Corgis are one of the most popular dog breeds, and for good reason. Not only do they have a famously cute backside, but Corgis as a breed are known for their big personality, attentiveness, affection, and high energy, all packed into a small size. There is no wonder why Queen Elizabeth II had over 30 in her lifetime!
The average lifespan of a Corgi is 12-13 years. Keep reading to learn more about how long they live, the factors that affect their lifespan, and what you can do to keep your Corgi around as long as possible!
What’s the Average Lifespan of a Corgi?
Whether you are interested in the docked-tail Pembroke Welsh Corgi (PWC) or the long-tailed Cardigan Welsh Corgi (CWC), or maybe even a mixture of the two, you can rest assured that they have relatively long lifespans. Both PWC and CWC live an average of 12–13 years. Of course, how long an individual Corgi will live varies on nutrition, environment, living conditions, sex, and the level of care one receives.
Why Do Some Corgis Live Longer Than Others?
Corgis love to eat and are known to pack on the pounds if not monitored. Nutrition is extremely important for the short and stout Corgi. The small body of a Corgi is not meant to carry on additional pounds and it is important that their diet does not contribute to obesity.
Extra weight can affect your Corgi in more ways and lead to other health problems, like hip dysplasia and arthritis, which Corgis are susceptible to. Developing joint issues like these are painful and can greatly reduce a Corgi’s quality of life.
2. Environment and Conditions
The environment is another important consideration one must take. Corgis can handle temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Dogs generally have a higher body temperature, and with a Corgi’s small body, they can overheat and experience heatstroke. It is best not to keep your furry friend exposed to extreme temperatures for extended periods of time and to check in for signs that could show conditions are not suitable for your Corgi’s comfort and health.
3. Enclosure Size/Living Quarters/Housing
It is recommended that Corgis live and sleep inside. Corgis are lively and alert. Being exposed to the elements and extreme conditions outdoors will provide constant stimuli, which could mean non-stop barking, stress, and difficulty sleeping, and can expose your Corgi to illness or other dangers. Having your Corgi live inside gives them a comfortable, dry, and safe space to relax and sleep.
Living indoors does not mean being inside all the time. It is important to make sure your Corgi gets plenty of time outdoors to exercise and play. Socializing your Corgi is vital. If your Corgi is constantly on high alert and watching out for danger or feeling stressed, this can also impact their health negatively.
Bigger isn’t always better, and that is true when it comes to life span for dogs. Larger dogs tend to have shorter lifespans, while smaller and mid-sized dogs live longer on average. Corgis are small to medium-sized dogs. Large dogs have a life expectancy of 8 to 12 years, while smaller and medium-sized dogs have a life expectancy that, on average, ranges from 10–15 years and sometimes can live even longer.
Female Corgis have been noticed to outlive their male counterparts by one or two years.
Certain health conditions are more prevalent in Corgis based on their sex. For instance, male Corgis are at a greater risk of becoming obese in their senior years, while female Corgis often develop mammary or ovarian cancer if not spayed. Corgis are susceptible to different health issues and illnesses due to their sex and other factors like their genes.
Genetics is extremely important when it comes to quality of life and life expectancy. Although their shape is adorable, Corgis are more susceptible to back issues because of their long and low body. Serious conditions that Corgis may be genetically predisposed to include hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, degenerative myelopathy, von Willebrand’s disease, and intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).
Some minor issues that are still important can include Canine cataracts, Retinal Dysplasia, obesity, Cutaneous Asthenia, and Cystinuria. This list may seem scary and extensive but genetic testing can be done to help you better care for your Corgi’s unique needs.
7. Breeding History
Male Corgis rarely get health problems due to breeding. Female Corgis, however, can have many complications with breeding. Overbreeding female Corgis can lead to a shorter lifespan, and it is not uncommon for a female Corgi to become injured or even die due to birthing complications.
As far as your unique Corgi, it is hard to say what potential genetic predispositions it may have and whether its parents were in good health. If you do not have this information, genetic testing can be a great tool to help you prepare for potential health conditions in your beloved pup.
Regular and routine vet visits can help monitor your Corgi’s health, and if any conditions or issues arise, spotting them sooner can prolong their life and maintain the quality of their life.
The 4 Life Stages of a Corgi
A Corgi is a newborn from the moment they are born until around 4 weeks. They are born blind, deaf, and vulnerable at this stage. At around 2 weeks, Corgis begin to open their eyes. These four weeks are vital for a Corgi to develop into a puppy.
After 4 weeks, a Corgi moves on from being a newborn to a puppy. From 1 month to 6 months, Corgis are considered puppies. Around 2 months, Corgis will begin interacting more with their environment and socialization is crucial! This is the time when your Corgi begins to understand what is going on, is developing habits, and is full of puppy energy and eagerness to learn and play.
Corgi males reach maturity when they are 6 to 8 months old. Females usually experience their first heat cycle (indicating sexual maturity) when they are around 9 to 11 months old. From 6 to 12 months old, Corgis are considered young adults and are in their “teenager” stage since they are sexually mature and able to reproduce but not fully grown. When your Corgi stops growing is when it is considered an adult. They are considered an adult from the age of 1 to 7 years old.
At age 7, Corgis are considered seniors and will have different needs and requirements compared to their other life stages. Their dietary and exercise needs will be different as well.
How to Tell Your Corgi’s Age
Corgis make for wonderful furry companions. With plenty of personality, affection, and wit, it only makes sense why they are so popular among both royalty and the rest of us common folk. Even knowing that they have a higher life expectancy than some other larger breeds, at 10–13 years being the average, it can be a tough pill to swallow that Corgis don’t live as long as their human best friends. With proper care, prioritizing their health, and knowledge of the breed as well as your unique pup’s needs, your Corgi can live a rich life filled with love thanks to your care and dedication to understanding them and their needs throughout their different stages.