Welsh Corgi

creekdwellerJanuary 15, 2012


I usually hang out over at Holidays. But, I have a question that I thought you folks may have some information about. I have a niece that is looking for Welsh corgi puppies.

Does anyone know of a breeder? I think she could make arrangements to go wherever they may be.



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Here is a rescue site.

Here is a link that might be useful: Corgi rescue

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 7:00PM
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corgis are wonderful dogs, very intelligent, lovable, easy to train, adorable. that being said, there is a disease called degenerative myelopathy that has overtaken the pembroke welsh corgi breed. if your niece has her heart set on a puppy and finds a breeder, if that breeder does not do a DNA test on her breeding dogs to eliminate the possibility of this disease being passed down to puppies, your niece should run SCREAMING IN THE OTHER DIRECTION.

i lost my male corgi to this disease. my female tested positive for the DM gene but nasal cancer killed her before she ever developed symptoms of the disease.

trust me, your niece does NOT want to raise a corgi only to find that at the age of 7 or 8 or 10 or 11, symptoms of DM start to show up. it is one of the cruelest diseases out there.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 9:48AM
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Have her look up the Welsh Corgi club of America. They should have list of breeders. And above statement is true testing for any thing the breed in prone to should be being done by any respectable breeder.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 6:42PM
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Thanks everyone for your input. I have passes it on to my niece.


    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 9:54AM
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One other thing to note- don't ask the breeder whether or not they test, ask to see test results. If you can learn what questions to ask, a not entirely reputable breeder can learn what to answer and have it check out.

My Sphynx was a grand champion retired queen from one of the old, legendary lines of the breed. Everything about the breeder I checked on, or asked about, checked out. She died of a hereditary heart problem, and according to the cardiologist, "Every breeder says they test, but I've never had a breeder bring me a cat."

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 1:58AM
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good point, cocontom. my male corgi was a finished champion when i got him at the age of 3. he began showing symptoms of DM at age 10. in doing some checking, i found that his father died of DM at the age of 12. simon was left intact when he was placed with me because his former owner still showed him occasionally in veteran classes. over the years, i had numerous calls from people who wanted to use him as a stud dog. this was long before symptoms and long before i had ever even heard of DM. thank God i never agreed to him being used as he would surely have passed this gene along to his offspring.

i am, by no means, saying that ALL breeders hide their heads in the sand but there are numerous corgi breeders out there who do not test for DM and just keep producing litter after litter after litter of dogs that will ultimately die from this disease.

DM is physically painless but watching a beloved dog become paralyzed over a period of months is the most heartbreaking thing i have ever gone through. i watched as the sparkle slowly left simon's eyes and i sent him over the bridge before his dignity was completely gone. while i love this breed, it is because of DM i will never, EVER own another corgi.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 10:19AM
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Well Ninapearl, I havre a five year old female Cardigan and a nine year old male Pembroke, both or whom are finished champions as were both of the parents and grandparents. A previous female Cardigan of our lived to 17. Your statement that the Pembroke breed has been desimated is irresponsible.

Both of our dogs came from established breeders who also show their dogs. In both cases, we signed agreements with the breeders that we would have the digs neutered. This is the norm with upscale breeders so that you will not comprimise the breed.

Both of our Corgis have regular wellness physicals. We regularly attend AKC sanctioned shows primarily to see our fellow Pembroke and Cardigan owners. I have never heard any of them express concern about Dm.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 1:22PM
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texasredhead, we'll have to agree to disagree. you go look at the stats at the university in missouri where the DM studies are being done and where DNA testing is available. when you do, be sitting down. the ratio of corgis tested to corgis being either "at risk" or "affected" as opposed to "clear" will boggle your mind.

my pem did not start showing symptoms until he was almost 10 years old. he, too, was from an established breeder who showed her dogs to championships both in the u.s. and canada. both of my corgis had yearly wellness exams as well as the finest food money could buy. the reason you have never heard your show people discuss DM is because it is the dirty little secret that must be kept. heaven forbid a breeder should spend a little extra $$ to have their dogs tested prior to breeding. nah, let the unsuspecting buyer take home that adorable puppy, love it and raise it as part of the family. by the time DM symptoms set in, the owners probably don't even remember how to contact the breeder because it's 8 or 10 or 11 years down the road.

don't even begin to tell me that my statement is irresponsible. when you see the stats, you will see i am right.

if you knew anything about DM you would know that cardigans are not any more affected than any other breed. it is the pems that are carrying this scourge. i hope with all my heart that you NEVER have to experience this disease in your pem. i guarantee you, it will shred your heart like no other.

here, i'll even make it easy for you...

i will debate this to the ends of the earth. every time i see someone with a new corgi puppy at the pet store or the fairgrounds during 4H, i cringe.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 6:21PM
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texasredhead, i don't mean to beat a dead horse here but i felt the need to justify to you my statement.

i am copying/pasting (in quotes) the reply i received from dr. hansen recently when i e-mailed to ask her about current stats as they apply to the pems tested at the university of missouri...

"total numbers tested through the end of 2011, we tested 2502 PWCs 163 NORMAL, 717 CARRIER, and 1622 AFFECTED/AT RISK. Obviously, it will take some careful planning and several generations to work away from such a high prevalence and still maintain a healthy & diverse gene pool for the breed that retains all the positive traits that make people love the breed. It's taken a while to get into this situation, and it will take time to get back out."

as you can see, the number of "carrier" and "affected/at risk" far outweighs the number of "normal" dogs. that is not to say that every single affected/at risk dog will develop the symptoms of DM but if they live long enough, chances are pretty high that it will happen. obviously, carriers and affected/at risk dogs should NEVER be used in breeding programs. the sad truth is, they are and they will continue to be used and will continue to pass this gene on until every single pem breeder tests and spays/neuters ANYTHING other than a NORMAL tested dog.

maybe the next time you are at a show where there are pem breeders, you can ask about this. i would be very curious to hear what responses you get.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 7:57AM
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According to what I read on the internet, Cardigans can be infected as are several other breeds most notably the German Shepherd. In the last 25 years we had/have Pembrokes and Cardigans and none of ours showed any sympotoms of DM. As a matter of fact, I never heard of the disease until this posting. The breeder from which I got my Cardigan is still a recognized breeder, shower of Cardigans, and I will ask them about any trouble they may have heard had or experienced.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 10:00AM
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cardigans can be, yes, but it is the pems that are most affected at this point. besides GSDs, there are several other breeds where DM is running rampant...chesapeake bay retrievers, boxers, irish setters to name a few.

you can go here and look at a list of breed-specific diseases...


if you scroll down, you can read a very short summary of DM. keep in mind, early onset is rare. most dogs do not show symptoms until quite late in life, average 9-11 years. some dogs, while they may carry the DM gene, simply don't live long enough to develop symptoms. i truly hope you never have to experience it. i had never heard of DM until simon's former owner sent me links after i described his symptoms.

DM is a presumptive diagnosis. there is no test to confirm the disease unless spinal cord tissue is analyzed after death. once all other neurological conditions are ruled out, DM is often the diagnosis. the DNA test can pretty much confirm the disease. in other words, if a dog shows symptoms and everything else has been ruled out, and the DNA test is positive for the gene (which was the case with simon), DM is the logical conclusion.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 2:20PM
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Ninapearl, I realize the thread is old but you are misrepresenting the disease. The huge majority of Pems will either test as "At Risk" or "Carriers" of DM, but most of those dogs will NEVER get clinical DM. There are other factors at work (probably other genes, possibly environmental). The percent of Corgis who get DM will rank in the low single digits. To avoid an entire breed because maybe 2 or 3% of the dogs MIGHT get a devastating disease in old age is not really logical. If we were to avoid any dog who MIGHT get very ill some day, we would never get a dog. Corgis are genetically a fairly healthy breed, with average lifespan of 12 to 14 years.

To not use carriers or at risk dogs in breeding means to eliminate something like 90% of all Pems, which would cause a huge genetic bottleneck and is exactly what the geneticists involved in studying this disease say we MUST NOT DO. I am sorry for your loss, but your advice is not based on anything that the research actually says.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 3:28PM
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Just wanted to add that I personally suffer from a genetic disease in which 92% of all affected people have a specific genetic marker, BUT 85% of people with the marker will NEVER get the disease. This is similar to the situation with DM. We would be irresponsible to eliminate so many dogs who will never get sick based on an as-yet incomplete understanding of how the disease works. Corgis are among the healthiest of purebred dogs.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 3:33PM
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i stand by my posts here. i dare YOU to care for a DM dog and then come back here and tell me i'm wrong to say affected/at risk/carriers should not be culled.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 4:18PM
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First of all, ninapearl, I have two Pembroke Welsh Corgis and am very familiar with the disease.

Secondly, your advice is in direct contradiction to the geneticists who are studying the disease and trying to find the other genes involved. Unless you are suggesting you are a geneticist then perhaps I will listen to their advice; I notice you did not quote their breeding guidelines in your post because they are the opposite of what you say.

NO breed can survive if you eliminate 91% of the dogs from the gene pool. DM is a horrible disease, but a disease of old age in an otherwise healthy dog. What if you only breed the remaining 9% who are "clear" and they end up getting IVDD at a higher rate? IVDD is painful to dogs, makes them go down behind, and strikes YOUNG dogs.

What if you breed to the 9% and they end up with high rates of cancer and instead of a dog who averages 12 to 14 and maybe 3% (and that's a high estimate) get an awful disease, you are now like boxers with an average life expectancy of 9 and many getting cancer by 7? Would you say "Well, they are dead at 7 but at least they don't have DM!" Of course you would not, but that is a very real risk if you breed out 91% of the entire gene pool of a breed.

Again, to be clear, you are suggesting that over 90% of a breed be eliminated because low single digits might get an admittedly heart-breaking disease of old age. I just want anyone who might read this to realize that this is not the recommendation of the study you cited:

"The "A" allele is very common in some breeds. In these breeds, an overly aggressive breeding program to eliminate the dogs testing A/A or A/G might be destructive to the breed as a whole because it would eliminate a large fraction of the high quality dogs that would otherwise contribute desirable qualities to the breed. "

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 11:10PM
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Actually, your stats are even worse than the earlier ones I've seen: apparently over 93% of dogs are either at risk or carriers. So what you are suggesting would now involve culling all but 7% of all Corgis. You are calling for the destruction of the breed over a very rare disease.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 11:13PM
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