GUIDE TO BUYING A PEMBROKE WELSH CORGI

Think about why you want a dog.
Corgis live 12 to 15 years and over that time span you will invest a fair amount of time, energy, and expense. If you are not prepared to make this commitment, would another less demanding animal be more suitable?

Who will be caring for this dog?
Do they have experience? Will they need help? If the new owner is to be a young child, are the parents prepared to do the bulk of the puppy care and training? There are many books available on dog care and training which will help you in your search and with daily care after the purchase.

Think about what you want your Corgi to do.
What function will he have in your home? Will he be a companion for a child or an elderly person? Will he be expected to do farm work, or play football with three teenagers? What temperament would best suit this function? Often the question of show versus pet quality arises. The most important concerns for you as a puppy buyer are the puppy's health and temperament. Show quality is often determined by size of ears and the shape of the feet, things that are subjective and not important in determining a dog's value as a companion.

Look at as many Corgis as you can.
Talk to owners. Pembrokes come in three basic coat colors (red, sable, and tri-color), two sexes, and many variations of a typical temperament. A typical Corgi temperament is outgoing, alert, active, and very people-oriented. They need to be involved with your family or in some kind of work. They are intelligent and easily trained, but they are also easily bored and do not do well if confined in the back yard with little human contact.

Visit as many breeders as you can.
Look at their puppies, the parents, older siblings and perhaps grandparents of those puppies. Is this breeder raising clean and healthy puppies as per the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America (PWCCA) Code of Ethics? Do these breeders do anything with their dogs other than breed them. Breeders of quality dogs participate in a variety of other dog-related activities such as obedience trials, herding tests, tracking or AKC conformation shows. Does this breeder raise the type of dog you would like and in a manner you think is conscientious. Would this breeder be willing to help if you have questions or problems later?

Ask questions about health care.
Did the sire and dam have their hips certified with a rating of fair, good or excellent by OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) and eyes either certified by CERF (Canine Eye Registry Foundation) or examined and passed by a certified veterinary ophthalmologist to insure they are free of those genetic diseases? Do they have OFA or CERF documentation? Have the puppies been started on a program of vaccinations and worming? Are there any other health concerns in this bloodline? Have the puppies been examined by a veterinarian for general good health? Go to The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, Inc. to search for health certifications on Pembroke Welsh Corgis. Once you've gone to OFA's site, click on "Search Database" and follow instructions to determine if dog in question has OFA clearances for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, thyroid disease or heart disease.

Watch each puppy to see if it might be the type and temperament you are looking for.
Don't necessarily buy the first one that runs up to you. Look at the litter on two separate occasions if possible. Often one particular puppy will have been playing hard all morning and seem lethargic as compared to littermates that may have just finished a nap.

Talk to the breeder.
Tell the breeder who the dog is for, what type of activities you will do with the dog, what your lifestyle is like, what other animals are at home, if you plan a special task for this dog, and anything else you can think of. Often the breeder will have questions for you. Breeders want to make sure they are placing their puppies in an environment that suits them. A reputable breeder knows their puppies very well and will often make a recommendation as to which puppy would best suit your lifestyle.

Discuss spaying or neutering.
There is very little to recommend keeping an unneutered animal. Both the dog's health and behavior benefit by neutering or spaying. There are a variety of conditions under which dogs are sold with respect to neutering; some breeders will return a portion of the purchase price when the animal is neutered, many breeders sell dogs on a limited registration, others may keep the AKC papers until the animal is neutered. Know what is expected from both seller and buyer.

Buy only after shopping around.
Do not purchase a dog from a pet store or other wholesaler, as there is no way to know about the genetic health or temperament behind this puppy. Buy from a breeder you think is reliable, ethical, raises the puppies in an environment you think is healthy, and socializes the dogs to be good companions.

Get a sales contract.
It should clearly state: the purchase price, the puppy's birth date, the AKC numbers and names of the sire and dam, the litter registration number, the name, address, and phone number of the breeder plus any other conditions of the sale. You should also receive a copy of the puppy's pedigree. These pedigrees generally include three to five generations of breeding.

Is there a health guarantee?
What are the conditions of the guarantee? Will the breeder take the puppy back and give you a refund if the puppy is unhealthy? Has a veterinarian looked at this puppy? Will the breeder take back the dog or help you find a home for him if something unforeseen happens in six months, a year, or five years?

Rely on your breeder.
If you have trouble in the future, your dog's breeder should be the first person to whom you turn. Breeders are good sources of information not only for health care and housebreaking, but also for locations of training classes, veterinarians, and dog-related events.

Owning a dog is a serious commitment.
You may come to find you cannot imagine your life without a Corgi. Both the PWCCA and the member from whom you purchase your dog want this to be a successful, rewarding experience. If you are unable to continue this commitment, please do not abandon this dog at a shelter or give him to a neighbor. Instead, contact your breeder or the Corgi rescue group in your area.

Recommended reading:
The Complete Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Harper, Howell Book House
How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With, Rutherford and Neil, Alpine Press
Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook, Carlson and Griffin, Howell Book House
Mother Knows Best: the Natural Way to Train Your Dog, or any other publication by Carol Lea Benjamin.
To find a breeder in your area you may go to our membership list.
For other questions you may contact the PWCCA Secretary: secretary@pembrokecorgi.org