Since the death of Queen Elizabeth the second, her beloved Pembroke Welsh Corgis have received a lot of attention. And not just because they’re valuable: the Queen considered these dogs part of her family and reportedly had over 30 Corgis in her lifetime. But these adorable dogs aren’t just fit for royalty; They are wonderful companions for all types of people and families. We consulted vets and pet experts to find out why corgis make great pets — aside from their overly cute short legs and adorable faces. Read on to learn all about this dog breed, from their temperament to their grooming needs.
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In the right environment, even notoriously aloof dogs can sometimes change their temperament, but it’s always a gamble. With Corgis, you can rest assured that you’re bringing a friendly companion into your home. “Corgis love to be around people! You never want to be left home alone while you go to work or run errands,” he says Melissa M. Brockboard-certified veterinarian and writer at Pango Pets.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) rates corgis four out of five for their openness to strangers and five out of five for their affection for their family. They describe her as “loving and companionable without being needy.” Brock notes that these dogs love to snuggle with their owners and will often follow you around so they can stay close. “That makes them great companions for seniors or people who live alone,” she says.
One of the best things about having a dog is playing with it. But for people who have busy lives, a super fierce pet that requires long runs and lots of time outside may not be practical. According to the AKC, corgis are more energetic and playful than most, but “they make a great pet for those who love to play or be outside but aren’t the most athletic people alive,” he says Sabrina KongDVM at WeLoveDoodles.
According to Kong, corgis benefit from a moderate amount of exercise, and since they’re on the small side (usually between 20 and 35 pounds), it’s easy enough for them to run and play indoors. Until here, Courtnye Jacksona veterinarian and founder of The Pets Digest, adds that corgis “are not so small that they can be easily overlooked and accidentally stepped on like much smaller dogs, which is great for families with smaller children.”
For outdoor recreation, the AKC recommends long walks or slow jogs, but advises against letting your Corgi accompany you on a run or bike ride because of its short legs.
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If you are a multi-pet household, corgis get along with cats and other dogs. “They have a long history as farm dog companions and can usually adapt well to most animals if they have enough patience,” he explains Jacob Heinrich, Founder of NeuroDogLux. He notes that socializing a Corgi early is important because “they need time to get used to having other pets in their new environment.”
Being herding dogs, Corgis are used to being around other Corgis. As such, they do best with dog breeds that are roughly the same size. This is also one of the reasons why they get along well with cats.
Because Corgis were historically bred to herd cattle, they are extremely independent, leading many people to believe that they are difficult to train. However, with that independence comes great instincts and adaptability, making Corgis highly trainable and a good choice if you are a first-time dog owner. In fact, “Corgis came 11th on the list of smartest dogs,” notes Jackson.
Corresponding Christian Kjar, CEO and co-founder of ElleVet Sciences, Corgis strive to please and “respond well to positive, reward-based training.” Be sure to have treats on hand and show them your affection after they complete a task.
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Dog grooming can be very time consuming and expensive, but Corgis are considered low maintenance in this category. Though they shed a decent amount, the AKC advises that a quick daily brushing keeps things under control. (However, you may need to vacuum a little more than normal during the molting season in spring and summer.)
“They also have a short coat, so they don’t require a lot of grooming,” he notes Deepanshu Bedi, head of marketing for CBD dog treat company Holistapet. And if drool isn’t your thing, corgis rank among the lowest levels for “drooling,” according to the AKC.
The AKC gives corgis the highest possible rating in the “protective nature” category. “They are alert watchdogs with keen senses and a ‘big dog’ bark,” they say. Despite being small, this type of dog has “the confidence of a larger breed,” notes Henry. “Corgis are very observant dogs and their reaction to an unfamiliar sound or person [is] often bark.”
Once you’ve fallen in love with your new pet, take solace in the fact that “Corgis tend to live fairly long lives, with an average lifespan of 11 to 15 years,” says Jackson. They will be a loving family member for years.