Coming to us from Wales, the short legged Corgi has been used to guard fowl, herd cattle and geese, and kill rats. They are considered an all purpose dog. They are not too big and not too small, hale and hardy, easy to keep and groom and not expensive to feed, given their highly efficient digestive system. The Welsh farmers found them a very economical breed, as well as useful.
There are two types of Corgis that were developed in Wales Ė one originating in Pembrokeshire, using dogs from the Spitz group; and the other from Cardiganshire, using dogs from Dachshund stock. The Pembroke Corgi is lighter and smaller than the Cardigans, and they have a bobtail gene, although, the majority are born with tails that are docked, shortly after birth.
They both come in red, sable, fawn, or black and tan with or without white markings and a narrow blaze on their head. Their coats are thick and weather resistant and require minimal bathing with brushing two or three times a week.
The breed became popular when Britainís Queen Elizabeth II fell in love with the Corgiís in 1944, which continued a royal family tradition extending back 1,200 years! This affectionate herding canine has made a loving companion for Kings and Queens, as well as common folk for a very long time.
Although they were used as ratters, the Corgi is not really prey driven, given that they protect and herd chickens and geese. This makes them a good prospect to live in todayís multi pet households. Corgis get along famously with cats, perhaps because they have the cute habit of cleaning their paws and faces.
But while they are perfectly fine with other species of animals, you need to remember that any other dogs you may have, would have to be totally non aggressive and submissive to the Corgi. Plain and simple, Corgis need to be in charge.
If you choose a Corgi to be your familyís companion, you need to be aware that they will want to be involved in every aspect of your life. They love children and are active, happy playmates to their human siblings. They are very adaptable to different climates and different types of housing, including apartments, but they do like to be able to go in and out at will.
A fenced in yard with a doggy door is the ideal home for a Corgi because of their love of racing around before they snuggle up to their person on the couch to watch some television.
Corgis can become easily bored, which is a warning to all potential owners. A bored Corgi can easily become a destructive Corgi. Plan on working your pup in agility, fly ball, or another dog/human interactional game to keep your petís mind working. You need to be willing to spend time with your dog if you want a good relationship with a Corgi.
Given their short stature, Corgis are subject to having back problems, ranging from a slipped disk to more serious conditions, such as degenerative myelopathy, which is a disease of the spinal cord. The other problem that is common with this breed is obesity. Corgis love their treats, and owners need to be firm and not swayed by the pathetic look your dog gives you while you are eating.
This is a really neat little breed, if you can handle activity in your pets. They are sweet, loving, loyal and I love their cute face with their big ears. If you think that a Corgi might be the right breed for you, contact a responsible breeder through the American Kennel Club. There are several rescues for both Pembroke and Cardigan Corgis, one being www.pembrokecorgi.org.
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