Welsh Pembroke Corgi
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Welsh Pembroke Corgi
Other names: Pembroke
Dog Group Kennel Club: Herding (AKC) Pastoral (KC)
There are two breeds of Welsh corgi, the Cardigan and the Pembroke. The Pembroke Corgi is a small sized, sturdy little dog that is set low to the ground. It has a fox-like appearance, with erect pointed ears and a pointed muzzle.
Differences between the Pembroke and the Cardigan: The Pembroke has straighter legs, and is not quite as long bodied. The Pembroke’s head is generally more wedged-shaped, and the ears are smaller and closer together. The Cardigan has a long tail while the Pembroke is virtually tailless.
Pembroke’s have a weather resistant, two layer medium length coat.
Colours include red, sable, fawn and black and tan. Their tails are docked as short as possible, some are born without tails.
Weight: 25 – 30 lbs
Average Life Span: 12 – 14 yrs
Pembroke’s are outgoing and friendly active and obedient, never nervous or aggressive. The Pembroke loves to be with their family, and does not do well being left alone. They are intelligent and loyal dogs who have a herding instinct. This natural herding instinct may cause problems, as the dog may nip at your heels in an attempt to get you to go where the dog wants. This trait can be resolved with proper training.
Pembroke’s get along with children, as long as the children know how to respect them. They are also good with other animals. This breed is wary of strangers and makes a very good watchdog.
They are not too difficult to train but they can try to be dominant if given the chance. They should be socialised and training started at an early age so they know who is boss. Pembroke’s are usually not difficult to housebreak.
The Corgi’s coat requires regular grooming once or twice a week, bathe only when needed.
This Corgi requires an adequate amount of exercise as they are quite active, not docile little lap dogs. Pembroke’s are prone to back and joint problems so they must be watched when there is a lot of stair climbing involved in any of their activities. They do have a tendency to put on weight if they are under-exercised.
Welsh Pembroke Corgi Health Issues
Hip dysplasia: a malformation of the hip joint resulting in a poor fit between the head of the femur bone and the hip socket. This condition can be alleviated by surgery, at some cost to dog and owner. Because dysplastic dogs often produce dysplastic puppies, buyers should ask if both the sire and the dam of the puppy in which they are interested have been rated clear of hip dysplasia. Do not take yes for an answer without seeing a certificate, and ask for a copy to take to your veterinarian.
Degenerative Myelopathy: is a slow, progressive spinal cord disorder of unknown cause that has been found in this breed. Affected dogs get progressively weaker and more uncoordinated as the disease process progresses. Most dogs deteriorate over the course of 6 to 12 months and are eventually euthanased. The cause of the condition is unknown, although it is believed to be an autoimmune disease. The age of onset is 5 to 14 years, with an average age of 9 years. Males are affected more than females. Although there is no known successful treatment, exercise appears to be helpful in delaying the progression of the disease.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a hereditary disease of the eye that has been identified in this breed. PRA is a blanket term for many types of retinal diseases, all of which result in blindness. All Siberians, regardless of age or breeding status, should be examined yearly by a member of the Veterinary Opthalmologists.
Epilepsy: is a seizure disorder which has been found in this breed. Seizures vary between a far-away look or twitching in one part of the face to your pet falling on his side, barking, gnashing his teeth, urinating, defecating and paddling his limbs. Seizures usually appear suddenly and end spontaneously, and can last from seconds to minutes. The disorder has no known cause, however it is important for your veterinarian to determine your pets general health and make sure there is no underlying disease that may be causing the seizures. Treatment can include anticonvulsant medications. Always ask your vet for advice.
Von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD): is an autosomally (not sex-linked) inherited bleeding disorder with a prolonged bleeding time (somewhat similar to hemophilia in humans) and a mild to severe factor IX deficiency. A DNA test for vWD is now available. Carrier-to-carrier breedings, in theory, will produce puppies that are 25% clear, 50% carriers, and 25% affected. Ideally, only clear-to-clear or clear-to-carrier should occur, so that no puppies will be affected. Not all dogs that are vWD affected will have severe bleeding problems, but they ARE at risk whenever they need to have surgery or have an accident. Some unlucky affected dogs will actually bleed out from a needle stick or minor wound.
Entropion is a problem with the eyelid that causes inward rolling. Lashes on the edge of the eyelid irritate the surface of the eyeball and may lead to more serious problems.
Welsh Pembroke Corgi History
Corgi’s were originally developed to help their owners with livestock. Unlike herding dogs, the corgi was used to drive cattle. Centuries ago, good grazing land was scarce and extensive fencing to confine livestock was not allowed. This meant that there was significant competition for land usage. If one landowner had good pastures, neighbouring cattle could easily migrate and graze, taking this valuable resource. The job of the corgi was to nip at the heels of these cattle, driving them off the owner’s land.
The Pembroke and the Cardigan Welsh Corgis are closely related, have similar physical characteristics and both are working dogs. The Pembroke is said be a descendant of dogs owned by Flemish weavers who settled in west Wales. They are thought to originate from the same family as the Spitz, the Elkhound and the Pomeranian. Pembroke’s also bear a striking resemblance to the Swedish Vallhund, suggesting a link perhaps brought about by Viking invaders in the 9th century. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi, is thought to have developed through similar lines to the Dachshund and Basset.
The meaning of the word corgi is often debated. For some, the word is Welsh for dwarf dog. Others feel that corgi is a derivation of cur, meaning working dog. Regardless of the origin of the name, the corgi is a small dog that excels in working with cattle.
Queen Elizabeth II has owned more than 30 Pembroke Welsh Corgis since 1944 when she was given her first, Susan, as an 18th birthday present. It is this high profile which has caused the breed to be so popular in the United Kingdom. In the mid 19th century, crossbreeding between the Cardigan and Pembroke occurred, but in 1934, the two breeds were officially divided and recognized as separate. All crossbreeding stopped.