Considerations Before Bringing Home Your First Corgi
Bringing home my dog Willo was the best decision I’ve ever made, but there was a lot of uncertainty and anxiety that went into it as well. Luckily I’ve had an amazing community of knowledgeable corgi parents that I found on instagram that I’ve been able to acquire tons of advice from. But even after doing my research and thinking about it for over a year, I worried I was making the wrong decision even on her first night home.
Now I can’t imagine my life without Willo in it, and I have made a lot of changes to fit her into my life. But I was prepared to care for her and knew I’d have plenty of help along the way. Getting a corgi puppy is a huge commitment, but can be totally worth it if you’re prepared.
Do Your Research
Before deciding to become a proud owner of a corgi, do your research. Start by learning about the breed to make sure they’re the right fit for you and your family. While they are adorable dogs, they’re also very high energy and need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. They are also prone to lower back problems and other joint problems if not cared for correctly.
Start your research online by checking out websites like The American Kennel Club. I would also highly recommend joining Facebook groups and reaching out to other corgi owners for advice. Corgis are extremely smart and loyal, and can be the best dogs out there, but it will take a lot of work from their owner to get them there.
Once you’ve decided that a corgi is the right breed for you, do your due diligence to find a reputable breeder that breeds healthy dogs humanely. DO NOT GIVE YOUR BUSINESS TO PUPPY MILLS OR BACKYARD BREEDERS. Don’t ever buy a corgi from a pet store. Visit a few the breeders’ grounds and dogs before making you decision. Ask a lot of questions and don’t settle. You may have to wait a year or two for your pup, but it will be worth it in the long run to have a corgi that is health tested and bred the right way. I have seen websites use photos of MY DOG advertising corgi puppies for sale, so be wary of scammers.
The following are some questions to ask your potential breeder:
Do they belong to any clubs like the American Kennel Club or Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America?
What do they do with their dogs when they’re not breeding them?
How often are their female dogs pregnant?
Can you visit the site and the dam/sire of the puppies?
What health tests do they do on their dogs and puppies?
What is the vetting process before allowing puppies to be taken home?
Do they have a warranty if one of their puppies falls ill by no fault of the owner?
Can you meet the puppies before taking them home?
Make sure a puppy will fit into your life
When you bring home a corgi, you’re committing to their health and well being for the rest of their lives. And it will be the most wonderful thing you do, but make sure you’re absolutely ready to make that commitment before you take your pup home.
If you don’t have a dog yet, adding one into your life is a big adjustment. Especially when you have a puppy. It means waking up early for potty breaks and breakfast, skipping a night out with friends to stay home, spending a fair share of your income on your dog’s needs, and a commitment to their health and wellbeing, including exercising, socializing, training and vet visits.
Consider the following questions before you pick out your next four-legged companion:
Do you have time for a dog?
Do you know how to potty train a puppy?
Are you prepared to care for a puppy financially?
Will a puppy fit into your lifestyle?
Are you committed to taking them outside for at least 30 minutes a day for exercise?
Is your home dog-friendly and safe for a puppy?
Have you looked into pet insurance if your dog were to become ill, get injured or develop special needs?
Will a dog fit in with your family life?
What to buy
When you bring your puppy home, there are a few things you will need on their first night. Below are the things I found to be the most important to have right away:
A crate: Whether you go with a soft crate or a metal crate, it’s important to have a crate nonetheless. Because dogs are den animals by nature, they find comfort in having a small warm place to sleep, hide and find comfort. They also come in handy while potty training because they typically won’t go potty where they sleep.
Puppy food: Starting your dog on a puppy kibble like Purina Pro Puppy was recommended by Willo’s breeder. I would recommend buying what the breeder is feeding your pup and slowly switch them to something else if you prefer.
Food and water bowl
Toys: Teething toys, ropes, squeaky toys… anything you put in their mouths instead of your skin. Willo loves toys that squeak.
Grass pee pad for outside: These are nice to teach your puppy to pee on grass but can be kept right outside the door so you don’t have to take them far. It’s also perfect for apartment patios.
Baby gate: I liked to use a baby gate to keep Willo in one area while I was not home. I used a dog play pen to keep her contained in a small area until she was about 8 months old and I felt I could trust her while I was gone.
What to feed them
I recommend buying what the breeder is feeding your pup and slowly switching them to something else if you prefer. It’s also super important to soak your puppy’s food for at least 30 minutes before letting them eat it. You want the kibble to expand in the bowl, instead of in their stomach. Eating dry dog food can be really unhealthy, and could even be fatal for puppies.
Then with time you can switch up your pup’s diet. I like to feed Willo Open Farm Pet kibble and I add in things like blueberries, green beans, bone broth and supplements like probiotics from Fera Pet Organics.
Be sure to be careful about how much you feed your dog because corgis are prone to weight issues that can shorten their lives. I fed Willo half a cup in the morning and half a cup at night. Consult your vet about how much you should be feeding your pup!
Training Your Corgi
Corgis are extremely intelligent and natural born herding dogs so they need to be stimulated and worked with. They are never too young to start teaching them tricks. Some of the most important commands aren’t the fun ones like roll over and beg, but the ones that could save their lives like wait and come. I definitely recommend enrolling them in a training class after they’ve gotten all of their shots and are old enough to be socialized just to learn the basics. I myself have done a lot of research online that has helped a lot in training Willo. I will say though that corgis are stubborn and sometimes the most important commands take some time for them to learn, but don’t give up because they will get there!
Corgis are very food motivated, so always have treats on hand when working with them. I also like to use a clicker when training Willo so she doesn’t get too filled up on treats.
Do’s and Don'ts
Start training them early
Start grooming them early (trimming nails, brushing fur, brushing teeth…)
Reward them for doing good
Reward them when they go potty outside
Stimulate their mind
Make sure they get enough exercise every day
Make their kennel a safe space
Leave them cooped up for more than 6 hours
Over feed them
Discipline them for behaving badly
Yell at them when they have an accident inside
Take them outside before they have all their vaccinations
Socialize them with other dogs before they have all of their vaccinations
Use their kennel as a form of punishment
Know that your work as a corgi parent is never done! Always work with them on improving and maintaining their skills and be consistent! If you have any more questions, feel free to leave them in the comments and I will answer to the best of my abilities :) In the meantime, enjoy the adorableness that follows with puppy photos!