Since the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, her beloved Pembroke Welsh Corgis have received ample attention. And it's not just because they're precious: The Queen considered these dogs part of her family and reportedly had over 30 Corgis during her lifetime. But these adorable dogs are not just fit for royalty; they're wonderful companions for all kinds of people and families. We consulted veterinarians and animal experts to find out just why Corgis make great pets—aside from their too-cute short legs and lovable faces. Read on to learn all about this dog breed, from their temperament to their maintenance needs.
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In the right setting, even notoriously standoffish dogs can sometimes change their temperament, but it's always a gamble. With Corgis, you can rest assured that you're bringing a friendly companion into the home. "Corgis love being around people! They'll never want to be left alone at home while you go out to work or run errands," says Melissa M. Brock, a board-certified veterinarian and an author at Pango Pets.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) gives Corgis a four out of five rating for their openness to strangers and five out of five for how affectionate they are with their family. They describe them as "affectionate and companionable without being needy." Brock notes that these dogs love to snuggle up with their owners and will often follow you around so they can stay close by. "This makes them great companions for seniors or people who live alone," she says.
They're moderately energetic.
One of the best things about having a dog is getting to play with them. But for people who have busy lives, a super rambunctious pet who requires long runs and lots of time outside may not be practical. Corgis do skew more energetic and playful than most, according to the AKC, but "they're a great pet for those who enjoy playing or being outside but aren't the most sporty people in the world," says Sabrina Kong, DVM at WeLoveDoodles.
Kong says Corgis benefit from a moderate amount of exercise, and since they're on the small side (usually between 20-35 pounds), it's easy enough for them to run and play indoors. To this point, Courtnye Jackson, a veterinarian and founder of The Pets Digest, adds that Corgis "aren't so small that they can easily be overlooked and accidentally stepped on like much smaller dogs which is great for families with smaller children."
For outdoor recreation, the AKC recommends long walks or slow jogs but advises against having your Corgi accompany you on a run or bike ride because of their short legs.
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They get along with other pets.
If you're a multi-pet household, Corgis get along with cats and other dogs. "They've had a long history as farm dog companions and can usually adapt well to most animals if given enough patience," explains James Henry, founder of NeuroDogLux. He notes that it's important to socialize a Corgi early since "it takes them time to adjust to having other pets in their new environment."
Because Corgis are herding dogs, they're used to being around fellow Corgis. Therefore, they'll get along best with dog breeds that are around their same size. This is also one of the reasons they mesh well with cats.
They're easy to train.
Since Corgis were historically bred to herd cattle, they're extremely independent, which leads many people to believe they're hard to train. However, with this independence comes great instincts and adaptability, which make Corgis very trainable and a good choice if you're a first-time dog owner. In fact, "Corgis came in at number 11 on the smartest dogs list," notes Jackson.
According to Christian Kjaer, CEO and co-founder of ElleVet Sciences, Corgis are eager to please and "respond well to positive, reward-based training." Be sure to have treats on hand and show them affection after they've completed a task.
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Dog grooming can become very time- and cost-intensive, but Corgis are considered low-maintenance in this category. Though they do shed a decent amount, the AKC advises that a quick daily brushing will keep things under control. (However, in the spring and summer, during shedding season, you might need to vacuum a bit more than normal.)
"They also have short coats, so they don't require a lot of grooming," notes Deepanshu Bedi, marketing director of CBD dog treat company Holistapet. And if slobber is not your thing, Corgis rank the lowest for "drooling level" according to the AKC.
They make good guard dogs.
The AKC gives Corgis the highest possible rating in the "protective nature" category. "They are vigilant watchdogs, with acute senses and a 'big dog' bark," they say. Though they're small, this type of dog has "the confidence of a bigger breed," notes Henry. "Corgis are highly alert dogs and their reaction to an unfamiliar noise or person [is] often barking."
Once you fall in love with your new pet, take comfort in the fact that "Corgis tend to live fairly long lives, with an average lifespan of 11-15 years," says Jackson. They'll be a loving member of the family for years to come.