corgi puppies! They're all the rage these days. It seems like every other person I see on social media wants or just got a new Corgi puppy. And it's understandable. These guys are kee-yooot. Their round little butts bring light to our drab social media feeds and life just seems better with a corgi.
I am writing this post today because quite a lot of people ask us where and from which breeder we got Chibi. (That's right, almost nobody asks me where I got my American Eskimo from?). I constantly see people asking other corgi accounts, "Which breeder is he from?" "Where can I find a corgi puppy in California?"
Check out our YouTube video on this topic!
Before we get into everything, this is a post about Pembroke Welsh Corgis. Cardigan Welsh Corgis are a completely different breed, and while they share similar physical characteristics to Pembrokes, they have different temperaments. Any breeder selling a Pembroke x Cardigan mix is not selling a purebred dog. And there is nothing wrong with mixed breed dogs! Just don't be fooled by those who sell them as purebred dogs. If you're interested in a cardigan, check out the parent club, denStrickjacke Welsh Corgi Club of America.
Unfortunately, finding a well-behaved, healthy Corgi puppy isn't all that easy. To do this, allow at least a year of research and preparation before expecting to bring a puppy home. Maybe even two years depending on which reputable breeders have litters that year.
The majority of Corgi breeders out there appear to be backyard breeders or puppy factories, capitalizing on the breed's recent popularity. Take it from someone who got a puppy from poor bloodlines - you don't want to buy a puppy from a backyard breeder. Chibi is one of those backyard breeder pups, so I'm hoping what I'm sharing today will help future Corgi owners be better prepared when looking for the dog of their dreams. Not to say these puppies don't deserve homes or that I regret getting cheebs, and this is not a post about adoption vs. buying. This is a post for those interested in bringing a new puppy into their home and wondering the best way to find one from a breeder.
why is itespeciallyimportant to get a healthy Corgi?
Poorly bred Corgis tend to have a number of problems, if not in puppyhood then definitely in adolescence and adulthood. Because of their stature, they are very prone to orthopedic problems - much more so than normally proportioned dogs. We haveshared our experiencesChibi was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia at just 1 year old, a condition attributed to poor genetics and conformation. The long-term downside of an unhealthy dog means you'll end up paying ten times or even more what you did for the puppy. We've spent money on three surgeries, about $1000/month on rehab and countless vet visits and health checks. We've also heard of backyard breeder puppies coming home with fleas and congenital defects or infections.
The worst is when you see your dog is sick or in pain. It makes me so sad that Chibi can't go hiking with us or romp on a doggy playdate on the beach. It's just not the life a dog deserves.
Pembroke Welsh Corgis: der Rassestandard
Because there are so many backyard breeder corgis these days, it's hard for people to see what a corgi is supposed to look like! I was guilty of this when I was looking for my pup - I couldn't tell the difference between most dogs and inadvertently supported a breeder who was not at all committed to the breed or her dogs.
For example, the two dogs below hardly look like they are the same breed. However, they both come from "purebred Corgi breeders."
Our friend Georgi@lacorgiis from a reputable breeder, and take a look at his characteristics. Rounded ears, straight and stocky legs and a level topline, meaning the back is not arched or arched.
Chibi has more pointed ears, and her front legs sometimes turn outward (as a result of her poor conformation and the need to balance her weak legs). Their hind legs also rotate inward instead of being straight. Luckily Chibi has a nice straight topline as she already has a handful of problems!
Some of you may be thinking, "Sure, I don't want a show-quality Corgi. I will not participate in the conformation.” That's totally fine! But there are ways to get healthy non-show Corgis too. Problems arising from poor conformation can lead to health problems that are preventable if you get a well-bred dog.
Those front legs turning outward? It will most likely lead to arthritis and inflammation as the dog ages. The scalloped back means you're likely to have a dog with spinal issues from a young age. Stretching out the hind legs or the "mermaid pose" when sitting is also not normal and can lead to hip problems.
Are you sure you want a corgi?
Please do enough research to understand the breed's temperaments and personalities before deciding on the breed you want. So many people buy Corgi puppies and end up giving them away or taking them to shelters after a few months because the dogs are more than they can handle.
Corgis are not super easy dogs, especially for first-time owners. You lose a ton (seriously, I think Chibi loses more than Kokoro) and there's nothing you can do about it. They bark and are very vocal. So if you want a quiet dog, a corgi might not be for you. They can have high drives due to the herding instinct and need a lot of mental stimulation to stay happy. That means you could consider dog sports like obedience, rally, nose work or agility with your dog, which is usually at least a weekly commitment to classes. The great thing about them is that they are super smart and easy to train as long as you have the right understanding of how to devote your care and time to the dog!
What kind of corgi do you want?
Pembroke Welsh Corgis come in the following colors.
Cardigan Welsh Corgis can have blue eyes and merle patterns. Pembrokes are not said to have blue eyes, and more often than not, breeders who claim to breed "blue" Pembrokes end up with dogs that have some kind of Cardigan Welsh Corgi in their bloodline.
Believe it or not, Cardigans are more closely related to Basset Hounds than Pembrokes!
The best way to find a healthy Corgi puppy
- Start with the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America (PWCCA). You have apublic directory of well-known breedersnationwide also with contact details! Interested in Adoption? You have one tooResourcefor rescue corgis.
- Visit aPWCCA event. They host many dog shows, competitions and more where you have the opportunity to meet reputable breeders and Corgi enthusiasts in person.
- Contact your local breed club (exGGPWCF,PWCCSC),Cascade,Maiblume) and go to their specialties.
- Once you've found a breeder, you'll have to court them quite a bit! Talk to them, get to know them, and let them know that you've done all the research needed and are ready to own a Corgi. You want to be his best friend and reassure him that your pup has only the best home with you.
- See if the breeder gives you the opportunity to meet at least one of the parents. Check their conformation and temperament as this is a strong indicator of what their puppies will be like. Oftentimes, breeders will not own both the mother and father, but reputable breeders will be happy to tell you all about the parents, from their temperaments and quirks to the history of their pedigree.
- Make sure your breeder does the proper health testing on the parents, especially for the eyes and hips. Degenerative Myelopathy is a chronic disease that is also common in Corgis and causes them to lose the use of their hind legs. These health tests are expensive, so most backyard growers who are in the business for the money won't want to do them. Our breeder's excuse was that Chibi's parents' parents were tested, so she didn't feel the need to test her dogs.
Not such a good way to find corgi breeders
- Google "corgi breeders in [location]" or "corgi puppies for sale."
- Facebook Pages
- AKC Marketplace
Funnily enough, the most reputable breeders are usually less tech-savvy and have horrible websites that look like they're from 2001, if they even have one. The best way to get in touch with a breeder is to meet them in person.
How can you tell if a breeder is NOT a reputable breeder?
Below are some things we've picked up on dealing with our breeder over the past few years and learning more about the many Corgi breeders in Southern California. They are good things to keep in mind when looking for the most suitable breeder for your pup.
1. They sell puppies to anyone who gives them a deposit before the pup is even born
Reputable breeders will interview you, question you extensively about your lifestyle and knowledge of the breed, and pair you with a puppy based on their personality and fitting into your life. Breeders who require deposits on unborn litters and sell puppies on a first-come, first-served basis typically do not care about the welfare of their dogs.
They might also allow you to choose the puppy. We were first in line to post bail for Chibi's litter, so we got first choice. That said, we were shown a photo of Chibi at 1 day old not knowing her personality or anything and had to decide which puppy we wanted. Reputable breeders will likely select a puppy for you around 9-12 weeks of age depending on your lifestyle, needs, puppy's temperament and more.
2. You ship your pup by air
If your breeder is out of state, it's a better idea to fly there and pick up the pup yourself. Reputable breeders will usually expect you to come in person for an interview and then pick up the puppy yourself, no matter how far away you are.
3. They do not perform health tests on the parents
Health testing is expensive to perform, so for the money most backyard breeders won't want to do it. Our breeder's excuse was that Chibi's parents' parents were tested, so she didn't feel the need to test her dogs. It turned out that we benefited greatly from the OFA hip test because it came with hip joints that were only 10% in the socket!
Dogs cannot be OFA tested until they are 2 years old. BOTH parents should have the following tests: vWD, DM, OFA, CERF. A reputable breeder will be happy to provide you with full records and results of these tests.
When a breeder offers a 1-2 year "health guarantee" it usually means nothing. Many genetic problems do not manifest themselves until many years later, such as B. DM. Our breeder gave us a "1 year" health guarantee, but when I contacted her when Chibi was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at 1.5 years old, she claimed none of her dogs had ever had the problem and asked if it's because i make them jump too much furniture.
4. They charge exorbitant amounts for a puppy
We have friends who paid around $300 for their corgi puppies almost a decade ago. Chibi was a little more than double. These days, breeders charge as much as $4,000 for their puppies without revealing if they do genetic testing. A puppy from a reputable breeder will be expensive due to the cost of having these tests done, but just because a breeder will charge a lot for a puppy doesn't mean it's a guarantee of quality or health.
5. You have throws at the same time
Caring for a bunch of corgis is no easy task, let alone brand new litters of puppies. If a breeder has too many litters at the same time, it could be an indication that they are after money.
6. They start breeding their dogs very young
Chibi's mother was 4 years old when she had our litter. This was her fourth litter. This means our breeder either bred her mother when she turned 1 year old or she bred her multiple times a year which is a big no go at such a young age.
After Chibi's litter, our breeder retired her mother and gave her up. At the same time she acquired two female puppies. As soon as these puppies were just over 1 year old, they had their first litters. Reputable breeders wait until bitches are at least 2-3 years old before having their first litter.
7. They advertise that their dogs are AKC registered
Anyone can register a dog with the AKC. The organization does not actually control which dog was bred with whom, as long as the breeder pays. Even a dog registered as a purebred may not actually be a purebred.
8. They promote champion bloodlines
Some backyard breeders take photos of their dogs next to signs that mean pretty much nothing to get people to believe their dogs have won dog shows, including mine. Ask for a copy of your dog's pedigree. Just because there was a title 5 generations ago doesn't mean your pup has champion bloodlines.
You should see CH/GCH titles when looking at a pedigree with actual champion bloodlines. At least one parent should have this from a reputable breeder. Pedigrees should go back at least 4-5 generations with verifiable AKC numbers and health test results.
9. They send puppies to new homes before the age of 10 weeks
According to PWCCAsCode of EthicsBreeders should not sell puppies younger than 10 weeks. Puppies need those extra weeks with their mothers and littermates for health and temperamental reasons.
Unfortunately, ordering the pup of your dreams right to your doorstep isn't a one-click thing. We've learned a lot from our experience with Chibi, and she was definitely more of a handful than we expected when we placed our deposit with her. Don't get me wrong, I love and adore Chibi and think she's the most perfect corgi for me!
But I hope that sharing our experiences can help future Corgi owners be better prepared as they step into the bumpy chapters of their lives. If fewer people want to buy from a backyard breeder, maybe there will be fewer poorly bred dogs plagued with illnesses and orthopedic injuries that deserve a much better life than that!