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Current Judging Concerns in the Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgi judging

There are currently some faults appearing too frequently in the show ring that are of concern. Primary among them are size, eye shape and color, coat color, bone shape, and feet. These faults run the gamut from functional to aesthetic, but all are contrary to the essence of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi as described in our Breed Standard.



Although our Standard lists no disqualifications, it states under General Appearance:

A dog must be very seriously penalized for the following faults, regardless of whatever desirable qualities the dog may present: oversized or undersized; button, rose or drop ears; overshot or undershot bite; fluffies, whitelies, mismarks or bluies.

In the very next section, Size, Proportion, Substance, it states:

Height (from ground to highest point on withers) should be 10 to 12 inches. Weight is in proportion to size, not exceeding 30 pounds for dogs and 28 pounds for bitches. In show condition, the preferred medium-sized dog of correct bone and substance will weigh approximately 27 pounds, with bitches approximately 25 pounds. Obvious oversized specimens and diminutive toylike individuals must be very severely penalized.”

In today’s show ring, a 27-lb. dog, the preferred medium-sized dog described above, can appear more undersized than correct in comparison to the competition. A medium-sized dog should fit neatly in the arms of the handler as it is being placed on the table. When studying this breed, try to develop a feel for correct size and weight.

Judging Pembroke Welsh Corgi


Eye Shape and Color

In the section on Head, our Standard states:

Eyes – Oval, medium in size, not round, nor protruding, nor deepset and piglike. Set somewhat obliquely. Variations of brown in harmony with coat color… While dark eyes enhance the expression, true black eyes are most undesirable, as are yellow or bluish eyes.

Note that the Pembroke has an oval, not an almond or round, eye. We have seen dogs with blue or silver sections in their iris finish their championships and even go on to Best of Breed in good competition. Although not a DQ, “most undesirable” speaks for itself. The eye shape and color are essential to our hallmark foxlike expression.

Judging Pembroke Welsh Corgi


Coat Color

Referring again to the Standard:

Color: The outer coat is to be of self colors in red, sable, fawn, black and tan with or without white markings. White is acceptable on legs, chest, neck (either in part or as a collar), muzzle, underparts and as a narrow blaze on head.

These are the only acceptable colors in a Pembroke. Unlike the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, there is NO merle gene in a purebred Pembroke. A complete discussion of coat color can be found on the PWCCA website.


Bone and Foot Shape

Both sections on Forequarters and Hindquarters in our Standard call for “Ample bone carried right down into the feet.

This is a strong and sturdy breed; however, it also states:

Substance – Should not be so low and heavy-boned as to appear coarse or overdone, nor so light-boned as to appear racy.

Feet are to be “Oval – with the two center toes slightly in advance of the two outer ones. Turning neither in nor out. Pads strong and feet arched.

Judging Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Correct Pembroke Feet

Since the bone is carried right down into the feet, for the foot to be oval, the leg bones must also be oval, unlike the Cardigan which has round bone and feet due to its Teckel origin. A tight, oval, firmly arched foot is an obvious asset to a herding dog, and is also important to Pembroke type.

Judging Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Correct Cardigan Feet

When judging the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, please don’t let our lack of DQs make you disregard important elements of our sturdy, agile, herding dog. You are the keeper of the Standard; if you do not forgive these faults, they will not flourish.

Judging Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Incorrect Splayed Foot

This is a strong and sturdy breed; however, it also states “Substance -Should not be so low and heavy-boned as to appear coarse or overdone, nor so light-boned as to appear racy.”


Are you looking for a Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy?

The best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with a purebred dog is to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Not sure where to begin finding a breeder?

Contact the National Parent Club’s Breeder Referral person, which you can find on the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts page.


Want to help rescue and re-home a Pembroke Welsh Corgi dog?

Did you know nearly every recognized AKC purebred has a dedicated rescue group? Find your new best friend on the AKC Rescue Network Listing.


Pembroke Welsh Corgi Breed Magazine

Showsight Magazine is the only publication to offer dedicated Digital Breed Magazines for ALL recognized AKC Breeds.

Read and learn more about the affectionate Pembroke Welsh Corgi dog breed with articles and information in our Pembroke Welsh Corgi Breed Magazine.


Pembroke Welsh Corgi Breed Magazine - Showsight


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