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Do Corgis Make Good Service Dogs? What You Need to Know!

pembroke welsh corgi out in the fields

The Corgi is an intelligent, keen, and tenacious breed that’s recognizable almost as soon as its unique silhouette is seen. There are two distinct types of Corgi: the Cardigan and the Pembroke Welsh; both Corgi dogs make excellent service animals.

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What Are Service Dogs?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service dog in the US as “a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability.”

These tasks have a wide range and include everything from opening doors and helping their owner to navigate to alerting a person when they can sense they’re going to have an anxiety attack.

Usually, these are specially trained animals paired with people they’d suit the most. This is commonly done through organizations set up specifically for this purpose. Still, as long as there are certain behaviors the dog can carry out and adhere to, any dog can qualify as a service dog.

This includes the Corgi variants. While they aren’t as popular as other breeds for service tasks, they still make amazingly useful companions.

welsh corgi pembroke puppy on its owners arms
Image Credit: Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock

What Makes Corgis Good Service Dogs?

Corgis are known to not only be intelligent as a breed, but both variants are also good with children, attentive, and have what’s known as a “big dog bark.” This big bark comes from their herding ancestry and makes them particularly suitable for those who want a small service dog with enough energy to alert them.

This small stature belies their strength, as the Pembroke and Cardigan Corgis have power behind their little legs. Service dogs need to be resilient and sometimes withstand challenging physical interactions with their owners, such as during deep pressure stimulation to help epileptic owners escape a seizure.

Is There a Difference in Service Dog Suitability Between Pembroke or Cardigan Corgis?

Despite being very similar, there are differences in the two Corgi variants that may make one more suitable than the other for use as a service dog. Some minor physical differences can mean a lot to someone relying on their dog for physical tasks.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Image Credit: Welshea, Shutterstock

Pembroke vs Cardigan: Physical Traits

The Pembroke Corgi is a slightly smaller breed with no tail (or a closely docked one), while the Cardigan Corgi has a heavier structure and a long, foxy tail. While this difference is small, a service user who uses a wheelchair may not want to work with a Cardigan for fear of hurting their tail accidentally.

Both types have the same double coat, which doesn’t require much grooming, making them equally suitable in that respect.

Pembroke vs Cardigan: Personality

Both these dogs are friendly, generous, and intelligent. Still, there are subtle differences in how they interact with strangers or situations, which makes a big impact on specific service dog jobs.

The Pembroke is known for their love of a good time. They’re light-hearted and will adapt readily to nearly all situations, making them particularly suitable for children or service users in different situations. They have high energy, however, so they may not do well with service users who’re restricted to being mostly at home.

The Cardigan is just as friendly and is a loyal and dutiful companion, but instead of leaping head-first into new situations, the Cardigan is more pensive. They will likely stand back and consider new people or situations before committing to them, which can hold them back if they work with a social butterfly.

a smiling pembroke welsh Corgi dog lying on grass
Image Credit: ozsvathcsilla, Pixabay

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What Can a Corgi Be Trained To Do?

Corgis can be trained to do everything a service user needs as long as it’s within their physical capabilities. A corgi won’t be able to lift an adult, for example, whereas a Great Dane could, but they can perform several tasks.

Typical tasks a Corgi can be trained to carry out include:
  • Navigating around hazards (such as bollards or lamp posts for seeing-eye dogs)
  • Avoiding moving objects
  • Finding entrances and exits
  • Opening and closing doors
  • Finding and retrieving lost items
  • Alerting to specific sounds such as babies crying, doorbells ringing, etc
  • Carrying a basket of items
  • Putting trash or items into the bin or a bag
  • Helping owners dress or undress
  • Calling out in an emergency on a K-9 rescue phone
  • Alerting to medical emergencies such as diabetic crashes or imminent seizures

There are specific tasks, such as heavy-duty lifting or bracing service users, that Corgis won’t be able to do. This is due to their physical strength and the fact that they’re so short in stature.

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Conclusion

The Corgi makes a great service dog, whether they’re a Pembroke Welsh with their bat-like ears and grinning faces or a Cardigan type with their sturdy frame and fox-like tail. The intelligence and friendliness of the Corgi make them ideal as a service dog in many situations; the only case in which the Corgi might not excel is if heavy lifting is involved. Despite this, the Corgi is a dog of poise and joy; each will make a great addition as a service dog.


Featured Image Credit: MolnarSzabolcsErdely, Pixabay

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