Notes for a First Time Corgi Owner
Corgis are not an especially easy breed to own. The primary reason that they end up in rescue is because owners fail to fully research the breed prior to taking a dog. This article describes what new owners need to know about corgis.
We also recommend you read the other articles on the Learn More section of our website . Please pay special attention to "Corgis and Children," even if you don't have children, and "How to be a good Alpha."
Everyone plans to love and keep their new dog. But as wonderful as corgis are, they can be a challenge! That's how corgis sometimes become rescue candidates.
A very typical scenario is: Owner takes a corgi because they are drawn to their cute look and small size. Often they've seen a friend or relative's corgi. It is well trained and behaves nicely. The assumption is that all corgis are like the dog they've seen. They do not realize that a lot of socialization and training goes into creating such a well-behaved dog.
They are also not aware that this is a very strong-willed breed and that it requires a confident owner who will clearly telegraph to the dog that they are "in charge." If a corgi views the owner as someone who is not stepping up to be the "pack leader," or "alpha dog" in the picture, the dog will assert itself to fill the pack leader role. This is the dynamic that can lead to a lot of problems, and often results in the dog ending up in a shelter or in rescue.
The female is generally the dominant gender with this breed. The female is usually the pack leader in a group of dogs and they are often a bit more willful than the males. The males tend to be a little softer in personality and more willing to just go with the flow and defer to the female, or to their owner.
Of course, these are general rules and we see individual dogs that differ from these generalizations all the time. That is why it is so important for us to observe the dog in a home setting while in foster care. During this time it is critical that a knowledgable foster person, who can identify the dog's individual temperament and needs in an owner, observes the dog carefully and works with it to identify and modify inappropriate behaviors prior to placement.
When a dog first arrives in a new environment, it is likely to be on good behavior for the first few days or weeks. That is why we always keep them for at least two weeks to be sure we're seeing the "real" dog.
Corgis are very smart, very crafty, and very confident little dogs. They do not view themselves as small dogs and can be quite assertive. Unless you are somewhat experienced with herding breeds, or other strong-willed breeds, the corgi may be more dog than you're looking for. If you're not sure, please be sure to ask us questions prior to adopting any dog.
Another way to see whether a corgi is right for you is to take a Dog Breed Selector Quiz. We usually suggest that all members of the family take this separately, then compare notes. When you identify a list of the top five to ten breeds that seem to fit, research them each more carefully. Here are a few sites that have breed profiles:
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