Pros and Cons of the Welsh Corgi as a Good Pet for Your Family

by Ann Compton
    Welsh corgis are lively and intelligent.

    Welsh corgis are lively and intelligent.

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    Welsh corgis are popular family pets with good reason. They are ranked 24th in the number registered of the American Kennel Club's 175 breeds. Their compact size, friendly temperament and willingness to learn make them good family companions in an apartment or home. The two types of corgis -- pembroke and cardigan -- differ slightly in terms of size, but share most other attributes.

    The cardigan corgi is slightly larger than the pembroke, although both have short legs and long backs. A corgi's length is nearly twice his height. Corgi appearance is deceptive, though. These dogs are fast and agile, originally bred to be farm dogs herding livestock. The cardigan has a long, full tail and the pembroke's is much shorter. The pembroke is finer-boned than the cardigan and not as long. Both types have a weather-resistant double coat.

    Welsh corgis are smart, loyal and love to please. They are good with children and other family pets. They learn quickly, train easily, and adapt well to canine sports such as obedience, rally, agility and herding. These dogs love to be outdoors and are energetic enough to hike or play all day. They are happy dogs who are devoted to their owners and protective of their families. The corgi coat is relatively easy to care for. A weekly brushing will keep your house clean and shedding under control.

    Corgis, like other herding breeds, tend to be barkers and may nip at heels when playing. Train a corgi early with lots of socialization to avoid the dog becoming dominant. Corgis tend to think they are in charge without an owner who is in command. A corgi who is not properly socialized may be nervous around strangers. Corgis need regular, daily exercise. A bored corgi is not a happy corgi, and he may find other forms of entertainment, chewing shoes or furniture. These dogs easily become overweight, which can create back issues.

    Corgis are sturdy dogs, but they are prone to some health issues. Their long frame makes them candidates for hip dysplasia or back problems such as intervertebral disc disease. Glaucoma can become a problem and, in some dogs, urinary stones or progressive renal atrophy. Epilepsy and degenerative myelopathy, lens luxation and von Willebrand's Disease are sometimes found in the breed. Your veterinarian may suggest hip, eye and DNA testing to check for these.

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    About the Author

    With more than 25 years in journalism, Ann Compton has written for national newspapers, magazines and websites. She has covered the equestrian events in five Olympics as well as the Westminster Dog Show and specializes in animal topics. She breeds, trains and shows Shetland Sheepdogs.

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