Health intro

The health of a litter depends on what the breeder knows about the dam and the sire and that then includes “if you are using someone else’s sire, what the owner knows or will tell you”.

A potential owner should ask questions of the breeder and he should be able to tell you without having to think about it and unless you are a dog fanatic he should know everything of the breeding.

Apart for the breeding aspect, the health of your corgi depends on where he
lives and what you feed him wet and dry. Ask the breeder what he feeds his.
(you sometimes get puppy packs from manufacturers) Here we have used Connolly’s Red Mills for over a decade and it’s what we start our pups on when they wean
at 3 weeks.

Ours also have chicken which is bland and not likely to cause an upset tummy. A puppy is dependant on it’s mother for up to three weeks but after that the pups will still go to her but she won’t have enough milk to feed a large litter so you have to be aware. Here we weigh all our pups twice a day to know if there is a problem. You also have to ensure that there is plenty of fluid / water in the diet. The pup has to have enough water to ensure that the brain has a constant flow of moisture as this can cause the brain to close down and you loose him. A vet would instantly call this Hydrocephalus – water on the brain 

but it’s the opposite so don’t get confused.  Here is a link to the AKC health concerning Dehydration


Now we are on to water. We tell all our owners to feed their new puppy spring water – water which they know to be clear of water board additives especially if you are breeding with the dog be it dog or bitch. Here in Pembrokeshire we are lucky that our tap water comes from the Preseli dam and only has the board additives in. If you live in London or a big city where the tap water goes around a purification system the water you see coming from the tap contains more that the boards additives such as Estrogens. I have been viewing and downloading breeding data and in the years we saw many people having litters in the cities we then used those figures to perform mean averages with city and country bred litters. The city litters showed averages of two to one – that’s two boys to every one girl. In country breeding we figure was 1 to 1. The thing is when you see what is being shown in the ring and these I am putting down as city breeding the Challenge Certificate show catalogues show more bitches than dogs. (And that is another line of breeding known in the UK Why are the dog puppies not showable? I was told years ago that I would be lucky to get one decent puppy out of a litter of eight**. We set out to get eight out of eight but we also know why the other seven could be sold as pets).       

There is a lot more Estrogens in the system than what’s in water and owners breeders should learn as much as they can even if you are not going to breed with the dog..

Here is a statement. Type it in to google to view   contaminates in tap water estrogen         

And one paper on the subject

Dropping of the testicles

Here over the years we have studied what we have bred and ask ourselves questions on what we have bred and this is generic and not tied in to the known DNA testable conditions. Our friend in Illinois tells us you cannot not use a DM affected dog if there is something in the breeding you need. In this case we had a dog who we bought in and used (not knowing at the time) was DM at risk. At the time of using Gemini we didn’t know that over four litters and using three sires we would highlight that in Gemini’s breeding there was a gene preventing the testicles from descending in to the scrotum or even into the fleshy part next to the penis. We used George twice over Gemini and in her litters of an 8 and a 9 all the dog pups had testicles in place at three weeks. In the other two litter there were problems. I have discussed this with leading people in the dog world and it appears that having a dog with what we call a Dominant Testicle Gene is not a one off with us knowing of a Belgian Malinois to have it.

Thing is that the UK Kennel Club has changed the rules in judging showing and dogs where the testicles have not dropped can be shown and these dogs can be awarded Best of Breed even in a Champ show so in the UK there are dogs in the Stud without testicles. The biggest problem is that the bitches from litters where the Testicles haven’t dropped are being used in the breeding pool and the owners not being told of the condition of the litter. Also a veterinarian friend has been offered three cryptorchid dogs to breed with before she found us having looked for a DM clear dog and didn’t find one asking her local known Pembroke Corgi owners.

Here are two links but this is buyer beware and ask the questions.


 Exercise is a key factor and we know there are problems awaiting people who over exercise a young puppy especially when bones are just cartilage and hip dysphasia can be brought on by widening of the gap between the Acetabular (hip) cup and the Femoral head.

In later life you should keep an eye open for what is available to especially if you live in a flat or restricted because of your own health. There are products about called Dogpacers and these allow you to walk your dog in house and without the dog getting wet or sniffing or you having to go out in icy conditions. Here we use a dog pacer and you can find these on this site.   and the larger one

A dog loves to go out and take a walk but a Low Ryder such as a Pembroke is just that bit nearer the ground and can pick things up which have been pooped by other dogs or pick up slugs and snails that carry a worm known as Angiostrongylus vasorum, the lungworm parasite infects dogs (and foxes) when they eat infected slugs and snails – accidentally or deliberately – and ingest lungworm larvae. You have to give your dog a different worming solution as the Advocate treatment which covers a host of sins is not effective.

Here we live opposite an old racecourse and dogs are allowed to run off lead but there is no guarantee that poo is picked p especially during the night when dogs are seen running with lights on and there is no way owners see where the dog does something and then some unfortunate owners dog finds it. Here we value our dogs to much for them to get invested in such a way.


Owners should always be aware and its easier with social media to know of viruses like Covid in dogs are. Not all people get to know whats going on around them and most FB talk is just pet talk. Then there is the problem is that not all authorities want people to know and in the early months of 2020 I sent letters to the Kennel Club and the Welsh Assembly but in either we saw no response. With our owners and their vets we worked with Liverpool University Veterinary  Dept and their Prof Beth Brant getting data sent to them 

For a wider overview of what Liverpool Uni does visit

There are testable diseases / conditions and here on this site we have prepared simple pages but these links take you to the DNA laboratory we use 

DM  Degenerative Myelopathy

vWD  von Willebrands Disease Type 1   including caesareans

EIC Exercise Induced Collapse

There are other testable conditions but we don’t test for all as we know/ we can see we haven’t got the problem in our stock.

Chondrodysplasia   (CDPA)

Progressive Retinal Atrophy Rod Cone Dysphasia

First knowledge of health problems in the breed

** When we first started showing over ten year in the UK we were told and overheard this long term breeder saying deliberately aloud that there are dogs dying before they were nine months in the UK of heart and cancer conditions. We now know this all to do with line breeding and concentrated line breeding to one dog brings on an enlarged heart and the pup dies at nine weeks. I was first put on to this by a small breeder in Wisconsin saying the Americans have been breeding it out for years. We have seen this and when a pup dies in your hand you learn the hard way.

Another heart problem is PDA known as Patent ductus Arteriosus and can be seen in detail by following this link   See hereditary in the atrticle.

Cancer in young dogs is one thing we here have not seen but in 2019 we came across an article on FB where two Pembroke puppies sold out of the same litter died at nine months of cancer.

Health on Wikipedia   

According to the Kennel Club Purebred Dog Health Survey conducted in 2004, the two breeds had similar average lifespans: the median age at death was 12 years 3 months for Pembrokes, and 12 years 2 months for Cardigans. The main causes of death were similar in both breeds: the primary causes were canine cancer and old age. However, the Pembroke breed showed a higher proportion of deaths attributed to either kidney failure or urethral obstruction.[3][4]

The survey showed that the breeds suffer from similar rates of ongoing health conditions, with one exception. Whereas more than a quarter of Pembroke Welsh Corgis surveyed suffered from some type of eye condition, only 6.1% of the Cardigan Corgis did.[3][4] Eye conditions typical in the Corgi breeds include progressive retinal atrophy, which occurs more often in dogs over six years of age, and canine glaucoma, which again is more common in older dogs.[36] Progressive retinal atrophy in corgi is treatable by replacing the broken lens.[37] Similar percentages in the survey were seen in both breeds for issues relating to reproduction, such as requiring caesarian sections and having false pregnancies. Further similarities were also seen related to musculoskeletal issues, including arthritis.[3][4] However, Hip dysplasia, common in some types of dogs, is rare in the Corgi breeds.[36]

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