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The Cowboy Corgi: Your Guide to The Australian Cattle Dog Corgi Mix

cowboy corgi

The Cowboy Corgi is a stout and stocky package of fun and cuteness. Cowboy Corgis have intelligent and highly energetic herding parents, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and The Australian Cattle dog. These dogs are perfect for adventure-filled dog parents with a weak spot for smaller dogs.

The headstrong, self-confident Cowboy Corgi is a mixed dog breed with the best (and worst) of both worlds. Because the Cowboy Corgi is a mix of two highly intelligent and energetic herding breeds, they can be a handful, especially for first-time owners.

This article covers the temperament, grooming, exercise requirements, and health issues of the Cowboy Corgi. Before you invite a Cowboy Corgi into your home, you need to establish that they fit your lifestyle and personality.

History and Origin of the Cowboy Corgi/ Corgi Cattle Dog

As with most mixed breeds, the history of the Cowboy Corgi isn’t well-documented. Most breeders claim that the hybrid came about a few decades ago. The rise in the popularity of smaller versions of popular breeds saw the breeding of hybrid dogs. The AKC doesn’t recognize Cowboy Corgis because they aren’t purebreds.

The low-set, long-bodied Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a dog breed that hails from Wales, where they were bred to herd cattle. At around 1107, Henry I of Britain invited Flemish weavers, who brought the first Pembroke Welsh Corgis. Queen Elizabeth II is the most famous Pembroke lover after she got her first in 1933.

Don’t let the stocky bodies fool you. Pembrokes are pretty agile and athletic. Their deep chests and low-set bodies give Pembroke Welsh Corgis the perfect physiques to nip at the cattle’s heels without getting kicked. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are not to be confused with Cardigan Welsh Corgis, who are larger and have longer tails than the docked Pembroke tail.

The Australian Cattle dog (ACD), blue heeler, or red heeler is a hard-muscled heeler with a complicated history. The country of origin of the blue heeler is Australia. They were bred by the Anglo-Australians when they started migrating from the coastal settlements to the grassy western inland in the 1800s.

The first herding dogs of the Anglo-Australian migrants were British imports that weren’t adjusted to the hot weather and rough terrain. Smithfields were first mixed with feral Dingoes for the desired working dogs. George Elliot of Queensland made the most notable breed milestone when he bred Collies with Dingoes.

The Jack and Harry Bagust brothers added Dalmatians to the line, and later, a sheepdog, known as the Black and Tan Kelpie, was added to the line. This aggressive crossbreeding resulted in the Australian Cattle dog we know today, who received AKC recognition in 1980.

What are the Physical Attributes of a Cowboy Corgi?

  • Height: 13 to 20 inches but mostly ranges on the smaller end
  • Weight: 30 to 35 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
  • Nose & eyes: Black nose. Dark brown eyes but blue eyes can pop up due to their blue heeler

Cowboy Corgis inherit their Pembroke parents’ short, stocky physique and may take after the Blue Heeler’s beautiful colored coat. It’s hard to find a Blue Heeler-sized Cowboy Corgi, with most of them weighing just under 30 pounds.

Most Cowboy Corgis have beautiful speckled or mottled coats of red or blue with tan markings typical in Australian Cattle dogs. The speckled color scheme of the ACD isn’t a result of the merle gene like in Blue Merle dogs but the ticking gene. The gene causes coloration on a white coat a few weeks after birth.

Cowboy corgis mostly have sharp and pointed ears as opposed to the more rounded Pembroke ears. Their tails are short and are mostly docked to conform to breed standards. Their double coat and medium-length fur shed daily, meaning this breed isn’t hypoallergenic.

Cowboy Corgis have foxlike faces typical in Pembroke Welsh Corgis and have thick, muscular, but short legs. You can’t accurately predict how a Cowboy Corgi will look exactly because, having two separate parent breeds, the wide gene pool results in a vast variation in appearance.

General Care of the Cowboy Corgi

  • Shedding: Daily shedding due to a double coat
  • Hypoallergenic: Not hypoallergenic because of the heavy shedding
  • Energy: Highly energetic dogs because parents are herding breeds
  • Housing: Adaptable to smaller spaces due to their small size if you meet all the daily requirements but do better with more space.
  • Temperament: Very loyal and affectionate, but they are wary of strangers.
  • Trainability: Respond well to commands, but their high intelligence can cause them to be stubborn

Grooming the Cowboy Corgi

Cowboy Corgis need monthly washes with dog shampoo to reduce dirt and grime from the coat. You can also wash your Corgi when they run through dirt or when they smell but don’t bathe them too much. Overbathing your dog can compromise the health of the coat when it strips the coat of natural oils.

In addition to the washes, Cowboy Corgis need regular coat brushing at least 2 to 3 times a week. Coat brushing distributes coat sebum for a shinier coat and limits shed hair in your house. Cowboy Corgis shed moderately all year but heavily twice yearly in the spring and fall.

Other hygiene practices to include in your dog’s grooming regimen are regular teeth brushing at least twice a week and nail clipping every few weeks. Your dog’s dental hygiene is crucial to prevent diseases like periodontitis due to tartar accumulation.

Energy & Exercise Requirements

Cowboy Corgis have a double dose of energy from two highly active herding breeds. Physical stimulation through walks is crucial to your dog’s physical health and peace of mind. A bored Corgi mix will call upon their herding nature and nip at anything that moves and bark incessantly.

Cowboy Corgis need mental stimulation to cater to their high intelligence. Puzzles, snuffle mats, KONGS, and sniffing during walks are some ways you can provide your dog with the necessary mental stimulation.

While their size allows Cowboy Corgis to live in the apartment, it’s crucial that you take your dog for daily walks. Walks and runs in the yard, if there’s one, keeps your Corgi occupied and reduces chances of health issues like obesity.

Food & Diet Requirements

Cowboy Corgis inherit their Pembroke parent’s susceptibility to gaining excessive weight. Therefore, you must watch your dog’s calorie consumption closely and keep treats below 10% of the daily calories. Dogs need to eat about 25 to 30 calories per pound or about 2 to 3 % of their body weight daily.

Feeding your Cowboy Corgi a protein-based diet is essential since dietary proteins supply the body with essential amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. Protein-deficient dogs lose muscle mass and exhibit a dry and poor coat.

Dog food in the market is full of fillers, excessive starch, and chemicals, explaining the recent shift to raw diets. It’s best to consult with your vet on the best food to feed your Corgi, particularly if you want to feed a raw-based diet to ensure all nutrients are well-balanced.

Most manufactured dog foods have instructions on how much to feed your pooch, depending on the age and weight. It’s best to feed your dog twice a day to improve digestibility.

Health of a Cowboy Corgi

Properly bred Cowboy Corgis are resilient and have a fairly healthy life. The mixed breed can inherit typical health conditions in each parent breeds. Yearly medical checkups ensure your Corgi doesn’t have underlying medical issues that could get more severe.

Responsible breeders ensure they perform health screening tests on the breeding dogs to ensure they’re free of genetic defects. The most common tests to ensure healthy puppies are hip and eye screenings.

Serious health concerns

  • Intervertebral Disk Disease or IVD, where the dog’s vertebrae degenerates over time
  • Hip dysplasia, where the hip and joint don’t properly align
  • Degenerative myelopathy (DM), which is a crippling, degenerative disease
  • Deafness
  • Heart defects
  • progressive retinal atrophy, or PRA,

Mild to moderate health concerns

  • Obesity
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Bacterial and viral infections
  • Allergies
  • Dental issues


The Cowboy can live up to 12 to 15 years. A well-balanced diet and exercise will greatly improve your Corgi’s quality of life. Cowboy Corgis need regular vet check-ups to detect medical issues before they get worse, particularly in their old age.

Due to the blue coat pattern, some Cowboy Corgis can look like the Cardigan Blue Merle Corgis. The two are different breeds with different health issues, but they can both live for 12 to 15 years with proper care.

Temperament & Trainability of the Cowboy Corgi

The lively Cowboy Corgi is a loyal and alert dog with plenty of love to give the family. These Corgis can be a bit apprehensive about strangers but quickly return to their affectionate selves once they open up to them. Their alertness and deep bark, not expected of a small dog, make them excellent watchdogs.

Cowboy Corgis are very intelligent and understand commands quickly. However, this intelligence can turn on your when the Corgi chooses not to listen to your instructions. Patience and positive reinforcement with treats and praises will help you train your Corgi better.

Sociability with other dogs and children

Cowboy Corgis are good with children and other pets when they undergo proper socialization in puppyhood. Exposing your dog to people and animals and teaching them to react calmly makes your Cowboy Corgi suitable for them. Monitor small children when they’re around dogs to prevent accidents.

Suitable home

Active household

Corgis need daily exercise to relieve the boredom that could cause nipping and excessive barking. Taking your dog for a daily walk and incorporating mental exercises like puzzles should suffice. With enough activity, they can make great watchdogs and good family dogs.

Non-allergic people

Cowboy Corgis aren’t hypoallergenic because their double coats shed fur daily. This makes the dog unsuitable for people allergic to pet dander.

How Much Will I Expect to Pay for a Cowboy Corgi puppy?

Cowboy Corgi puppies can range anywhere from $1000 to $2000. The prices of mixed-breed puppies greatly vary based on the breeder’s reputation and your location. Therefore, you may pay more or less than the price estimate.

Final Thoughts

Cowboy Corgis are a mixed breed of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Australian Cattle dog. These hybrids shed a lot and are therefore not hypoallergenic and unsuitable for people with allergies. Cowboy Corgis are energetic dogs that need daily exercise to stay happy and healthy.

Their high level of intelligence makes the Cowboy Corgi easy to train, but they can be stubborn sometimes. A protein-based diet with at least 25% protein is the healthiest option ensuring you don’t overfeed your Corgi because they are prone to gaining weight.


Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions.

Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

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