A Pembroke Welsh Corgi can be a great family dog if given a sufficient amount of physical and mental exercise. As a bold, confident, intelligent herding dog, he isn’t for owners who won’t take charge in a positive way. This big dog in a small package herds moving objects, including children, and must be trained to listen to your training cues whether on or off lead.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi’s temperament
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a bold herding dog with a mind of his own. He has the following traits:
- Highly intelligent
- Good with children, strangers and other dogs if introduced and socialized properly
- Can be territorial because of herding genes to drive off unwelcomed animals
- Loyal and affectionate to his family
- Very playful
- A vigilant watch dog with a “big dog bark”
- Fearless and independent
- High energy level and herding dog work ethic
Pembroke Welsh Corgis originated in Wales and were used to drive off strange dogs from flocks they were protecting and herding. And they herded cattle and sheep originally, although now they are often just companions. Of course, Pembroke Welsh Corgis were also beloved companions to the late Queen Elizabeth II. Read our story about the Queen’s royal Corgis.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi training tips
Corgis need early and ongoing socialization so that their natural tendency to be wary of strangers can be tempered. Training is a must so that their natural strong mind doesn’t take over. If left to their own devices, without training and a sufficient amount of mental and physical stimulation, they can herd children and anything that moves, become excessive barkers and develop destructive behaviors. Training involves the dog following cues; only positive reinforcement should be used.
The following training cues are required to have a Pembroke Welsh Corgi you can happily live with:
- Attention to name and a “Look” cue. This is necessary so that your Corgi will pay attention to you despite any environmental distractions.
- Recall and emergency recall cues. Because of his natural protective nature and herding drive, this is non-negotiable so that he doesn’t injure others or become injured himself. The recall cue helps manage his independent nature and is required if you engage in any off-leash dog sports.
- “Leave it” cue. Discouraging his natural herding drive and curbing territorial barking help make the Corgi’s behavior more manageable.
- “Touch” cue. This can redirect the Corgi’s energy to you and away from herding or barking at others.
- Loose leash walking (“Let’s go” cue). This is for his own safety as well as that of others, who won’t enjoy being a subject of his herding drive.
- “Sit,” “Down” and “Stay” cues. These are great for impulse control of this independent, active dog.
- “Quiet” cue. Managing the Corgi’s territorial barking makes a more peaceful household.
Activities for the Pembroke Welsh Corgi
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi needs regular, long walks — say an hour total — every day. Running free and playing should also be on his exercise menu. And don’t forget other enrichment activities like puzzle toys. Here are 6 of our favorite puzzle toys for dogs. As far as specific, organized activities, Corgis excel at:
- Treibball (a herding sport)
A Pembroke Welsh Corgi can be a great addition to your family if you desire a bright, playful and active companion. He can charm you with his playful antics and adorable, foxlike appearance. You don’t have to be royalty to appreciate your new best friend!
Other Fun Facts About the Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Appearance and care of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Pembroke Welsh Corgis are sturdy dogs with short, muscular legs and a long body. They have a deep chest, long neck, erect ears and a stubby tail. Corgis have a distinct foxlike expression. They are 10 to 12 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 27 and 30 pounds.
Pembroke Welsh Corgis can be black and tan, red, sable or fawn and often have white markings. They have a double coat that sheds a lot — so be prepared for regular brushing, especially during fall and spring shedding seasons. Read our tips on keeping your house, car and pants fur-free!