Corgi: A Breed Guide

Category_Breeds_Corgi Category_Dogs Writer_Carrie_Pallardy

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The Queen’s Favorite: A Breed Guide to Corgis

When you hear the name “corgi” the dog that comes to mind is probably the Pembroke Welsh corgi. The breed is famously a favorite of Queen Elizabeth II. You can even spot the pups in a few scenes of Neflix’s “The Crown.” But, there is a second breed of corgi: the Cardigan Welsh corgi. What is the difference between the two breeds? What can you expect as a corgi owner? Learn about the Queen’s favorite dogs and their sister breed.
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Legendary Lineage
It is easy to trace the history of some dog breeds, while the past of others is a little bit murkier. The development of the Pembroke Welsh corgi has some competing theories, as well as some much loved folklore. The breed likely sprang from Wales, hence the name, but people affectionately joke that the markings on their backs are actually saddles used by fairies, according to The Spruce Pets.
Cardigan Welsh corgis also have roots in Wales. Herding dogs, like their Pembroke Welsh relatives, these dogs were likely used by the Celts to keep cattle in line, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).
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The Corgi Build and Looks
While two distinct breeds, Pembroke Welsh corgis and Cardigan Welsh corgis do share many physical characteristics. Both corgis are characterized by long bodies with strong, short legs and a fluffy coat. That adorable body build is the result of achondroplasia, meaning both Pembroke corgis and Cardigans are dwarf breeds.
Being different breeds, the two also have some differing physical characteristics. The Pembroke breed can weigh up to roughly 30 pounds, while Cardigans can be a bit larger, weighing in the mid to upper 30s, according to the AKC. Pembroke corgis can live 12 to 13 years, while Cardigans can live 12 to 15 years. The body shapes are slightly different, and Cardigans have longer tales.
Pembroke Welsh corgis have black, tan, red, sable or fawn fur with white markings, according to The Spruce Pets. Cardigan Welsh corgis can have some of the same colors, as well as brindle and blue merle. They may or may not have white markings on their coats.
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Bred as herding dogs, both Pembroke and Cardigan corgis retain alert, active personalities. They can be both tenacious and affectionate. Keep an eye out for those herding tendencies. Your corgi may try to round up small children and other pets with little nips to the ankles.
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Bringing a Corgi Home
As smaller dogs, corgis can adapt to apartment living. But, it is important to keep in mind they still need plenty exercise to keep them happy and at a healthy weight. With short legs and a long spine, be careful to discourage jumps to and from furniture; corgis are prone to back injuries.
If you are looking to adopt a corgi, Lakeshore PWC Rescue focuses on finding homes for Pembroke Welsh corgis in Midwestern states, including Illinois.
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Written by Carrie Pallardy
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