The Pembroke Welsh Corgi, or Pembroke for short, is a beloved herding dog breed that has captured the hearts of people all over the world. Originally bred to herd cattle and sheep in the carpeting, textile, and tapestry industry of Great Britain, Pembrokes have become famous for their intelligence, loyalty, and distinctive appearance.
One of the breed’s most notable fans is none other than Queen Elizabeth II, who has adored Pembroke Welsh Corgis since her childhood. In fact, she received her first Pembroke named Dookie in 1933 and has been surrounded by these delightful dogs ever since.
Caring for a Pembroke Welsh Corgi: They’re More Than Meets the Eye
Pembrokes may have a compact and adorable stature, with their short, sturdy bodies and stubby legs, but don’t let their appearance fool you. These dogs are powerful and hard-working, despite being low to the ground. They are agile and excel in their herding tasks, never letting their size hinder their abilities.
With their characteristic erect ears and fluffy hind end, Pembrokes are truly a sight to behold. Their coat is made up of a coarse topcoat and a soft, thick, waterproof undercoat. However, be prepared for shedding, as Pembrokes are known to shed quite a bit. They also don’t do well in extreme temperatures, so keep them indoors during extreme hot or cold weather.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi Health Issues: What You Need to Know
While Pembrokes are generally healthy dogs, there are some health issues that are more common in the breed. It’s important to be aware of these issues and take the necessary steps to address them promptly.
Elbow and Hip Dysplasia
Elbow and hip dysplasia can affect Pembrokes, leading to abnormal joints and causing pain, lameness, and eventually arthritis. Your veterinarian can diagnose these conditions through x-rays. Treatment options include anti-inflammatory medication, joint protectant supplements, and in some cases, surgery.
Cataracts, the cloudiness of the lens of the eye, can also occur in Pembrokes. If you notice any abnormalities in your dog’s eyes or signs of vision loss, it’s important to have them evaluated by a veterinarian or a veterinary ophthalmologist as soon as possible.
Patent Ductus Arteriosis
Patent ductus arteriosis (PDA) is a congenital heart condition that affects Pembrokes. It occurs when a shunt in the heart, which is meant to redirect blood away from the lungs before birth, fails to close properly. This condition can cause serious health issues and often requires surgical correction by a veterinary cardiologist.
Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive deterioration of the spinal cord that primarily affects older Pembrokes. This condition is caused by a gene mutation and leads to weakness and paralysis. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for degenerative myelopathy, and most dogs are euthanized due to a poor quality of life.
Von Willebrand’s Disease
Von Willebrand’s disease is an inherited bleeding disorder that affects Pembrokes. It is caused by a deficiency of von Willebrand factor, which helps the blood to clot. Dogs with this condition may experience bleeding in the gums and other mucosal regions. Treatment may involve blood transfusions and special medications.
What to Feed Your Pembroke Welsh Corgi: A Balanced Diet is Key
Just like any other dog, Pembrokes thrive on a high-quality, complete, and balanced diet approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). It’s important to monitor their food intake and ensure they maintain a healthy weight, as they are prone to obesity.
Fresh vegetables and fruits can make great low-calorie snacks for Pembrokes, especially during training. It’s best to avoid overfeeding and limit treats and human food. Stick to recommended brands like Hill’s/Science Diet, Royal Canin, and Purina.
Behavior and Training Tips for a Happy Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Pembrokes are known for their friendly and energetic personalities. They are eager to please and enjoy learning new things. These dogs were bred as herding dogs, so they require mental stimulation to keep them engaged. Regular exercise and playtime is important to prevent boredom-related behaviors like digging and chewing.
Proper socialization and training from a young age are vital for curbing herding behaviors and preventing biting or nipping. Pembrokes are great with other pets and children if they are raised together, but herding instincts might lead them to nip at the heels of running children.
Consistent positive reinforcement training methods work best for Pembrokes. Engaging in activities like obedience training, agility training, and mental stimulation games will keep them happy and fulfilled.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi Grooming Guide: Keep Them Looking Their Best
Pembrokes have a double coat that requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and reduce shedding. Brushing their coat once or twice a week will help remove loose hair and maintain their coat’s condition. Regular bathing, especially during shedding seasons, will keep their skin healthy and their coat shiny.
Additionally, it’s important to check their ears regularly for signs of infection and clean them as needed. Eye care is also essential, as Pembrokes with light-colored fur around their eyes may develop tear stains that can be easily cleaned with pet wipes.
The Perfect Companion for the Right Household
Pembrokes can be wonderful companions as long as their exercise, grooming, and training needs are met. They are loyal, happy, and protective of their families. However, they require proper socialization and training to prevent behavior problems. Pembrokes are not recommended for homes with small children due to their herding instincts.
Keep an eye on their food intake and maintain a healthy weight to prevent obesity-related health issues. Regular veterinary check-ups and preventive care are vital to ensure their well-being.
Owning a Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a joyful and rewarding experience. With their distinctive appearance and delightful personalities, they truly are a breed like no other. If you’re considering adding a new furry friend to your family, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi may be the perfect addition.