Corgi vs. Westie: Which Breed Is Right for You?

Let’s get one thing clear straight away: the biggest difference between a Corgi and a Westie is how they look and how much they shed.

Corgis and Westies are both playful, energetic, and intelligent dogs that are great for first-time owners and families alike. They’re compact—both around 10-12 inches when standing—and very adaptable to new situations. When deciding which breed is right for you a key consideration may be how much Corgis shed (a lot) compared to Westies (not much at all).

To help you decide which breed is right for you, let’s take a closer look at their personalities, price points, and potential health problems.

Similarities between Corgis and Westies

They may look nothing alike, but Corgis and Westies have many characteristics in common. They can be very headstrong and both have lots of energy to burn off.

They’re also very intelligent. Corgis and Westies excel at training like obedience and agility and love nothing more than playing games like fetch or tug-of-war with their owner.

As they’re both quite headstrong (read: stubborn!), Corgis and Westies are best suited to an owner who’s committed to training. With consistent training and structure, their stubborn tendencies won’t get the better of them.

Differences between Corgis and Westies

The first major difference between Corgis and Westies is how they look.

Westies are sturdy dogs with white coats, carrot-shaped tails, and dark eyes. They stand around 10-11 inches tall and weigh between 15 and 20 pounds.

Pembroke Corgis have short legs and a long body, a fox-like face, and large ears that stand to attention. They can be red, sable, or fawn, with or without white markings. They’re around 10-12 inches tall and weigh between 25 and 30 pounds.

Cardigan Corgis also have short legs and a long body and come in the following colors: black and white, blue merle and white, brindle and white, red and white, sable and white. They’re usually slightly bigger than Pembrokes, at 10.5-12.5 inches tall and 30-38 pounds (male).

West Highland White Terriers (Westies, for short) were bred to hunt rats and other underground rodents. It’s important to keep an eye on them while out walking as they do have an instinct to chase squirrels, rabbits, mice, and birds!

Corgis, on the other hand, were bred to be herding dogs. They won’t chase after other animals, but they do love exercise and do just as well on a slow jog as they do on a long hike.

The second major difference between Corgis and Westies is how much they shed.

Corgis have non-hypoallergenic coats that shed heavily and require daily brushing. Westies rarely shed, but their hypoallergenic coat does need regular stripping.

Westie in the grass

Corgi vs. Westie: Training

Both Corgis and Westies have a mind of their own and require early socialization and training to help them develop into well-adjusted dogs.

Both breeds respond well to patient, consistent lessons and rewards. Early socialization is important as Corgis and Westies are independent spirits. Without lots of interaction with other dogs from a young age, they may grow up to be a little grouchy or reserved.

Corgi vs. Westie: Energy

Both Westies and Corgis have lots of energy to exert and require at least 60 minutes of exercise each day.

Since Westies tend to chase after anything that moves (they are terriers after all), it’s a good idea to let them off the leash in enclosed areas. At least until you’re confident that they won’t run away from you.

Long walks and games like fetch and hide and seek will keep both Corgis and Westies entertained and tire them out sufficiently.

Don’t be fooled by their size—these two breeds might be small, but they require lots of daily physical activity and are better suited to an active owner who enjoys walking (not a couch potato!).

Corgi in the sunshine

Corgi vs. Westie: Shedding

Corgis are heavy shedders, so aren’t the best choice for someone with allergies.

On the other hand, Westies are one of the lowest-shedding breeds in the world! This trait is common among most members of the terrier breed of dogs.

While there is a difference in how much they shed, regular grooming for both breeds is still a must. Westies have a hard coat, so try to avoid bathing them too much. Both breeds benefit from visiting a professional groomers every 8-12 weeks, so if that’s an option for you, I recommend it.

The groomers I take Winston to give him a really good de-shedding, trim his butt, and clip his nails. He comes out smelling delicious!

Corgi vs. Westie: Barking

Corgis and Westies can both be quite vocal, making them great watchdogs.

That being said, I know some Westies and Corgis that hardly ever bark and some that bark at anything… even the wind!

The good news is that excessive barking can easily be managed with consistent training.

Westie on the beach

Corgi vs. Westie: How Long Can They Be Left Alone

Corgis are highly sociable dogs that don’t like to be left home alone for long periods of time. I don’t recommend leaving them alone for more than 3-4 hours maximum.

Westies are a little more independent than Corgis and are generally ok with being left alone for a few hours.

However, both Corgis and Westies are very intelligent breeds with lots of energy to burn. Being left alone now and again is ok. But if you work from an office and can’t take your dog with you, I strongly suggest you get a dog walker or drop them off at doggy daycare while you’re out of the house.

This will prevent your Corgi or Westie from developing separation anxiety or destructive behavior as a result of being left alone too frequently.

Corgi vs. Westie: Which Breed Is Better for a First-Time Owner?

As with all dog breeds, Corgis and Westies each have their own set of adorable and not-so-adorable traits.

Corgis are smart, easy to train, and high-energy dogs. They have strong protective instincts and can be loud and strong-willed due to their intelligence.

Westies are also clever creatures, and they too can have a dominant attitude, especially around smaller creatures. When in public, it’s best to keep them on a leash because they tend to run off and chase little animals.

In terms of grooming, Corgis have non-hypoallergenic coats that shed heavily and require daily brushing. Westies rarely shed, but their hypoallergenic coats need regular stripping.

Cardigan corgi

Corgi vs. Westie: Animals and Children

Corgis and Westies are great dogs to introduce (gradually) to pets that you already have at home.

Thanks to their herding and ratting instincts, these breeds may be a little territorial at first. A Westie may initially want to chase small animals, while a Corgi may try to herd your kids during playtime!

To ensure they get along well with both animals and children, make sure you give them time and space to get to know one another. With training and early socialization, both Corgis and Westies make fantastic family dogs.

Corgi vs. Westie: Are They Good in Apartments?

The good news is that both Corgis and Westies can live just fine in an apartment. As long as they get enough daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy living in an apartment as they are in a house with a big garden.

Corgi vs. Westie: Health Problems

Due to their short legs and long backs, Corgis are more prone to spine- and joint-related issues like Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) and hip dysplasia. However, keeping them at a healthy weight can help mitigate the risks of these health problems.

Westies are generally very healthy dogs. Health problems they may suffer from include dental disease, ear disease and allergic skin disorder.

Both dog breeds are prone to obesity and many of their genetic health issues can be avoided with adequate portions of nutritious food and regular teeth brushing.

Corgi vs. Westie: Which Is More Expensive?

You can expect to pay around $1,500-$2,000 for a Westie and $2,000-$3,000 for a Corgi.

Bella is the founder of Doggy & Pooch. She rehomed Winston the corgi in Jan 2020 and now shares her best tips and interesting facts with corgi lovers globally.

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