Welsh Corgis, affectionately called “potatoes” on social media by dog lovers, are one of the most popular breeds to have as a pet. They are adorable to look at, friendly, and playful little dogs. Do you want to bring home a Corgi of your own? If so, this article will provide you with everything you need to know about this breed and its care.
In this guide, everything from breed characteristics to ideal living conditions will be covered so that you can ensure your Corgi will be happy living with you. After all, what’s more important than the health and happiness of our furry family members? They give so much to their humans, so it is only right that we do our best to give them the best!
Preparing to Bring Home a Welsh Corgi
If you’re considering adopting a Welsh Corgi or purchasing one from a breeder, it’s worth first learning about some of their primary characteristics to see if they would be a good fit for your home.
Of course, aside from researching the breed you want to buy or adopt, the next thing you need to do is prepare your home to be a safe place for them. Here are some of the things you should keep in mind to make sure your home is Corgi-friendly.
Preparing Your Home
Keep chemicals such as cleaning supplies hidden in the kitchen, just as you would from small children. Ensure that you keep cleaning supplies in a cabinet with a lock just in case your Corgi gets smart and figures out how to open doors or jumps up on the counter to knock them over. These same rules apply to trash cans because they can eat trash and get sick.
Corgis can also trip over electrical wires and possibly damage their limbs, so you must limit the presence of cords around your home as much as possible. Close the toilet when not in use so that your Corgi is not tempted to drink out of it and ingest urine or the chemicals from toilet cleaners. Keep clothes up high so that they do not chew on them and become ill.
Furthermore, if your Corgi does not know how to climb stairs, keep a gate on them so that your Corgi cannot fall down them until you can teach them.
Preparing the Outdoor Space
Never let your Corgi go outside unsupervised for safety reasons. Make sure that there is no way that they could escape from the backyard and that all potentially harmful objects are moved out of the way. Moving these objects will also give your Corgi more space to run and play.
Supplies You Need for Your Welsh Corgi
The following is a list of supplies you should have on hand and ready before your Corgi comes home:
These items are essential and will help ensure that you are giving your Corgi the best care possible. It may be beneficial for owners to make a dog shopping list to not forget them and any other extras they may want to add, especially if this is their first dog or puppy.
Now that the basics you will need before bringing your corgi home are covered, let’s look into other things you must know about the breed so that you can best attend to their needs—starting with their personality and how you can socialize them.
Socializing Your Welsh Corgi
Most dogs are extremely social. They need the chance to be around humans and other dogs for their mental well-being. This section will discuss the Corgi’s personality and how well they get along with young children and other animals.
Temperament and Personality
Corgis usually have a big personality packed into a small body, but some can also be laid back; it varies from dog to dog. They are trusting, loving, and outgoing because they want to be involved in everything you or your family do. They are said to have a great sense of humor and enjoy making their humans smile. Playtime is one of their favorite things.
Intuition and independence are two of this breed’s strongest traits. They notice the smallest shifts in their surroundings and will often react by barking. While they love spending time with their owners and are eager to please them, they are also independent and stubborn. It is important to establish pack order with this breed because they will take advantage of too much freedom.
Are Corgis Good with Children?
Corgis would not be the ideal choice for children under five years old. They are independent and dominant because of their herding instinct and may attempt to herd your children like they would a sheep or cow. They may also nip at children if they are in the way or get bothered and misbehave if your child screams.
Although this negative behavior with young children is not representative of all Corgis, it is more commonly observed than not. Thus, if you have young children, it would be wise to wait until they are older before welcoming a Corgi into your home.
Do Corgis Get Along with Other Dogs and or Animals?
When socialized early, Corgis will form positive and friendly relationships with the other dogs or other animals in your family. Be aware that if they do not know a dog or person, they may be aggressive and or start a fight. They may also chase and bark at unfamiliar beings until they leave.
Naturally, Corgis do really well with livestock because they were bred to herd them. As with any personality trait, experiences will vary from Corgi to Corgi. Some are more friendly and approachable, while others are quick to take a defensive stance.
Training Your Welsh Corgi
Corgis are smart and can be trained, but their independent nature can get in the way of their ability to learn and obey commands. They like to be in charge and learn things in their own time frame, so patience and a firm countenance are essential in training sessions.
You also need to be confident and show them that you are in control so that they don’t overrule you. Once the proper pack order has been established and your Corgi is comfortable with having you in charge, they will love learning new commands and tricks. Corgis are also very athletic dogs with the talent to excel in the agility arena.
Exercising Your Welsh Corgi
In general, Corgis are small but muscular dogs. They are 10-12 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh anywhere from 27-30 pounds. Their short but powerful legs and muscular thighs make them compact, speedy, and strong companions that can work hard.
Because they are herding dogs, Corgis are a very high-energy breed. They need at least one walk a day to stay happy and healthy. Frequent activity or a regular job is very beneficial for them, as they thrive on regular mental stimulation. If you do not keep them busy, they may channel their energy into developing bad habits.
Managing Your Welsh Corgi’s Health
Corgis have a life expectancy of 12-13 years; however, they can be kept healthy and strong for longer with the right care and attention.
Unfortunately, these sweet pups are prone to several genetic and non-genetic health problems due to how they are bred. This section will introduce you to these conditions so that you can be aware of them and prepared if they do occur in your Corgi.
Common Health Problems
The following health problems are common in Corgis as well as other breeds. It is important that you, as the owner, do what you can to prevent these problems daily to ensure that your Corgi stays in the best health possible.
- Dental disease: Tartar buildup can progress into infection and gum disease without treatment. Gum disease will cause your dog to lose their teeth and subsequently have difficulty eating. This condition can be prevented with regular dental care, such as teeth brushing.
- Infections: Dogs can develop bacterial and viral infections and contract parasites if their food and water are not clean or if they are not groomed properly. Many of these infections can be prevented by regular vaccinations, usually given as needed at vet checkups.
- Obesity: Obesity is a common problem among pets caused by overfeeding, leading to health problems such as heart disease and digestive disorders. You can help prevent obesity in pets by substituting some treats with another reward, like a toy, for good behavior.
- Parasites: Dogs can ingest parasites in unclean water or come into contact with them by walking on contaminated soil or being bit by a mosquito carrying them. If left untreated, parasites can cause serious health issues and even death. Thus, it is important to get your pet checked for them regularly and give them their medication if they do get infected.
Genetic Health Problems
These are health issues that occur due to genetic predispositions in your Corgi’s family tree and mistakes during the creation of DNA. The likelihood of onset can be determined by DNA testing, but these issues are unavoidable and have no cure in many cases.
Corgis were built to have a long back and short legs, which makes them more likely to have back problems than other breeds. Their build places stress on their spine, and the pressure creates a welcome environment for these issues to take hold. The most common back problem for Corgis is intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).
IVDD is a condition where the vertebrae in the Corgi’s spine start to separate due to excess spinal pressure. The separation can cause either protrusion or extrusion of a vertebral disc, and IVDD can affect one or multiple parts of the spine. Symptoms of IVDD include:
- Pain in the back and neck
- Stumbling while walking
- Difficulty moving
- Unforeseen paralysis episodes
As with many other diseases, the severity of IVDD and treatment options available depend on when the disease is detected. Earlier detection means a greater chance for recovery. Below are some of the treatment options for IVDD:
- Prescribing painkillers
- Avoiding strenuous or high energy activity
- Managing bladder and bowel control
- Fenestration or decompressive surgery
As with any other medical treatment, do your research and speak with the vet to determine what’s best for you and your Corgi.
Corgis are prone to a genetic malfunction where a blood vessel in the heart does not close completely after birth, causing too much blood to be delivered to the lungs and general strain on the heart.
Symptoms of this condition include coughing, weight loss, fatigue, and shortness of breath. It is treated by surgery to repair the problem vessel.
Von Willebrand’s Disease (Bleeding Disease)
This disease is passed down through generations by Corgis who are carriers of it. It is a blood clotting disorder that prevents the formation of blood clots for healing when your Corgi gets injured. You should always have your Corgi tested for this disorder so that you can take the necessary precautions.
This is a disease similar to ALS in humans that causes increasing muscular degeneration and poor nerve function. Corgis are more susceptible to this than other breeds, and there is no cure, only a variety of options for symptom management. You can have a genetic test performed on your Corgi to see if they are at risk and increase their prognosis if they are diagnosed.
Keep in mind that many Corgis go through life without experiencing these health problems, but it is better to educate yourself and be prepared.
Food and Nutrition for Welsh Corgis
Now that you know about some of the health problems Corgis can face as a breed and how you can prevent or look out for them, let’s have a look into proper nutrition for your Corgi. After all, the right food is essential to maintaining their health and wellness.
Because Corgi puppies are growing, they need more food and subsequently more nutrients than adults.
Puppies from 2-4 months of age need four meals a day, whereas puppies 6-8 months of age only need 2-3 meals a day because they are almost fully grown. The recommended calorie count for Corgi puppy meals is two times the normal resting energy requirement for adult Corgis.
Manufactured foods such as kibble and wet food are recommended over raw food for puppies because they contain all the nutrition a growing puppy needs. When selecting a food for your puppy, always check to make sure it meets AAFCO standards and is devoid of artificial flavors, preservatives, and fillers.
Additionally, a Corgi puppy’s dietary content should consist of at least 22% protein and 8% fat to assist muscle growth and restore energy from energetic playtime.
Best Foods for Corgi Puppies
Here are some reputable foods you can use to meet the needs of your puppy. All of them have ingredients to ensure your puppy is properly supported as they mature:
- Earthborn Holistic Vantage Grain Free Dog Food: Chicken meal and whitefish meal are the two main sources of protein in this food. It also includes supplements of DHA and omega 6 and 3 fatty acids for energy and coat development.
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Chicken and Brown Rice Puppy Recipe: This food contains real chicken as the first ingredient along with veggies and fruit, and brown rice for carbohydrates. It is supplemented with probiotics, antioxidants, DHA, and ARA to support healthy growth and development.
- Victor Active Dog and Puppy Grain-Free Dry Food: Made with both puppies and adult dogs in mind, this food supports the lifestyle of active and athletic dogs with 33% protein and 16% fat. It is also fortified with vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids to ensure your Corgi stays strong and healthy.
No matter which of these foods you select for your Corgi puppy, you will have food that meets the nutritional needs of a rambunctious, growing furry friend.
An adult Corgi needs 1-2 meals a day. When Corgis first started their work as herding dogs in Wales, they would be fed rabbit, beef, and other meats along with vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Adding these foods into your Corgi’s diet—even if in small amounts, if they are not used to them—can promote good health. Natural ingredients are more nutritious than manufactured foods.
Always check with your veterinarian before feeding, and remember that any new food should only be 10-25% of the diet so that their digestive system can adjust. In general, dogs should consume 50-75% protein, 15-18% fat, and 25% carbohydrates. A typical 25-pound Corgi needs around 825 calories a day to stay at a healthy weight.
Best Food Options for Adult Corgis
Here are some of the best food options available for Corgis on the market today:
- Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food: This pet food delivery service provides handpicked fresh food for your pet based on your given profile information. All meals are made of natural, human-grade ingredients and made by a vet nutritionist. Their beef recipe contains many of the things early Corgis were fed.
- Wellness CORE Original Grain-Free Deboned Turkey Dry Food: This kibble is made with real deboned turkey and chicken meal, and the kibble pieces are covered with probiotics that promote whole body as well as skin and coat health.
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Little Bites Natural Real Chicken and Veggie Recipe: This dog food lists farm-raised, natural chicken meat as the first ingredient and includes peas, carrots, and brown rice. There are plenty of added vitamins and minerals to support the overall health of your Corgi.
- Ollie Fresh Pet Food: All of the Ollie recipes are minimally processed, contain no fillers, are natural and human-grade, and have no artificial flavors. Choose from chicken, beef, turkey, or lamb—each vet formulated and up to AAFCO pet food standards.
All of these foods meet the Corgi’s dietary needs and are filled with positive nutritional benefits so that your dog will have plenty of energy to keep up with whatever you have planned with them for the day.
What to Avoid Feeding Your Corgi
Some pet foods contain ingredients that are extremely harmful to Corgis and dogs in general. These are some of the most common ingredients to avoid:
- Corn syrup: It is often incorporated as a sweetener to make pet food taste more appetizing. However, if your Corgi consumes it regularly, they are at higher risk for diabetes.
- White flour: This has no nutritional value and raises blood sugar quickly so that your Corgi will feel hungry again shortly after they eat. White flour also has gluten in it, which can give your Corgi digestive problems.
- Soy: This is difficult for dogs to digest, leading to gas, bloating, constipation, and stomach problems.
- Xylitol and other artificial sweeteners: These are extremely toxic for dogs and may bring about liver failure and strokes, which are serious threats to their health and life.
Of course, nutrition is just one of many parts of Corgi welfare; grooming them effectively is another important part of maintaining their health.
Grooming Your Welsh Corgi
Because Corgis have a short coat, grooming them is relatively hassle-free, provided that your Corgi enjoys being pampered. However, their coat is also a medium-dense, double coat, so they will need to be groomed every 4-8 weeks to ensure their coat stays in good shape, as well as daily during shedding season to remove excess fur.
Grooming generally takes around ten minutes, and Corgis don’t need to be bathed unless they are really filthy or getting ready for the show ring.
How to Groom Your Corgi
This quick step-by-step guide will advise how to groom your Corgi, including their coat, ears, and nails. Following this advice will ensure that they look and feel their absolute best!
Grooming the Coat
Brush out your Corgi’s coat with a metal, medium-toothed comb. Gently brush over each part of their body and patiently get out any tangles or mats. Check over their body for any redness or sores while brushing, and make sure you take off their collar to groom the neck area.
If your Corgi needs a bath, use a special dog shampoo to wash them thoroughly and rinse well to make sure no soap is left in their coat. Then, towel them until dry and take them on a short walk to restore their coat to normal. If the weather isn’t nice enough for a walk, you can also use a hairdryer on the lowest setting to remove moisture from their fur.
Grooming the Ears
A Corgi’s ears need to be cleaned regularly to prevent wax buildup and infection. To clean your Corgi’s ears, use a cotton swab and a dog formulated ear cleaning solution and gently wipe the ear canal. When cleaning, be careful not to get too close to the eardrum and other hearing structures, as hitting them with the swab can damage their hearing.
Clipping the Nails
Ensure that you trim your Corgi’s nails at least once a month or as needed. If their nails are too long, they can cause discomfort and make walking difficult. When clipping the nails, push back and up on their toe pad to extend them and make one horizontal cut across to only cut the nail and avoid the quick.
Note: The “quick” is the sensitive base of the nail that contains the blood vessels. Cutting it is painful for your dog, and they will bleed.
Brushing the Teeth
A Corgi’s teeth need to be brushed at least once a week to prevent tartar buildup and subsequent dental disease, promote gum health, and keep breath fresh. There are special dog formulated toothbrushes and toothpaste you can use to assist with keeping your dog’s mouth clean.
Additionally, if your dog can’t stand having their teeth brushed, mouth cleansing solutions and water additives are available on the market as an alternative. There are even teeth cleaning chews and treats to encourage your dog to clean their teeth independently and in a fun way.
Now that you know the basics of caring for your Corgi’s fur and body in general, you should have all the knowledge you need to care for them properly and welcome them into your home!
Welsh Corgis are wonderful dogs. They are extremely intelligent, playful, and loving but independent. They love learning new tricks once they feel comfortable with you, and get along well with older children, adults, and other animals. Although Corgis are prone to many health problems, they can still live a happy and full life with the right care.
Corgis need a high protein and fat diet to stay fit and replenish their energy, as well as regular grooming to keep their coat, ears, nails, and teeth in tip-top shape. These little potatoes are some of the best companions the canine world has to offer. So, if you want to buy or adopt a corgi, do your research and do so from a reputable breeder or rescue.