Cowboy Corgi: Everything You Need To Know! + Owner Q&A

A Cowboy Corgi is a crossbreed dog created by breeding a Pembroke Welsh Corgi and an Australian Cattle Dog (ACD). It is not recognized by the American Kennel Club.

The popularity of the Cowboy Corgi has grown significantly in recent years.

This hybrid dog is a mix of Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Australian Cattle Dog (ACD). 

And while it might look cute on the surface, it’s crucial to understand the risks of crossbreeding dogs without a specific purpose.

In this article, I will discuss the likely traits of Cowboy Corgis, though it’s essential to note there are no guarantees when it comes to specific characteristics. 

We’ll also examine the concerns surrounding designer dogs and the importance of researching breeders before making a decision.

Let’s go!

Key Takeaways

  • Cowboy Corgis are a popular hybrid breed, but potential health and behavior issues should be seriously considered.
  • Their traits may vary, making it essential to research breeders thoroughly. You can never be sure which characteristics will be more dominant or which parent breed (ACD or Corgi) might cause health problems.
  • It’s crucial to weigh up the ethical implications of breeding “designer” dogs like Cowboy Corgis.
  • Cowboy Corgis are not recognized by the American Kennel Club.
  • I spoke to the owner of Ollie the Cowboy Corgi to get her firsthand experience about what it’s like to be a Cowboy Corgi mom. Jump straight to the Q&A!

What does a Cowboy Corgi look like?

First things first, let’s take a look at what a Cowboy Corgi looks like.

Cowboy Corgi: Everything You Need To Know
Cowboy Corgi: Everything You Need To Know
Cowboy Corgi: Everything You Need To Know
Cowboy Corgi: Everything You Need To Know

You’ll notice that all Cowboy Corgis look a bit different!

As with all crossbreeds, you can never be completely sure which dominant features a litter will inherit from its parents.

They could look more like a Corgi, more like an ACD, or an equal blend of both.

Origin Of The Breed: How You Make A Cowboy Corgi

In order to create a Cowboy Corgi, you need to combine two parent purebreds: the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Australian Cattle Dog. These are also known as the Blue Heeler or Queensland Heeler. 

While the American Kennel Club doesn’t recognize this crossbreed due to its hybrid nature, its popularity has surged in recent years.

This is probably because people have increasingly experimented with mixing various dog breeds and making “new” breeds. 

Even Queen Elizabeth II did this by mixing Corgis with dachshunds to make ‘Dorgis’.

Cowboy Corgi: Everything You Need To Know

The Qualities of a Cowboy Corgi

It’s difficult to give a clear description of a Cowboy Corgi’s personality because each one will be a little bit different. 

They will inherit characteristics from their Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Australian Cattle Dog parents. But how much (and what) they’ll inherit from one parent versus the other is completely random.

Cowboy Corgi Personality

I can say with some certainty that a Cowboy Corgi is likely to be highly energetic and intelligent. That’s because both parent breeds are known for their herding instincts and intelligence.

Stanley Coren, psychology professor, neuropsychological researcher, and writer on the intelligence of dogs, ranked Australian Cattle Dogs as the 10th most intelligent dog breed in the world. Pembroke Welsh Corgis follow closely behind in 11th place.

Cowboy Corgis are also likely to be loyal and affectionate, based on the fact that Pembrokes and ACDs both share these traits. 

They will require a huge amount of mental and physical stimulation to stay entertained and not become destructive.

Cowboy Corgi: Everything You Need To Know

Pembroke Welsh Corgi vs. ACD Personality

To help you understand the kind of personality a Cowboy Corgi will have, let’s look at the traits of the parent breeds side-by-side.

A Cowboy Corgi will inherit these traits in varying degrees.

Personality Trait

Australian Cattle Dog

Pembroke Corgi

Affection level

More reserved in their affection

Very affectionate

Energy level

High energy breed that requires a lot of energy and stimulation

Moderate-high energy level

Suitability around children

Good with proper socialization

Good with proper socialization

Tendency to bark

High

High

Trainability

Highly trainable and intelligent

Highly trainable and intelligent

Independence

Very independent

More likely to be a 'velcro dog'

Prey drive

High prey drive and more prone to chasing small animals

Moderate prey drive

Guarding instinct

May be more protective and territorial

Desire to herd family (sometimes nipping gently at heels)

Adaptability

May be more reserved and less sociable in new environments

Generally more adaptable to different living situations

Cowboy Corgi Appearance

The appearance of a Cowboy Corgi varies depending on the dominant breed in their parentage.

But in general, they have a long body and short legs, weighing between 26 to 39 pounds and measuring 12 to 20 inches in length. 

Their fur comes in various colors, including red, blue, black, sable, and merle, with a double coat that requires regular grooming and brushing to reduce shedding.

Cowboy Corgi: Everything You Need To Know

Why Some People Consider Cowboy Corgis Unethical

Before you think about getting a Cowboy Corgi, it’s important to understand why this crossbreed is considered unethical by some.

Cowboy Corgi Health Risks

The biggest ethical concern with Cowboy Corgis is the fact that the parent breeds are physically different.

Let’s take a look at the physical attributes of a Pembroke Welsh Corgi vs. an ACD so you can see the differences more clearly.

Feature

Australian Cattle Dog

Pembroke Corgi

Size

Medium

Small

Height

17-20 inches (43-51 cm)

10-12 inches (25-30 cm)

Weight

35-50 pounds (16-23 kg)

24-31 pounds (11-14 kg)

Health risks

Hip dysplasia, deafness, progressive retinal atrophy, elbow dysplasia, and autoimmune diseases

Intervertebral disc disease, hip dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, and obesity

Corgis are low-set, sturdy dogs. They grow to a height of 10-12 inches and weigh between 24 and 31 lbs.

ACDs are muscular dogs that can grow to a height of 20 inches. They weigh between 35 and 50 lbs.

By mixing them together, there’s a good chance that Cowboy Corgis will inherit genetic diseases passed down by one or both breeds. Particularly if the breeder isn’t screening for these (which many backyard breeders don’t). 

For example, ACDs are prone to health conditions such as deafness, progressive retinal atrophy, and hip dysplasia.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are also prone to hip dysplasia, as well as degenerative myelopathy and von Willebrand’s disease.

With a purebred dog like a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, the potential health problems are more predictable and therefore preventable. 

The same cannot be said for a crossbreed like a Cowboy Corgi. 

A reputable breeder will screen for all possible health conditions and provide you with evidence of the results.

But because these tests are expensive, many backyard breeders (someone who breeds dogs unsafely) will skip these altogether.

Cowboy Corgi: Everything You Need To Know

The Irresponsible Breeding of Cowboy Corgis

A designer dog, or ‘hybrid dog’, refers to the offspring of two different breeds (usually purebreds).

The problem with designer dogs like Cowboy Corgis is that they are often irresponsibly bred by people motivated by profit, rather than by those trying to develop a specific trait.

This was the case with Labradoodles. A Labrador and a Poodle were bred together to create a hypoallergenic crossbreed for a blind lady whose husband was allergic to dog hair.

However, the originator of the breed Wally Conron deeply regrets creating this crossbreed.

Doing so is “his life’s regret” because it sparked a crossbreeding frenzy of “fashionable” breeds like Puggles and Shih Poos and now, Cowboy Corgis.

Unlike Conron, the breeders of these dogs are trying to capitalize on people’s desire for a unique dog that not many others have. In other words, they are prioritizing looks over health.

This results in crossbreeds with varying personality types and potential health risks.

Is It Possible To Get An Ethical Cowboy Corgi?

If you’re still interested in getting a Cowboy Corgi, it’s crucial to find a reputable breeder.

One that can provide complete health screenings for both parents of the litter.

Factors to consider when selecting a breeder:

  • Evidence of health screenings for both parent breeds
  • Transparent communication about potential health concerns
  • Emphasis on ethical breeding practices and animal welfare

In addition to finding an ethical breeder, it’s essential to evaluate your lifestyle to determine whether a Cowboy Corgi is a good fit. 

These dogs are best suited for experienced dog owners or those who can provide at least 45-60 minutes of daily exercise and consistent training.

While it’s possible to find an ethical Cowboy Corgi, the risks associated with designer dogs and the prevalence of irresponsible breeding practices should be carefully considered before making a decision.

Cowboy Corgi: Everything You Need To Know

Pros and Cons of Owning a Cowboy Corgi

Here are some of the pros and cons if you’re thinking about getting a Cowboy Corgi.

Cowboy Corgi Pros:

  • Cowboy Corgis will be very active and make good companions for active owners who enjoy hiking, running, or playing outdoors. However, it’s important to note that Cowboy Corgis will require a lot of exercise and playtime to avoid becoming bored or destructive.
  • Depending on how dominant the Corgi is within the Cowboy Corgi, this breed is likely to be very loyal and affectionate.
  • Cowboy Corgis are intelligent and easily trainable. Both the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Australian Cattle Dog are highly intelligent breeds. They are quick learners and respond well to positive reinforcement training methods.

Cowboy Corgi Cons:

  • Cowboy Corgis may have potential health issues due to their mixed breed status. As with any mixed breed dog, Cowboy Corgis may inherit health issues from both parent breeds. For example, they may be prone to hip dysplasia, eye problems, or allergies. It’s important to research the health issues of both parent breeds and to choose a reputable breeder who tests their dogs for genetic health issues.
  • They may have a high energy level, which can be challenging for some owners. While their energy and athleticism can be a pro for some owners, it can also be a con for those who are not able to provide enough exercise and playtime. Cowboy Corgis may become bored or restless if they don’t have enough stimulation, which can lead to destructive behavior or excessive barking.
  • The parent breeds of Cowboy Corgis have a strong prey drive (ACD) and herding instinct (Corgi). It’s important to socialize Cowboy Corgis early on and to provide them with enough mental stimulation and consistent training to prevent them from becoming bored or territorial.

So, Should You Get a Cowboy Corgi?

If you’ve weighed up all the pros and cons of a Cowboy Corgi and feel confident about getting one, then it’s time to start researching reputable breeders.

If, however, you’re a first-time dog owner or would prefer a dog with more predictable personality traits, opt for a Pembroke or Cardigan Welsh Corgi instead.

You’ll have a huge variety of reputable breeders to choose from and can better guarantee the personality traits of your Corgi.

These traits include:

  • Stubbornness
  • Affection
  • Loyalty
  • High energy levels
  • Intelligence
  • Adaptability
  • Regular shedding

Opting for a purebred Welsh Corgi allows you to choose from a wide range of reputable breeders.

Plus, you will get a Corgi with more predictable traits.

Take a look at this table to weigh up the differences between a Cowboy Corgi and a purebred Pembroke Corgi.

Cowboy Corgis vs. Pembroke Corgis

Key Differences

Cowboy Corgi

Pembroke Corgi

Breed

Hybrid of Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Australian Cattle Dog

Purebred Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Appearance

Long body, short legs, various coat colors, unique facial features from Australian Cattle Dog

Short legs, thick coat, typically red, sable or tricolored

Personality

Energetic, intelligent, loyal, herding instincts, stubborn

Stubborn, affectionate, loyal, high energy, intelligent, adaptable

Health Concerns

Potential for health concerns from both parent breeds, including deafness, hip dysplasia, and degenerative myelopathy

Health concerns specific to Pembroke Welsh Corgis, including intervertebral disc disease and epilepsy

Breeding

Often irresponsibly bred for profit, leading to unpredictable personality types and potential health concerns

Wide range of reputable breeders available with more predictable personality traits

Suitability

Best suited for experienced dog owners or those that can provide at least 60 minutes of daily exercise and consistent training

Suitable for a range of people, including first-time owners, families with children, apartment dwellers, and active individuals

American Kennel Club

Not recognized by the American Kennel Club

Recognized by the American Kennel Club

Cowboy Corgi: Everything You Need To Know

Q&A with Ollie The Cowboy Corgi’s owner!

To find out exactly what it’s like to own a Cowboy Corgi, I spoke to Rachel who is the proud mom of Ollie.

Ollie The Cowboy Corgi

Can you share the story of how you got Ollie?

It was early December of 2020. A friend and I went to an Amish market in Wyoming to see what they had. On my way there, my friend told me that they sell Corgi puppies (fully knowing how much I love Corgis and how badly I wanted one).

When we got to the market, I saw a beautiful Cowboy Corgi and fell in love. I went into the store to ask one of the owners if the puppy was still for sale. She told me that someone had already put a deposit on that puppy. I asked if they had any other Cowboy Corgis that were for sale. She let me know that they had a new litter two days prior.

The new litter had 1 male and 2 females. I asked her to see the male. He was a little bit bigger than a hamster and had a little black ear. I told her that I wanted him. Every week after that, I visited Ollie at the market until he was old enough to come home with me.

Ollie the Cowboy Corgi as a puppy

What’s Ollie like? Can you tell us more about his personality?

He has a great personality! He’s very sweet and loves his family. He loves to meet new people and dogs as well. Ollie is very active and enjoys playing fetch with me and being chased by his dad around the couch.

His favorite activities are fetch and being chased. Whenever he plays with dogs, he wants them to chase him (which is funny to watch). Compared to other Corgis, Ollie is very quiet. He’s only vocal when he’s excited and playing. I wouldn’t say he is stubborn, however, he pouts SO much when he has to do something he doesn’t want to. He’s just a little sweet potato.

Ollie the Cowboy Corgi in the sunshine

What’s your favorite thing about owning a Cowboy Corgi?

The personality. I love how friendly, smart, and sweet he is. 

How much does he shed?

LOL, a lot. He usually gets brushed and has a bath about 1-2 times per month. I clip his nails monthly and cut his butt fluff every few months. 

Meet Ollie the Cowboy Corgi

How much energy has he got?

He has a good amount of energy. He typically plays fetch twice a day, goes on a 15-minute walk, and plays with his dad in the evening. When we go on long hikes/walks, he can typically do about 4 miles before getting tired. 

Ollie the Cowboy Corgi

What would you say to someone thinking about getting a Cowboy Corgi?

I would say to think about if you have enough time and commitment. Thankfully, I work from home, so I can play with Ollie multiple times per day.

However, if he had to be in a pen while I was at work, I know he would be very sad. It also took about 1.5-2 years to train him and get his manners to where they are now. It took a lot of time and effort to train him to be as good as he is. So, if someone has the time and commitment then I would say to get one!

The final thing I’ll say is that when it comes to Corgis, their diet and nutrition are huge. Corgis love food and can easily become overweight. I have to limit Ollie’s treats to make sure that he doesn’t gain weight.

We also weigh out his food for each meal so that he’s on a consistent diet. I think this is important for people to know who are considering getting any type of Corgi.

Go follow the adventures of Ollie the Cowboy Corgi over on Instagram!


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the lifespan of a Cowboy Corgi?

Cowboy Corgis typically have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. 

Where can I find Cowboy Corgi puppies for sale?

Look for reputable breeders who focus on the health and temperament of their dogs. Online resources like the American Kennel Club (AKC) Marketplace or local breed clubs can be helpful in finding responsible breeders. 

How does a Cowboy Corgi compare to a regular Corgi?

Cowboy Corgis are a crossbreed between a Pembroke Welsh Corgi and an Australian Cattle Dog. They combine the traits of both parent breeds, which can result in a unique appearance, personality, and health problems. 

What are common health problems for Cowboy Corgis?

Some common health issues that Cowboy Corgis may encounter include hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, intervertebral disc disease, and epilepsy. 

Regular veterinary check-ups and a healthy lifestyle can help prevent or manage these conditions. It’s essential to work with a responsible breeder who thoroughly health tests their breeding dogs to minimize the risk of genetic health issues.

Are Cowboy Corgis affectionate pets?

As Pembroke Welsh Corgis and ACDs are affectionate, Cowboy Corgis are likely to be affectionate too. However, as with any breed, early socialization and consistent training are essential to ensure a well-behaved and well-adjusted dog.

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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