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    Long-Haired Corgi: Do You Have a Fluffy Corgi?

    Long-Haired Corgi: Do You Have a Fluffy Corgi?

    Corgis are known for the cute fluffy butts and adorable fox-like faces. As such, they have rightfully become the darlings of the internet, where cute Corgi pictures abound.

    In general, Corgis have a thick, double coat that's just long enough to make them fuzzy. But did you know there are long-haired Corgis known as "Fluffies"? Although rare, fluffy Corgis are the height of adorability. 

    Because they derive from a recessive gene, you can find fluffy Corgi puppies in Cardigan Corgi litters, or you can find the more common Pembroke Welsh Corgi Fluffies.

    History of the Fluffy, Long-Haired Corgi: Where Do They Come From?

    Although the fluffy Corgi can be found in both the Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgi lines, their similarity has more to do with early interbreeding than shared ancestry. 

    And they do have a long history. Let's have a look at the cousin breeds individually.

    Pembroke Welsh Corgi

    The Pembroke Welsh Corgi came from Pembrokeshire in Wales and was brought there by Flemish weavers around 1100 AD. The weavers were invited to the British Isles by Henry I of Britain to import new master craftsmen into the country. 

    The weavers brought their livestock with them and their little dogs to herd that livestock. 

    These original Pembroke Corgis shared ancestors with fluffy Spitz breeds like the Keeshond and the Samoyed. Also, they may have interbred with the similar-looking Swedish Vallhund, who were the herding dogs of the Vikings. 

    So, that may be where the recessive fluffy gene stems from.

    Cardigan Welsh Corgi

    Named after Cardiganshire in Wales, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is believed to have existed in Wales for over 3000 years.  

    Unlike the Pembrokes, they were introduced to Britain by the Celts and were part of the Teckel family of dogs, where the Dachshund also hails. 

    Like the Pembroke, it acted as a "drover," herding cattle. They may have been bred with local sheepdogs to increase their versatility, and they were also great at keeping vermin down.

    The dogs bred with fluffy Spitz types imported later by the Vikings and Flemish weavers eventually became the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Meanwhile, the dogs that mostly kept their original bloodlines would become the Cardis.

    As both the Pembroke and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi serve as loyal companion dogs today, the Pembroke has become more popular. Probably in part because of the attention they get as the official dogs of the Queen of England. 

    But if both the Cardigan and the Pembroke have thick short coats, then…

    What is a Fluffy Corgi?

    A fluffy Corgi is simply a Corgi that has received two recessive long-haired genes from each parent. A study shows that this gene is likely the FGF5 gene that exists in other dogs like the German Shepherd and Collies.  

    Since the Pembroke has more Spitz-type dogs in its background, it makes sense that this gene is more common in the Pembroke than in the Cardigan. 

    However, the long coat is considered a fault in the show ring, so it is usually not bred for. 

    This makes fluffy Corgi extremely rare.

    For a fluffy Corgi to appear in a litter, both parents need to have the recessive FGF5 gene. Each parent passes down two genes for the coat, and a puppy would have to receive the recessive gene from both parents to be born with long hair. 

    So, you can see why they are hard to come by.

    Nevertheless, they may be gaining some popularity.


    What are the Physical Features of the Fluffy Corgi?

     

    Height

     

    Cardigan Welsh Corgi: 10.5 – 12.5 inches at the shoulder

    Pembroke Welsh Corgi: 10 – 12 inches at the shoulder

     

    Weight

     

    Cardigan Welsh Corgi: 25 – 38 Pounds with males larger than females

    Pembroke Welsh Corgi: Males weigh up to 30 pounds while females weigh up 28 pounds

     

    Color

     

    Cardigan Welsh Corgi: Red, Sable, or Brindle. Black (may have tan points). Blue Merle.

    Pembroke Welsh Corgi: Fawn, Sable, Black & White, Red, and Black and Tan.

    White markings are common in both.

     

    Nose

     

    Cardigan Welsh Corgi: Dark

    Pembroke Welsh Corgi: Dark

     

    Eyes

     

    Cardigan Welsh Corgi: Blue Merles may have a one or two blue eyes.

    Pembroke Welsh Corgi: Brown eyes.


    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

     

    Hypoallergenic

     

    Cardigan Welsh Corgi: No

    Pembroke Welsh Corgi: No

     

    Shedding

     

    Moderate to heavy shedding all year

     

    Lifespan

    Cardigan Welsh Corgi: 12 – 15 years

    Pembroke Welsh Corgi: 12 – 13 years

     

    Exercise

     

    At 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.

     

    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 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.

    Concerns  

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

    Problems they are prone to include:  

     

    Hip and elbow dysplasia

     

    This 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 issues

     

    Like 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 Disease

     

    This 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 Disease

     

    Because 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
    • 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.

    The 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 and 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 small spaces, with adequate exercise and stimulation; they are fantastic family dogs and good little watchdogs.

    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.

    Brennan, Kendall. “Corgi Health Problems & Issues.” Canna-Pet®, 5 Mar. 2019, canna-pet.com/corgi-health-problems-issues.

    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.

    The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “Welsh Corgi | Dog.” Encyclopedia Britannica, www.britannica.com/animal/Welsh-corgi. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

    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.

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