Are you thinking of getting a dog as a pet for the first time? It is an exciting experience trying to decide what particular dog breed to get.
For the first-time dog owner, be warned that there are close to 200 recognized dog breeds in the world. So choosing the right breed can be quite a headache.
We will try to make the selection process easier for you by introducing this dob breed known as the Corgi.
In this article, we will share what makes a Corgi a good choice for first-time dog owners and when should you not get a Corgi.
What Is A Corgi?
Corgis originate from Wales and are considered to be small to medium-sized herding dogs. There are two breeds of Corgis, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi.
Corgis are easily recognizable by their long broad bodies, short legs, chonky butts and huge ears. Some Corgis are even born with a no tail or a bobtail.
Corgis are specially bred to be herding dogs for sheep and cattle.
They herd livestock by nipping at their heels which makes them vulnerable to being kicked. This is why they are bred to hug the ground which makes them less of a target.
Do Corgis Make Good Pet Dogs For First-Time Owners?
Well yes and no.
When choosing your first dog, it isn’t just about finding the right dog but also giving the dog the right family and home.
There are some first-time dog owners that prefer a low-maintenance dog. While there will be first-time owners who prefer to jump into the deep end and get the best dog breeds.
I have friends who had Corgis as their first dogs and second and third.
However, before you head off and get yourself a Corgi, make sure you understand what it takes to keep one and give it the best quality of life.
The Personality Of A Corgi
Corgis love being the center of attention. And when I say “love”, I do mean “love love”.
They are happy and loyal dogs that have lots of love to give. But you will need to include your Corgi in almost all your daily activities. Corgis are known as velcro dogs as they love following their owners wherever they go.
My friend’s Corgi, Gonzo, makes it a point to escort me every time I need to use the bathroom when I’m over.
It wants to feel that it is part of the action and a well-loved family member.
Another distinct personality trait of the Corgi is its stubbornness. They are strong-willed and can be bossy by nature.
You will need to show your Corgi who the leader of the pack is from the get-go. Don’t be afraid to be assertive towards your Corgi. Otherwise, you will be under your Corgi’s paw.
Training For Corgis
Every Corgi owner that I have spoken to can’t stress enough on the importance of proper training for your new Corgi.
Corgis can be difficult to handle during the initial days. They are stubborn yet intelligent dogs that need to be in charge.
You can’t blame them as being assertive and confident is required as a herding dog.
As its dog owner, you will have to start training your Corgi from the ground up with regards to basic commands and obedience.
Expect your dog to treat you like you don’t exist but don’t give up.
Be quick to clam down on bad behavior with timeouts and a firm tone. But also be just as quick to praise and reward your dog when it does something right.
If you don’t have much experience training dogs, it might be a better option to hire a professional dog trainer to get all the basics right.
You can also enroll yourself and your dog in a dog training programme to learn and understand the right way to train a dog.
Corgis are very active dogs due to their herding instinct. Dogs that are bred to herd don’t sit around the house the whole day watching TV like a bulldog which some say is an ugly dog.
They will be out in the fields running about and making sure that the cattle and sheep don’t wander off.
If you stay in the city, having livestock at home isn’t a prerequisite for having a Corgi. But you will need to ensure that your Corgi gets all the exercise that it needs and wants.
This means spending at least an hour daily playing and walking your Corgi. Taking it to the dog park is a great way to have fun and let your Corgi socialize with people and other dogs.
If your Corgi doesn’t get its necessary exercise, it can start to get depressed and destructive. A Corgi isn’t meant to be a lazy dog and needs to be worked hard.
There’s one thing that Corgis love to do and that is to bark. They are very vocal dogs as barking is part and parcel of herding.
Telling your Corgi not to bark is like having pizza without any cheese.
It just doesn’t work.
A young Corgi might tend to bark more than an older one. But if you live in an apartment or rented home where barking dogs are frowned upon. having a Corgi might not be ideal.
Are Corgis High Maintenance?
Corgis can be high maintenance dogs as they tend to shed more than other dog breeds. This is due to Corgis having a double coat which means more dog hair.
Corgis will also shed a lot more before winter and summer so be prepared to have dog hair everywhere.
You will have to brush your Corgi daily to remove all the loose hair and frequent visits to the groomer is also advisable.
This dog breed is also prone to certain health issues like the following:
Hip Dysplasia affects the hip joints of the Corgi. It isn’t something that can be prevented due to the physical shape of the dog.
This issue tends to affect Corgis as they get older but there have been instances where even young Corgis being to show symptoms of hip dysplasia
Corgis that are overweight or do not get enough or too much exercise can make this problem worse.
There isn’t a cure for hip dysplasia but the vet can give your dog anti-inflammatory medication or undergo surgery.
This condition affects the dog’s central nervous system and spinal cord. A Corgi with this condition can become fully or partial paralyze and lose muscle mass.
There is still no known cause and cure for this condition in Corgis. Proper management is the only way to make your Corgi live with this issue.
Corgis are also prone to eye problems like cataracts and retina atrophy. Cataracts can cause your dog’s vision to get worse over time.
Retina atrophy can lead to night blindness which makes seeing at night difficult for the dog.
There are no known cures for such eye conditions in Corgis. But Corgis can adapt well to having a weaker eyesight due to their resilient nature.
Von Willebrand Disease
The Von Willebrand disease is a blood disorder that makes it difficult for the blood to clot. This is dangerous because in the event that your Corgi is bleeding, the blood won’t be able to clot which can lead to excessive blood loss and anemia.
Some Corgis might require a blood transfusion if they are severely affected by this disease. Most of the time, only minimal treatment is required.
As you can see, keeping a Corgi could mean much higher vet bills over the course of its life. It is best to be sure that you can pay for the medical treatments if any.
Are Corgis Good House Dogs?
Corgis in general make great house pets due to their loving and friendly nature. They get along well with other animals and children. Make sure to always go through the proper socialization process.
If you plan to introduce your Staffordshire bull terrier to a new cat, be patient and move at the pace of the cat. The same goes for Corgis.
However, it has been said that Corgis might not make good house dogs if you have kids that are younger than the age of five years old.
Being herding dogs, the Corgi might be overtly bossy and can nip the heels of small kids to get them to move.
It won’t cause any injury to the child but it is best to not take the risk if you have young kids at home.
Furthermore, Corgis aren’t fond of being roughly handled or chased by kids and can act out in retaliation.
Are Corgis Easy To Train?
Corgis are not as easy to train as compared to other dog breeds. This is due to their high intelligence and innate stubbornness.
Corgis prefer to tell others what to do than be told what to do.
Be prepared to put in the time and effort to get your Corgi behaving the way you want it to be.
Truth be told, there isn’t a dog breed that is perfect. They all come with their pros and cons. But if you have always had a soft spot for Corgis, having one as your first dog might not turn into a living hell for both you and your dog if you know what to expect.
Speak to a reputable breeder in your area or go to a Corgi dog owner meet up to further understand the breed and how to care for it.
One thing for sure is that this dog won’t fail to bring you and your family lots of love and wonderful memories if can train it well.