Cart
Your cart is currently empty.
The Long-Haired Corgi: A Complete Guide To The Fluff! - PawSafe
Dog Breeds

The Long-Haired Corgi: A Complete Guide To The Fluff!

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

The long haired Corgi

Corgis, with their cute, fluffy tails and charming, fox-like faces, have won hearts all over the internet. If you’re a fan of adorable Corgi pictures, you’re in for a treat.

Typically, Corgis boast a thick, double coat that gives them a cuddly appearance. But, have you ever heard of “Fluffies”? These long-haired Corgis, though not common, are the epitome of cuteness.

Fluffy Corgis come from a special gene, and they’re a rare find. You might spot these fluffy puppies in litters of Cardigan Corgis, or sometimes among the more familiar Pembroke Welsh Corgis.

By studying the DNA of short and long-haired Corgis, scientists found two important changes in a gene called FGF5. One change was like adding extra letters in a word where it doesn’t usually belong, and the other was like swapping one letter for another in a very important part of the word.

When they tested lots of dogs from different breeds, they found that the letter swap in the FGF5 gene was linked to whether a dog had long or short hair. So, this small change in their DNA is a big reason why some dogs have long hair and others don’t!

The Origins of the Fluffy Corgi

Both Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgis can have longer coats, but their similarities stem more from past crossbreeding than shared heritage. Let’s take a closer look at each breed’s history.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Originating from Pembrokeshire in Wales, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a history that dates back to around 1100 AD. Flemish weavers, invited by King Henry I of Britain, brought these dogs along to herd livestock. These early Pembrokes were related to fluffy Spitz breeds like the Keeshond and the Samoyed. They might have also mixed with the Swedish Vallhund, the Vikings’ herding dogs, which could explain the fluffy gene for longer hair.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Hailing from Cardiganshire in Wales, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi’s history goes back over 3000 years. The Celts introduced them to Britain, and they’re relatives of the Dachshund from the Teckel family of dogs. Like the Pembrokes, they herded cattle and kept vermin at bay. The Cardigans, blending with fluffy dogs brought by the Vikings and Flemish weavers, evolved into what we now know as the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, while those that retained more of their original traits became the Cardis.

Though both Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgis are now beloved companion dogs, the Pembroke gained more fame, partly due to being the preferred breed of the Queen of England.

What Does a Fluffy Corgi Look Like?

The fluffy Corgi shares all the same features as the Pembroke and the Cardigan, only it has a long, double coat. 

The main difference between the fluffy Pembroke Corgi and the fluffy Cardigan is that the Cardigan comes in a broader range of colors, including blue merle, and may have blue eyes.  

It is also slightly larger than the Pembroke and has a long tail, while the Pembroke has a short one.

The Cardigan has rounded, erect ears, while the Pembroke’s ears are more pointed.

Both Corgis are actually large dogs with dwarfism, or achondroplasia. In fact, they are ‘true dwarves”, meaning that they have the body and head of a medium-to-large dog but the short legs of a small breed. 

This is the same gene that occurs in breeds like Bassets and the Pekingese. 

It means the growing tips in the legs in their bones harden early, stunting their growth. This condition can contribute to some health concerns later on.

General Care of the Fluffy, Long-Haired Corgi

Fluffy Pembroke long hair Corgi Lying in grass
Hypoallergenic
Cardigan Welsh Corgi: No

Pembroke Welsh Corgi: No
 SheddingModerate to heavy shedding all year
 LifespanCardigan Welsh Corgi: 12 – 15 years

Pembroke Welsh Corgi: 12 – 13 years
 ExerciseAt least one hour per day as an adult
 Temperament
Alert, friendly, highly active, and fun. Cardigans can be more laid and reserved, especially with strangers, while Pembrokes tend to be extroverted
 Trainability
Pembroke Welsh Corgis are one of the most trainable breeds.

Cardigans are also highly trainable, but are more independent and need more focus on respect and boundaries a Pembroke Corgi: Blue Merles may have one or two blue eyes.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi: 10 – 12 inches at the shoulder

Energy

Both the fluffy Cardigan and the Pembroke Welsh Corgis are high-energy dogs that require training, mental stimulation, and a lot of physical exercise. For their size, they have a surprising amount of stamina.

Housing

The fluffy Corgi is ideal for owners who live in apartments and small spaces, provided they get plenty of exercise and activities to keep them busy. 

They are known to be barkers, so they can be a nuisance to the neighbors, and you may want to work on keeping the volume down.

As farm or rural dogs, they will enjoy the extra space and the chance to romp.

Food & Diet Requirements

Due to the health problems Corgis are prone to, your fluffy Corgi’s food should be chosen carefully for every stage of their development, their activity levels, and their weight. 

A low-calorie, high-nutrient diet is best for any dog, and you may want to ask a veterinary nutritionist about a raw diet for your Corgi. 

Beware of overpaying for gimmicky kibbles, and make sure your Corgi eats a balanced diet that supports their bones and keeps them from becoming overweight. Obesity can severely impair your Corgi in later life. 

If your fluffy Corgi is a fast eater, consider a slow feeder to prevent them from potentially developing bloat, a severe and often fatal condition.

Grooming

A fluffy Corgi needs even more grooming than its regular coated cousins. Corgis shed heavily year-round and need the fluffy Corgi will need to be brushed with a slicker brush at least three times a week to prevent matting. 

Regular brushing will also smooth their natural oils through their coat to keep it shiny. Avoid bathing more than once a month as it can strip the natural oils from their fur.

They also need to have the nails regularly trimmed with a nail clipper or grinder, and their ears cleaned to prevent ear infections. Don’t overlook your Corgi’s teeth either, as bad teeth can lead to serious health problems as they grow older. 

Health

Exercise

Corgis need a surprising amount of exercise for their size. They should have about an hour of moderate to vigorous activity a day. 

They can enjoy visits to the dog park or short hikes, but they really thrive in sports like agility or corgi herding trials.

And if they weren’t cute enough already, you should see them race!

Can you spot the fluffy Corgi in this video?

When exercising a Corgi, an excellent no-pull harness can help avoid damage to its throat.

Health Concerns  

Unfortunately, both fluffy and regular Corgis are prone to various health issues. Although most of them manageable, they can be expensive.

Problems they are prone to include:

Hip and elbow dysplasiaThis is a common issue, although usually it is found in larger breeds. The laxity of the ligaments in the dog’s bones over time can cause damage to the joints in the hips and elbows and eventually lead to severe arthritis.
Eye issuesLike many breeds that are related to Spitz-type dogs, Corgis are prone to eye issues and breeding dogs should be screened. Common problems include:
· Progressive retinal Atrophy (PRA)
· Cataracts
· Retinal Dysplasia
Von Willebrand’s DiseaseThis is a disease that prevents blood from clotting properly. It occurs in both humans and canines and is treatable. Breeding dogs should be screened for this as well.
Invertebral Disc DiseaseBecause of their long backs, Corgis are vulnerable to spinal injuries that can cause the disc between their vertebrae to bulge or rupture into their spinal column. At best, this may cause chronic pain, at worst, it can lead to paralysis.

Other conditions that Fluffy Corgis are prone to include:

  • Epilepsy;
  • Cutaneous Asthenia;
  • Cystinuria;
  • Obesity; and
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus.

What is the Fluffy Corgi’s life expectancy?

The long-haired Corgi is generally a long-lived breed, and although it is prone to many health concerns, most of them can be managed. 

Both the Pembroke and the Cardigan live well over 12 years, with the Cardigan tending to live a little longer.

Trainability of a Fluffy Corgi: Temperament and Intelligence

Both the Cardigan and the Pembroke fluffy Corgi are highly intelligent breeds and are very trainable. The Pembroke, in particular, is known for doing well at agility.

The fluffy Cardigan can be a little more independent may not like repetitive training. 

They will need a bit more positive reinforcement and clear rules and boundaries.

Temperament-wise, the fluffy Pembroke is the life of the party and an alert, fun-loving dog who is more open to strangers. On the other hand, the fluffy Cardigan is a little more reserved and watchful. 

They tend to be a bit warier of strangers. Both are fearless will happily take on any intruder, four-legged or two.

Are Fluffy Corgis good with other pets?

The long-haired Corgi needs to be well socialized from a young age with other animals. In general, they are good with other animals, though. 

However, they tend to raise the alarm and drive strange animals away, especially unfamiliar cats and dogs.

Suitable Home: Are Fluffy Corgis good pets?

Fluffy Corgis make excellent pets. They are great in smaller spaces, with adequate exercise and stimulation; they are fantastic family dogs and good little watchdogs. However, they are prone to barking. 

The only downside is that Corgis may have more vet’s bills than some other breeds, and the fluffy variety will need regular and consistent grooming. 

How much does a Fluffy Corgi cost?

If you find a reputable breeder, a fluffy, long-haired Corgi can cost between $600 and $1000. However, they can go for over $2000, which might keep increasing as their popularity grows.

Cardigans are generally more expensive as they are harder to come by.

Conclusion

Although the Fluffy, long-haired Corgi is rarer and considered a fault in the show ring, it is no different from its regular-coated counterparts. 

It makes just as good a companion and an alert, active, and fun little buddy. The only question remains, do you think the fluffy Corgi is just a smidge cuter than the others?

References

American Kennel Club. “Pembroke Welsh Corgi Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, www.akc.org/dog-breeds/pembroke-welsh-corgi. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

Housley, D. J. E., and P. J. Venta. “The Long and the Short of It: Evidence That FGF5 Is a Major Determinant of Canine ’Hair’-Itability.” Animal Genetics, vol. 37, no. 4, 2006, pp. 309–15. Crossref, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2052.2006.01448.x.

Yong, Ed. “The Copied Gene That Gave Dachshunds and Corgis Their Short Legs.” Science, 10 Feb. 2021, www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/the-copied-gene-that-gave-dachshunds-and-corgis-their-short-legs.

Meet Your Experts

Avatar of author

Tamsin De La Harpe

Author

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.

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.