Corgi breed facts and information
Here are some fun and interesting corgi facts.
They range from facts about the breeds, both Pembroke and Cardigan Welsch corgis that cover their history, upbringing, and other random tidbits of information.
From their Superman position to their strange noises, these dogs are one of America’s favorite breeds.
Share these facts with other corgi lovers, your kids, or someone getting a corgi puppy!
1. Corgis are almost one of the top 10 smartest dog breeds
They’re currently hovering around position 12 based on a study conducted by Stanley Coren.
2. The word “corgi” means “dwarf dog”
This comes from the prefix “cor-” which means to “watch over” from Welsch origins.
The suffix “-gi” means dog. This could also mean “watch dog” or “gather dog.”
3. Corgis are a herding dog
They come from Welsch farmers who used them to herd for a long time.
They’re still used to herd today for many farms and ranches across the world.
4. Pembroke and Cardigan corgis are different breeds
As similar as they may seem, these are two different types of corgis breeds with some minor differences.
5. Corgis are said to be enchanted dogs
The Welsch believed that Pembroke corgis were used to work fairy cattle and pull fairy coaches, amongst other things.
6. They have a “fairy saddle”
If you look close enough, their shoulders have a saddle shape over their coat. This only applies to Pembrokes.
7. They were believed to be used by the Vikings as companions
Corgi ancestry stems back to the 10 century, where they were descended from Swedish origins.
Vikings brought Vahunds from Sweden to Pembrokeshire.
8. Cardigans are older than Pembrokes
It’s said that the Cardiganshire corgis date to 1200BCE, which is before the time of Pembroke corgis.
This is nearly 3000 years ago from a tribe of Celts. This was the earliest known corgi breed.
9. Pembrokes are younger than Cardigans
Pembrokes date back to 1107CE. They were carried by Flemish people to Wales.
This went on to create the modern day stubby corgi we all know about.
10. A corgi was the mascot for Amazon.com
When Amazon first launched, a Pembroke corgi named Rufus was the dog of the principal engineer and editor-in-chief.
The dog roamed the office and became the unofficial mascot.
11. Pembrokes and Cardigans used to be the same breed
The AKC put the Cardigans and Pembrokes as the same breed in 1925.
Shortly after, breeders were upset over different judging standards at dog shows.
They were eventually separated in 1934 as distinct dog breeds.
12. The Queen’s corgis were used to name Princess Charlotte
When Kate Middleton and Prince William were deciding on their child’s name, they released an ad with 10 corgis each wearing their own vest containing a name.
The corgi Alexandra won a corgi dog race, which then aptly named their second child, Princess Charlotte.
13. Corgis are naturally born with tails
Both Cardigans and Pembroke have tails upon birth, except for a very rare “bobtail” mutation.
Pembrokes have their tails docked shortly after birth. Cardigans keep their tail.
This is due to the breed standard, which requires the docking of Pembroke tails. Many countries have banned this practice. The US has yet to do so.
14. Although corgis have clean coats, they’re not hypoallergenic
Corgis shed a lot and have clean coats. But this doesn’t mean they’re good for allergy sufferers.
Their double-coat keeps them warm and cool when seasons change. And this is why they shed so much.
15. Corgis have two coats
Corgis have a double-coat to protect them from extreme temperatures. The coat changes according to the season.
16. Corgis come in many different colors
Pembroke and Cardigans come in a variety of colors.
They can be merle, tri-colored, black, brindle, fawn, sable, and red. There are also some cool morphs like Blues.
17. The Welsh had a law against corgi theft
Because they were such a prized dog, thieves who stole corgis would be fined severely.
Nowadays, any dog being stolen is a punishment. But back then, a corgi was one of the few dog breeds that had a fine attached to theft.
18. Corgis are heavy shedders
If you’re looking for a dog that doesn’t shed, look elsewhere.
Don’t be surprised when you’re eating corgi fur for dinner. These dogs will fill up your house with “corgi glitter.”
Corgis will shed nonstop, all year long. There are two heavy shedding periods when they blow off their coat.
19. Corgis are the smallest dog of all herding breeds
Specifically, Pembrokes. They hold the record of the world’s smallest herding dog with only a 12” height at shoulders.
20. The Queen has had over 30 corgis
The Royal Family is probably the most popular proponent of corgis, giving rise to their fame over time.
Now, the corgi is topping the charts and has become one of America’s favorite dog breeds.
Don’t assume labradors will also hold their top position, as these stubby, fluffy butts are taking over the charts.
21. California has a “First Dog”
It’s a corgi named Sutter Brown, a Pembroke that was owned by Jerry Brown who was elected CA governor back in 2010.
22. Corgis are fast runners
Even though they’re short and have long bodies, they are extremely agile and lightning fast for their stature.
Since they’re bred for the task of herding, corgis can run up to 25MPH at top speeds.
23. Corgis are related to Siberian Huskies
They’re both Spitz dogs, and this gives them the signature pointed ears, big eyes, and long bodies.
Spitz dogs have thick furs and long muzzles. Other related dogs are the Shiba Inu, Chihuahua, Pomeranian, and Bichon Frise.
24. There were laws that required corgis to perform tricks
The Welsh were especially proud of their dogs, so there were laws that require owners to train their dog a variety of tricks or else be ashamed. Pretty serious stuff.
25. Pembrokes and Cardigans appeared together for the first time in 1925
This was during a show at The Kennel Club hosted in Britain. The locals liked the Pembrokes, so a split between the two breeds was formed.
There was a Pembroke and Cardigan club for each type of enthusiast. The breeds were recognized as distinct in 1934.
26. Corgis are considered a vulnerable breed in the UK
This is due to the 2007 tail docking ban. In 2009, The Kennel Club in Britain added Pembroke to the “At Watch” list of breeds declining in annual registrations.
Later, Pembrokes were added to the Vulnerable Native Breeds list.
27. Pembroke corgis are extremely agile
These dogs compete in agility trials, flyball, tracking, herding, and obedience events.
Even though they’re short dogs, they can still run up to 25MPH at top speed.
They have pronounced upper body strength compared to other breeds.
28. Corgis are short because of a mutant gene
The condition is called achondroplastic dwarfism.
This is a dominant gene that forces the legs of the corgi to stop growing at an early age, which gives rise to their stature.
29. Long-legged corgis exist
But “normal” height corgis are rare.
These dogs were slowly bred out because of farmers’ preference for the short legs.
This was said to be because it makes them a harder target to hit by sheep and cows.
30. Blue corgis exist
Faults in breeding can cause “bluies” which have a bluish coat.
These blue corgis are rare, but you may seem one up for adoption or sale once in a “blue” moon.
31. Some corgis have long coats
These are known as “fluffies” and are actually quite in demand.
Many people prefer fluffy coats on corgis as you can tell by seasonal search trends.
The first litter of Cardigan Welsch corgis was registered in 1934 in the United States.
The litter was registered in the same year that the AKC recognized the Cardigan corgis.
They were born in Oakland, CA.
32. Cardigan corgis have a different body skeletal structure than Pembrokes
While the two breeds have some differences in coat, ears, colors, length of coat, and even height, they’re different in their skeletal structure also.
The Cardigan has a more exaggerated bend in the front legs. Cardigans are also thicker in bone density.
33. Cardigans have more colors than Pembrokes
The breed standard allows for tan, brindle points, sable, merle, blue, and more.
Compared to Pembroke corgis, Welsch Cardigans have a lot more coat colors to choose from.
34. Showing cardigans have some disqualification criteria
Cardigans with drop ears, white coats, blue eyes, or don’t have solid black noses without merle colors were disqualified from the show.
Corgis with herding training can be used to compete in herding trials
They were called “mad runs.”
35. Welsch Cardigans were used to protect children
Given that fairies were believed to saddle on these dogs, why not?
36. True coat colors take days to appear
Corgi coat colors will take a few days to show up.
The color that appears at birth may change in just a few days following birth. Those are the false markings.
The true markings usually show up later, especially in tricolor, black, or tan coat colors.
Here are some additional references if you’re bored:
- Pembroke Welsh Corgi Dog Breed Information – AKC
- A few questions on owning a corgi – Reddit
- More about corgis
Did you learn some fun corgi facts?
Now you know some more about corgis, their history, and some other strange wonders about the breeds.
If you have any of your own to share, post a comment below and tell the world.
Roy has owned 14 dog breeds, with corgis being his absolute favorite. He’s a self proclaimed “corgi whisperer,” whatever that means. He enjoys hiking, videogames, binging on shows, and writing (that’s why he’s here).
If corgis weren’t the absolute best, why would Queen Elizabeth have famously had more than 30 of them in her lifetime? The Queen loves this breed so much that it’s believed Meghan Markle’s warm welcome into the royal family was a direct result of the fact that they immediately took to her when they first met. For more of the royal scoop on her enduring love affair with this breed, check out 15 Fascinating Facts About the Royal Corgis .