After our well-attended “Corgis in the Snow” play day, we realized all that corgi publicity might have people thinking about adding a corgi to their family. While no corgi lover would discourage someone from providing a wonderful home to a wonderful pet, we all agree on one thing: Corgis—as much as we love them—are not for everyone!
As smart as little whips and incredibly cute, corgis are not just teddy bears. In addition to the safe, healthy, loving home that every pet should have, this hard-working herding breed demands lots of activity and interaction, thorough socialization and appropriate training to be a happy member of the family.
If you are thinking of getting a corgi, you need to know that they can be quite vocal. They tend to bark at play, while herding, to greet arrivals, to protect their territory, and to communicate in general. They don’t tend to yap incessantly just to hear their brains rattle, but they do have a lot to talk about. They can be trained to be quiet on command, but it takes sustained training effort.
Corgis are born to herd, so heel nipping comes instinctively to them. They tend to want to herd people, cats, cars and other moving objects in addition to cows and sheep, so chasing is a behavior you really have to be on top of, especially around children or if you live in a city or around wildlife or stock. They can be trained to curb their herding desires, but it does require attentive and consistent training.
GOODBYE, CLEAN SWEATER!
Corgis shed like crazy and they shed year round… More than you could imagine a dog of such short stature could possibly generate! If you love white dog hairs on your black sweaters, this is the dog for you!
Corgis are prone to obesity (being both efficient fuel burners and legendary chow hounds) and there are other breed-specific health risks to know about.
And as with any pet, (but even more so!) if a corgi’s mental, physical and social activity needs are neglected, they can develop behavior problems or put their energy into destructive “projects” of their own.
WE’RE ALL INDIVIDUALS
There are many other questions not covered here (How are corgis with kids? Do they get along with other dogs? …cats? etc.) which can’t be attributed to the breed as much as to the individual, but it would pay to talk to corgi owners (and take a look at the comments on this blog post) to get input on these kinds of questions.
Although I’ve noted negatives here, this post certainly isn’t intended to scare anyone off corgis or even to be a comprehensive list of pros and cons. (Pros include words like smart, furry, friendly, smiling, hilarious, adorable, absolutely FUN best friend). It’s just a note to encourage anyone who is considering buying or rescuing a corgi (or any dog breed) to do your homework first!
GET THE SCOOP
When it comes to corgis: If you love dog hair… If you can cope with a little barking… If you are willing to socialize and train a natural herder… If you have a good home and (preferably fenced) yard… AND you have lots of active time to spend with a humorous, affectionate, alert and brilliant dog… take a look at these resources (and others) to get started on your research!
- The Dog Channel has a relatively comprehensive article about corgi ownership.
- The Own Responsibility blog has an even more in-depth look at pros, cons and responsibilities of corgi ownership.
- Corgi rescue sites often have good FAQ sections, for example, Sunshine Corgi Rescue’s FAQ.
- The Daily Corgi blog offers some good basic guidelines for selecting a corgi.
- The Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America provides a useful article to help you decide: Is A Corgi Right for You?