Corgis are extraordinary dogs. They are very famous dogs because their body has a curious shape. The unique body of the corgis has an elongated shape with very short and fat legs. Perhaps this fact is what makes many people doubt the ability of this breed to swim, and we may be wondering: can corgis swim?
As hard as it may be to believe, corgis can swim. They also enjoy it immensely. Corgis are not water dogs. However, even though their short legs help the perception that they are not capable of swimming, it is precisely their short legs that allow them to do so.
Corgis have mighty thighs that allow this peculiar dog to move quite comfortably in the water. Although we know that most breeds can move easily in the water, it is also true that there are breeds that find this activity more difficult than others. For all these reasons, today, we will enter the world of corgis and their swimming ability.
Getting To Know Corgis
The corgi or Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a herding breed of medium to small size. They are short-statured dogs with a stocky build. Corgis are famous for their small, muscular body, large ears, and short tail. But beyond their physical characteristics, the corgi is a fabulous companion dog.
Pembroke Welsh Corgis are brilliant, loyal dogs with a lot of energy to drain.
It often happens that people confuse the corgi with the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Still, it is essential to clarify that they are two different breeds. Pembrokes have a slightly smaller body structure than Cardigans, they have more pointed ears and their tails are short and thick, while the Cardigan has a long tail. Some of the main characteristics of the corgi are:
- Height: approximately 10 to 12 inches.
- Weight: they can weigh between 24 to 30 pounds.
- Color: we can find black and tan, red, sable, or beige corgis. Almost all colors have white spots or polka dots.
- Life expectancy: 12 to 13 years.
The Origin Of The Corgi
The reality is that there are many versions of the origin of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. The most generalized theory among the experts points out that the breed’s beginning dates back to the 10th century. Among the multiple theories that we can find, we will mention the two most popular ones:
- One theory indicates that the Flemish weavers were the ones who brought the ancestors of this breed to Wales.
- The other theory suggests that corgis descended from the Swedish Vallhund.
Corgis developed primarily in Wales, England, where their owners used them as herding, guarding, or companion dogs.
Although they are separate breeds, the Pembroke and the Cardigan have similarities, and their owners usually crossed them in the past. But in 1934, the English Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club recognized the Pembroke and the Cardigan as two distinct breeds.
The great fame acquired by the corgi could be because it was the pet of Queen Elizabeth II. Queen Elizabeth II’s father gave her a corgi as a gift in 1933. Since then, corgis have occupied an extraordinary place in Buckingham Palace.
Why Can Corgis Swim?
We cannot say for sure that all corgis are excellent swimmers. Some corgis are shy and need their owners to invest more time in their training to start swimming. However, all corgis can become quite good swimmers; the important thing is that they enjoy this activity very much. Don’t be misled by the first impression their legs project.
Corgis can be true swimming champions if we are patient and give them a chance. The physical structure of corgis does not prevent them from swimming like other breeds. Below, we will explore some of the reasons why this might be the case.
The Muscular Legs Of The Corgi
Despite their appearance, corgis have physical characteristics that help them to be good swimmers. One of these elements is their short but powerful legs. Corgi’s legs are surprisingly muscular, which allows them to make faster and more agile movements than they appear to be.
The origin of this attribute goes back to the fact that they are dogs bred for herding livestock. Herding requires tremendous energy and strength in the legs of the animal to be with the cattle all day in the field. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has all the necessary muscles in all the right places in the legs. When we transfer this great advantage to another physical activity such as swimming, we understand why corgis can be excellent swimmers.
When it is in the water, the corgi starts to paddle naturally, which will help it stay afloat. But just paddling is not enough; what helps corgis stay afloat are the muscles it possesses, as these will give it the impulse it needs not to sink.
Corgis Are Active Dogs With A High Level Of Energy
Generally, corgis are energetic, cheerful, and very active dogs. They are always playing and running around. This behavior is an undeniable sign that they are dogs bred to be free on the farm.
Corgi owners should know that these dogs need at least 45 minutes of physical activity daily. For this reason, having a swimming pool, lake or palace nearby will help fulfill the corgis’ natural need for exercise. The more active the dog is regularly, the better his ability to swim in the water.
Can I Teach My Corgi To Swim?
Of course, you can teach your corgi to swim. But it would help if you didn’t force the corgi to do it, much less push it. If you do that, rest assured that this is the quickest way to scare him and make him water phobic. This training may take some time, but it is well worth it. The best part of having your dog swim is that he feels comfortable and happy. Here you will find some quick recommendations to teach your corgi to swim.
Buy A Special Swimming Vest For Corgis
Before teaching your dog to swim, the first action you should take is to get him a life vest. These accessories are pretty inexpensive and will help them in the learning process. You can find a wide variety of models and brands on the market so that you can achieve this fairly easily.
Dog life jackets have a rescue handle, which will allow you to easily pull your dog out of the water in case it sinks. These vests come in bright colors, which are perfect for keeping an eye on your dog while in the water. Most corgis will do well with a small vest, but it is always best to check the sizing chart. The significant aspect of these vests is that they have adjustable straps in several directions.
Introduction To The Water
This first contact or exposure to water is vitally important. If you have a wading pool, it would be great for these first lessons. It also works great to have a lake or river nearby. There is no better introduction to water than a walk along the shore of a river or lake.
If you can’t have these options on hand, having a hose or sprinkler also works. These tools will allow you to play with the corgi and the water.
The next thing to do is to introduce him to the water. This step should occur slowly and without forcing the corgi. It is not a matter of submerging the dog underwater or believing that he is going to dive. It is enough to bring it close to the lakeshore or submerge its waters in the pool while holding it. The best strategy is to get the dog to play a little in the water so that he will associate it with joy and positive things.
Swimming Should Always Be Shallow
We should start training in shallow water, even if the dog has a life vest. Knowing that the corgi is a lover of food and treats, a good strategy is to bring his favorite snacks to the place where he will swim. This strategy is a kind of bribe to get him to take the first step into the water.
When the corgi feels more comfortable, you can throw his favorite toy for him to bring back; and the corgi would be practicing swimming.
Swimming With The Corgi
Many professional trainers recommend that the owner is in the water with the corgi. This action is a fantastic way to convey confidence and security to the dog than to see you in the water as well. When swimming with your dog, try to keep some distance. If he starts to sink, you will rescue him quickly, which will also encourage him to swim towards you.
A Final Thought On Corgis And Swimming
Corgis can swim, they can swim well, and they can enjoy it. But you should be clear that achieving this requires time and the active participation of their owner. When the corgi manages to swim smoothly and safely, they will have completed a singular activity that will benefit the dog, the owner, and the whole family.