Nipper Kennels

Nipper Bullies

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About the Breed.........

         Corgis have an average life span of 12 to 15 years. Their average weight is between 20 to 30 pounds for both males and females. Of course, this WILL vary depending on age and if you have had your baby spayed or neutered.


            NOW LET ME STOP YOU!!! (Consider yourself warned)

          Imagine, if you will, the greatest amount of hair you can feasibly foresee coming off an animal.  Now, imagine two or three times that amount. That is a rough estimate of how much Corgis shed, and probably an underestimate at that. If you are NOT okay with a dog shedding its weight in hair every month, a Corgi certainly is not for you. This warning may seem like a gross exaggeration, but it is something many cannot comprehend until they experience it first-hand and by then, it is too late! The amount they shed is phenomenal!!! I did warn you!!

          Corgis have a double coat that keeps them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Their coat should NEVER be shaved.

             Corgis Are NOT For Everyone...  These are WORST case scenarios, NOT ALL Corgi will have all of these issues but this is to let you know MOST Corgi behavior!!         

             Sure, they are very cute and stubby, but they’re fairly difficult  dogs to own and generally don’t make good dogs for first time owners or the unprepared. If you like and are used to the personality of Labs and Goldens or the idyllic “family dog”, you will likely struggle with a Corgi.
Corgis are herding dogs.  When most people think of herding, they think of sheep.  Corgis were bred to herd a much tougher opponent--cattle--they take a hands-on approach to doing so.  Unlike Border Collies, which herd sheep by eyeing and stalking, Corgis control herd movement by chasing, biting, and barking.  This behavior and attitude is instinctual even in Corgis that haven't herded in generations, and makes the Corgi a rather "hard" breed.

Herding requires a certain level of intelligence.  The dog must be able to work independently of its handler, determine the best course of action in a constantly changing environment, solve problems, and accomplish goals as a team, among other necessities.  Corgis have the intellect to do all those things and then much more. They know what they want and they know how to get it, and are very stubborn as a result.  They can’t be pushed around.  They are tough little dogs with their own ideas about how the world should work. They’re highly intelligent and perceptive, so they will try to manipulate you and others to bend to their will, but are usually just stubborn with the hopes of wearing you down. Corgis don’t do things simply because you want them to do it. They’re still a biddable and trainable breed, but they’re not going to budge if they don’t think they’re getting appropriately compensated. If you give a Corgi an inch, it will try its absolute hardest to take a mile. It’s very important to establish rules and never waiver on where the lines are drawn. Consistency is vital to a well-behaved Corgi and they thrive on it. If you give in once, the Corgi will continually test your boundaries and see how far you are willing to let them go.

Because they were bred to stand up to 1,000 pounds of angry cow and keep a whole herd in line, they aren’t going to give up easily against one puny human—especially not a human that has proven itself to be unreliable when enforcing the household rules. Corgis raised by weak-willed owners have a tendency to become controlling or even aggressive, in part because they become very used to getting what they want.  The hardness of the breed means that the Corgi is more likely to get aggressive, destructive, loud, and possibly physical when under-stimulated. 

The herding instinct also manifests itself in play through barking at things that move, aren’t moving, or in general aren’t doing what the Corgi wants them to do.  If quiet is a concern inside or out, you may want to consider a different breed, or be prepared to stop play when things get out of hand.  At the dog park, a Corgi may run around and bark at other dogs playing, seemingly policing their activities.  A Corgi will almost certainly bark when playing soccer with the family, or when doing any other activity that may simulate herding.  Corgis are watchful dogs, too, and they will bark when they feel it is necessary to alert the family.  You and the Corgi will often disagree on things that require alerting; doorbells, keys, and movement outside are all typical barking triggers.  In a similar vein, Corgis are very vocal when nothing is happening and "talk" with a series of grumbles, mumbles, moans, and gruffs.

The Corgi personality is overwhelming for many dog owners, particularly those that expect the Corgi to be something it isn’t. The key to raising a good Corgi is to be more stubborn than the dog on things that matter.
Corgis can turn into quite an undesirable creature in the wrong hands, but they can be amazing, phenomenal little dogs when they’re properly cared for. They are keen at reading body language and are very sensitive to correction, especially from someone they respect and trust. They are kind and gentle with people, if demanding. It is fairly easy to have a conversation with a Corgi; their large ears are very expressive and their faces hide no emotions.  All the Corgi really wants is to be with its family. Despite the bossiness and stubbornness, Corgis are quite charming.

 Many people see a Corgi and think of it as a small dog that has little exercise needs, and they classify it as being an “apartment dog” based on its size.  This is false in many ways.  For one, a Corgi is a medium sized dog with no legs, not a small dog.  Secondly, herding is a physically demanding job, and Corgis are able to fill it.  They have high energy requirements in a seemingly small package and do no better in a big house than they would in an apartment if they do not meet those requirements.   Third, their short legs often deceive people into thinking they are slow, lumbering movers, when any Corgi owner could tell you that they are dogs built like bullets with a speed to match.  What good is a herder if they cannot even keep up with their herd?

High energy combined with lots of smarts lends itself to disaster when the dog is not properly cared for.  A bored dog, no matter the breed, will find a way to reduce its boredom—typically through destruction of the home.  It’s imperative that Corgis receive appropriate amounts of exercise to avoid this outcome.   A tired Corgi is a dog that is not causing problems, be it destruction, barking, herding of children, or any other undesired behavior.  Activities to work the Corgi’s brain are also a requirement.

Corgis are smart little "Gremlins" and tend to be easily bored by repetitive tasks. For some Corgis, going on a daily neighborhood walk (or even a weekly neighborhood walk) is insufferably boring. They would rather just not walk at all, planting their feet and refusing to participate willingly. It’s very important to find a regular physical activity that engages the Pembroke to avoid facing off in a battle of wills. Corgis (and other dwarf dogs) do not make good jogging or biking partners for this reason, but also because regular running is too stressful on their joints.

In groups of dogs, many Corgis like to be the “fun police”. They will bark at other dogs playing and chase them around, sometimes joining in on the real fun for mere seconds at a time before resuming the barking. They also have a tendency to chase and bite at other dogs when playing one-on-one. This is completely normal Corgi behavior and it’s how they like to play, but the barking and biting may not be very welcome at the dog park.

Don't stop your puppy from running and playing, but do stop your puppy from jumping off of furniture, don't take your puppy jogging, and avoid strenuous agility work or repetitive small jumps.

           Corgi Health......

         The joints in a dwarfed dog are very different from the joints in a standard dog—like the rest of the dog’s skeletal system, they are deformed. The dwarf mutation alters the growth and development of cartilage.  In fact, if the same joints were on an average dog, they would certainly be considered dysplastic.  In a Corgi, these types of seemingly dysplastic joints are "normal" and allow easy, pain-free movement.  As in standard dogs, dwarves have varying degrees of joint quality and are capable of developing hip or elbow dysplasia.  Rapid cartilage degeneration caused by dwarfism is present in every member of the breed. Cartilage is a connective tissue that cushions joints as well as holds them together.  Because cartilage wears down faster in dwarfed dogs, osteoarthritis may develop at an early age—particularly in areas with small bones, such as the wrist or feet.  Some Corgis may become very sensitive about having their feet touched and manipulated.

          Spinal Cord Issues.....

       The discs in the spine are affected by early and rapid cartilage degeneration, as well, which puts the Corgi a high risk for a condition called intervertebral disc disease, or IVDD. In dwarf dogs, the normally squishy disc between the vertebrae in the spine hardens prematurely and severely reduces spine flexibility.  When the discs are forced to compress or stretch, the disc can rupture and put pressure on the spinal cord and surrounding nerves.  IVDD has various degrees, from mild back pain to complete paralysis.  All Corgis are at risk for IVDD, and the risk increases exponentially with extra weight.  Even just 2-3 extra pounds can be problematic. An unfit Corgi with little supporting muscle is more at-risk than a well-conditioned Corgi, particularly when engaging in high-impact activities including jumps and quick turns or twists.  The effect is cumulative, meaning the dog's risk for a catastrophic IVDD episode increases over time. Signs of an injured disc that could develop into full-blown IVDD include limping, reluctance to walk, or reluctance to do other activities that the dog normally enjoys.  The dog should be rested with little to no exercise and on-leash potty breaks for 1-2 days.  If the limp or reluctance continues, the dog should see a vet.  The earlier these symptoms are diagnosed and treated, the better.  If these symptoms are ignored, they could progress to an inability to walk, an inability to stand, and then paralysis.

       Obesity for Corgis is more than just a cosmetic problem.  It can be a death sentence.  The extra weight pulls on the spine and aggravates the joints. Once you have them spayed/ neutered, you should monitor their weight.


         HEALTH TESTING.....

    Corgis are now being tested for Spinal Cord Disease called Degenerative Myelopathy. It is a progressive disease affecting the spinal cord of older Corgis, obese or not. A diagnosis of degenerative myleopathy means the white matter in your dog's spinal cord is breaking down, according to the petMD website. It's the canine equivalent of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in people, which you know as Lou Gehrig's disease. That white matter is responsible for sending movement instructions from your dog's brain to his legs, along with information back from the legs to his brain. While the exact cause is unknown, a genetic link is suspected, according to Welsh Corgi News. At the onset of the disease, Corgis show a lack of coordination in the hind limbs. As the disease progresses, a Corgi will become weaker and eventually will be unable to stand or walk.

Degenerative myelopathy is diagnosed by ruling out all other causes of weakness, such as herniated discs and spinal infections. Currently, no treatments are available for degenerative myelopathy.

      I DO NOT put a health guarantee on our Corgis for this.  The age of onset is usually 8 and above.  When symptoms are noticed, life expectancy is 6 to 12 months as the paralysis works its way up the spine.  True DM is also completely painless.  Currently, 60% of Pembrokes test “at risk” for the disease. Most “at risk” dogs do not come down with DM, which indicates something else is afoot in the onset of the disease.  Until researchers identify what that “something else” is, DM is best avoided by caring for your Corgi the best way you can and hoping it doesn’t strike.  All things considered, DM isn’t the most terrible way for a Corgi to end its life provided both you and the dog have the proper support you need. WE  DO NOT TEST OUR CORGIS FOR DM!! 

If you notice your Corgi acting stiff, losing hind limb function, limping, or otherwise in pain without an immediate source, take your dog to the vet.

      Von Willebrand Disease.....

     Von Willebrand disease is a blood disorder that is found in both dogs and humans. When an animal has Von Willebrands, their blood will not clot as well. The condition is actually similar to hemophilia. When a dog has Von Willebrand, they will often have nosebleeds, bleeding gums, prolonged bleeding after a surgery or during heat cycles, and sometimes even bloody stool.

There is a genetic factor for Von Willebrand disease in dogs that veterinarians can test your dog for through a DNA test, which will show if the animal is a carrier or affected by the disease or is genetically clear. Von Willebrand disease is inherited through a simple recessive gene, and affected dogs can usually undergo routine treatment with few side effects.

Corgis and other dogs are typically diagnosed with Von Willebrand disease between the age of three to five. The disease can’t be cured, but can be managed with treatments like transfusions, minor surgeries, cauterizing and suturing injuries, and avoiding some specific medications that further thin the blood. WE DO NOT TEST OUR CORGIS FOR THIS!

   I HIGHLY recommend the open air, not plastic (closed in), crates for training tools. If you cannot monitor your puppy or watch them while away, please put your dog in their own personal space. It can even save their life. 


    **If you do decide that you would like to breed one of our dogs, I require that my kennel name "Nipper's" be added to the BEGINNING of your dog's name on the AKC papers. This is a part of my Sales Contract that you sign off on to acknowledge that this is NON NEGOTIABLE!  I take GREAT pride in my dogs and anything with my name on it is reflected on their pedigrees for generations to come. We can come up with a name that  everyone can agree on for the AKC papers. (This is not required for Limited or "Pet" papers)


        **This requirement was added to the site in August 2015!


Call Stephanie (904) 536-2991     

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