The Pembroke Welsh Corgis my be small, but they pack a lot of dog into a little body. Originally used to herd cattle and hunt rodents in Pembrokeshire, Wales; Corgis were sturdy herding dogs who took their jobs seriously. They would nip the heels of the cattle to keep them in line, and their small bodies enabled them to avoid being kicked. Today, the Corgi is still used on farms and ranches, but is also an energetic family companion. They are good with other pets, make reliable watchdogs, and are trustworthy around children. Corgis have a mind of their own but still have a desire to please people. They pack a large personality, which varies from clownish and attention seeking, to thoughtful and introspective.
Despite their high energy level, Pembroke Welsh Corgis only need a moderate amount of exercise to maintain health and happiness. They are adaptable, and can happily dwell on a ranch, in a home with a yard, in an apartment or condominium. They should be walked daily, and if they don't have a yard to play in at home, should be allowed to run in a park at least once a week.
Despite their need for moderate exercise, Corgis need a lot of mental stimulation. As with other breeds who have roots as farm dogs, they like to stay busy. They excel in agility training and advanced obedience. If not properly exercised physically and mentally, Corgis can become anxious and destructive when left alone.
Pembroke Corgis are strong willed – they like to be in charge and will resist a hard-nosed trainer. They prefer to do things on their own time, so a lot of patience is required when training this breed. Positive reinforcement and lots of treats will ensure a responsive Pembroke. Once consistent leadership is established, Corgis take well to training and enjoy learning new tasks.
After beginning obedience training is complete, Corgis should graduate to advanced training and if possible, involved in tracking and agility classes. This is one “old dog” that likes to learn new tricks, and training should continue throughout their lives.
Pembrokes, like other farm dogs, are excellent watchdogs. They sound the alarm that uninvited people or animals are on the horizon, which can get out of hand if not nipped in the bud at an early age. Proper socialization is important, so that the Pembroke Welsh Corgi doesn't become mistrustful of all strangers. They will also bark if left alone for long periods of time, so apartment and condo dwellers should take this into consideration before adopting a Corgi.
While they get along fine with children, Corgis can exhibit dominance over small children, and they have been known to attempt to herd groups of kids. Because their herding behavior involves the nipping of heels, playtime should always be supervised.