With good care and proper
nutrition, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi will give
you 12 to 15 years of enjoyment and companionship.
This small, sturdy dog does tend to gain weight if
not fed correctly or given enough exercise. As with
most purebred dogs, the Corgi may develop a few
health problems that are inherent in the breed. Many
of these conditions can be avoided through good
breeding and with early checkups by a veterinarian.
The breeding pool for the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is
actually quite large in the United States, so
breeders do have the opportunity to avoid some of
the genetic problems that can come from
non-selective breeding. Keep in mind that problems
do occur in the best situations. Those who are
considering a Corgi as a family pet should be aware
of potential genetic disorders that may come up.
Among these conditions is the
less threatening fluffy coat that some Pembroke
Welsh Corgis have develop because of indiscriminate
breeding. The Corgi coat should be composed of a
short undercoat and a slightly longer, thicker
overcoat. However, the hair should not be long,
puffed up or fluffy. In addition, many clubs and
organizations considered coats that are mostly white
or bluish in tint to be unacceptable. The Pembroke
Welsh Corgi colors are black and tan, fawn, sable,
or red, with the customary white markings.
Monorchidism is a rare condition that sometimes
affects this breed. The male of the breed may
develop only one testicle. In a related condition,
unilateral cryptorchidism, both testicles develop
but one remains in the abdomen and does not descend.
The two conditions are distinct and new owners of
Pembroke Welsh Corgis should be aware of the
possibility of monorchidism. The condition can be
confirmed through a procedure called plasma
testosterone analysis. Most people experienced in
dog health recommend neutering of such a male and
add that this dog should not be used for breeding.
Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease that can develop
to several degrees, causing pain and limited
movement in dogs. The level of arthritis results
from an abnormally developed hip joint. Cartilage
damage is one of the first problems that arise.
Generally, as the cartilage cannot remain thick and
elastic, the inflammation spreads from the joint to
the surrounding tissue. Dogs with hip dysplasia
often show obvious signs of lameness and pain when
walking or rising from sleep.
The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals urges owners
and breeders to have their dogs tested through the
radiographic process that can identify joint
irregularities. This process can help prevent use of
young dogs in the breeding pool and eliminate some
cases of hip dysplasia. It is highly recommended
that owners and breeders consult with a veterinarian
about this procedure. If you are thinking about
adding a Pembroke Welsh Corgi as a family pet, ask
your breeder about OFA certification.
Progressive retinal atrophy is a genetic eye disease
that may affect several breeds of dog, including the
Pembroke Welsh Corgi. This condition has been
recognized in dogs for nearly a century, with the
first modern-day description coming in Gordon
Setters. The retina tissue in the back of they eye
contains nerve receptors called rods and cones.
Progressive retinal atrophy usually affects the rods
first, causing problems with vision in dim light.
The cones, which provide daylight vision, are often
Owners should be aware of the possibility of their
pet developing a cloudiness or change in appearance
to the eye often described as a “shine.” Diagnosis
can be made by an ophthalmoscopic examination.
Different breeds of dog develop this condition at
With proper breeding and care, the Pembroke Welsh
Corgi should live 12 to 14 years without major
health problems. They do tend to become overweight
if not fed properly or do not receive enough
exercise. Because of their long, low build, the
Corgi may also develop some spinal problems. This
breed should not be allowed to jump from great
heights and should be discouraged from jumping onto
and off furniture.