when they find themselves left on their own for longer periods of time. They are better suited to people who either work from home or in households where one person stays at home when everyone else is out so they are never alone for any length of time which could see a dog suffering from separation anxiety. This can lead to them being destructive around the home which is a dog's way of relieving any stress they are feeling and a way to keep themselves entertained which could include barking incessantly.
Pembrokes are known to like the sound of their own voices a little too much which is something that needs to be gently nipped in the bud when a dog is still young being careful not to frighten them. Others will only bark when there are strangers about or when something they don't like is going on in their surroundings.
Some Pembrokes like swimming and will take to the water whenever they can more especially when the weather is hot. However, if anyone who owns a dog that does not like water should never force them to go in because it would just end up scaring them. With this said, care should always be taken when walking a Pembroke off the lead anywhere near more dangerous watercourses just in case a dog decides to leap in and then needs rescuing because they cannot get out of the water on their own, bearing in mind that they have such short legs.
Pembrokes may be small in stature, but they have a strong herding and guarding instinct in their ancestry. As such they are known to be good watchdogs and are always quick off the mark to let an owner know when there are strangers about although they would rarely do this aggressively.
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 should start early and it must 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 focused 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. With this said, Pembrokes excel at all sorts of canine sports which includes activities like heel-work to music, agility, obedience and flyball.
Pembroke puppies are very cute and they are incredibly smart too. As such, they are very quick to learn new things which includes the good and the bad. In short, owners need to start out as they mean to go on by laying down ground rules so that a Pembroke puppy understands what is expected of them. All dogs should be taught their place in the "pack" and the earlier they do the better behaved they will be when fully mature. The first commands a puppy should be taught are as follows:
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 should 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 be a healthy breed, but they can 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:
Pembroke Corgi puppies would have been given their initial vaccinations before being sold, but it is up to their new owners to make sure they have their follow-up shots in a timely manner with the vaccination schedule for puppies being as follows:
There has been a lot of discussion about the need for dogs to have boosters. As such, it's best to talk to a vet before making a final decision on whether a dog should continue to have annual vaccinations which are known as boosters.
Many Welsh Pembroke Corgi breeders recommend that dogs be spayed or neutered when a puppy is 1-year old and after a female has had her first season. With this said, many vets think that neutering and spaying females should be done when dogs are between the ages of 6 to 9 months old.
Other vets recommend spaying and neutering dogs when they are 6 months old, but never any earlier unless for medical reasons. With this said, many breeds are different and it is always advisable to discuss things with a vet and then follow their advice on when a dog should be spayed or neutered.
Pembrokes like their food a little too much which can lead to weight gain. It is also worth noting that some dogs gain weight after they have been spayed or neutered and it's important to keep an eye on a dog's waistline just in case they do. If a dog starts to put on weight it's important to adjust their daily calorie intake and to up the amount of exercise they are given. Older dogs too are more prone to gaining weight and again it's essential they be fed and exercised accordingly because obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years. The reason being that it puts a lot of extra strain on a dog's internal organs including the heart which could prove fatal.
Some Pembrokes are prone to suffering from allergies and it's important for a dog to see a vet sooner rather than later if one flares up. Allergies can be notoriously hard to clear up and finding the triggers can be challenging. With this said, a vet would be able to make a dog with an allergy more comfortable while they try to find out the triggers which could include the following:
All responsible Welsh Pembroke Corgi breeders would ensure that their stud dogs are tested for known hereditary and congenital health issues known to affect the breed by using the following schemes:
Pembroke puppies with naturally occurring bobbed tails can be registered with the Kennel Club which was decided back in October 2008 as a way of identifying dogs that carry the tailless gene and to keep a register of bobbed tailed Pembrokes. To register a naturally bobbed tailed Pembroke, a vet must provide the relevant documentation with the registration form.
Currently there are no Kennel Club Assured Breeder requirements and there are no BVA screening schemes or DNA tests available for the Welsh Pembroke Corgi. However, breeders can contact the Animal Health Trust (AHT) and have dogs tested for 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.
Pembroke puppies are boisterous and full of life which means it's essential for homes and gardens to be puppy-proofed well in advance of their arrival. A responsible breeder would have well socialised their puppies which always leads to more outgoing, confident and friendly dogs right from the word go. With this said, any puppy is going to feel vulnerable when they leave their mother and littermates which must be taken into account. The longer a puppy can remain with their mother, the better although it should never be for too long either.
It's best to pick a puppy up when people are going to be around for the first week or so which is the time needed for a puppy to settle in. Puppy-proofing the home and garden means putting away any tools and other implements that a boisterous puppy might injure themselves on. Electric wires and cables must be put out of their reach because puppies love chewing on things. Toxic plants should be removed from flowerbeds and the home too.
Puppies need to sleep a lot to grow and develop as they should which means setting up a quiet area that's not too out of the way means they can retreat to it when they want to nap and it's important not to disturb them when they are sleeping. It's also a good idea to keep "playtime" nice and calm inside the house and to have a more active "playtime" outside in the garden which means puppies quickly learn to be less boisterous when they are inside.
The documentation a breeder provides for a puppy must have all the details of their worming date and the product used as well as the information relating to their microchip. It is essential for puppies to be wormed again keeping to a schedule which is as follows:
There are certain items that new owners need to already have in the home prior to bringing a new puppy home. It's often a good idea to restrict how much space a puppy plays in more especially when you can't keep an eye on what they get up to bearing in mind that puppies are often quite boisterous which means investing in puppy gates or a large enough playpen that allows a puppy the room to express themselves while keeping them safe too. The items needed are therefore, as follows:
All puppies are sensitive to noise including Welsh Pembroke puppies. It's important to keep the noise levels down when a new puppy arrives in the home. TVs and music should not be played too loud which could end up stressing a small puppy out.
As previously mentioned, Pembroke puppies would have been given their first vaccinations by the breeders, but they must have their follow up shots which is up to their new owners to organise. The vaccination schedule for puppies is as follows:
When it comes to boosters, it's best to discuss these with a vet because there is a lot of debate about whether a dog really needs them after a certain time. However, if a dog ever needed to go into kennels, their vaccinations would need to be fully up to date.
Older Welsh Pembroke Corgis need lots of special care because as they reach their golden years, they are more at risk of developing certain health concerns. Physically, a dog's muzzle may start to go grey, but there will be other noticeable changes too which includes the following:
Older dogs change mentally too which means their response time tends to be slower as such they develop the following:
Living with a Welsh Pembroke Corgi in their golden years means taking on a few more responsibilities, but these are easily managed and should include looking at their diet, the amount of exercise they are given, how often their dog beds need changing and keeping an eye on the condition of their teeth.
Older Welsh Pembrokes need to be fed a good quality diet that meets their needs at this stage of their lives all the while keeping a close eye on a dog's weight. A rough feeding guide for older dogs is as follows bearing in mind they should be fed highly digestible food that does not contain any additives:
Older Pembrokes don't need to be given the same amount of daily exercise as a younger dog, but they still need the right amount of physical activity to maintain muscle tone and to prevent a dog from putting on too much weight. All dogs need access to fresh clean water and this is especially true of older dogs when they reach their golden years because they are more at risk of developing kidney disorders.
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 builds 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 must 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.
Puppies need to be fed a highly nutritious, good quality diet for them to develop and grow as they should. As a rough guide, a Pembroke puppy can be fed the following amounts every day making sure their meals are evenly spread out throughout the day and it's best to feed them 3 or 4 times a day:
Once a puppy is 12 months old they can be fed adult dog food.
Once fully mature, an adult Welsh Pembroke Corgi must be fed a good quality diet to ensure their continued good health. As a rough guide, an adult Pembroke can be fed the following amounts every day:
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 £22.86 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £44.25 a month (quote as of February 2018). 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 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 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 well-bred, healthy, Kennel Club registered pedigree Welsh Pembroke Corgi puppy.
When visiting and buying any puppy or dog, there are many important things to consider and questions to ask of the breeder/seller. You can read our generic puppy/dog advice here which includes making sure you see the puppy with its mother and to verify that the dog has been wormed and microchipped.
Pembrokes have consistently remained a popular breed both in the UK and elsewhere in the world which means that well-bred puppies can often command a lot of money. As such, with Welsh Pembroke Corgis there is specific advice, questions and protocols to follow when buying a puppy which are as follows:
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