The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a fascinating and robust pooch. Although only 10 to 12 inches high at the shoulder, this little breed packs a punch. They were originally designed to herd cattle, sheep and other livestock. Their shortness was key as they were able to dodge kicks from livestock, in particular avoiding a kick altogether by having the hooves swing just over their heads. Their stout stature is accompanied by short yet thick legs and they are much longer than they are tall.
This dog breed was first recorded in the 11th century and was simply referred to as a Corgi. In 1926, they were accepted by the AKC (American Kennel Club), but it wasn’t until 1936 that two distinct breeds were recognized. There are two Corgi dog breeds, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. The main difference between the two is that one has the presence of and one has the lack of a tail. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a naturally bobbed tail. If a Pembroke is born with a short tail, it is said that the genetics of its predecessor (the Cardigan) have been exhibited. That dog then has its tail docked and is not used in the breeding process.
Another characteristic of the Pembroke is that it is not as thick boned as the Cardigan, but none the less sturdy and quick in stride. The thick legs are followed closely by a thick undercoat to protect them from the weather and has slightly longer guard hairs. Because of this thick coat of fur, they need to be brushed regularly, at least five solid minutes once a week, but more like 15 minutes. Bathing should be done only occasionally, maybe once every two or three months.
Another obvious characteristic of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi (and the Cardigan) is its large ears. They stand up and are designed to catch the sound of their owner as they whistled commands to them in the field. Their eyes are slightly oval in shape and these dog breeds have keen eyesight.
It is because of their long backs that the Pembroke and Cardigan are prone to intervertebral disc disease. Another concern may be hip dysplasia as this dog is very active and loves to run, their hips are more prone to damage. Hip dysplasia is also due to its overall bone structure as well. However, good breeding helps to reduce these medical possibilities. Their health is good overall and these dog breeds live for 11 to 13 years of age.
As far as their temperament goes, the Pembroke is active, loving, devoted to its family and a wonderful companion. They can live outside, but crave the company of their family and are better suited to be indoors. Their size makes them compatible with apartment living. They do require daily exercise and mental stimulation, however. A nice long leash walk and some play time with a few toys can meet this requirement and also create a long lasting bond.