The Pembroke Welsh Corgi dog breed is a dwarf herding dog with a long body supported on very short legs. However, they are sturdy dogs with a natural instinct for herding. Their short stature protects them from the kicks of the cattle they herd. Even when they are not used for herding, their devotion to their owners and eagerness to please makes these dogs delightful pets.
Welsh Corgis of dwarf stature have been used for cattle herding since ages, but the Pembroke Welsh Corgi dog breed originated in Pembroke shire of Wales.Even though they have much in common with the Cardigan Corgi dog breed, they are thought to have developed independently. However, both these dogs were considered as one breed until 1934.
The exact origins of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi are not known, but they are thought to have descended from a Swedish breed called Vallhunds. These cattle dogs came to Wales with the Vikings sometime between the 9th and 10th centuries. Some attribute the origins to Flemish dogs brought in by weavers who came to settle in Wales a few centuries later. Whatever their origins and lineage, the Pembroke Welsh Corgis are spitz type dogs with a great resemblance to foxes. This has led to legends that consider these distinct-looking dwarf dogs as having come from the fairies.
They have been highly valued by farmers of the area as cattle herders and guard dogs. In spite of their short stature, these alert and intelligent little dogs can offer effective protection from predators. Their loud barking at anything strange around them makes them good watchdogs too. These dogs remained working dogs until the 1920s, and were not separated from the Cardigan Welsh Corgis which are larger in size and have a stockier appearance. After their recognition as a unique breed in 1934, they became increasingly popular as companions and family pets too. They were favored by the royal house in England, particularly King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II. When introduced to the United States, they went on to become one of the 25 most popular breeds.
Fox-like head is the most recognizable feature of these dogs. They typically measure 12 inches or less at the withers, making them the smallest among herding type dog breeds. But they are no toy dogs; their well-built muscular body weighs up to 27 pounds. The limbs are very short, but the body is as long as that of any medium-sized dog. The tail is usually docked in countries where it is allowed.
These dogs have a thick double coat that offers them good protection from the elements. Color can be different shades of fawn, tan or red in combination with white, sometimes including some black too.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi dog breed is excellent at guarding and herding cattle and sheep. They keep their charges in line by nipping at their angles and then moving away in a flash to get away from their kicks. This habit can become a problem in households with kids as these dogs may try to herd them likewise. Another annoying trait is their continuous barking. Such undesirable behaviors should be controlled by early training. Being very intelligent, these dogs are quite easy to train, and love learning new tricks.
Pembroke Welsh Corgis love food and can become obese if fed too liberally. This should be avoided as weight gain can cause or exacerbate musculoskeletal disorders that this breed is prone to.
Grooming and exercise
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi dog breed is relatively easy to groom. A thorough brushing of their coat once or twice a week will keep it in good condition and get rid of loose hair.
These dogs have high energy reserves that should be expended by some amount of exercise and other activities in addition to regular walks on the leash. They love to herd, and frequent opportunities for herding will keep them mentally stimulated. They enjoy obedience training sessions too.
Being working dogs, Pembroke Welsh Corgis can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and can live outdoors round the year. However, when kept as family pets, they deserve to live in the house with their owners because of their affinity for human company.
Common health issues of Pembroke Welsh Corgi dog breed
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi dog breed is susceptible to intervertebral disc disease because of its elongated body structure. Canine hip dysplasia also is common in these dogs. Eye problems such as progressive retinal atrophy, glaucoma and lens luxation are occasionally seen, as are epilepsy and myelopathy. These dogs are prone to developing urinary stones too. Regular health checkups may help detect and treat potential problems early. With good care, Pembroke Welsh Corgis live up to 15 years.