The two best places to get a Corgi from are responsible breeders and Corgi rescue groups. For today we’ll just focus on breeders.
The most common question is, what makes a breeder a responsible one?
- A responsible breeder breeds because he or she is trying to improve the Pembroke Welsh Corgi as a breed, not because she wants to make money.
- These breeders have their dogs tested for at least hip dysplasia and eye abnormalities, and often other genetic defects as well (such as elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism and heart conditions). To see if the parents of a litter you’re interested in have been tested, check out www.offa.org. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals has tons of valuable health data and test results.
- The dogs should live in an environment where they receive lots of daily attention and interaction beyond basic care. Often this means the dogs live in the house with the breeder, but a kennel setup can also work out very well if the breeder has a lot of dogs. The things to watch for in a kennel are that the dogs are clean, sociable with people, get plenty of exercise and are comfortable leaving their immediate living area (this shows that they have been properly socialized). Even the dogs that are not “breeding stock” should look happy and healthy.
- The breeder should know each of her dogs very well, and be able to tell you about their temperaments and health history.
- You should be provided with a pedigree for your puppy and the appropriate registration papers.
- The breeder should also be screening you as you screen them, making sure that you are the right fit for one of their puppies. You may have to fill out a questionnaire and may be visiting by the breeder or one of her friends to make sure your home will be a good place for the puppy.
- The puppy contract should state that she will take the puppy back if you are unable to keep it. Breeders should remain repsonsible for every puppy they breed for its entire life.
Why is a responsible breeder a good place to get your Corgi? You know what you are getting. By purchasing a purebred Corgi, you know that your pup will grow up to be less than a foot tall and weighing at most about 30 pounds. From meeting the parents and talking to the breeder, you can find out what your pup’s personality will probably be like, and whether he is likely to be a conformation prospect or a performance star. You know that your pup will receive great care as a puppy and that he probably won’t have any health defects based on the health of his relatives. Obviously genetics aren’t a black and white business and you can never know exactly what your puppy will be like, but with a breeder who knows her lines you have better idea of what your pup will grow up to be than if it was a puppy off the street with an unknown background.
Breeders really care about what they do. They are striving to produce the perfect Corgi – sound of mind and body, with that distinctive Corgi look and attitude. While winning at dog shows is a great thing, what is most important is that their puppies are healthy and happy, and go to good homes where they will be appreciated and have a long, happy life. It is an expensive hobby, and the common saying among dog fanciers is that if you do it right you won’t make money. Beyond the everyday care of their dogs, breeders have to pay for health testing and the other expenses of breeding. And if that star puppy ends up not passing his health clearances when he grows up, then all the money and time spent on him will not end in a litter of his offspring. With all the things that can go wrong, breeding can be frustrating. But the good news for you as a Corgi lover is that a breeder has put in countless hours of time and countless dollars to producing your perfect puppy.