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Corgi Pros and Cons (BEFORE You Adopt)

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are one of the most popular breeds in the world and are adored for their bright, lively personalities and independent spirit.

Catapulted to stardom because of the love that Queen Elizabeth has for the breed, Corgis are relatively easy to raise. After all, the Queen herself reportedly raised more than 30 of them! 

Corgi pros and cons
Corgi Pros and Cons (BEFORE You Adopt)

Brief History Of Corgis 

Their roots are commonly considered to be in the Pembrokeshire region of Southwest Wales. They are said by some to have been introduced there by Flemish weavers who migrated from what is now Belgium. 

Others believe they are descended from the Scandinavian ancestors of the Swedish Vallhund, as they share many characteristics with the modern Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

While their past is a tad obscure, one thing was certain: they were a popular dog breed among shepherds. Because they were trained to be good cattle herders, these dogs are athletic, robust, and have exceptional herding abilities. 

Their legs are exceptionally strong and powerful despite being short-legged and low-set. This benefits their bodies and allows them to be extremely swift and agile at their work.

The herding instincts have been so ingrained in this breed that they are brave, independent canines that, despite their small stature, bark like giant dogs.

They are relatively small dogs, about 10 to 12 inches tall, and weighing from 23 to 28 pounds. They are healthy dogs with a lifespan ranging from 12 to 14 years and beyond

Corgi dogs lying on the couch
Two Corgi dogs lying on the couch.

Is A Corgi For You?

Their adorable cuteness, small size, free-spirited, vibrant nature would want you to choose them as your next pet, but it’s always wise to research their characteristics and dig deeper to see if they would align with your needs and be the ideal pooch for your lifestyle. 

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Here are some pros and cons of Corgis before you rush out and snag one for yourself. 

Pros

1. Corgis are incredibly smart.

They are extremely smart dogs, which is not surprising considering that they were raised with strong herding instincts. They pick up orders and tricks fast if they are taught frequently and consistently.

smart Corgis
The Corgis showing off their tricks!

2. They are easy and quick to train. 

Lively, playful, and eager to learn, Corgis like stimulation and are typically highly food motivated, making training a breeze. 

3. They make great guard dogs.

Corgis are extremely vocal, which is a characteristic of a good alert dog. They are suspicious of strangers and will bark to warn them off. They make excellent alert dogs for your home. 

Corgi guards owner
Corgi sits and guards his owner.

4. They make great companions and family pets.

Corgis adore the bond they have with their human companions. They are always eager to please you and are up for an adventure. 

Although they are historically herding dogs, they make excellent family dogs since they appreciate bonding with numerous humans living under the same roof. Corgis who have been well-trained and socialized are also awesome with children after they have been accustomed to their presence.

5. They are extremely loyal.

Protective and bonded, Corgis are loyal and unlikely to be escape artists that run off with the first stranger they meet. 

puppy growls when picked up
Reader Linda emailed us and asked “My puppy growls when I pick her up. Help!”

6. They require little maintenance.

They require little food and have modest grooming needs. Frequent brushing is necessary to rid the coat of dead fur and dander, but they don’t have to have professional grooming done, unlike many other longer-haired breeds. 

7. They have moderate energy levels. 

The perfect blend of a couch potato and a hiking buddy, Corgis have modest exercise needs and will be happy with a walk a day. They love to play and will benefit from an enthusiastic game of fetch or frisbee. They are prone to short bouts of happy energy, and then will likely be content to curl up with you on the couch. 

Pembroke Welsh Corgi playing
Pembroke Welsh Corgi playing with his toy!

8. They are absolutely ADORABLE! 

Have you ever seen a Corgi? They’re the cutest dogs EVER. Those short little legs, that fluffy butt, and those big ears… how could you resist their cuteness?! Corgis are also incredibly friendly dogs, which makes them great pets for families with small children. 

Cons

1. They DO require regular exercise.

While their exercise requirements are modest, an under-exercised Corgi is not a good idea. Because of their herding origins, they are moderately active and cannot lay down and relax for too long. They can have loads of energy that must be expanded, or you’re in for a tough time with a destructive Corgi! 

corgi puppy running
A cute Corgi puppy running on the grass.

2. When bored or left alone, they can be destructive.

They make excellent lap dogs, but only for a short time. They can exhibit bad behaviors like excessive barking and chewing if they are not adequately mentally and physically stimulation.

Like many dogs, they don’t do well when left alone for extended periods, and will most likely suit a household where a family member is present most of the time. 

3. They can be stubborn at times.

Corgis who are stubborn can be tough to manage. This is the downside of having a smart dog. With intelligence comes independence, and Corgis enjoy being in charge.

Thorough training and socialization is key to raising a well-mannered, behaved Corgi.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi breed training
Training a Pembroke Welsh Corgi breed by his owner.

4. They are prone to obesity.

They are highly food-driven dogs, which, while perfect for positive reinforcement training, can bode badly for the pushovers that find it difficult to say no to those puppy dog eyes. Corgis are notorious beggars and will convince you to give them all sorts of tasty morsels, which aren’t exactly good for a dog’s health. 

It is critical that they do not get spoiled with goodies laden with stuff like refined sugars and simple carbohydrates. If their food consumption is not properly monitored, they will become overweight, increasing their risk of heart or hip-related health problems.

5. They shed a lot of hair. 

They shed a lot of hair despite having short hair that requires little upkeep. This is due to their thick double coat and the fact that they shed twice throughout seasonal changes.

brushing Corgi coat
Brushing Corgi’s coat by his owner.

6. They are relatively barky dogs. 

If a Corgi is upset or annoyed, you’re going to hear about it! Dogs communicate by barking, and Corgis more so than others. An excessively barking Corgi (or any other dog for that matter), should be trained out of this behavior, or your poor neighbors are going to have some words to say.

7. They might have a high prey drive.

The playfulness of the Corgi is also instinctual. Prey drive is the instinct to chase and capture prey. For wild dogs, this helps them to survive by providing them with food.

But for our domesticated friends, it’s mostly just a fun way to burn off energy. 

Corgis that originate from herding dogs may have a high prey drive, causing them to inadvertently chase smaller animals. They have to be adequately socialized and trained to prevent any accidents from happening, especially if you have smaller dogs, cats, or children around. 

Corgi puppy runs
Corgi puppy runs and chases someone ahead.

8. They are prone to sensitive stomachs.

Some of the most common signs of a sensitive stomach include vomiting, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and nausea. There are a few causes of sensitive stomachs, like allergies, eating human food, or your dog’s digestive system not agreeing with the type of food you’re feeding. 

9. Corgis like nipping. 

Like many herding dogs who often nip at the heels of cattle or sheep to make them move, Corgis also have their own instinctive desire to nip at things. 

Another possibility is that Corgis nip because they’re trying to get attention. Corgis are very intelligent and social animals, and they may nip if they feel like they’re being ignored. In some cases, nipping may also be a sign of excitement or playfulness. 

Whatever the reason, this behavior is wrongfully accepted in young puppies and can continue way into adulthood, so nip it in the bud! Pun fully intended. 

Corgi nipping owner's finger
Corgi nipping its owner’s finger.

Who Are Corgis Best Suited For?

Corgis are low-maintenance and easy to train, but one key factor to consider when deciding to buy a Corgi is whether you will be able to commit enough time and resources to get your Corgi adequately stimulated and not let them grow bored.

Corgis will be best for:

  • Experienced dog owners. 
  • Moderately active owners that like a vigorous walk a day, and an occasional hike.
  • A household with children but a firm owner.
  • Households with a yard or some kind of outdoor area. 
  • In places where there is at least one family member around at any time.
a red headed tri color corgi gets a pat
A red headed tri color Corgi gets a head pat.

Final Thoughts 

Corgis are intelligent, affectionate dogs that make great companions. They are also relatively easy to train and are relatively low-maintenance in terms of grooming. 

However, they do require a lot of exercise and stimulation, and they can be prone to separation anxiety if left alone for too long. 

For these reasons, Corgis are best suited to owners who are active and dedicated to providing their dog with plenty of attention. Families with small children may want to consider another breed, as Corgis can be protective of their owners and may snap if they feel threatened. 

Overall, Corgis make great pets for people who are willing to put in the time and effort to meet their needs.