Getting Cheddar the Corgi changed my life, but he was an absolute handful.
Not for one minute do I regret my four-pawed best friend, but at the beginning, he was a handful and he turned my life upside down—for the best, eventually—but he was definitely hard work. Not entirely his fault, he’s smart but when he wants to be; he’s strong-willed and likes to be the boss, something I struggled with. But, not for one minute do I regret my four-pawed best friend, but as the old saying goes, ‘Dogs are not just for Christmas’.
So, I did all my research, or so I thought. I looked up what health concerns he would have and what food would be best, when to walk him and what toys would be best.
[Meet Cheddar, my fluffy Corgi who is three years old]
But really, they’re not the things I think people should know, so here are ten things you should know before getting a Corgi:
1) They May Be Small, But They Mighty
When I thought of Corgi, I thought small and manageable. That is not the case. Their height may be small, but they pack a lot in that lower-to-the-ground body. Cheddar weighs at least 15kg, he’s been higher and lower, and he’s muscular. When he runs at you full sprint, paws to your leg, you’ll stumble. Because of their high energy, you need to be durable also, and so does your furniture. I’m not sure if this is a breed thing or a Cheddar thing, but he isn’t great at manoeuvring around spaces and often reverses before running somewhere if the space is tight. They need a lot of room, is basically what I’m saying because although from pictures they seem small, I assure you they’re closer to a medium breed than small.
2) They Shed A Lot Of Hair
If I could collect all of Cheddar’s hair up, I think I’d have at least another corgi. We’ve seemed to work out that he shreds twice a year, for at least a month at length (although, again, I think this is different depending on breed, fur type etc). How I seem to manage is by tending to triple up my hovering, but even then it’s everywhere. It’s something to be mindful of with this breed especially if you don’t want to have furry furniture.It gets everywhere, by the way, there is no running from it, and it also seems to double if you brush your furry little friend. Each breed though is different and compared to a friend’s corgi, Cheddar also seems to have thicker hair, which I think adds to the general ‘fluffiness’ of my home.
3) They’re LOUD, and Not Hungover Loud, Like Roadworks LOUD
Cheddar barks all, the, damn, time.From the moment he wakes until he sleeps (and even when he dreams, sometimes). They’re a loud, bossy breed who are very used to herding, and they tend to be very vocal with other sounds, food times and when their schedule is off. Cheddar particularly likes to remind me when it’s walk time as if I had forgotten.
4) They Want A Lot of Attention
Which nicely brings me to this point. Corgis tend to love a lot of affection and attention back, and if Cheddar is any example, if you ignore them, expect them to do something mischievous like run off with a sock. Having been around dogs who are very happy amusing themselves, Cheddar is the opposite. If he’s not trying to climb on me, poke a toy at me, he’s barking at me, and as much as I roll my eyes, I actually really love it because the flip side of this annoyance is he’s always happy to see me, which is so nice to come home to. It’s something to keep in mind though if you’re after a more low-maintenance dog because Corgis are not one of them.
5) They’re Social
If Cheddar could type, I’m sure he’d have a bigger social media profile than me. Corgis love being social, whether that is around other dogs and people, to the point Cheddar is usually dragging me across the park to meet someone. They love to play (see points four and points three if you ignore this), and is always up for conversing back with you via bark-growl when you’re wanting someone to listen to you. It’s a common thing with this breed, they do like to remind you of their existence—as if you could ever forget.
6) Their Space Is Theirs
But at the same time, if they want their own space then he will take it. While his bed is in another room, he rarely uses it and only does when he wants his own space to escape us. We’ve found this is far and few between, but he’s not especially happy if we invade him in his space, even more so when we call him—he will usually ignore me until I present food.
7) Food, Food, Food
Like some dogs, Cheddar loves food and will eat anything (he even had an obsession with stones when he was a puppy, I know, he gave me a mini-heart attack every day). He’s very lucky in that we do spoil him, but he also really vocalises when I’ve not provided him with something – like this week when I swapped my yoghurt for cereal and he couldn’t lick the bowl clean. It’s worth knowing that whilst you’re likely feeding your corgi enough, they’ll always want more.With those ‘find the treats’ toys, Cheddar is in them in a heartbeat, he’s very smart with the goal of food, which is another point I’ll later go on to.
8) Health Issues
As I’ve mentioned above, the Corgi breed has a few health problems it’s worth being aware of before having one join your family. The one we are most aware of is hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy. There is less we can do about the latter, but in our household, we try our best to keep the former from happening.Cheddar, who is a very boisterous dog, really likes to jump from furniture to floor, run around stupidly, and do his own version of Corgi-Parkour. But, as much as we’ve tried to train/guide him to be more kind to his hips, he’s not listening. However, we do as much as we can to ensure we don’t over-walk or under-walk him and ensure his weight stays in a healthy range, as his hips can worsen due to this.
9) Toys & Teeth
Corgis are notorious chewers. You may find a Corgi here or there who isn’t, but it tends to be a thing across the breed that they like to destroy—my husbands’ socks can attest to this. We’ve tended to go down the route of much firmer, sturdier toys because of this, fearing a soft toy left in Cheddar’s presence will do. Kong tends to have a wide range of Corgi-friendly toys, and there are even more at our local pet store. It’s something to keep in mind if you’re dream is to have them play with a teddy bear or some cute hamburger—Cheddar had one, it lasted all of three days—because Corgis whilst kind to humans are not kind to teddies, of any variety.
10) They Have Character
Cheddar has a personality like a human. He has mood ranges, some we can predict, some that still surprise us, but Corgis’ have character. They aren’t your average dog, they feel and react and seem… almost human-like. Whilst it can be frustrating arguing that dinner time isn’t yet, it’s also the most fun to have them look at you when you’re talking to them with a various emotion you wish you were quicker at photographing.
And that’s it, a few points in helping you decide if a Corgi is the one for you.
Bias, I know, but my life wouldn’t be the same without mine, and for the worst too. For all the holes in my socks, and tights, I wouldn’t change him for the world.
That includes when he embarrasses me at the park or decides someone running seems like a nicer owner, I love him, his mannerisms, and all.