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American Corgi vs Pembroke Welsh Corgi: Breed Comparison (With Pictures)

Chelsie Fraser

By Chelsie Fraser

American vs Pembroke Welsh Corgi - Featured Image

Corgis are well-known herding dogs, made popular as the favorite breed of Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen favored the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, but this isn’t the only breed of Corgi. American Corgis aren’t recognized as purebreds, like Pembroke Welsh Corgis are, but they have many similar characteristics that make them great pets.

If you’re having trouble deciding which variety of Corgi is right for you, you’re in the right place. Here, we compare the similarities and differences between the American Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi to help you find the best fit!hepper-dog-paw-divider 3

Visual Differences

American Corgi vs. Pembroke Welsh Corgi _ Side by Side
Image Credit (L) Ilya Barmin, Shutterstock | (R) Elena Rogulina from Pixabay

At a Glance

American Corgi
  • Average height (adult): 10–12 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 20–30 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10–12 years
  • Exercise: 1+ hours a day
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Family-friendly: Yes, less herding behavior than Welsh Corgis
  • Other pet-friendly: Often
  • Trainability: More laidback than Pembroke Welsh Corgis, easy to train, less “bossy.”
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  • Average height (adult): 10–12 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 22–35 pounds
  • Lifespan: 11–14 years
  • Exercise: 1+ hours a day
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Family-friendly: Sociable, not ideal for small children due to their herding nature
  • Other pet-friendly: Often
  • Trainability: Intelligent but stubborn and bossy

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American Corgi Overview

Tri-colored Corgi standing on the grass
Image Credit: Nikolaeva Nastia, Pexels

American Corgis are a crossbreed of dogs developed by breeding a Cardigan Welsh Corgi with a Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Careful breeding has focused on carrying forward the best physical and behavioral traits to create a laidback version of the Welsh Corgi.

Personality / Character

In general, American Corgis are calmer and easier to train than Pembroke Welsh Corgis. These dogs are still friendly and outgoing but have less desire to be independent than their Welsh counterparts.


American Corgis are a bit smaller than Pembroke Welsh Corgis, with a more solid build. Back injuries are common in purebred Corgis but happen less frequently in American Corgis.

This dog breed comes in every standard color from the breed standards of Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgis, which means they have numerous colors and coat patterns. American Corgis also come with merle coats, a color not present among Pembroke Welsh Corgis.

female corgi on white background
Image Credit: Happy monkey, Shutterstock


This breed is a high-energy dog that requires a minimum of 1 hour of physical exercise per day. As a herding breed, many owners will find it difficult to tire out their Corgi, so it’s important that this dog is part of an active home.


American Corgis have a slightly shorter lifespan than Pembroke Welsh Corgis. They have a higher occurrence of health issues, many due in part to the genetic conditions associated with merle coats.

Suitable for:

These dogs are best suited for active homes and families, as they require plenty of exercise on a daily basis. They are also prone to various health issues, so future owners need to be aware of that and regularly take their Corgis to the vet.

divider 10Pembroke Welsh Corgi Overview

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has an origin that dates back to the year 1000 A.D. They were originally bred in Wales and used to herd livestock.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Image Credit: David Raihelgauz, Shutterstock

Personality / Character

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are intelligent dogs that are eager to please their owners. Their herding instincts are strong, and owners should be cautious about these dogs around small children and other animals. Their desire to herd can lead to heel-nipping and aggressive behavior if they are not well-socialized as puppies. Pembroke Welsh Corgis exhibit significantly more herding behavior than American Corgis, which is important to know if you have young children in the home.


Pembroke Welsh Corgis have rectangular-shaped bodies and short, cropped tails. They only come in certain colors: sable, white, tricolor, and red.

cute welsh corgi pembroke dogs
Image Credit: Vellicos, Shutterstock


Pembroke Corgis tend to have slightly higher energy levels than American Corgis, although this depends on the individual dog. They do require a minimum of 1 hour of intense exercise each day and can be destructive if their needs aren’t met.


The lifespan of the Pembroke Corgi is slightly longer than the American Corgi, and they do have fewer health concerns.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Image Credit By: ezrathecorgi, instagram

Suitable for:

These dogs are best suited for active homes with older children or adult-only homes, as they may not do well with small children. They also require plenty of regular exercise and can have behavioral problems if they are not trained or socialized properly.

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How Much Exercise Do Corgis Need?

As a herding breed, the Corgi is part of the category of dogs that you can’t tire out. They were bred to work all day long, so they have a great deal of stamina and are highly intelligent. These dogs should get a minimum of 1 hour of physical exercise a day. For a Corgi, this means intensive play, like chasing a ball, running obstacles, or running. While they love to go for walks, a quick trot around the block isn’t going to cut it.

Finding high-intensity activities that burn a great deal of energy in a short period of time are best for both American Corgis and Pembroke Welsh Corgis. Engaging in a variety of different activities will keep them engaged, prevent boredom, and avoid unwanted behaviors.

hepper-dog-paw-divider 3Which Breed Is Right for You?

American Corgis and Pembroke Welsh Corgis are similar dog breeds, but they have distinct differences that may decide which dog is better for you. American Corgis are a better choice for families with young children, as they are more easygoing and exhibit fewer herding behaviors than the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. The Pembroke Corgi has a strong desire to herd and requires a strong leader. They can become nippy and aggressive with small children who don’t “fall in line” with their bossy nature. Therefore, they are best suited for active homes with older children or adult-only households.

See also: Pembroke Welsh Corgi Vs Pomeranian: Which One Is Right for Me?

Featured Image Credit: Left – Jeniffer Fontan, Shutterstock | Right – David Raihelgauz, Shutterstock

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