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Pembroke Welsh Corgis: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Pembroke Welsh Corgi temperament, personality, training, behavior, pros and cons, advice, and information, by Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Behavioral Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books

Pembroke Welsh Corgi dog breed

Spirited and athletic, steady and dependable, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a true "big dog on short legs."

Herding, obedience, agility, or chasing balls (with surprising speed) are enjoyable outlets for his enthusiasm and desire to work. Corgis are smart dogs who need something to do.

If his days include such moderate exercise, along with the loving companionship of his family, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is adaptable and easy to live with.

He is polite with guests, reserved with strangers, and makes an alert watchdog. Often too alert – Corgis can be serious barkers.

Most Pembroke Welsh Corgis are fine with other family pets. But they're often territorial with strange dogs and cats – as a working farm dog, one of his responsibilities was to chase strays away from his own farm. Corgis are wonderful with livestock, including horses.

This attentive breed learns quickly and responds well to obedience training – better than his close cousin, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Yet he has the independent judgment and problem-solving abilities of a true herding breed, so you must have the confidence to establish and consistently enforce rules, or he may make up his own.

If you want a dog who...

  • Is a "big dog" with short legs, i.e. built long and low to the ground, but with a robust body, heavy bone, and a working dog temperament
  • Is spirited and athletic, but needs only moderate exercise to maintain his muscle tone
  • Has a short easy-care coat in a variety of colors
  • Is polite with guests and makes a sensible watchdog
  • Is usually fine with other family pets, and especially good with livestock

A Pembroke Welsh Corgi may be right for you.

If you don't want to deal with...

  • Providing enough mental stimulation that gives him something productive to do
  • Destructiveness when bored or left alone too much
  • Territorial aggression toward dogs and cats he doesn't know
  • Strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge
  • Chasing and nipping at things that move
  • Lots of barking
  • Heavy shedding

A Pembroke Welsh Corgi may not be right for you.

Keep in mind that the inheritance of temperament is less predictable than the inheritance of physical traits such as size or shedding. Temperament and behavior are also shaped by raising and training.

More traits and characteristics of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi

If I was considering a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, I would be most concerned about...

  1. Providing enough physical – and mental – exercise. With their short legs and long body, Pembroke Welsh Corgis don't need or want miles of running exercise. But they must have several daily walks and a fenced yard in which to stretch their legs and romp. Just as important as physical exercise is mental exercise, which means interesting activities to do. Corgis are intelligent herding dogs who like to keep busy.

    I recommend that you get your Pembroke Welsh Corgi involved in regular obedience classes (beyond the beginners level – join a dog club and go every week). Also consider agility classes (an obstacle course for dogs) or even herding, if there is a herding club in your area. Also consider my book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words, because teaching your dog words and games stimulates his brain and keeps him happy!

  2. Chasing other animals. As a farm dog, one of a Corgi's responsibilities was to drive away strange dogs from his own farm and flock. Accordingly, many Pembroke Welsh Corgis can be a bit pushy toward dogs and cats they don't know.
  3. Mind of their own. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are smart, but they do have an independent mind of their own (as do most herding breeds) and are not pushovers to raise and train. They can be manipulative or willful. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say. To teach your Corgi to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. Read more about Pembroke Welsh Corgi Training.
  4. Barking. Corgis drove large cattle by barking, darting in beneath their kicks, and nipping them on the heels. So it's no surprise that barking is an inherited trait. If you have close neighbors, you mustn't leave a Corgi outside, unsupervised. He will drive your neighbors crazy. To make matters worse, some Corgis have an intense, high-pitched bark that can set your teeth on edge.
  5. Heavy shedding. Pembroke Welsh Corgis shed a lot. You'll find hair all over your clothing and furnishings. Be sure you don't mind vacuuming!

Michele Welton with BuffyAbout the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.

To help you train and care for your dog

dog training videos Dog training videos. Sometimes it's easier to train your puppy (or adult dog) when you can see the correct training techniques in action.

The problem is that most dog training videos on the internet are worthless, because they use the wrong training method. I recommend these dog training videos that are based on respect and leadership.

book coverRespect Training For Puppies: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved puppy. For puppies 2 to 18 months old. Your puppy will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
If your dog is over 18 months, you'll want book coverRespect Training For Adult Dogs: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved dog. Again your dog will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
book coverTeach Your Dog 100 English Words is a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your adult dog to listen to you and do what you say.
book cover11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy helps your dog live a longer, healthier life.
book coverDog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams will help you find a good-tempered, healthy family companion.

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