Are Corgi’s Good Hiking Dogs?

Portrait happy corgi dog in park, smiling on background of autumn forest.

Hiking is an enjoyable activity, especially when an individual goes in a group or with a partner. Often, it is fun to bring a pet dog along for the ride! However, it is also important to keep in mind some dogs are better able to handle the exertion of a hike than others.

Corgis are amazing hiking dogs. They might have small legs, but the way their body is structured makes it so they have a large lung capacity and a good amount of physical endurance. They also tend to enjoy hiking as it helps them get their energy out!

With this in mind, it’s important to delve a little deeper into why corgis are wonderful hiking dogs.

Reasons Why Corgis are Great Hiking Dogs

Corgis make fantastic hiking dogs because of their genetic makeup and history. Not many know this, but corgis originally were bred for herding. Herding dogs are known for being athletic and agile. The corgi made for an effective herding dog because of the little legs. The little legs allowed the corgis to be able to avoid getting hurt from the kicks of livestock. It also helped them to weave in and out of herds more easily than bigger herding dogs like Border Collies and Australian Shepards.

Since athleticism is something that is weaved into a corgi’s genetics, it means that they need more exercise than other dogs. In fact, the recommendation is to have a corgi exercise for an hour a day. A hike is just another way to allow them to get the exercise they need. (Source)

Corgis also have a unique shape that allows them to thrive when hiking. They have a large and deep chest for the size of their body. This means that a corgi naturally has a large lung capacity. Corgis will naturally breathe easier than other dogs, which is perfect for hiking.

Another great aspect of corgis that make them good hiking dogs is that they are full of energy! When a corgi is in prime health and is at least three years old, they can hike 6-8 miles at a moderate pace. This is impressive! Most average hikes end up being less than 6-8 miles round trip, so a corgi can enjoy a good hike with its owner. (Source)

Pembroke Welsh Corgi in a park on green grass

Reasons Why Corgis Might Struggle Hiking

Although they are naturals at hiking, there are a few aspects of hiking that corgis are not as adept at handling. Some of these factors are their short legs, their major need for water, and other health conditions.

Most corgi owners absolutely enjoy and adore their furry friend’s tiny legs. They are super cute! However, with hiking comes the possibility of environmental challenges that surpass a corgi’s ability to hike. One of the big aspects is the ground level. Corgis can struggle to get over tree limbs, roots, and stones. They also can struggle once the trail has a steep incline. Oftentimes, they will try and hop to overcome these obstacles. However, that can lead to limping, exhaustion, or additional back and shoulder issues if left unchecked. (Source)

Corgis also need a lot of water and food. Corgis usually eat three small meals a day, so if a hike runs over a meal the owner will need to bring food with them. The same goes for water. Usually, corgis drink more water than anticipated, so bringing a large amount of water would be key for success.

The biggest concern with corgis is the other health conditions that can make hiking difficult. Some of these are more common, such as an overweight or less fit corgi. This can be fixed with a diet change and more frequent periods of exercise. Other health problems are more extreme, such as heart problems, osteoarthritis, canine hip dysplasia, and intervertebral disc disease. These diseases can limit a corgi and their ability to hike. It is best to consult a vet before taking a corgi on a hike, just in case there is an unknown underlying issue present. (Source)

Funny face Welsh Corgi Pembroke running with tongue out

How to Make Hiking Easier on Corgis

Even with the potential struggles a corgi can have hiking, there are many tips and tricks that can make hiking easier for them. Most of the tips and tricks come down to making sure a Corgi is in optimal physical shape, packing additional materials, and planning ahead.

One owner suggested that the most important thing an owner can do for a corgi before taking them on a hike is to make sure they are physically fit enough for the experience. Just like people need to exercise and prepare for hikes, corgis need the same kind of love and attention. This can be done by maintaining a good diet and taking them for regular exercise. Even with preparation, it is important to remember that corgis also need breaks in order to complete hikes. If an owner supervises and watches out for their Corgi, it is more likely the Corgi will have a good time on the hike as well. (Source)

The next best thing an owner can do for their Corgi is to pack additional materials to help them with the hike. Some of the items are simple things, such as a leash, a water bowl, and some food/treats. Others include hiking booties, paw wax, gauze and tape, and a backpack for the owner to carry the corgi in. These additional materials are important because they protect a corgi’s paws. Often, the ground can be full of sharp stones, branches, and twigs that can lead to a Corgi getting its paws cut. The paw wax and booties help to prevent cracking and cuts. The gauze and tape are important just in case a cut does occur! (Source)

The backpack is also a good idea because it helps prepare an owner in case the hike becomes too much for their dog. Corgis can weigh up to 30ish pounds. Most would not want to try and carry a hot, thirty-pound pup if possible. The backpack just makes it much easier on the owner, if it becomes necessary. (Source)

Ultimately, the most important thing an owner can do for their corgi is to plan the hike ahead of time. This planning can help both the owner and the dog avoid unnecessary pain and find greater joy.

Corgis are adorable, furry friends to bring along through the adventures in life. Some of these adventures might now include hiking! Take some cute pictures for us!

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