Let's talk Welsh Corgi Pembrokes

Famed as the favourite breed of Queen Elizabeth II, the Welsh Corgi Pembroke certainly has the royal seal of approval. With their dazzling foxy features, and innate intelligence, it’s perhaps no surprise. Also known for their stamina and resilience, they were bred originally as herding dogs. As such, they will appreciate the chance to have a good run, but are also content to be at home with their human family.

Official name: Welsh Corgi Pembroke

Other names: Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Corgi, Pem

Origins: Wales

Black and white side profile portrait of standing Welsh Corgi Pembroke
 Drooling tendencies


 Warm weather? Medium
 Grooming needs    Cold weather? Medium
 Shedding level  High  Suited to apartment living?  High
 Barking tendencies  High  Can stay alone?* Medium
 Energy level (high, low, medium) *:  Low  Family Pet?* High
 Compatibility with other pets  High    

* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed’s specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy, healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socialising your pet as well as covering their basic welfare, social and behavioural needs.

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company. However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

Inline Image 15
Illustrated side profile of a standing Welsh Corgi Pembroke
26 cm - 31 cm Height
10 kg - 12 kg Weight
26 cm - 31 cm Height
9 kg - 11 kg Weight

 Baby age:  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age:  2 to 12 months
 Adult age: 1 to 7 years
 Mature age:  7 to 10 years
 Senior age: 10 to 20 years

Welsh Corgi Pembroke jumping over log with tongue out


Get to know the Welsh Corgi Pembroke

All you need to know about the breed

They may be relatively short in stature but the Welsh Corgi Pembrokes pack some serious power into their compact size. Strong and sturdy, they are hardy and resilient animals. Bold, too, in that big dog in a small body kind of way.

Originally bred for herding, the Welsh Corgi Pembroke still retains some of those traits today. They enjoy being outdoors, tearing around in the fields, and also make excellent watchdogs. In short, they won’t hesitate to sound the alert of anything untoward, which means they can be a bit barky at times.

Despite this, they are also enormously loyal and devoted dogs, too, who are more than content in the middle of their human families—whether that’s playing games, lying by the hearth or curled up on the sofa. If allowed on the sofa, of course.

With a friendly and affectionate temperament, the Welsh Corgi Pembroke is good with children once trained – the Corgi, not the children – as well as other pets. Highly intelligent animals, Pembrokes are an easy-to-train breed, too. 

Almost fox-like in appearance, especially those that are red in colouring, the Welsh Corgi Pembroke’s dense double coat can be sable, fawn, or black and tan. Some of them also have white markings. And don’t be fooled by those short legs—they can actually move surprisingly fast! With a good life expectancy, the Welsh Corgi Pembroke can also live up to a top age of 20.

Often mistaken for their ‘cousin’, the Welsh Corgi Cardigan, it’s true that in the past the two breeds did intermingle – one coming from Pembrokeshire and the other from Cardiganshire – both in Wales. However, they have been recognised as a separate breed for more than a hundred years. The easiest way to tell the difference is that the Welsh Corgi Pembroke is slightly smaller and has more pointed ears. In addition, the Cardigan has a much longer tail.

Today, the Pembrokes are the more widespread breed—possibly because of their long-held connection with Queen Elizabeth II. Back in the 1930’s, the young princess was given one by her father, King George VI, and she owned more than 30 during her reign.

As a result, Welsh Corgi Pembrokes recently had a star turn in the hit Netflix series, The Crown. In 2019, an animated comedy film called The Queen’s Corgi was also released.

Two beige Welsh Corgi Pembroke puppies sitting amongst yellow flowers


2 facts about Welsh Corgi Pembrokes

1. All in the breeding

The importance of choosing a reputable breeder for your dog cannot be overstated as they will be screening for certain health conditions. With the Welsh Corgi Pembroke, it’s especially important to ask about the neurological disorder ‘degenerative myelopathy’—a hereditary disease that can occur from around the age of 11.

2. A starring role 

While the Welsh Corgi Pembroke has proved to be a popular dog worldwide, they did fall out of favour in the UK for a while—leading to them being added to the Kennel Club’s list of British breeds at risk. However, their appearance in Netflix series The Crown, and the fact that they are a remarkable all-around breed, has seen them bounce back again.


History of the breed

With an ancestry dating back to around the 10th century, the Welsh Corgi Pembroke breed has a long and colourful history, and views differ on their exact origins. Although some believe their ancestors were brought to Pembrokeshire by the Vikings, descended from the Swedish Vallhund, others claim that they came over with Flemish weavers and are related to the Pomeranian.

Either way, what we know for sure is that they have been linked to Pembrokeshire since at least the 1100’s. Ever since that time, they have also been used as herding animals and are consummate experts in this domain. In fact, many compete in herding competitions to this day.

The history of the Welsh Corgi Pembroke is also closely tied to that of their ‘cousins’, the Welsh Corgi Cardigan, and for a long time they were considered to be one and the same. However, despite some intermingling in the past, they are two distinctly separate breeds and the origins of the Welsh Corgi Cardigan are quite different. While both were initially recognised by the American Kennel Club under the generic heading of Welsh Corgis, they were officially recognised as two separate breeds from 1934.

Today, the Welsh Corgi Pembroke is the more popular of the two – don’t tell the Cardigan – and, despite a dip in demand in the UK over the last decade or so, they have bounced back again of late.

Black and white portrait of a sitting Welsh Corgi Pembroke


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Welsh Corgi Pembrokes

1. Head

The head is fox-like in appearance with distinctive pointy ears and dark brown eyes.

2. Body

Body is long and compact with a strong, level topline and short tail.

3. Coat

Double-layered coat is medium in length with a weather-resistant undercoat.

4. Colouring

Colouring can vary from solid red, sable, fawn and black and tan, with white markings.

5. Legs

Legs are very short in length though capable of moving quickly.

Welsh Corgi Pembroke sitting on tree stump with tongue out


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Welsh Corgi Pembroke
Welsh Corgi Pembroke standing by pond looking to the right


Caring for your Welsh Corgi Pembroke

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Inline Image 6

Given their heritage as herding dogs, when they were used to being outdoors much of the time, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi needs regular daily exercise to stay in good shape—both mentally and physically. This will help to keep your Pembroke’s weight in check too. Although they are capable of running quite fast, they don’t do as well over distance, so a good walk at a steady pace is best. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is not a great swimmer, either, and as their backs can be prone to injury, it’s best to avoid activities that require jumping. For more handy facts on the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and how to keep them active, see our ‘Training’ section.

Inline Image 7

With their thick, weatherproof double coat, the Welsh Corgi Pembroke will need at least a weekly brushing, but ideally daily, to keep them looking their best. In terms of shedding, the Pembroke can also lose a fair amount of hair. So, getting into the routine of regular brushing will stand you both in good stead—and prevent the carpets becoming too covered later on. A bath can help loosen the dead hair—though they should only be brushed when dry. As with all breeds, nails should be trimmed as needed, ears kept clean and, ideally, teeth brushed daily at home, if you can get away with it.

Inline Image 11

Naturally smart, the Welsh Corgi Pembroke is easy to train as they are adept at learning. It’s true that they do have a mind of their own. But they also thrive on the mental challenge and will respond well to positive, reward-based training. As they enjoy spending time with their owners, it can be a great bonding experience too. It’s good to start training the Welsh Corgi Pembroke at puppy classes, as this will also help to socialise them. Later, they can also excel at canine activities such as agility, obedience, agility and, yes, not surprisingly, herding events.


All about Welsh Corgi Pembrokes

It can be a little bit confusing as there are two types of Welsh Corgis – the Welsh Corgi Pembroke and the Welsh Corgi Cardigan – and they are both distinct breeds. The easiest way to tell the difference is that the Cardigan has a longish tail whereas the Pembroke does not. Also, the Cardigan is slightly larger and has rounder ears.

Yes, like other herding breeds, Welsh Corgi Pembrokes are highly intelligent animals that are used to thinking on their feet. However, because of this, they do need to be kept busy to keep them out of mischief. Easy to train, the Welsh Corgi Pembroke’s smart personality means they can also excel in canine sports.


1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/