Pembroke Welsh Corgi

"Fairy Steed"

Photo of Pembroke Welsh Corgi


This breed originated in Southwest Wales. However, it is widely held to have crossed the English Channel with Flemish weavers at the encouragement of Henry I of England in the year 1107. Although it shares the same history as its cousin, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, it is registered and shown as a separate breed. The two breeds are distinct from one another in looks, some aspects of behavior, size, and even coat type. It is named for Pembrokeshire, Southwest Wales. Until the mid-1930s the two breeds were commonly inter-bred which accounts for their great similarities. Once they entered dog show competition in England, the practice of interbreeding ended and the breeds developed along the lines that we see today. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi became quite popular in 1933 when the Duke of York of the time acquired a Pembroke puppy. The breed has become the favorite of the British royal family ever since, and Queen Elizabeth II has continued that affection over the many decades of her reign.


These are not lap dogs. They are highly intelligent, decision-making, highly active, outgoing cattle dogs and tend to be dominant. They love being with their family in all activities including long walks and car trips. They usually enjoy the rough-and-tumble play of children but tend to rule over them if allowed. They may try to herd you in a given direction by nipping at your heels to get you moving faster. They are wonderful companion animals for just about everyone, from older people to children. Pembroke Welsh Corgis can be strong-willed and persistently stubborn. They will dig and chew unless corrected for these problems. They are easily excited. Pembroke Welsh Corgis tend to stay close to home and serve as guardians of the family. They usually do not like to live with other male corgis so it is best to have a male with a female if you want more than one in your home. Sometimes two females together are compatible. Shyness or aggressiveness is not typical of the breed. They are dogs with a sense of humor and cherished by families that live with them.


The most striking feature of this breed is the intelligent look on its face at all times. They seem to understand everything that is going on around them, walking with a confident gait and able to herd animals much larger than themselves if called upon. They are often referred to as one of the dwarf breeds because their legs have been bred down from normal length despite their normal-size body. Their heads resemble that of a large fox. They have medium-length coats with a short, thick undercoat. The outer coat is longer than the undercoat and is coarse to the touch. AKC allows them in solid color outer coats in red, sable, fawn, black, and tan with or without white markings. White is acceptable on the legs, chest, neck, muzzle, under parts, and as a narrow blaze on the head.


Although the Pembroke responds easily to obedience training it should be initiated at an early age because of their stubborn nature and tendency to be dominant. They often have problems with housebreaking and must start training for this as soon as possible. Because of their dominant nature teaching the command “Down” requires persistence.

Grooming & Care

Grooming care is minimal. However, they do shed and must be brushed and combed at least twice a week, especially in spring time when shedding is heaviest. Nails must be clipped infrequently but the coat requires no trimming. An occasional bath keeps them looking beautiful.

Health Concerns

These Corgis are predisposed to von Willebrand Disease, various eye disorders including Progressive Retinal Atrophy, some back problems and hip dysplasia. They tend to become overweight.

Famous Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The preferred breed of Queen Elizabeth II.

Ideal Owner
Activity Level 3
Schedule 6
Home 44
Children 48
Experience 11
Quick Facts
Grooming 110
Exercise 60
Challenges Digging and chewing, can be easily excitable and prone to dominance.
Height 10 to 12 inches
Weight 25 to 27 pounds
Life 12 to 15 years
Home Alone 84
With Kids 86
With Strangers 105
Availability 23

This client information sheet is based on material written by: LifeLearn

© Copyright 2014 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.

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