American Corgi: Breed Info, History, Breeders & Pictures

American Corgi resting on the grass
Image credit: rileymaethecorgi / Instagram

If you can’t decide between a Pembroke and a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, you could always bring home a combination of the two — the American Corgi. 

The American Corgi was created through carefully selective breeding to preserve the greatest traits of both its parent breeds and transfer the Cardigan Corgi’s exquisite merle color to a more Pembroke-type dog.

Hence, it’s fantastic to see the American Corgi emerge as a new and promising breed. To learn everything about the American Corgi, feel free to stick around and read this article.

Breed Overview

Height:10 – 12 inches
Weight:20 – 30 pounds
Lifespan:12 – 15 years
Coat Colors:Blue merle, red merle, fawn merle, white, sable, red, fawn
Temperament:Intelligent, active, devoted, 
Suitable for:Active families; apartment dwellers; owners looking for a sociable dog

What Is an American Corgi?

American Corgi sitting on the couch
Image credit: boba._.thecorgi / Instagram

The American Corgi is the result of mixing a Pembroke Welsh Corgi and a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. The goal of breeding this hybrid is to produce a small dog with a Cardigan merle color and a Pembroke disposition. American Corgis bear the telltale features of a Corgi alongside other unique traits.

American Corgis are known to be quick learners and energetic pets. To varying degrees, Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Cardigan Welsh Corgi genes can coexist in American Corgi puppies.

Thus, despite being carefully selected to have the appearance of a merle Cardigan with a Pembroke body, American Corgis can be any size and color and can exhibit the traits of a Pembroke, a Cardigan, or a mix of the two.

American Corgi Origin and History

The American Corgi was created in the early 20th century in an effort to create a Pembroke Corgi hybrid with a merle coat. 

Given that the American Corgi is a relatively new designer dog breed, there are not a lot of written records about their history. Fortunately, you may still learn a lot about this hybrid by exploring the past of its parent breeds. 

The Pembroke Corgi is believed to descend from Spitz family dogs brought to Wales by Flemish weavers in the 12th century. They were mostly used to help herd livestock, such as sheep and cattle.

The rise in popularity of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi can be attributed partly to Queen Elizabeth II’s fondness for the breed. Moreover, its success in the show ring also played a part in its fame.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the Pembroke Welsh Corgi breed in 1934, after the breed was first brought to the United States in the 1930s.

On the other hand, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a member of the Teckel (hound) family but was developed independently in Cardiganshire. They were excellent herding dogs and were even used to herd cattle.

During the 1930s, Cardigan Welsh Corgis began making their way to the United States, and by 1935, the breed had been officially recognized by the AKC.

To sum up, Pembroke and Cardigan Corgis, both popular breeds, share a history of being bred for herding and are recognized for their joyful and loving temperaments. These histories tell a lot about the American Corgi.

American Corgi Appearance

American Corgi out for morning walk
Image credit: aurora_corgiealis / Instagram

The American Corgi typically has the size of the Pembroke Corgi with the merle coat pattern of the Cardigan Corgi. However, it may also come in various colors and sizes, inheriting both features of its parent breeds.

Appearance-wise, the American Corgi sports a “foxy” face, which is characterized by a short muzzle, pointy ears, and huge eyes. They are also muscular and sturdy, with short legs and a long torso.

The American Corgi may even develop long-haired qualities, especially if born from a fluffy Corgis parent. In addition, this dog can inherit either the long, fox-like tail of the Cardigan or the short, docked tail of the Pembroke.

It’s also worth mentioning that although the American Corgi is developed specifically for the merle coat color, a purebred Pembroke Corgi cannot be a merle.

That said, some American Corgi puppies can also appear in any of the colors recognized by the Pembroke and Cardigan standards. These colors include tri-color, red, fawn, sable, white, and merle.

To see what an American Corgi looks like, watch this video:

Meet Matsu the Corgi

American Corgi Size and Weight

American Corgis were bred to be almost the same height and weight as their Pembroke ancestors but shorter. An American Corgi typically weighs between 20 and 30 pounds and is around 10 to 12 inches in height.

However, because the Cardigan Corgis are slightly heavier than the Pembroke Corgis, size and weight might still vary depending on how genetics play out.

The weight of an American Corgi can also vary according to its gender. Adult males weigh 27 to 30 pounds on average, whereas adult females weigh 20 to 27 pounds.

American Corgi Temperament and Personality

American Corgi puppy smiling
Image credit: aurora_corgiealis / Instagram

The Pembroke and Cardigan Corgis are both noted for their intelligence and outgoing personalities; when they’re crossed, the resulting hybrid is the social and highly trainable American Corgi.

American Corgis are similar to Pembroke in that they are extroverted, witty, and fun-loving. On the flip side, they can be a little more relaxed and laid-back like their Cardigan parents.

American Corgis love being near people and other animals and have a character for being friendly. Thus, they’re wonderful to have around as a member of the family.

American Corgis also make excellent watchdogs, thanks to their protective and loving demeanor. They will never let their guard down, barking at anything they deem odd, albeit sometimes too much.

American Corgis are adventurous, curious pooches. They flourish when given a chance to play and run around with their owners. But they can also be perfectly content to spend their time indoors with their family.

American Corgi Lifespan and Health Issues

A healthy American Corgi has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. However, their overall lifespan still depends on many factors. One of these factors is the health issues common in American Corgis.

The following are some common health concerns you should know about if you want to bring home an American Corgi:

  • Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is an inheritable disorder characterized by improper growth of the hip joint. As a result, your American Corgi may experience pain, discomfort, and even arthritis. Hip dysplasia can be managed through medication, dietary adjustments, and physical therapy.
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease: Inflammation of the spinal disks, known as intervertebral disk disease (IVDD), can result in weakness, paralysis, and instability. Keeping your American Corgi at a healthy, lean weight can help lessen the load on its spine and other joints, lowering your dog’s risk of developing IVDD.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: A genetic eye condition called progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) can make your American Corgi blind. It is a hereditary condition that leads to retinal degeneration. PRA can be detected and managed early with the help of routine veterinary examinations that include eye exams.

To avoid acquiring a sickly American Corgi, source your dog only from breeders who perform health tests on their breeding stock. Avoid getting an American Corgi from backyard breeders or puppy mills at all costs.

For context, American Corgis are bred specifically for their merle coat. However, if the pairing of dams and sires is done incorrectly, it may result in “double merle” puppies. Double-merle puppies are often born blind or deaf.

How to Take Care of Your American Corgi

American Corgi sitting indoors
Image credit: boba._.thecorgi / Instagram

As long as you give your American Corgi the food, exercise, and affection it needs on a regular basis, you will have a devoted, affectionate dog who will stick with you through thick and thin.

Read along, as this section will provide a comprehensive tutorial on how to care for an American Corgi.

Food and Diet

American Corgis require a high-protein diet that includes all of the nutrients they need for good health and well-being. It is recommended to feed them premium commercial dog food that is made specifically for small breeds. 

Also, keep an eye out for this dog’s susceptibility to obesity and weight gain. Despite their small stature, American Corgis have a large appetite inherited from their parent breeds.

You should limit their food intake to no more than 1.5 to 2 cups of dog food per day. Moreover, you should save the treats for training purposes only or as a reward for positive behavior. 

Cleaning and Grooming

Grooming is essential for the well-being and appearance of an American Corgi’s thick, double coat. In general, they tend to shed a lot. 

Regularly brushing your dog helps remove loose fur and prevent mats. This is especially important during the shedding season. 

Giving your American Corgi regular baths will also help keep its coat and skin in good condition. American Corgis should be washed once every two to three months or more often if necessary. 

Moreover, you must also establish a routine of checking and cleaning their ears. Nails should be trimmed to avoid breakage and discomfort. Never forget to clean their teeth as well.

Training and Exercise

The American Corgi, as an active breed, needs plenty of daily physical activities and consistent training. Walking, running, or playing for at least an hour every day is essential for your dog’s mental and physical well-being.

As mentioned, the American Corgi is a highly trainable designer breed. However, it may have a tendency for stubbornness. Hence, early obedience training is important for this dog breed.

Hence, training and socialization should begin at an early age to guarantee that the American Corgi puppy develops into a well-mannered and joyful adult.

How Much Is an American Corgi? Puppy Prices & Expenses

You may expect to pay between $800 and $1,500 for a healthy, well-socialized American Corgi puppy. However, depending on the lineages of both parents, some breeders may charge as much as $3,000.

On top of the price of an American Corgi, here are some initial expenses you have to consider:

Type of ExpenseCost
Food and Treats$70 – $110
Bowls$10 – $30
Toys$30 – $60
Beds$40 – $200
Collars and Leashes$15 – $50
Crates and Carriers$50 – $370
Grooming Essentials$50 – $160
Initial Vet Visits$100 – $500
Initial Vaccine Shots$50 – $300
Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications$40 – $300
Neutering or Spaying$50 – $500
Microchipping$40 – $60
Dog License$10 – $20
Other Essentials$20 – $50
Total Initial Cost$505 – $2,710

In addition to the previously mentioned necessities, pet owners are recommended to invest in pet insurance. Doing so can ensure that you have the means to care for your dog in the event of a medical emergency.

Places to Find American Corgi Puppies for Sale and Adoption

American Corgi puppy lying on the grass
Image credit: aurora_corgiealis / Instagram

Finding a reliable breeder is essential if you want to welcome a healthy American Corgi into your home. However, given that they are relatively new, it can be difficult to find a trustworthy breeder solely dedicated to this mix.

That said, here are some sources where you may find American Corgi puppies for sale:

  • AKC Marketplace – AKC Marketplace is a platform managed by the American Kennel Club. On it, you’ll find a directory of reputable breeders who produce healthy, happy puppies, including Corgis. That said, you may find listings of American Corgis on their page from time to time.
  • Hat Creek Corgis – Hat Creek Corgis treat their dogs like members of the family and choose only the best to breed, which is how they consistently produce high-quality Corgi puppies, including American Corgis. They are dedicated to furthering the improvement of the breed so that future generations can enjoy adorable, well-adjusted, and highly desirable Corgi puppies.
  • Magnolia Creek Corgis – Magnolia Creek Corgis have more than 20 years of practical experience in breeding, obedience training, trials, and herding. They use their expertise to guarantee that they are breeding American Corgi puppies of the highest caliber in terms of health, temperament, and looks. 

Meanwhile, if you’re considering adopting an American Corgi, you might find the following sources useful:

  • Southeast Corgi Rescue – South Corgi Rescue is a registered non-profit organization whose mission is to locate loving families for rescued Corgis and Corgi mixes. Whenever puppies become available for adoption, they will contact those who have submitted an adoption application.
  • East Coast Corgi Rescue – For the purpose of finding them permanent homes, East Coast Corgi Rescue tracks out stray Corgis and Corgi mixes, rescues them, and takes them to foster care. You may check out their listing to see if you can find the American Corgi that best suits your preferences.
  • Queens Best Stumpy Dog Corgi Rescue – Queen’s Best Stumpy Dog Rescue is a recognized non-profit organization dedicated to the Corgi breed. They place a strong emphasis on medical rehabilitation, relationship-based training, behavior management, and training their dogs. They have listings of American Corgis every now and then. 

If you’re interested in seeing further lists of reliable rescues, check out reputable breeders from Facebook and Instagram. Just be extra cautious when doing so.

Pros and Cons of Owning an American Corgi

Different breeds have different qualities that make them better or worse suited to certain lifestyles and living situations. Hence, owning an American Corgi, like any other dog breed, comes with pros and cons.

This section aims to help you determine whether or not an American Corgi is the right dog for you by listing some of the advantages and disadvantages of owning this breed.

First off, here are the benefits of owning an American Corgi:

  • Wonderful companion dogs: When it comes to pets, American Corgis are sought after because of their friendly personalities, high intellect, and boundless energy. These wonderful companion dogs are active pooches that love spending time with their owners. They have an insatiable desire to explore and a strong will to please their families.
  • Make excellent watchdogs: A good alert dog should be vocal, and American Corgis certainly meet these criteria. Given that they are wary of strangers, most often than not, they will bark at strangers to frighten them off. Thus, these wonderful companion dogs are also quite effective as house watchdogs.
  • Very smart dogs: Because they descended from two witty breeds, each with a history of herding, it is not unexpected that American Corgis are incredibly smart. They learn commands and skills quickly, provided they are taught consistently. That said, they excel in a wide variety of dog sports, including agility, obedience, tracking, and, of course, herding.

On the other hand, here are some drawbacks of owning an American Corgi:

  • Can be stubborn: Stubborn American Corgis can be a challenge to train. This is the price you pay for your dog’s intellect. Corgis thrive when given the opportunity to take charge. Hence, raising an American Corgi that is well-mannered and behaved requires effort.
  • Prone to being overweight: The American Corgi can be prone to obesity, which is not ideal. Because of their proportionally longer bodies, overweight Corgis are more likely to develop back problems. To prevent your American Corgi from unwanted weight gain, you will need to pay extra attention to its diet and exercise.
  • Vocal dogs: American Corgis, like their parent breeds, are particularly attentive to their surroundings and will immediately respond to any unusual sounds. Hence, they have the potential to be great watchdogs, but they can also develop barking issues, which can be managed while they’re still young.
  • Excessive shedding: All Corgis have a serious issue with excessive shedding. Their weatherproof double coat, which is extremely thick for their size, causes this disadvantage. Hence, regularly bathing your American Corgi is a must to assist in removing the loose fur from their coat.

Having a dog is a major commitment, so it’s crucial that you make the correct choice when picking one. Weigh the pros and cons of owning an American Corgi first before reaching out to a breeder or rescue.

Frequently Asked Questions

American Corgi puppy fresh from the bath
Image credit: boba._.thecorgi / Instagram

Are American Corgis Good Dogs?

American Corgis are good dogs for the right owners. Despite their tendency to be stubborn, they are a very intelligent designer breed that can follow directions with adequate obedience and socialization training.

They also make good watchdogs since they are alert and will not hesitate to bark at whatever they deem threatening. Moreover, they are great companions who enjoy physical activities and spending time with family.

Do American Corgis Have Tails?

Long tails are uncommon in American Corgis. They are born with either a short tail or no tail at all. However, if they acquire the Cardigan Corgi trait rather than the Pembroke Corgi trait, they are more likely to have long tails.

Can American Corgis Be Registered?

Although the Cardigan and Pembroke Corgi are both AKC-recognized, the American Corgi is not. Likewise, American Corgis are also not recognized by other dog registries in the United States.

While an official “American Corgi Club” has yet to be founded, there have been attempts. Neither the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club nor the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club backed the group. 

Others claim that the lack of support is due to the American Corgi organizers not adequately explaining why the purpose of the breed.

Final Thoughts

American Corgis are a cross between the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Small in size but big in personality, intelligence, and love for their owners, American Corgis are wonderful companions. 

These dogs are ideal for people who want a Pembroke Corgi stature but prefer the merle color of the Cardigan.

This dog is right for you if you can look past its susceptibility to a handful of health issues. Likewise, this dog may be your match if you don’t mind that it is not AKC-recognized. 

Having considered all the benefits and drawbacks, will you be adding this pooch to your family soon? You can share your thoughts about the American Corgi in the comments below.

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