Excerpts from Comprehensive Owner’s Guide: Pembroke Welsh Corgi
ARE YOU A PEMBROKE PERSON?
Have you ever been to the home of a friend or relative who owned an unruly dog? This untrained, attention-starved creature hurls himself at company, climbing up on your lap, mounting your leg and worse! Of course, the owner does not seem to notice and does not know how to disciplineor control the animal. A nuisance? You bet! No one wants to be around a dog like that, let alone own one!
The Pembroke is an active, alert and intelligent dog withlots of energy and enthusiasm for life. He is a bright little dog who can be mischievous and adventuresome. He requires a great deal of your time from time of purchase throughout his puppyhood, into his adolescent days and until he reaches maturity and becomes a responsible canine citizen. Do you have the time for the most basic of daily care, a walk, no matter the weather? Your Pembroke will require a degree of commitment and care all of his life, possibly as long as 11 to 13 years. Are you ready to devote the time your Pembroke will need and deserve? If you don’t have the time or the willingness to make time, then please don’t choose a Pembroke as a companion.
Space is another important consideration. The Pembroke in early puppyhood may be well accommodated in a corner of your kitchen, but, after only a few months, a larger space will be required. A yard with a fence is a basic and reasonable expectation for every Corgi owner. In addition, there are the usual problems associated with puppies of any breed, like the damages likely to be sustained by your floors, furniture and flowers, and, not least of all, restrictions to your freedom (of movement), as in the ease (or lack or ease) with which you will be able to plan a vacation or weekend trips. This union is a serious affair and should be deeply considered. Once decided, though, your choice of a Pembroke can be the most rewarding of all breeds. A few suggestions will help in the selection of your dog.
FINDING THE PEMBROKE PUPPY FOR YOU
Most likely you are seeking a pet Pembroke, not necessarily a show dog. That does not mean that you are looking for a second-rate model. A “pet-quality” Pembroke is not like a secondhand car or a “slightly irregular” suit jacket. Your pet must be as sound, healthy and temperamentally fit as any top show dog. Pet owners do not want a Pembroke who can’t move smoothly and easily, who is not trustworthy and reliable around children and strangers, who does not look like a Pembroke. You want a true Pembroke—a handsome dog with a lovely head and upbeat, alert, intelligent expression, soundly built with good eyes and a lovable personality. If these qualities are not important to you as a Pembroke owner, then why are you interested in the breed at all?
The safest method of obtaining your new Pembroke puppy is to seek out a reputable breeder. This is suggested even if you are not looking for a show specimen. The novice breeders and pet owners who advertise at attractive prices in the local newspapers are probably kind enough toward their dogs, but perhaps do not have the expertise or facilities required to successfully raise these animals. These pet puppies are frequently badly weaned and left with their mother for too long or too short a time. This lack of proper feeding can cause indigestion, weak bones, poor teeth and other problems. Veterinary bills may soon distort any initial savings into financial or, worse, emotional loss.
Inquire about inoculations and when the puppy was last checked for worms. Check the ears for any signs of mites or irritation. Are the eyes clear and free of any debris? The puppy coat is softer than the adult coat. Look for expression in your puppy’s eyes, as this is a good sign of intelligence.
The look of the Pembroke is always foxy, inquisitive, alert and intelligent. Note the way your choice moves. The Pembroke, even in puppyhood, should show sound, deliberate movement with no tendency to stumble or drag his hind feet. Do not mistake a little puppy awkwardness for a physical defect. Look at the mouth to make sure that the bite is fairly even, although maturity can often correct errors present at puppyhood. If you have any doubts, ask to see the parents’ mouths. This brings up an important point: Do not purchase a puppy without first seeing at least one of the parents.
COMMITMENT OF OWNERSHIP
After considering the foregoing factors, you have most likely already made some very important decisions about selecting your puppy. You have chosen the Pembroke, which means that you have decided which characteristics you want in a dog and what type of dog will best fit into your family and lifestyle. If you have selected a breeder, you have gone a step further: you have done your research and found a responsible, conscientious person who breeds quality Pembrokes and who should be a reliable source of help as you and your puppy adjust to lifetogether. If you have observed a litter in action, you have obtained a firsthand look at the dynamics of a puppy “pack” and, thus, you should have become familiar with each pup’s individual personality—perhaps you have even found one that particularly appeals to you.
However, even if you have not yet found the Pembroke puppy of your dreams, observing pups will help you learn to recognize certain behavior and to determine what a pup’s behavior indicates about his temperament. You will be able to pick out which pups are the leaders, which ones are less outgoing, which ones are confident, which ones are shy, playful, friendly, aggressive, etc. Equally as important, you will learn to recognize what a healthy pup should look and act like. All of these things will help you in your search, and when you find the Pembroke that was meant for you, you will know it (and the feeling will be mutual)!
Researching your breed, selecting a responsible breeder and observing as many pups as possible are all important steps on the way to dog ownership. It may seem like a lot of effort, and you have not even taken the pup home yet! Remember, though, you cannot be too careful when it comes to deciding on the type of dog you want and finding out about your prospective pup’s background. Buying a puppy is not—or should not be—just another whimsical purchase. In fact, this is one instance in which you actually do get to choose your own family! But,you may be thinking that buying a puppy should be fun, and that it should not be so serious and so much work.
If you keep in mind the thought that your puppy is not a cuddly stuffed toy or decorative lawn ornament, but instead will become a real member of your family, you will realize that, while buying a puppy is a pleasurable and exciting endeavor, it is not something to be taken lightly. Relax…the fun will start when the pup comes home!
You will probably find that once your Pembroke pup gets used to his new home, he will fall into his place in the family quite naturally. Nevertheless, it never hurts to emphasize the commitment of dog ownership. With some time and patience, it is really not too difficult to raise a curious and exuberant Pembroke pup to be a welladjusted and well-mannered adult dog—a dog that could be your most loyal friend.
Excerpts from Comprehensive Owner’s Guide: Pembroke Welsh Corgi