Pet Care Blog

Corgi Breed Guide: History, Characteristics & Care Tips

Dr. Lila Batiari
Small Animal Relief Veterinarian
corgi portrait

Best known as Queen Elizabeth ll’s favorite breed, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is an intelligent, friendly, and highly active breed with a stubborn streak. They are a breed that genuinely wants to be part of the family. Originally developed for herding, Corgis are still used as farm herders but are more often kept as house pets.

Find out everything you need to know about Pembroke Welsh Corgis, including temperament, origin, size, lifespan, etc.

Table of Contents

Pro Tip: Corgis are amazing dogs, but they are at higher risk of certain genetic disease. Pet insurance provides valuable peace of mind by assuring your pup will have access to gold-standard care if a health concern were to arise throughout their life.

Corgi breed history

It’s believed that the Corgi breed dates back to the 10th century. According to one theory, the ancestors of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi were brought to Wales by Flemish weavers, whereas another theory suggests that they might descend from the Swedish Vallhund.

These dogs were developed in Wales where they were used for herding and guarding, as well as companionship. Today, Corgis hold a special place at Buckingham Palace as pets of Queen Elizabeth II.

Pembrokes share many similarities with the Cardigan Welsh Corgis but the two were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the English Kennel Club as separate breeds in 1934. 1

corgi smiling

Corgi characteristics

Physical appearance

The  average weight of a Corgi dog  is  30 pounds for males and up to 28 pounds for females. Both male and female Corgis are between 10 and 12 inches tall.

Corgis are recognizable by their foxy face, prick ears, short stature, and a closely docked tail. Slightly longer than tall, these canines are considered are  achondroplastic, or a dwarf breed with shortened legs.2

Corgis have short, weatherproof double coats that come in several different colors, with or without white markings:

  • Fawn
  • Black and tan
  • Sable
  • Red

Black Corgis usually have tan and white to make them tri-colored, with heads varying from black to red. Some members of the breed might have longer, softer, and fluffier coats than is typical.

Temperament and personality

The Corgi temperament is friendly, devoted, and fun-loving, averaging a 79.6% pass rate with the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS). 3

In general, these little dogs  get along well with children, although they might nip at heels or chase them during play due to their herding instincts. Many members of the breed are shy around strangers and some might bark incessantly.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are active dogs with active minds. As all-around farm dogs, they’re able to handle livestock much larger than they are and guard the home. They want to be included in the family and don’t do well left in kennels.

Average lifespan

The average lifespan of a Corgi is 12 to 13 years , with females typically living one or two years longer than males. The main causes of death in the breed are cancer and old age. However, with proper care, your Corgi can live longer than the average lifespan.

corgi running

Corgi care tips

Training and exercise

Corgis are very intelligent, energetic, and willing dogs  who often have a mind of their own, which is why they  need training with a firm but kind hand . If left to their own devices, these pets can be manipulative and will take charge themselves. As with all breeds,  puppy training classes and early socialization are highly recommended .

These strong and athletic little dogs love being active and having a job to do.  Moderate daily exercise (slow jogs or long walks) is required  to keep them in good physical and mental shape. Many members of the breed excel at canine activities such as herding, agility, tracking events, and obedience.

Diet and nutrition

Pembrokes do well with a minimal amount of food. In general, they need to eat  up to 3/4 cup of dry dog food twice a day . Some are prone to getting overweight, which can put extra strain on their long, low backs. For this reason, owners should keep an eye on their Corgi’s calorie intake and avoid free-feeding. Exercise is a must to keep the weight under control.

If you notice weight gain or have any questions concerning your Corgi’s food, feeding schedule, or exercise, be sure to get in touch with your veterinarian.

Grooming requirements

Corgis have a thick, weatherproof coat, a soft, light undercoat and a coarse outer coat. They  need regular grooming, more than once a week , especially in late spring or early summer. Baths can help loosen the dead hairs during shedding season, but your pup needs to be completely dry before brushing starts.

As with all breeds, the Corgi's nails should be trimmed regularly, their ears should be checked weekly for signs of infection, and their teeth should be brushed to prevent dental disease.

Living with a Corgi

Due to their small size, Corgis will be happy in any home , as long as they have a small garden or yard to enjoy.

Despite their appearance, Pembrokes are quite athletic and need daily exercise. However, owners should avoid extreme cold and heat, and be sure to provide enough fresh water after exercise. If left alone for long periods of time or not exercised enough, Corgis can be prone to excessive barking and chewing or digging.

Common Corgi health problems

In general, Welsh Corgis are considered healthy dogs, but as with other breeds, they are prone to certain health issues:

  • Degenerative myelopathy (DM), a condition that causes spinal cord degeneration in older dogs. It is not painful but over time, the dog becomes paraplegic.
  • Hip dysplasia , an inherited condition in which the thighbone doesn't fit properly into the hip joint.
  • Eye issues such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) a family of eye diseases that involves the gradual deterioration of the retina.
  • Von Willebrand disease , a blood disorder that affects the clotting process.
  • Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), a heart condition in which a small vessel in the heart doesn’t close as it should after birth.

Pro Tip:   Corgi pet insurance  can help protect your four-legged friend  and  your finances. Be sure to enroll as early as possible to ensure that pre-existing conditions are not excluded from policy coverage.

Adopting or buying a Corgi dog

If you want to get a Corgi, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America  is a great place to find breeder contacts, as well as adoption and rescue information.

Key Takeaways

  • Corgis are small dogs with lots of energy. They are good with children and when given proper training and attention, they make wonderful pets.
  • Corgis are quite vocal, so you might find them barking at everything. They require regular grooming and can be prone to getting overweight, so you should be careful to monitor what they eat.
  • Pembrokes need moderate daily exercise. Their intelligence makes them easy to train and a suitable choice for first-time owners.
  • Like other breeds, Corgis are prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia, eye issues, and degenerative myelopathy.


  1. AKC, “ Pembroke Welsh Corgi ” Accessed Oct. 30, 2021.
  2. AKC, “ Official Standard of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi ” Accessed Oct. 30, 2021.
  3. ATTS, “ Statistics ” Accessed Oct. 30, 2021.

Some people can predict the future. For everyone else, there's pet insurance.

Use Pawlicy Advisor to easily compare plans from top companies so you can find a great deal with great coverage.

Do you want to find the best pet insurance?

Let's analyze your pet's breed, age, and location to find the right coverage and the best savings. Ready?

Analyze My Pet

About Pawlicy Advisor

The pet insurance marketplace endorsed by veterinarians, at Pawlicy Advisor we make buying the best pet insurance easier. By comparing personalized coverage and pricing differences we can save you a ton of money, up to 83% in some instances!

Pawlicy Advisor helping a pet parent and their dog find a great deal on insurance

Instantly Compare Pet Insurance Plans

Get Quotes


How Pet Insurance Works

How To Compare Plans

Determine If Pet Insurance Is Worth It

Determine If Wellness Plans Are Worth It

Vet Visit Costs

New Puppy Checklist

Comparison Charts

ASPCA vs. Pets Best

Pets Best vs. Embrace

Embrace vs. Pumpkin

Pumpkin vs. MetLife

More Comparison Charts

Find Your State

New Jersey





New York



More States

Dog Insurance

German Shepherd




English Bulldog

French Bulldog

Great Dane





More Breeds

Dr. Lila Batiari, DVM

Dr. Lila Batiari
Small Animal Relief Veterinarian

Lila Batiari, DVM is a relief veterinarian located in San Diego, California. She has a special interest in nutrition, pain management, and surgery! Dr. Batiari enjoys working with Pawlicy Advisor to help others avoid everyday situations that some of her clientele experience. She realizes that expensive vet bills for treatment costs could be much easier for patients with pet insurance.

More you might like

cat carrier in car
6 minute read
Pet Fire Safety & Evacuation Preparedness Checklist
golden retriever vet exam for lipomas
7 minute read
Lipomas in Dogs: Are Fatty Tumors Dangerous?
pomeranian profile outdoors
7 minute read
Pomeranian Breed Guide
vet techs with doberman
5 minute read
Von Willebrand Disease in Dogs
dog ladybug costume
5 minute read
5 Halloween Pet Safety Tips Every Owner Should Know
boerboel puppy walking
5 minute read
Boerboel Growth & Weight Chart: Size Guide For Puppies
sick gray cat with asthma
6 minute read
Cat Asthma: Symptoms, Triggers, & Treatments Costs
holistic vet acupuncturist
9 minute read
Acupuncture For Dogs: Treatments, Costs & Locations
cane corso portrait
7 minute read
Cane Corso Breed Guide: Characteristics, History & Care
bernese mountain dog sunbathing
7 minute read
Bernese Mountain Dog Breed Guide
urinary incontinence in dog wearing diaper
7 minute read
Proin For Incontinence In Dogs
maltese portrait in autumn
7 minute read
Maltese Breed Guide
white havanese dog in meadow
6 minute read
Havanese Breed Guide
samoyed puppy
5 minute read
Samoyed Growth & Weight Chart
white chow chow
6 minute read
Chow Chow Growth & Weight Chart
dog at work
3 minute read
10 Pics of Dogs Working Hard on the Job
irish wolfhound portrait
6 minute read
Irish Wolfhound Growth & Weight Chart
english mastiff puppy
6 minute read
English Mastiff Growth & Weight Chart
dog pyoderma from scabies
6 minute read
Pyoderma in Dogs
alaskan malamute puppy
5 minute read
Alaskan Malamute Growth & Weight Chart
profile of rhodesian ridgeback puppy
6 minute read
Rhodesian Ridgeback Growth Chart
dog mouth wart
7 minute read
Oral Papilloma Virus in Dogs
doberman puppy sitting on tile floor
6 minute read
Doberman Pinscher Growth & Weight Chart
blue heeler puppy sitting at the beach
6 minute read
Blue Heeler Growth & Weight Chart
great pyrenees puppy
6 minute read
Great Pyrenees Growth & Weight Chart
tibetan mastiff puppy on straw
6 minute read
Tibetan Mastiff Growth & Weight Chart
beagle licking hot spot on paw
7 minute read
Hot Spots on Dogs
working cat
3 minute read
13 Funny Photos of Cats Hard at Work for Their Humans
English bulldog with cherry eye
7 minute read
Cherry Eye in Dogs
brown labrador retriever
7 minute read
Labrador Retriever Breed Guide
dog near food bowl
9 minute read
How To Choose The Best Food For Dogs
american pit bull terrier profile
9 minute read
Pit Bull Terrier Breed Guide
Basset Hound profile of sitting dog
5 minute read
Basset Hound Breed Guide
Pug patellar luxation
7 minute read
Luxating Patella in Dogs: Signs, Surgery Cost & More
Mystical dog
4 minute read
What Does Your Dog's Zodiac Sign Say About Their Personality?

7 minute read
Why Is My Pet Always So Itchy?
Longhaired Shih Tzu with bow
8 minute read
Shih Tzu Breed Guide

5 minute read
Can You Give Dogs Aspirin For Pain?
Dachshund puppy looking at camera
7 minute read
Dachshund Breed Guide
Female vet examines dog ear infection
7 minute read
Ear Infections in Dogs
American Bulldog standing in the driveway
5 minute read
American Bulldog Breed Guide
Orange cat with FIV lying outside
7 minute read
FIV in Cats
Dog cooling off with hose
7 minute read
How to Cool Down Dogs
Small dog lying on the floor inside
6 minute read
Hiccups in Dogs & Puppies
Dog steals clothes from laundry
6 minute read
Pica in Dogs
Woman kissing cat in mirror reflection
5 minute read
5 Ways to Practice Self-Care with Your Cat
Dog drinking from water bottle
5 minute read
Heat Stroke in Dogs
Mongrel dog overheating outdoors
7 minute read
How Hot Is Too Hot For Dogs?
Portrait of a long haired Chihuahua
6 minute read
Chihuahua Dog Breed Guide
Full profile of a Siberian Husky
6 minute read
Siberian Husky Breed Guide
Back to Blog
A family with pets that are insured by Pawlicy Advisor
Pawlicy Advisor is the leading independent marketplace for finding the best coverage for your pet at the lowest rate.
Join 2,438,795+ insured dogs and cats across the US.
Get a Quote
Our pet insurance partners
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Logo
Pets Best Pet Insurance Logo
Embrace Pet Insurance Logo
Pumpkin Pet Insurance Logo
MetLife Pet Insurance Logo
Prudent Pet Insurance Logo