Welsh Corgis are a breed of herding dogs that originated in Wales and have been popularized as the Queen of England's sidekicks. They come in two types: the Pembroke and the Cardigan, which have slightly different body structures. Because of their body type, Corgis need a stringent feeding and exercise regimen to keep them at a healthy weight.
Healthy Weight for Pembroke Welsh Corgis
The Pembroke is a small dog with short legs, perky ears, and a docked tail. A weight between 24 and 30 pounds is considered healthy for a Pembroke. This varies depending on whether the dog is a boy or girl, and whether he or she is average-sized. The standard size for a Pembroke is 10 to 12 inches from the ground to the shoulder and 14 inches from shoulder to tail. The ideal weight for a Corgi that's medium-sized is 27 pounds for males and 25 pounds for females. If your Pembroke is slightly shorter, taller, or longer than the standard measurement (wider doesn't count!) you can adjust his ideal weight up or down a pound or two.
Healthy Weight for Cardigan Welsh Corgis
Cardigan corgis have a slightly different body structure than their Pembroke cousins. They tend to stand a bit taller than the Pembroke, and have a longer body. Also, Cardigans are known as "the Corgi with a tail." The ideal weight for a full-grown Cardigan is between 25 and 38 pounds. The standard size for Cardigans is 10 1/2 to 12 1/2 inches from ground to shoulder, and 20 to 24 inches from shoulder to the base of the tail. A good range for average-sized male Cardigans is 30 to 38 pounds, and 25 to 34 pounds for the ladies.
What to Do if Your Corgi is Overweight: Exercise
If your doggy friend has become a bit of a couch potato, get him active again to shed the extra pounds. Corgis were bred to scatter herds, so the thrill of the chase is what gets them really excited. Engage your fluffy friend in games that will get his heart pumping. Play fetch with your Corgi -- even if he doesn't return the ball, at least he's getting great exercise running it down! Take him to the dog park so he can romp with some fellow canines. Corgis can even make good running -- well, jogging partners, if you keep a gentle pace.
What To Do if Your Corgi is Overweight: Feeding
Corgis in general love to eat and will chow down on anything they can get their muzzles on. The most important step in guiding your pup back to good health is to feed him appropriate servings twice a day, and that's it. Leaving a bowl of kibble out for grazing will encourage your dog to eat more than he needs. Animals tend not to regulate their food intake as well as humans do. They're in survival mode, which means they eat whenever food is available in preparation for future famine. You know best when it comes to feeding your dog. He may be grumpy at first when his portions are cut, but eventually he will adjust to his new eating regimen (and won't give you so many sideways glances when he sidles up to an empty food bowl for his midday nosh).
Weighing Your Corgi
If you want to monitor your Corgi's progress as he sheds the pounds, or just want to make sure he's staying on track, weigh him regularly. All you need to do to weigh your Corgi is first weigh yourself, then, gently pick up your dog and carry him with you onto the scale. Subtract your weight from the total weight of you and your dog, and that will equal your dog's weight. Keep in mind that because he's small his weight loss will be incremental -- probably only a quarter of a pound per week -- so a digital scale will give you a better idea of how much he's lost.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Madeline Masters works as a dog walker and professional writer. In the past she has worked as a fitness columnist, fundraising copywriter and news reporter. Masters won two Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Awards in 2009. She graduated from Elizabethtown College with a Bachelor of Arts in English.