In celebration of Gracie’s birthday coming up, I have decided to host a giveaway on her Instagram account (@gracieeethecorgi). One lucky pup will be chosen to win a gift basket filled with some goodies from some of my favorite shops! If you are interested in entering my giveaway, see below for details!
To enter: 1️⃣ Follow my Instagram account @gracieeethecorgi 2️⃣ Like and repost the post with the hashtag #gracies4thbarkdaygiveaway 3️⃣ Tag @gracieeethecorgi and 3 friends 4️⃣ Public accounts only! The giveaway ends on Gracie’s birthday, December 16th at 11:59 PM. The winner will be drawn on December 17th!
If you haven’t been living under a rock, odds are that you have seen one of the thousands of articles flooding the internet showcasing my favorite dog breed: Pembroke Welsh Corgis. It’s hard NOT to scroll through Instagram or Facebook without coming across another adorable picture of a corgi, but who’s complaining, right?
Who on Earth can resist a Corgi? With those big ears, stubby legs, and fluffy butt, they are cute as can be. Pick up a book on dog breeds, or visit a breed-selector website, and you will find that Corgis are incredibly smart, easy-to-train, and are relatively low maintenance in the grooming department. They are loyal to their people, can live peacefully in many different environments, are good watchdogs, and don’t require acres of running room. Toss in a convenient size and the fact that they can be happy in most climates, and they sound like the perfect dog.
But no dog breed is the right match for everyone. The question is, is a Corgi the right dog for you?
Here are five things to know before getting a corgi:
1. Corgis shed – A LOT!
Get ready to break out the vacuum cleaner because these puppies shed – A LOT. Before you know it, there’s hair on the floor, hair on the couch, hair on your clothes, and hair in the places you never imagined hair could ever be. You never knew a dog could have so much hair! You have that oh-so-fluffy double coat to thank. You better invest in a good vacuum cleaner and Furminator if you’re ever going to see your floor again.
2. Corgis are super smart.
This may sound like a great thing when it comes to teaching them basic commands and tricks like sit, down, and stay. However, you definitely won’t be smiling when your corgi learns that he or she doesn’t have to come when called if they’re not on a leash. Because they are so smart, Corgis can inadvertently be taught many unwanted behaviors and can even learn to manipulate their owners to their advantage. That is why regular training sessions and a firm boundary is crucial for these smart pups!
3. Corgis need regular exercise.
While you may not need a large yard to own a Corgi, regular exercise is a must for these athletic pups! Herding dogs such as Corgis are known to have a high need for both mental and physical stimulation in order to keep them healthy and happy. All Corgis need regular walks and playtime to be happy, but some may need a little more than others to keep them sane. Not only that, but regular exercise is essential for preventing obesity. An obese Corgi is susceptible to a slew of health problems. You better break out those walking shoes!
4. Corgis can be sassy/bossy!
And you thought your teenage daughter was bad! Even the most submissive of Corgis have a tendency to talk back, use “selective hearing”, and bark to demand treats, food, or attention. They require an owner who is calm, assertive, and is willing to set firm boundaries. If you are a pushover, your Corgi is sure to become a spoiled brat. Hmm.. doesn’t that sound familiar, parents?
5. Corgis have a tendency to bark – A LOT!
It’s true that many Corgis make excellent watchdogs. As herding dogs, one of their historic jobs was to notice anything “different” and alert the owners. This means your Corgi is likely to bark if the doorbell rings, a car pulls up your driveway, a phone rings, or it’s 5 minutes past his preferred dinner time. If you can’t handle a dog that barks or feels the need to express their emotions via vocalization, then a Corgi is not for you!
If you read this list and found it to be endearing rather than off-putting, then a Corgi might just be the thing for you! 😁
Like the name of my blog suggests, ponies (well horses) and Pembroke Welsh Corgis are the two loves of my life. They help keep me sane in this crazy, busy life of mine! Now that you have been introduced to my two wonderful ponies, Diesel and Diablo, I feel that it’s time to put the spotlight on the other love of my life: my corgi, Gracie!
Gracie came into my life three years ago as a tiny eight-week-old puppy. Even though she is no longer the little puppy that I picked up from the breeder, she continues to make me smile every day with her big personality and her undying love of fetch. She absolutely adores people and would sit on your lap all day if you would let her. She is just a love bug! I could probably write an entire book about how much I love my dog. 😄
However, I have been struggling with her fear of interacting with other dogs after she was attacked and strangled by another dog at a boarding facility when she was around a year old. I trusted this boarding facility, which I will not name for privacy reasons, with taking excellent care of her while we were on our first vacation without her. In return, the social and playful dog I dropped off was returned to me with bloodshot red eyes due to strangulation, a bite wound, and fear after being cornered and attacked by another dog. The worst part is that this “facility” never even notified me that she was hurt. What a great way to be greeted when coming back off of vacation! Ever since then her fear of other dogs approaching her has continued to progress. Living in fear is no life at all.
I have been working on building back the confidence that she lost after she was attacked, but it has been a slow process. I recently decided to seek the help of a professional dog trainer to help her further as I don’t have the skills needed to help her fully. Battling fear is not an easy feat. I thought that blogging her progress might be helpful to others who are dealing with fearful dogs – it is tough to do alone! Especially, when other owners don’t take the time to properly train their dogs or work with their aggressive dogs. You can only control how your dog will react.
We had our first consultation the other afternoon with the wonderful owner of Sit Happens Dog Training, Tina Spring. In our first session, Tina sat down with me and discussed all of the options that we can try to help her overcome her fear. Some of those options included: changing her diet, using pheromone collars to help calm her mind, using training techniques that employ classical conditioning methods, and trying calming medication. We also discussed taking her to the vet office where I work and doing a blood test on her to rule out thyroid issues since they frequently occur in corgis and can cause intense anxiety and fear. I will start off by giving you a little background information to help you to follow along with my rambling.
After speaking with the Tina, I decided to go ahead and try a combination of a few of her suggestions. I will start off by saying that I am personally not a huge fan of immediately medicating dogs without trying other options first. Since I work at a vet clinic, I decided to ask my boss’s opinion and he agreed that medication should be the last option. That being said, I chose to try changing her diet, using a pheromone collar, and working with the trainer to develop a bi-weekly program to help her conquer her fears.
I currently feed Gracie Fromm Gold Holistic Adult dry dog food, which I absolutely recommend to anyone who wants to give their dog a wholesome and healthy dog food. It is not easily available where I live, so I order it through SmartPak! I have personally had great results when feeding the food such as a shiny coat and great body condition. It is a great, wholesome dog food that uses real ingredients and meat instead of all of the by-products. I will include the list of ingredients and the guaranteed analysis down below if you are interested.
Despite how much I love this food, Gracie has been slowing down on her eating. She is notorious for going off of her food when she gets tired of eating the same food for too long. She is just a picky eater! Tina suggested that I give Wellness dog food a try. After doing some research on the brand and the different food options they have, I decided to try alternating between Fromm Gold and the Wellness Core Grain-Free Original food. If you aren’t familiar with rotating foods, I definitely recommend that you go out and read some of the research supporting it – especially if you have a finicky dog. I am going to try rotating her food bi-monthly to keep her interested and provide her with different nutritional values to maintain a well-rounded diet. I will, of course, keep you updated on how well that works out for her as this will be my first time trying both the rotating schedule and the Wellness dog food. I will include the ingredients of the Wellness food down below if you are interested in seeing it’s breakdown!
I also decided to try using a pheromone collar to help control her anxiety before turning to medication. There has been some great research behind using these collars, and there is no evidence of them having any bad side-effects unlike most of the calming medications on the market. I figured that it definitely couldn’t hurt to give them a try. If you are not familiar with pheromone collars, they produce a synthetic dog appeasing pheromone similar to the pheromone that their mother produced when they were puppies. This pheromone has a calming effect on the dog, which can help them adjust to new environments and stressful situations. I decided to try out the Adaptil Calming Pheromone Collar as it is the one that has the most research behind it. You can buy it on Chewy for $17.89, which, honestly, is not too terribly expensive. She has been wearing it for about four days now, so it is a little too early to tell how it works in the long run. I do have to say that she definitely seems calmer in general while wearing it. If your dog is easily stressed, I would definitely say that it would be worth giving a try!
Before I get into it, the exercise I want to share with y’all I want to state that this exercise is the intellectual property of Tina Spring at Sit Happens Dog Training – it is not mine. Now, to round out this long post, I decided that I would share this particular exercise as it is very easy to do and is basically the foundation for dog training. It looks super simple, but it is such a great tool to use when in distracting situations where you want to teach your dog self-control and to listen to you instead of their instincts. To be honest, Gracie is extremely good at it since she was taught this exact exercise in puppy school. It is just a good thing to continue to practice nonetheless. The goal is to use this training technique during exposure exercises when we start conditioning her. I will provide a link to the video where Tina will demonstrate the exercise so that maybe you can get on the right track with your dog! Knowledge is power!
I hope that this post was helpful to all of you dog owners out there! I can’t wait to update y’all on Gracie’s progress towards living a confident and worry-free life!