Owning a dog, and especially a Welsh corgi, will change your life and reward you many times.
Knowing what’s best for your puppy can be quite a challenge, so extensive research on the breed, and preparation for when the puppy comes home, are essential.
The highly intelligent herding breed is far from being the lap dog it is sometimes described as. A corgi will need attention, training and rules to follow and reinforce throughout his life, and some exercising (once fully grown) to prevent him from mischievous behavior.
Here are some tips and things to investigate further:
- Have the puppy registered and examined at the vets you have previously selected as soon as it comes home. They will be able to make sure that the puppy is healthy and give you some advice on worming, flea prevention and vaccinations, and place/update the microchip.
- Breeder and vets should always be your first points of call should you notice any health issue or change in behavior, or have any question.
- Socialisation is key to a dog that will grow up to be happy and comfortable with people of all ages and other animals. The first 20 weeks of a puppy’s life are when they are less cautious and more likely to want to make friends and visit all sorts of places. Tasty treats always help!
- Until puppy’s vaccinations are complete, he/she should be carried in your arms in places like roads, parks and gardens visited by other dogs.
- Organise an insurance for your new puppy if possible. Welsh corgis are sturdy and usually healthy but if you are concerned about the high medical cost of a chronic illness, then lifetime pet insurance could be a sensible choice.
- Make sure you can spend as much time as possible with your puppy when he first comes home (taking time off work if you can).
- Essentials to have ready before his arrival include: bowls (one for food, one for water), food (start with the one he is being weaned on), grooming tools (slicker or rake brushes are used by a lot of us), puppy playpen or crate (not a prison but a safe haven for when constant supervision is not possible), collar, lead and tag, and some bedding (do not invest in a proper bed just yet).
- Patience, positive reinforcement and constant supervision are key – the chewing is done to relieve growing teeth, not annoy you; reward puppy when he does something good, ignore/redirect unwanted behaviour and do not let puppy unsupervised.
- Toilet training will take time and patience, and when those accidents happen, always remember that until the age of six months a puppy is not physically capable of controlling his bladder.
- Establish a grooming routine as soon as possible. This will help to reinforce the bond between you and help spot changes in his body earlier. Dogs should not be bathed unnecessarily as it removes the oils that help keep skin and coat healthy, but sometimes they need it.
- Exercise should be kept to a minimum and short sessions in the first months especially as their bones and cartilage grow and are more fragile. With a long back still growing, jumping off furniture and going down the stairs should not be encouraged, especially in the first year.
- Consider neutering – but not too early (whilst most vets will insist on having this done at six months old, breed experts and breeders generally recommend to wait until the pup is a year old as it will affect its growth, and until after the first season for the females). If you do not intend to breed from your puppy, then neutering is the responsible thing to do. Not only does it prevent unwanted litters, it also reduces the risk of several reproductive health problems, removes the dog’s sexual urges and can help prevent or resolve some behavioral problems.