Before you get a Corgi...
Lots of people who visit Zippy are doing research on getting a Corgi of their own. That’s good, because people who do the research first usually make the best dog owners. If you are thinking about getting a Corgi, here are some things you should consider.
Corgis shed. Some more than others, but if dog hair is a problem for you, a Corgi isn’t your best choice, although many Corgi owners wear their dog hair with pride. Sometimes after brushing Zippy, we have pulled enough hair out to build another small dog, but there’s always more that falls out on its own.
Most Corgis have a high energy level. Bred to herd sheep, Corgis need physical activity. If you don’t have the time or energy to provide a reasonable amount of exercise, consider a less active pet.
Puppies are a lot of work, because they’re babies. If there’s no one at home to take care of a puppy, consider an adult rescue dog. If you do get a puppy, crate-train it. Used properly, crates are not cruel. Dogs are den animals and love these safe places to relax and sleep. Crate-training is the fastest way to a housebreak a dog and makes it easy to keep them safe when they’re ill or need to travel.
Train your pet. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to make sure your pet isn’t a nuisance. Corgis respond better to positive reinforcement training (praise and rewards) rather than negative training (punishment). Zippy is an AKC Canine Good Citizen. You should, at minimum, train your dog to have these basic manners.
Get your animal spayed or neutered. There’s just no excuse for not doing this. It won’t alter your pet’s personality, it will help cut down on unwanted animals being put to death, and it helps to insure that responsible breeding is done by people who know what they’re doing, so that undesirable and unhealthful traits aren’t being passed on.
Retractable leashes let your pet have a little more freedom, but can be easily pulled from your grip by a running dog. If you use one, buy a wrist strap or make one, using a snap collar.
Corgis are very intelligent and social animals who deserve your love and attention. If your idea of “having a dog” is leaving it in the backyard day and night, with little or no opportunity to interact with your family, don’t get a Corgi. For that matter, you may wish to ask yourself why you want a dog at all, because what you’ll have is a bored, destructive barking machine. If you want security, get a burglar alarm and you won’t have to feed it, take it to the park, scoop poop or pay vet bills.
Don’t buy a Corgi (or any dog) from a pet store! You’ll be contributing to the misery that is the puppy mill/commercial breeder business. No responsible breeder sells puppies to someone else for resale. Also be wary of breeders who frequently advertise puppies in the paper. A good breeder is more interested in contributing to the betterment of the breed than making money from puppies, and will screen prospective owners carefully. Search out a reputable breeder or rescue—the breed club is a good place to start—or consider adopting from an animal shelter. (Zippy shares his home with Daisy, a former pound critter.)
Don’t leave your pet unattended around things that are dangerous. This includes things you may not have thought of, like potato chip bags, or other plastic or foil bags that held food. Dogs have been known to suffocate because they tried to lick the crumbs out of empty bags, then couldn’t get their heads out of the bags. Make it hard for your dog to get to garbage cans. Don’t leave your pet in an area where there are electrical cords that could be chewed. Even small amounts of most anti-freeze can kill.
Having a pet is a big responsibility. Make sure you’re ready (and have the time) to take on this lifetime commitment.
Corgis are wonderful friends. Make sure you can be a wonderful friend to your Corgi. Zippy says thanks for thinking.