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7 Important Things to Know Before Owning a Corgi

Corgis are the short-legged fluffy dogs that the internet has grown to love and adore. They’re loyal dogs with a big personality – making them hard to resist. And while playing with a Corgi is all fun and games, owning one is another story.

So before you bring a Corgi home, there are things you really should know about these dogs. It will not be a “walk in the park,” so to speak. That said, let’s talk about the things that NO ONE tells you about owning a Corgi.

It’s worth noting that these things are based on my own experiences with my own Corgi. She’s in her later-half of her life and these are the things I would want future Corgi owners to know.

RECOMMENDED: A Guide to Pembroke Welsh Corgis

1. Corgis aren’t quiet dogs…at all.

If you’re sensitive to loud noises, or have small children that are, then the Corgi may not be ideal for you. Sure, they may be small dogs…but that doesn’t mean they can’t make a lot of noise.

In fact, their barks are so much louder than you would expect to come out of these little dogs. The barking can be ear-piercing and rumble throughout the entire home, especially if you live in a small apartment or single-family home.

However you have to understand that this is just how these dogs communicate. They bark when they’re upset, when they’re excited and even when they’re hungry. So if your Corgi is trying to tell you something, you guessed it…they’ll let you know with their loud barking.

Plus, Corgis are prone to “unnecessary alarm barking,” where they’ll bark to the slightest of sounds in or around your home. All it takes is a squirrel running around the backyard to set these dogs off.

After all, these dogs were bred to herd cattle that literally weigh 100 times more than them. They may be too small for these massive animals to see, but with their loud barking, you can be sure they know where they are.

Now it’s worth noting that not all Corgis bark excessively, though most of them do. And it’s still possible to somewhat suppress the barking through training, but in the end, you can’t really get rid of instinct.

Now if you’re looking for a quiet dog that’ll be perfect for an apartment or small space, check this out instead. Spoiler: Corgis are not on that list!

2. There’s really no need to dock a Corgi’s tail anymore. 

Although it’s somewhat rare to see a tail on a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, docking their tails isn’t really necessary anymore. This is something I wish I knew before we brought home our Corgi. 

In the past, all working dogs had their tails docked, that is, surgically cut off. 

People believed that working dogs had a higher chance of injuring their tails, which can lead to gruesome pain and a lot of medical complications.

Take the Corgi for example. These dogs are so low to the ground that it’s possible that the much-taller cow can accidentally step on the tail while being herded.

Their solution was to just cut the tail off. 

While this may seem like a great idea in the past, the fact is, barely any Corgis still herd on farms. Today, the vast majority are just family companions. Even so, there is little evidence to suggest that tail docking actually prevents injury.

So why do we still dock a Corgi’s tail? This tradition of tail docking can be traced back to England in the 17th century, where the Parliament introduced a tax on companion dogs.

To differentiate between companion dogs and working dogs, the community decided to cut the tails off working dogs, including the herding Corgis. 

So after many centuries and countless generations of Corgis being bred with this look, the tradition stuck. In fact, the A.K.C. breed standard specifically states that a Pembroke Corgi should have a docked tail.

But the reality is that tail-docking in Corgis is purely for cosmetic purposes today. 

Personally, I think the tail makes it easier to read the emotions of your Corgi, all while making them seem more animated and lively. So, consider reaching out to your breeder and requesting the tail of your new pup to stay intact!

3. Corgis need more exercise than you think.

This is an easy mistake for new owners to make. Corgis are relatively small dogs and often get mislabeled with the lap dogs. But don’t be fooled, this is far from the case.

Sure, a Corgi may fit in your lap….but good luck trying to get them to stay there for long! The truth is, the Corgi is a highly-energetic dog breed that needs a lot more physical stimulation than one would think.

A full-grown adult Corgi will require roughly 1 hour of exercise each day in order to stay happy and healthy.

This can be in the form of playing catch with his or her favorite ball, going for long walks around the neighborhood or even playing with other dogs at the park. Plus, they’ll be even happier if the activity involves you (the owner)!

Without this, Corgis can start showing destructive behaviors around the home, such as tearing up your favorite pair of shoes or clawing at the couch.

As herding dogs, Corgis were accustomed to running around for long periods of time while chasing after sheep and cattle. This means letting your Corgi freely roam around a small backyard won’t cut it!

4. Corgis are way too smart for their own good.

Corgis are smart dogs, and there’s no owner that would tell you otherwise.

As a matter of fact, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is ranked the 11th smartest dog breed in the world, beating out clever breeds like the Australian Shepherd, Cocker Spaniel, Schnauzer and many more. The Cardigan isn’t far behind in 31st place.

And while it may sound cool owning an intelligent dog breed, that’s not always the case. You see, a smarter dog requires more work. Are you up for the extra hours put into stimulating their minds?

More intelligent dogs also tend to get into more trouble because they know how to push all the right buttons and get away with it.

It feels like they’re always evaluating the risk and reward. If they think they can get away with something, you can bet they’ll take their chances if the reward is big enough.

Plus, they’re sneaky dogs. Before you know it, they’re already digging through the trash can looking for food or on the coffee table drinking your cup. So if you think about it, an intelligent dog is really both a blessing and a curse.

But it also makes sense that smart dogs require more mental stimulation. With a higher mental capacity, they’ll need to “work out” their brains more than others. Unfortunately, this is the case with the Welsh Corgi.

So in addition to physical exercise on a daily basis, you’ll need to provide plenty of mental exercises too! But what is mental stimulation?

The most popular form of mental stimulation is obedience training, which Corgis respond extremely well to, especially if you have treats. And yes, they do love to work and some may work for the sake of it, though not all.

You can also play some nose-work games. For example, we like to hide our Corgis favorite treats around the house and have her search for it. 

Why not take your Corgi out for a short hike and let your dog sniff around at all the wonderful scents along the hiking trail?

And if you’re a little short on time, I would recommend getting some dog puzzles or toys to keep them entertained in the home.

All these are great mental exercises that’ll keep your Corgi happy and prevent them from taking out their frustrations on your favorite furniture. 

5. Corgis can get nippy with you.

Like I’ve mentioned, Corgis were originally bred to herd livestock. To do this, they typically nip at the heels of the animals to push them in a direction. Needless to say, they’ve been herding for several generations all over the world.

We call this their “instinctive intelligence” and it’s something that they were born with. In other words, they’ll know how to do this with no human intervention or training. It’s instinct. But the problem with this is that there’s a chance they’ll nip at your heels. 

Because there’s no cattle or sheep for them to unleash their tendencies on in your home, the next best thing is to nip at the heels of humans.

This can become especially dangerous when there are small kids around. They can mistake a small child for a sheep and in turn, try to herd the children by chasing them and nipping at their heels.

However, this type of behavior is much more common in Corgi puppies. As they grow older and with a bit of obedience training, they’ll likely subdue these instincts and live in harmony with humans.

6. Corgis can do everything…if there’s food involved.

When I say this, I think I can safely speak on behalf of the whole Corgi community. I’ve never met a Corgi that wasn’t food driven. In fact, the best way to get your Corgi to do something is by bribing them with their favorite treats.

As a pup, my Corgi was a lot more responsive to obedience training. She learned a whole arsenal of tricks and would happily do it for the sake of working. Corgis love to work, after all. 

But as she grew older, the excitement to perform tricks for friends and family tapered. There’s no more guarantee she’ll roll around or spin for me unless I’m holding a treat in my hand.

Well, there’s good news and bad news to all this.

The good is that food-driven dogs are way easier to train. When the incentive is high, you can bet they’ll give it their all. The bad news is that they’ll eat until their stomach explodes. 

Their insatiable hunger will have them begging for treats all day long – even after they’ve had their meals! Plus, it’s well documented that Corgis are prone to obesity. It’s not necessarily because of genetics, but more so because of their love of food.

7. Constant jumping can be a problem for your Corgi.

This is another thing I wish I knew about Corgis. They are highly active dogs that need their run to release all that pent up energy. But if you can, limit the jumping.

And by jumping, I’m not talking about the typical jumping as your Corgi plays with other dogs at the park. Rather, I’m talking about routinely jumping up and down high surfaces such as the bed or the couch.

Too much jumping can actually put a lot of stress on the spine and hips of the Corgi, leading to much problems as they get older.

And according to Pet MD, Corgis are prone to some serious back and hip related health problems, such as disc disease and canine hip dysplasia. But why are they susceptible to these conditions?

Well it’s because of the Corgi’s odd shape. They have long bodies but short legs, which tends to put extra pressure on the spine if they’re jumping up and down from heights. 

Instead of letting them freely jump as they please, try to get them a dog ramp for the couch and bed.

If you get this for them too late, there’s no guarantee they’ll get used to it. So start training them to use the ramp when they’re young.

So Should You Get a Corgi?

As a Corgi lover and owner for so many years, my answer is always yes. There’s something about the adorable face they give you when you’re trying to get mad at your Corgi for getting into trouble. It’s hard to resist their charm for sure.

But before you bring one home, you have to understand it won’t be easy. They are not ideal for first time dog owners because of all these problems you may face. Plus, Corgis require a good amount of time and patience.

Understanding you dog is key when developing your relationship with your Corgi. It’s important to learn what makes them happy and displeased. And trust me, if they’re dissatisfied or displeased, they will be sure to let you know.

But if you’re committed to raising and developing a good relationship, go for it! Corgis are amazing dogs that can quickly develop into a true member of the family. With a Corgi in the home, there will never be a dull moment.

So is there anything else about the Corgi that new owners should know? Leave a comment and tell us! Also, make sure to share this video with anyone thinking about getting a Corgi.

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