The Welsh Corgi is a unique breed. Small size and huge canine generosity, high intelligence, fearlessness, and loyalty are the best combinations of canine qualities collected in one breed.
Adopting such a friend into your life, you will involuntarily wonder what the owner can do to make its corgi live as long as possible.
How long do Pembroke corgi and cardigan live?
The Welsh Corgi is a breed bred in Wales. Initially, it was a herding dog, but its attractive appearance, small size, and remarkable intelligence over time impressed not only shepherds.
Corgis are now divided into two types:
- Welsh Corgi-Cardigan (Welsh Corgi Cardigan) – appeared on the territory of Cardiganshire. The first mention of them dates back to the X century.
- Welsh Corgi-Pembroke (Welsh Corgi Pembroke) – bred in Pembrokeshire. The first mention of these dogs dates back to the XIII century.
A long time ago, in the days of her youth, the future Queen of Great Britain Elizabeth II was given a Welsh Corgi puppy by her father. Since then, this breed has found favor in the eyes of the monarch.
But the canine age is much shorter than the human age. The very dog given to the Queen is long gone, but the corgi has become her constant companions. Several of these dogs live permanently in the apartments of the royal family.
The life span of dogs of this breed can vary between 10-15 years. The difference of 5 years is quite a long period of time. It is worth dwelling in more detail on what the average life span of these “decorative shepherd dogs” depends on.
Factors affecting life expectancy
It is a generally accepted fact: lifestyle directly affects its duration. This is also true for dogs. The factors that can affect the average lifespan of a corgi are listed below.
- Correct content.
- Balanced nutrition (including feeding regimen).
- Timely preventive and therapeutic veterinary procedures.
- Sufficient physical activity.
Anatomical and physiological features
The most prominent anatomical feature of the corgi, directly related to physiology, is the proportions of the body. The breed is characterized by the predominance of body length over limb length, like in dachshunds. This prevents the corgi from being very mobile. Even with a great desire for active movements, they cannot realize it.
The second feature of the Welsh Corgi is a slow metabolism. Therefore, the issue of feeding for these dogs is extremely relevant.
Like any breed, corgis have their health weaknesses. These dogs have a predisposition to the following diseases:
- Dysplasia of the hip joints.
- Diseases of the musculoskeletal system, in particular, the spine (spondylosis, protrusion).
- Degenerative myelopathy (can lead to paralysis of the pelvic limbs).
- Blood clotting disorder (von Willebrandt syndrome).
- Eye diseases (conjunctivitis, blepharitis, glaucoma, cataract).
- Diseases of the urinary system (cystitis, nephritis, nephrosis, urolithiasis).
- Congenital heart disease (patent ductus arteriosus).
- Ehlersom-Danlos syndrome (genetic pathology of the connective tissue, expressed in joint laxity, excessive stretching and inelasticity of the skin, poor regeneration, etc.)
Inbreeding is a problem for all breeders. Some try to get rich quickly by getting puppies from unacceptable mating, while others spend a lot of time and money to find the most suitable potential “parents”.
Closely related crossing is dangerous because in the absence of “new blood” the phenotype and genotype of the resulting offspring differ little from the parent. Roughly speaking, this means that all the vices that the parents had been passed on to the offspring.
Even any positive traits in inbreeding can take the form of disadvantages. It follows from this that inbreeding is extremely undesirable and it only negatively affects the life span of a dog.
Sterilization and castration
These are two types of surgery to prevent unwanted proliferation.
Sterilization involves the creation of an artificial obstruction for the germ cells during the hunting period, which excludes fertilization. But at the same time, all organs of the reproductive system, including the sex glands, are preserved. Castration is aimed at removing organs responsible for fertilization and bearing offspring.
It has long been considered the norm to sterilize and castrate animals that, for one reason or another, are unsuitable for breeding. And this is justified. Moreover, castration, in this case, is more preferable, since, during such an operation in dogs, the glands responsible for the production of sex hormones are partially removed.
Animals become calmer and experience much less stress in stressful situations due to a decrease in the production of sex hormones.
Thus, the conclusion suggests itself that castration indirectly improves the quality of life of a pet and thereby prolongs its life.
How to determine the age of a Corgi
The skill of determining the age based on the condition of the dog is necessary if the dog came to the owner, not from the breeder and there are no documents for the dog. The most reliable method for determining age is based on the condition of the dental apparatus.
Additional information on age can be obtained by assessing the coat and skin, eyes, musculature, general condition, and activity of the dog.
In puppies, first milk teeth grow, which are then replaced by permanent ones. The number of milk teeth – 28, permanent – 42.
Puppies are born toothless. Their first teeth erupt at about the 3rd week of life. By the first month, the puppy has the entire front row of teeth – incisors and canines. By the age of 2 months, all milk teeth come out.
The replacement of milk teeth with permanent (molars) occurs from the 3rd to the 6th month of life (incisors, canines, and premolars), and at the 7th month, molars grow where there were no milk teeth (molars).
|Growth of milk teeth / replacing them with permanent ones||Age, months|
|Replacing the front incisors and hooks||2-4|
|Replacement of lateral incisors, premolars||3-5|
|Molar growth (farthest teeth)||6-7|
In adult dogs, age can also be determined by the teeth, but with less accuracy. The error, in this case, can be caused by a disturbed bite, bad habits, improper feeding and maintenance, dental injuries, etc., and make up a period of up to two years.
With each passing year, the surface of the teeth is erased and the color of the enamel becomes more and more yellow. If the animal is healthy, then the abrasion of the teeth occurs in a certain order. Based on this information, we can assume the age of the dog.
|Age, years||Changes in the shape and condition of teeth.|
|1-2||The teeth have sharp, trefoil-shaped edges.|
|2-3||The edges of the incisors begin to wear off, but the enamel does not change color.|
|four||The edges of the teeth no longer have curly protrusions and become even, and the enamel fades slightly.|
|five||The enamel becomes yellowish, the canines become a little dull. The wear and tear of the teeth becomes visible to the naked eye.|
|6-8||The incisors become concave and a noticeable yellow coating appears on them. The canines are completely dull and acquire an irregular truncated cone shape. The first tartar may appear at the same age.|
|8-10||The toes become oval, the canines are noticeably shortened, the enamel becomes yellow or light brown.|
|After 12 years||Teeth can loosen, fall out; the bite may change, the enamel turns brown.|
Further information on age can be obtained by examining the skin and coat. But this information may be inaccurate since the skin reacts strongly to changes in the general condition of the body. So, after an infectious disease, dehydration often occurs, which cannot but affect the coat and elasticity of the skin.
But if the dog is healthy, then at a young age, up to about 2-3 years, its skin is firm and elastic, and the coat is soft, thick, shiny, tight-fitting
With age, the skin loses its firmness and elasticity, the coat becomes drier and more unruly. In dogs aged 9 years and older, the coat is not just dry and brittle, but even clumpy. By the age of 5, areas with gray hair appear on the dog’s face.
Young dogs have clear, shiny eyes. Good vision in everyday life is determined by the close, attentive and accurate tracking of the dog by the hand of a person with a treat or toy.
With age, the iris dims and/or grows cloudy, the gaze becomes inattentive, defocused. Due to the decrease in the elasticity and firmness of the skin on the face, it seems that the eyes become more deep-set, sunken, and sad.
Also, in older dogs, there is a violation of the function of natural hydration of the eye and conjunctiva, which inevitably causes an almost constant lacrimation.
Obviously, young dogs are much more active than older ones. With age, the body wears out, loads are carried more heavily, hence the decrease in the activity of the animal.
But if the corgi regularly receives sufficient loads from puppyhood, this allows it to keep its youth much longer and extend the years of its life.
Physical inactivity (lack of movement) is detrimental to all dogs, but especially those that are prone to obesity. Welsh Corgis are just such.
Their constitutional features do not allow them to move, like most other dogs – short legs with a long body practically exclude high jumps, which significantly limits the range of motion, especially in the game. This should be taken into account when planning walks and workouts.
The musculature of young corgi is developed no worse than that of shepherd dogs. But with age, the activity of dogs decreases, they sleep more and more, and muscles inexorably weaken without constant sufficient physical exertion.
Obesity comes with decrease inactivity. Because of it, the load on the paws and the spine becomes too large, and the muscle tone, on the contrary, decreases.
The main causes of premature death in Corgis
In addition to the diseases to which the Welsh Corgi are prone, other factors can worsen the quality of life and even lead to the premature death of the dog:
- Females have difficult childbirth. In most cases, corgi puppies are born large, so veterinary care in childbirth is almost always required. If we neglect this fact, then childbirth with a high probability can end in death for both the mother and the puppies.
- Poisoning. If you do not pay due attention, time, and patience to the upbringing of the dog, its training, then poisoning becomes a frequent consequence of this. On a walk, the dog picks up baits with poison for rodents from the ground, or those that dog hunters leave, or generally inedible things. If the dog is not trained to obey the owner, then the risk of getting poisoned in this way is very high.
- Serious injuries (for example, after an accident). Now almost everyone has their own vehicles, and the local areas, where they often walk their dogs, have long ceased to be safe. With a lack of training, the dog, released from the leash, can chase the car and get under the wheels. The culprit in this case (if the precedent takes place in the local area) most often remains the owner of the dog, since it is extremely difficult to prove that the driver violated the speed limit and did not “let” the dog pass. And the dog dies in half of the cases.
How to extend the life of a Corgi
Every loving and conscientious owner takes care of their dog. Caring for a pet means creating living conditions that are as comfortable as possible for the animal (and not the owner). To do this, it is not enough to bring the dog into the house, you need to know what will be best for it and how to arrange it all.
The two most important aspects that the owner should be informed about are proper nutrition and care of the dog.
A balanced diet with fresh food is right for your dog. With a natural type of feeding, it is best to give the dog:
- lean meat;
- chicken eggs;
- unsweetened fermented milk products (fermented baked milk, yogurt).
The diet must be balanced in calories, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
With a dry type of feeding, use dry complete feeds of at least premium class. This is very convenient since such food is already balanced and can be stored for a long time. The main condition for dry feeding is free to access to clean drinking water.
It is very important for the Welsh Corgi not to overfeed, as these dogs are prone to obesity. Therefore, you need to feed them a little, but more often, if possible. The second variant of the feeding regimen is standard (for an adult dog – 2 times a day), but the portions should be given a little less.
It’s best for the corgi to always be a little hungry.
Quality maintenance and care
Corgis are still more decorative dogs, so living in an aviary or in a kennel is not suitable for them. And this is connected not only with comfort. Life under the same roof with the owner is important for this dog not only because of the warmth and comfort.
Corgis are very attached to their owners and practically cannot stand isolation. Loneliness has a detrimental effect on the psyche of the dog, makes it experience stress, which cannot but affect the health of the animal. Therefore, breeders consider keeping a Welsh Corgi only at home.
Grooming a Welsh Corgi is easy.
- The coat should be brushed with a comb 1-3 times a week (as needed). Combing should be more frequent during molting. Washing is done either as needed, or once a season (3-4 times a year). But do not overuse this procedure, as the corgi’s coat is very thick and dries out for quite a long time. If you don’t dry the pretty stuff after washing, your dog may develop eczema. Corgi haircuts are not provided, but you can safely entrust the groomer with washing and combing the pet if it is not possible to do it yourself.
- Hygienic cleaning of the dog’s ears should be carried out as needed. To do this, use cotton pads, sticks, and special lotions. The latter can be replaced with miramistin or chlorhexidine solution.
- The eyes are also rubbed with a special lotion and a cotton pad in the direction from the bridge of the nose to the outer corner of the eye. Instead of lotion, you can use warm boiled water, chamomile infusion.
- You can trim the dog’s claws yourself (if you have the necessary skill), or you can contact a specialist (groomer, veterinarian) for this procedure. The claws are trimmed as needed.
- The dog’s teeth must be cleaned either with a special toothpaste and a brush at least 2-3 times a week, or you can give the dog something hard to chew on. This will avoid the formation of calculus. If it does appear, then it is better to consult a veterinarian.
In order to extend the life of your corgi, you need to follow a few simple rules:
- Avoid obesity in your dog. This disease can shorten the life of a dog by 2–2.5 years.
- Do not give birth to a female Welsh Corgi yourself. Be sure to invite an experienced veterinarian.
- If breeding a corgi is not planned, then be sure to neuter the dog, or better yet, castrate it. This will save it from many health problems and allow it to live longer.
- Keep corgi in the house/apartment.
- Do not allow the dog to jump suddenly while walking or in class (training, training).
- Take care of the eyes, ears, claws of the dog.
- Do not bathe the corgi too often, and remember to thoroughly dry the animal’s coat after washing
Caring for an elderly dog
The care and maintenance of an elderly corgi is the same as for a young pet. But there is still a slight difference. In old age, it is imperative to adjust the dog’s diet – to reduce the number of calories and focus on vitamins and minerals. It is also worthwhile to conduct preventive examinations with a veterinarian more often in order not to miss possible health problems.
But most importantly, an elderly corgi needs the attention of its owner. This dog must definitely feel loved, as before.
Welsh Corgi are great home dogs. They say a small dog is a puppy until old age. This statement is absolutely true for this breed. Moreover, the owner is really able to prolong the youth of such a pet with his attention and efforts. The better they take care of their corgi, the longer it will live.