Characteristics of Pembroke Welsh Corigs
Pet and Companion
The breed standard general description of the Pembroke is: "Outlook bold, but kindly. Expression
intelligent and interested. Never shy or vicious." If there was ever a summary description of the
breed, this would be it.
The Pembroke is "a big dog in a small dog's suit."
The Pembroke's personality is playful and fun-loving, but also can be protective and tenacious.
Pembrokes love attention and can be real clowns.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a very intelligent and versatile companion animal. The most
suitable home for a Pembroke is with an owner who is looking more for a companion than just a
decoration, someone who is looking for a dog who is as happy going for walks around the
neighborhood as for romps in the woods.
Though the Pembroke is an energetic breed and eager for new sights and smells, Pems are just
as content to keep their owners company at home. With a modicum of exercise they are just as
suited to city life as to life in the country. Pembrokes are very people oriented and should not be left
in the backyard only to be occasionally petted. They are at their best when incorporated into full
Obedience Trials, Tracking and Agility
The Pembroke has a pleasant temperament. His intelligence and eagerness to please makes for
a personable dog who is interested in learning, but sometimes not interested in repetitive training.
The independence of his working dog lineage coupled with his innate intelligence means that he
can get bored with an invariant training routine and therefore needs a variety of exercises to keep
his interest in a task. Newer techniques using positive motivational methods and food training are
ideal for the average Pembroke and have produced some very good obedience dogs. Their
eagerness to please their owners, coupled with a tendency to be little "hams" in public, is an
underlying reason why they do so well in obedience.
Many of these obedience-titled dogs have also acquired tracking titles. Tracking is a sport where
the dog must pick up and follow one person's scent to the end of the trail and locate an article (a
glove). Advanced tracking complicates the situation by having different people lay cross trails; the
dog must stay on the original one to the end. Most Pembrokes take very readily to tracking, some
obtaining their first tracking title within months of beginning training. Being low to the ground does
help the nose work. The newest phase of tracking competition will begin in fall of 1995 with the
Variable Surface Tracking program from the AKC. These tests are designed to mimic tracking in
an urban environment, over asphalt, concrete, grass, etc. Many dogs that assist in search and
rescue will be the first titled dogs in this event.
Many Corgis (both Pembrokes and Cardigans) have also done well in Agility. Agility is one of the
newest performance events, requiring the dog to run an obstacle course accompanied by its
handler, all the while competing against the clock. The obstacle course is a scaled-down version
of the course police or military dogs train on. Pembroke Welsh Corgis, along with Cardigan Welsh
Corgis, dominate agility in their size class, and are as enthusiastic and competitive as Border
Collies. Pembrokes frequently love agility much more than obedience and can be found
enthusiastically roaring through an agility course barking happily the whole way, or "yelling" at their
owners to hurry up! USDAA, NADAC, NCDA and now the AKC provide agility competition and titles
for corgis to compete in.
The Pembroke is the smallest of the Herding group of dogs. As with many other members of this
group, the working instinct has not been taken advantage of for quite some time, especially in the
United States. However, it is still in evidence in several lines today, and Pembrokes have
competed and earned top honors (High in Trial) in competition at AKC herding trials, competing
with other herding breeds. Pembrokes have been primarily associated with cattle and were used
for that livestock originally but they can showcase their talents with sheep, ducks or geese.
The Pembroke is a recognized breed throughout the world (after all, at one point in time the sun
never set on the British Empire) and competes in conformation shows on most, if not all,
continents. A crowd-pleasing favorite due to its showmanship, the Pembroke has been a serious
group and Best in Show contender for many years. Conformation judges compare dogs against a
written breed standard and evaluate their type and soundness. Many dogs which complete their
conformation championships also compete in obedience, tracking and herding and when not at a
show are usually pampered pets.
The Pembroke, due to his intelligence and eagerness to please, is a standout in many other
areas of canine work. Pembrokes are often used as Hearing Ear dogs, assisting owners afflicted
with hearing impairments. They alert their owners to important sounds, similar to the way Seeing
Eye dogs help their owners. Other Pembrokes have become Therapy Dogs, friends for older
adults in nursing homes or hospitalized patients.
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