Our stout little dogs bring so much love and joy into our lives that we can’t picture a time when we might have to say goodbye. Corgi lovers everywhere agree that even the longest living Corgis have left this earth far too soon.
So if you are a proud Corgi or Corgi mix owner and you are wanting to help your Corgi live a long full healthy life but are also wondering what to expect as your Corgi ages you’ve come to the right place.
Pembroke Welsh and Cardigan Welsh Corgis have an average life expectancy of 12–15 years. Some owners have reported their Corgis living up to 19 years old. In human years that’s a range of 65-90+. The leading cause of premature death in Corgis is Cancer and Kidney Failure.
In general the smaller the dog the longer its lifespan. Studies have shown that small breeds tend to have longer lifespans than large breed dogs because large dogs age more quickly.
The aging process for dogs is quite interesting. It was thought in years past that dogs age 7 human years for every year that they are alive. That has since proven to be false.
For the first year of life, a dog will age 15 human years. The second year, 9 years, then 4 or 5 years for every year after that.
According to the AKC dog age calculator because Corgis generally weigh on average between 22-30lbs they would be considered a medium-sized breed. Based on that information here is a look at the results of a survey of how old 260 Corgi’s lived to be.
Age when deceased
In Human Years
Number of dogs who lived to that age
Based on their weight and a survey we conducted of over 250 Corgi owners the average lifespan for a Corgi is 13.5 years old, with a range of 12-15 being the most common.
Life Span for Corgi Mixes.
You may wonder how this changes for Corgi mixes. Generally, mixes are thought to live slightly longer. This is because they have a more diverse genetic pool to draw from which makes them less likely to get breed-specific diseases and ailments.
Most Corgi MIxes will have a similar lifespan to Cogis which is 12-15 years. It may vary a year or two depending on the size of the dog that the Corgi was bred with, with large dogs having slightly shorter lifespans. The biggest determining factor is the reliability of the breeder.
There are not any conclusive studies to show that mixes live longer but vets and vet techs across the country have seen that mix-breed dogs tend to be healthier and more resilient. The exception to this is if you have a purebred Corgi from a very responsible breeder.
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A good breeder will by trial and error learn what genetic characteristics her dogs have and will stop breeding any that may produce a negative outcome.
If you get your Corgi from a puppy mill this will not be the case. Puppy mills are only concerned with pumping out puppies as quickly as possible in order to increase their profit.
Here is a chart of the general lifespan for different Corgi Mixes:
Weight in Lbs
Tea Cup Corgi
Pomeranian Corgi (Corgipom)
Beagle Corgi (Beagi)
Chihuahua Corgi (Chigi)
Terrier Corgi (Corrier)
Poodle Corgi (Corgidoodle)
Dachshund Corgi (Dorgi)
Shiba Inu Corgi (Corgi Inu)
Jack Russell Corgi (Cojack)
German Shepherd Corgi (Corman)
Border Collie Corgi (Borgi)
Australian Shepherd Corgi (Auggie)
Husky Corgi (Horgi)
Pitbull Corgi (Corgi Pit)
Labrador Retriever Corgi (Corgidor)
What is the Teacup or Mini Corgi Lifespan
The teacup or mini corgi lifespan has a wide range of 10-16 years. The biggest determining factor is genetics and health of the parents of the mini corgi which can be influenced by the experience and planning of the breeder. Mini corgis that come from puppy mills will most likely have a much shorter lifespan.
Mini corgis are Corgis mixed with small breed dogs in order to reduce the size to as small as possible, or two full breed corgi runts bred together in order to try and get the smallest version possible.
This can be dangerous and often considered unethical as runts tend to be the smallest and weakest of litters and may develop more health problems.
Corgis already carry a dwarf gene that we can give credit to for their notoriously well-known short stubby legs. This gene is dominant in Corgis so will most likely be passed to any Corgi mixes as well.
In rare cases, mini Corgis may be the result of another dwarfism gene. This gene limits the skeletal and cartilage growth of the dog making it impossible for them to grow to their normal size. If this is the case the dog will most likely have a lot of health problems and a much shorter lifespan.
Puppy mills and unethical breeders may use this tactic to breed very small Corgis but the dogs will be very unhealthy. Please always try to do your research to make sure you are getting your puppy from an ethical breeder.
Mini Corgi Mixes
Mini Corgi Mixes like Corgipom, Chigi, and Beagi may live well into old age. If the parents of the Corgi are healthy and free of any genetic abnormalities these Corgis have been known to live as long as 18 or 19 years old.
In my research, the longest living Corgi I found was 20. There were a few owners that had Corgi mixes that lived to be 19 years old as well.
What is the Life Span of the Cowboy Corgi
The Cowboy Corgi or a mixture of the Pembroke Corgi and Australian Cattle dog. This mixed breed will weigh between 26-38 lbs and just like a full-bred Corgi has an average lifespan of 12-15 years. Genetics and careful breeding of healthy adults by experienced breeders will help this breed live longer.
Factors that Can Influence How Long Your Corgi Lives
If you are like me and most owners we want to do all that we can to help our furry friends live the longest healthiest lives possible. There are some things that are in our control and some that are out of our control.
Here is a list of things that may influence the lifespan of your Corgi and what you can do to help them have a long healthy life!
We already discussed how size can play a role in lifespan. Generally, the smaller the dog the longer its life expectancy will be unless there are genetic diseases or issues inherited because of poor breeding.
There’s not much we can do about the size of our pup. So this factor I would mark out of our control to influence.
Spaying and Neutering
Getting your Corgi spayed or neutered can influence your dog’s lifespan. According to this research, it may only make the difference of months, but a lot of owners that I talked with had very strong opinions that their Corgis were protected from cancer and other life-shortening diseases because of being spayed or neutered.
Male Corgis may be protected from prostate disease and female Corgis from uterine infection or mammary cancer.
In the research spaying, your female dog slightly benefitted them more than it did for males.
Breeding and Genetics
Besides size, genetics and breeding may be the other most important factor. This isn’t something you can directly influence, but when you are choosing a Corgi Puppy you will have the opportunity to find a breeder that is experienced, ethical, and understands how to breed puppies that are healthy and free of genetic abnormalities and problems.
Nutrition & Proper Weight Management
Nutrition can play a big roll in how healthy our dog is and how long they live. The ingredients in our dog’s food can have a significant impact on whether they develop chronic diseases or terminal illnesses like cancer.
Obesity in Corgis is very dangerous. It is often a risk factor for many diseases and ailments. Keeping your dog at a proper weight by feeding them on a schedule as well as avoiding table scraps and other empty calories or junk food will go a long way in helping your Corgi to be healthy.
Feeding your Corgi junk food or table scraps can also contribute to other unwanted and smelly problems like doggy flatulence if your notice your dog farting a lot then check out this article! Why Does My Corgi Fart So Much? – Paws and Learn
Exercise can help your dog live longer as it will increase flexibility and endurance, strengthens muscles around the joints, and can help stave off health problems caused by obesity. Exercise also aids bowel function, which is especially important in older dogs.
Corgis are herding breeds and need plenty of exercise and stimulation. You should strive for a minimum of 1 hour of exercise a day. Here is an article all about the best ways to exercise your Corgi.
Making sure your Corgi gets proper healthcare treatment can go a long way in preventing and early death. Dogs who have been neglected tend to have an increased mortality rate.
Your adult Corgi should see a vet at least once a year, your Corgi puppy starting when you bring it home once every 3–4 weeks until they’re 16 weeks old, following a basic vaccine schedule.
Vaccinating your Corgi at the proper times will help to prevent diseases like Parvo and Kennel cough that if caught could drastically shorten your dog’s life.
Keep their coat brushed and washed properly. Brushing them at least twice a week will help keep the mats away and it gives you an opportunity to keep an eye out for parasites such as fleas and ticks.
Never Shave a Corgi even if you think it’s helping them to stay cool. Shaving your Corgi could cause a bunch of health problems. You can find out more by reading our Article Shaving Your Corgi (Is it Ever Ok?).
By the age of two 80% of dogs have some form of dental disease. As your dog gets older this can progress to lead them down an unhealthy path and could potentially cause a gum infection bad enough to cause organ failure which would decrease their lifespan.
- Brush their teeth (Idealy daily, but weekly is still better than nothing)
- Dental Chews
- High Qualty Dry Kibble
You can work towards creating a healthy environment for your dog by:
- Keeping toxic chemicals out of reach
- Be aware of toxic foods and plants
- Don’t let them chew on or eat Harmful things (If your Corgi eats things it shouldn’t READ THIS!)
- Consider getting a Friend for your Corgi
- Don’t yell at or scold your dog
- Spend time training your dog. You never know when having good recall could save their life!
- Microchip your Corgi
- Provide a comfortable and safe place for your dog to sleep and rest
If you are wondering how much sleep is normal for your Corgi be sure to read our article all about Cogi sleep.
Keeping them young and Healthy requires a fit and active brain as well. Providing your dog with adequate mental stimulation is important. Especially for Corgis since they are a working breed and have an instinctual desire to herd. They need to be kept busy with good things to do.
Lots of Love
This one is the coolest! Love and affection from an owner has the potential to counteract other negative effects on their dog.
There was an experiment done in the 1970s to study the effect of diet on heart health.
Over several months, they fed a control group of rabbits a high-fat diet and monitored their blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol.
As expected, many of the rabbits showed a buildup of fatty deposits on the inside of their arteries, but the curious thing was although all of the rabbits had a buildup, one group surprisingly had as much as 60 percent less than the others. It appeared as though they were looking at two different groups of rabbits.
After spending a lot of time trying to figure out why the results were different even though the rabbits had been fed the exact same diet they discovered that one of the research staff members had been in charge of the group that that was significantly healthier.
She had been giving them affection cuddles and lots of pets. She had been giving them love and this made the rabbits healthier despite their diet!
Corgi Health Problems and What They Die From
Talking to owners of Corgis about how long their Corgis lived was exciting but also sad! I was a little surprised at the number of Corgis that died much too young and the things they died of.
#1 Cause of Premature Death from My Survey Results
– Cancer –
Including Liver Cancer, Lung Cancer, Bladder Cancer, Prostate Cancer
Almost all of the dogs in my survey that died prematurely from cancer were younger than 10 years old.
Causes of Cancer in Dogs
- Exposure to secondhand smoke
- Ultraviolet exposure (Too much sunlight)
- Toxic chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides around your dog
- Not getting your dog spayed or neutered
- Internal factors of gene mutations
#2 Cause Of Premature Death from My Survey Results.
– Kidney Failure –
Kidney disease is an inherited disease that slowly damages your Corgi’s kidneys causing them to stop functioning, often at an early age.
If you are able to keep in contact with the owners of your dog’s parents or siblings and they are able to warn you of other dogs in the family having these issues. If you are aware that this might be a problem you can ask your vet to do a yearly check.
Damaged kidneys will leak protein and so doing a urine analysis to look for this protein can help you get intervention and treatment sooner than you might if you wait for symptoms to develop.
For more information about the signs of kidney failure in dogs you can read this article on WebMD.
Other Health Issues Corgis Face
Corgis have the unique challenge of having long thick bodies and short stubby legs. The short legs in a corgi are caused by a dominant gene called achondroplastic dwarfism which essentially causes and condition called albeit adorably.
Although the short legs are adorable it can cause some added health concerns for this breed. Mainly back problems and mobility issues.
– Back Problem / IVDD / Intervertebral Disc Disease –
Because of Corgis’ long backs and short stubby legs, this back problem can be quite common for them.
This disease is caused when the jelly-like cushion between the vertebrae in your dog’s sping ruptures or slips. This can cause immense pain and inflammation because of the pressure on your dog’s spinal cord. In severe cases, it can cause paralysis.
Signs of IVDD in a Corgi
- Sudden mobility issues
- Unable or unwilliing to go up or down stairs
- Hunched back
- Crying or yelping
- Refuse to eat
- Reefuse to go potty
- Difficulty or pain when wagging its tail.
- Draggin his back feet or unable to use his back legs
What to do: Call your vet immediately. Your dog may need surgery to remove the ruptured disk. Less severe cases may be resolved by medication and rest.
How to Prevent it: Don’t let your Corgi jump on and off furniture. Using ramps or stairs (affiliate link) can help lessen the impact and wear and tear on your Corgis back over time.
Making sure your dog keeps a healthy body weight as well as gets plenty of exercise can also help to prevent this problem.
– Hip and Elbow Dysplasia –
Another inherited disease, this one causes arthritis in the elbows and hips of our precious pooches. This disease will show up more as your dog matures and ages.
Watch for stiffness in your dog as he gets up and moves or walks. Obesity can cause this disease to be a lot worse and have an earlier onset.
This is another reason why it’s important to get your dog from a good breeder. A responsible breeder will check their dog for genetic conditions to make sure they don’t have them before they breed puppies.
What to do: Talk to your vet about getting medication to help alleviate the pain. They will take an x-ray to check for problems. Sometimes surgery will be recommended if it’s causing your dog severe limitations.
How to Prevent it: Again a good diet that keeps your dog at a healthy weight and appropriate exercise.
– Degenerative Myelopathy –
Degenerative Myelopathy is a progressive neurologic condition, similar to ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease in people, that causes weakness and poor nerve function in the spinal cord and the hind legs.
It affects Pembrokes more frequently than other breeds. If your dog has this disease, he will start to become increasingly weak and disabled in the hind legs there is no pain but your dog will eventually not be able to walk or use the bathroom any longer.
What to do: There isn’t a cure for this, but there are a few things that can help. Your vet may recommend rehabilitation, exercise, acupuncture, and dietary supplements.
How to Prevent: Unfortunately this disease is not preventable. It is inherited and will likely start to show up as your dog ages. There is a genetic test you can give your dog to find out if it may be a potential problem for him.
– Heart Disease –
Another genetic condition that can affect Corgis is called Patent Ductus Arteriosis
This is detected in puppies when the vet listens to its heart she will detect a heart murmur. This tells them that a small vessel that carries blood between two parts of the heart didn’t close properly.
This will make the blood travel to parts of the body that it should be and puts extra strain on the heart.
How to tell: Heart murmur, coughing, tired during exercise, shortness of breath, weak legs.
What to do: Your vet will likely recommend surgery to close the blood vessel.
– Von Willebrand Disease –
Von Willebrand Disease is the most common inherited bleeding disorder of both humans and dogs.
It is caused by a deficiency in the amount of a specific protein needed to help platelets (the blood cells used in clotting) stick together and form clots to seal broken blood vessels.
A dog inheriting this condition often has bleeding gums and nose bleeds, as their blood is unable to clot.
This is a problem if your dog needs surgery or has an injury that causes bleeding.
How to Tell: A screening test, called the buccal mucosal screening time, may be performed in the veterinarian’s office. Excessive bleeding with this test can raise the suspicion of the disease, especially in breeds known to be at risk.
Sometimes this disease is noticed at the time of spaying or neutering since the dog may experience excessive bleeding after surgery.
Corgis diagnosed with this disease are usually between three and five years old.
What to do: There is no cure, but being aware of the disorder can help you take precautions.
- Try to avoid injury as much as possible.
- Avoid hard foods, bones and treats that may cause cuts or bleeding on the gums or in the mouth.
- Be careful of the medications that you give your dog. Some meds like NSAID pain relivers can make the condition worse.