Corgi Health Problems

Your Corgi is a friendly, intelligent working dog that was bred to herd cattle. Corgis originated in Wales. They were cultivated by shepherds who needed help controlling large herds. Corgis’ intelligence and social skills were perfect for the task of herding larger animals in a group. Those same traits—intelligence and sociability—are why Corgis are such popular and beloved family pets. So are their short legs, fluffy coats, big ears, and friendly faces.

Like all dog breeds, Corgis are more likely to be afflicted by certain health problems and disabilities than other dogs. Corgis are more likely than other dogs to develop:

  • Back problems
  • Canine cancer
  • Complications from pregnancy
  • Eye disease and disability

Back Problems in Corgis

Corgis are prone to back problems, particularly herniated discs. Corgis have long bodies and short legs, which can cause stress on their spine. As Corgis age, accumulated pressure on the spine can cause dogs to develop painful disabilities.

Dogs’ spines are very similar to humans’. Like us, dogs have disc-shaped cushions, made of cartilage, that separate their vertebra from each other and absorb shocks. When those cushions become inflamed or slide out of place in a dog’s spine, they cause pain and put pressure on the spinal cord. The condition, Intervertebral Disc Disease, can even cause nerve damage. Because of Corgis’ long bodies, short legs, and differences in the composition of their cartilage discs, they are susceptible to this disability.

If a corgi suffers nerve damage as a result of a slipped disc, they can suffer from diminished motor function or even become paralyzed. If your Corgi becomes partially paralyzed, it would probably benefit from a wheelchair. K9 Carts makes custom-designed, purpose-made wheelchairs for any dog.

Degenerative Myelopathy in Corgis

Corgis are one of the breeds that are most likely to develop degenerative myelopathy, a nerve condition. Degenerative myelopathy begins in a dog’s spinal cord, and eventually results in severe nerve damage and loss of motor function. Corgis with degenerative myelopathy will struggle to move and stand, and may eventually suffer partial or total paralysis.

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Assistance Dog Breeds: About Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis

The Cardigan Welsh corgi and Pembroke Welsh corgi both hail from Wales and have much in common, but they are two distinct breeds with their own personalities. Pembrokes are better known in the US, ranked by the American Kennel Club as the 22nd most popular breed, while their Cardigan cousins come in a bit farther down at 76th. 

While their short stature makes them unsuited to some service dog jobs that involve providing physical support for human partners and other tasks requiring considerable size, both types of Welsh corgi can work well for certain niche areas of assistance. In particular, Welsh corgis are trained as hearing dogs for deaf and hearing-impaired people. They also sometimes work as alert dogs for those with conditions like diabetes, sensing and signaling when blood sugar reaches dangerous levels. 

If you need a hearing dog or an alert dog for a medical condition, Welsh corgis are worth looking into, especially if you prefer or need a smaller animal given space limitations or for other reasons. Here’s a basic overview of these two dog breeds to help figure out whether they might be a good match for you. 

Why Welsh Corgis Make Good Assistance Dogs 

Both Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh corgis were bred for herding, with a strong instinct for helping direct those in their charge. These are working dogs with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy to enthusiastically accomplish their tasks. They remain alert at all times, making them perfect for people with disabilities who need to be warned of dangers they can’t sense themselves. 

Welsh corgis have just the right combination of smarts, curiosity, and eagerness to please that makes certain dogs so highly trainable. Again, these medium-small dogs aren’t able to perform some of the physical assistance work that commonly used larger breeds like Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, and German shepherds can, but when large size doesn’t matter, these are reliable assistance dogs. 

One important note, though, about Welsh corgis as service dogs: like other herding breeds, they have a significant protective streak. This can cause complications in public if the dog is too wary of strangers to focus on her responsibilities of if she believes her human is vulnerable and becomes aggressive. To be suitable for assistance work, individuals must demonstrate the ability to bypass protective instincts. 

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7 Surprising Facts About Corgis Dog Breed

The Welsh Corgi has two Corgi breeds, Cardigans and Pembroke’s. Corgis are believed to have existed in Wales for more than 3,000 years. The Cardigan is distinguished by his long tail — like the sleeves of a cardigan sweater — and was used to drive cattle to market. Corgis are sensible and affectionate, they love to spend time with family and are active, fun-loving playmate for school-age children. Corgis have medium-length coat comes in many colors and patterns, including red, brindle, blue merle and black, usually with white markings.

Ancestry with Huskies
You’d never guess by looking at them, but these squat dogs share a common ancestry with the formidable Siberian husky. They have less in common with dogs their size and more in common with their larger canine brethren. They might not pull a sled (or be able to navigate snow) but they have that same dogged determination.

Their best friends were Vikings!
Cardigans are among the oldest herding breeds and over 3,000 years old! The Pembroke settled in Wales and is believed to have accompanied Vikings across the pond as they came and settled in Wales. They have a time-tested history amidst tough, hardworking human companions and they’ve historically earned their keep.

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As dog lovers, we can’t get enough of these furry creatures. But with so many breeds to choose from, most of us know far less than we might think we do.

Each breed has its own characteristics. Take the beloved Corgi, for example. There is so much more than meets the eye with these sheep, cattle, and livestock herding dogs. And though they are small they are mighty.

Let’s take a closer look at this beautiful yet fierce dog breed.

Corgis At a Glance

While there are various breeds of Corgis, the most popular breed is the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. The very name “Corgi” is a Celtic word that stands for dwarf dog. They weigh about 26-28 lbs., and stand about 12 inches in height, with females being slightly smaller than their male counterparts.

Corgis are distinguished by their long back and short bowed out legs. Their ears stand upright without any help. Their average lifespan is from 11 to 13 years. They have about an average energy level, with approximately 20-40 minutes of exercise per day required.

On the flip side, corgis do have a tendency to bark more than other dogs and are incredibly social, making them a bit more demanding when it comes to play and bark park time. Bred to drive cattle, they require extensive training to keep their mind sharp and to stay out of trouble.

They have a short double coat that comes in a rainbow of colors including black and tan, red, sable, fawn, and with or without white flashing. According to the AKC, their classification is herding dogs.

Now that we know the basics, let’s dive in a bit deeper and explore what makes Corgis tick.

Preferred Living Space

Because of their size, Corgis are ideal for homes with limited space. If you have an apartment and want to add to the family, they make a great addition. However, they do require at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise per day.  As for the overall environment, corgis fair best in cooler climates and prefer not to be in hot temperatures. During the summer, it is best to keep them indoors or near bodies of water.

Good for Novice Dog Owners

If you’re looking to add your very first dog to your family, it’s best to take on a breed that is easy to train. Fortunately, Corgi’s are a great breed for trainability. They are incredibly intelligent and are easygoing. They can bounce back from the mistakes you might make during the training process because of this.

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The Ten Best Corgi Blogs on the Web

Sometimes people ask me if I think I’ll ever run out of corgi pictures. It’s not an unreasonable question: Corgi Friday is approaching its one-year anniversary, and it consistently has specific themes that include twenty or thirty or fifty pictures of corgis. How many pictures of corgis can there possibly be?

Answer: OH MY GOD SO MANY. Trust me, the earth will run out of fossil fuels and fresh drinking water before it runs out of corgi pictures. Aside from the fruitful searches I’ve done on flickr and MyCorgi, there are tons of corgi-specific blogs that are frequently updated with corgi pictures, videos, and GIFs. These are my ten favorite corgi blogs.

NOTE: There are some corgi blogs that give longer narratives about specific corgis, the owners’ lives, and general writing about dog ownership, such as Corgi Tails, Corgi Butts, and Dances with Corgis. However, I’m a junkie for images, and this list reflects that preference.

Corbinism is a newer blog that follows the life and times of Corbin Dallas. He’s not the cutest corgi of all time, but his owner is a cute Asian girl. NICE.

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