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Why Your Corgi Is Small: 6 Reasons & What You Can Do

Does your corgi seem small compared to other corgis you’ve seen outside, at the dog park, or online?

As our corgi readership has grown substantially, we’re seeing this question come up more often than ever, so let’s explain it below.

6 Reasons Why Your Corgi Is Small

Let’s run through the reasons behind why your corgi might be smaller than other corgis out there.

  1. Genetics and breeding
  2. Diet and nutrition
  3. Pembrokes vs Cardigans
  4. Their age
  5. Exercise levels
  6. Health issues

1. Genetics and breeding

First and foremost, genetics and breeding have the most significant impact on your corgi’s size, looks, color, and more.

If your corgi comes from a bloodline of particularly large corgis, then they will also likely be large. Contrary to this, corgis with unusually small parents will probably go on to be smaller than average.

This could have been purposefully done through selective breeding, or by complete chance.

You also have the potential of mixed breeding somewhere along the bloodline.

Some corgi parents have discovered only after a DNA test that their corgi isn’t purebred and have some genes from a smaller breed.

2. Diet and nutrition

Weight is a big factor when looking at a corgi, and we expect to see them quite thick and well-built.

Being of a normal weight is heavily impact by your corgi’s diet and nutrition. Not to mention this can impact their growth too.

If your corgi lacked/or is still lacking sufficient amounts of calories, protein, fats, and carbs (least important) then it’s natural they will either be underweight or “small” looking.

3. Pembrokes vs Cardigans

While most corgi owners will already be aware of this, it’s still worth mentioning.

Cardigan corgis grow to be a fair bit bigger than Pembrokes. So consider if there’s a possibility you’ve been comparing your Pembroke, to someone else’s Cardigan…

Cardigans can grow to be both taller and heavier than Pembroke.

4. Their age

If your corgi is under 2-3 years old, then there’s a strong chance they still have some weight and muscle mass to add on.

Believe it or not but corgis are slow growers with most of them gaining size and muscle mass up to 3 years old (especially Cardigans).

If you’re judging your corgi’s size too much before this moment, they might simply not have finished growing.

5. Too much exercise

Corgis love their exercise, but giving them too much of it could be detrimental to their overall size and growth (especially during puppyhood).

Giving too much exercise to a puppy (under 1 year) can cause too much stress and strain on the muscles and ultimately prevent them from recovering and repairing as they should do.

There is a link between overly exercised pups, and a fragile smaller frame once they’re adults.

It’s hard to know what’s “too much exercise” so it’s best to just stick to the guidelines. Explained below.

6. Health issues

Unfortunately, health issues are another cause of improper growth, weight loss, and a smaller frame.

Thankfully, this is a more uncommon cause, but it’s still important to consider especially if you witness other symptoms like lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, and weakness.

If you suspect your corgi has a health issue at play, or their overall demeanour just isn’t normal, then it’s important to contact your veterinarian for further help.

Are Corgis Supposed To Be Small or Medium?

The truth is that corgis are both. They are small-medium-sized dogs. And this is because of their chunky weight.

Explained: when it comes to weight, corgis are considered medium size dogs, yet when it comes to height, corgis are considered small size dogs.

And as mentioned earlier, owners must remember that Cardigans grow to be bigger in height and weight than Pembrokes.

Ensuring Your Corgi Is The Proper Size

Is there a way you can make your corgi bigger? Let’s run through some tips and advice below.

What’s the correct size of a corgi anyway?

Pembroke Corgis:

  • Height – 10-12 Inches
  • Weight – 26-32 lbs

Cardigan Corgis:

  • Height – 10-13 Inches
  • Weight – 28-38 lbs

So assuming your corgi is fully grown, how far off those numbers are they?

Correct exercise levels

Exercise is crucial for a health dog, but it’s also important not to over do it.

Corgi adults should receive about 45 to 60 minutes of easy to moderate exercise per day.

Corgi puppies should stick to the 5-minute method until at least one year old.

(exercise for 5 minutes per day, per month of age they have. At 3 months old they need 15 minutes per day, 4 months is 20 minutes per day, and so on.)

Correct diet and nutrition

Receiving sufficient calories, protein, fat, and carbs are essential for proper growth.

Corgis thrive on a diet that prioritizes protein and fat over carbs, so ensure the macronutrient ratios fit this.

It’s difficult to give a specific number of calories because this depends on age, health, and activity levels. But, as a general rule, moderately active adult corgis need about 750-950 calories per day to maintain their correct weight.

Allow puppies to rest

If your corgi is still a puppy then prioritize their resting periods. Most of their growth and recovery is done during their naps and sleep, so ensure they get plenty of quiet time.

This may sound obvious, but sometimes we forget just how much we interrupt our dogs and puppies from sleeping and napping. Especially households with young children.

Prioritize health

Ultimately, what matters most is your corgi’s health, not their size. And as long as your corgi is healthy, strong, and without health problems then their size isn’t too much of a big deal.

A big part of ensuring their health will mean keeping up with vet visits. As long as your veterinarian gives your corgi the all clear, then their size shouldn’t matter.

Remember, if you notice anything unusual with your corgi like weird behavioral changes, vomiting, diarrhea, food refusal or lethargy, then contact your vet as a precaution.

Getting ahead of potential health problem could be the difference between cure, and only being able to manage it.

Back to more corgi articles!


Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.