Sunday, July 28, 2013

Meet the breed : Corgi

Our pretty little girl, Cuddles, is a Corgi mix. We are not sure exactly what other breeds make up her heritage but, we know she is part Corgi.

The cute little guy in the pic here is a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. You can not really tell in Cuddles' picture but their tails are similar .

The handsome guy in the picture here is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi. He bears the most resemblance to our little girl, Cuddles. However, a major difference between the Pembroke and the Cardigan is that the Pembroke does not have a tail.

The adult male height is 10" to 12" with the female being slightly smaller. The adult male weight is approximately 25 pounds with the female being slightly lighter.

Some Corgis, as with our little girl Cuddles, are born with longer hair than the guys in our pictures here. People who are familiar with the breed call these "long hair" or "fluffy" Corgis.

The Corgi is very likely descended from several breeds including: Keeshound, Pomeranian, Schipperkes, and Swedish Vallhund.

As you may have guessed, the Corgi breed originated across the pond in the area that we now call the United Kingdom.

The Cardigan is the older of the two Corgi varieties. The Cardigan, is believed by some to have originated with the Celts as early as 1200 BC. The Pembroke is believed to have originated with a group of Flemish folks who were employed as weavers to the Celts. This probably occurred in the 1100s BC. For those of you who attended public school within the past 10 years,  1100 BC is later than 1200 BC (it is beyond the scope of this post to explain this but, just trust me :) )

Corgis are part of the classification of working dogs that we call herding dogs. They were likely first brought to the USA in the early twentieth century (AD). They were used for driving cattle. They were also used for hunting small game and for guarding livestock.

The Corgi is especially well suited for livestock herding due to its relatively low stature. It can nip at the heels of the livestock and easily roll out of the way to avoid being stepped upon.

These guys are very loyal dogs. They can be pretty intelligent as well. They are very protective of their people. Believe it or not they make pretty good watch dogs as well. Our little Cuddles lets us know whenever any intruder is anywhere near the property here at the Dog Trainer Shack. She is also very protective of The Lovely Shane!

The Corgi is very prone to unwanted guarding behavior as well. Cuddles, for instance, tends to guard her food bowl ( a habit we are working to break in her). They tend to naturally, perhaps even instinctually , be wary of strangers. For this reason. it is important that they be properly socialized at a very early age!

The Corgi, as is the case with most dogs from the herding groups, tends to try to herd people. They will nip at your heels, etc. in an effort to move you along. For this reason, it is very important that obedience training begin early. The Corgi needs to see the human as being in charge. This needs to be taught, through proper positive reinforcement training methods, at as early an age as possible.

It is important that the Corgi get plenty of exercise. Because it is naturally a herding dog, this is very important. The Corgi will not be happy of he is not exercised properly.  I strongly encourage Corgi owners to walk their dogs at least once a day using proper loose leash walking technique. It is important that the Corgi knows that the person is in control of the walk and not vice versa.

My experience with this breed is that they can be easy to train if the training begins early. It is always important, with any dog, that training be consistent and routine. This is even more important with the Corgi than some other breeds. They really need the structure. These guys are generally eager to learn. They can also be very strong willed (however, this varies from dog to dog).

Corgis are generally good with other dogs. However, they do not like other dogs invading what they perceive as their space. I have also found that, particularly in Cuddle's case, and generally with most other Corgis, they get along best with dogs their size or smaller.

Cuddles gets along well with Cody the Little Beagle and Penny the Tiny Beagle but, she does not get along as well with Copper the Whopper Beagle. The Lovely Shane and I really believe that this is because of Copper's size. Penny and Cody are both a little smaller than Cuddles. Copper is a little larger than Cuddles. Cuddles will bark at Copper when he gets to close to her food dish or just generally too close to her. Often Copper barks back and I have to intervene to get them to be quiet. We are working on this and it is getting better but, it never happens with Cody or Penny.

So, in summary, the Corgi is a very loyal dog. They are generally good with their own people but tend to be wary of new people. They are generally good with other dogs of their size or smaller. They are very protective of their people. They require a lot of exercise but because of their small size they can be a viable consideration for apartment dwellers.

If you are looking for a new member of your pack the Corgi may be a good choice if you can devote the time needed for training and exercise. They can be very sweet and loyal little guys and girls!

As always, if you are looking for a new member for your pack, please, please consider adoption! There are may sweet little guys and girls (some of them Corgis or Corgi mixes) who desperately need good forever homes!

Please understand, I am not necessarily against breeders. There are some great ones out there. I will not be mad at you if you patronize a good breeder. I simply ask that you consider adoption first. By the way, I always offer discounted training services for adopted dogs and their new people!

If you are considering adoption and need the names of local rescue groups please contact me and I will be happy to get you together with someone who will be happy to help you find the perfect dog for your pack!

Please also contact me with your training needs or with any dog related questions or concerns!

Till Next Time


William Moore
William Moore Canine Training


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