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Cowboy Corgi: Can They Really Outsmart Their Owners?

Cowboy Corgi (Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Australian Cattle Dog mix)

If you are a crossbreed enthusiast who is after headstrong dogs, I suggest you include the Cowboy Corgi at the top of your list since they are extremely intelligent. Their herding instincts help them assess situations clearly, and make decisions pretty much on their own.

Let me give you some background here. Corgis and Australian Cattle Dogs, which are the two breeds mated to produce these puppies, are way up in the intelligence ladder.

In fact, in a list published by Stanley Coren, a well-known canine psychologist, Corgis ranked 11th, while Australian Cattle Dogs ranked 10th out of 131 breeds! As a result, Cowboy Corgis have busy brains as well.

If you already own this hybrid or are considering buying one, you came in just the right place. I have prepared some useful nuggets about this dog to satisfy your canine loving heart. Let’s get to it!

7 Essential Facts Cowboy Corgi Lovers Need to Know

This section basically offers an overview of the reasons why Cowboy Corgis are one of a kind. Keep on reading so you don’t miss any interesting facts about this adorable mixed breed.

1. Most of Them Have Docked Tails

A unique feature of Pembroke Welsh Corgis is their docked tail. When their genes are more dominant, their offspring with the Australian Cattle Dog, which are the Cowboy Corgis, are born tailless.

Do they look weird? Definitely not! The absence of the tail even made this mix more fascinating.

2. They Rarely Bark

You don’t have to worry that your Cowboy Corgi will end up waking your whole neighborhood with its noise because they aren’t big barkers. In fact, some pet owners say that they’re one of the most unbothered breeds.

They got this trait from their Australian Cattle Dog parent because they don’t bark a lot except when playing.

3. They Love Adventures

Cowboy Corgis are the ultimate adventure seekers. They love just about any activity as long as it is entertaining and fun.

You can bring them to a park and have them play off-leash, or you can have them tag along with your hiking trips. They will surely enjoy tons of activities no matter how exhausting.

4. They Have a Strong Herding Instinct

Both the Cowboy Corgi’s parents belong to the herding group, so it’s quite obvious that they’ll inherit the same characteristic.

Allot time to observe them inside your home and you’ll notice that in the absence of cattle to herd, they’ll nip at cats, children, and slow walking adults and attempt to shepherd them.

If you want to watch them actually herd cattle, watch this video:

Rufus the Cowboy Corgi/ Heeler on his herding instinct test

5. They Are Great Watchdogs

Another trait that they got from belonging to the herding group is that they are extremely watchful and attentive. They make sure that their owner along with its family is safe and protected.

Once they sense that you are in danger, they will alarm you by nipping and making noises. Quite useful during these times, don’t you think?

6. They Remain Small Despite Their Heeler Genes

If you expect them to grow the same size as the American Cattle Dog, you’re in for a disappointment. In terms of height and weight, they take after their Corgi roots. This is the main reason why you can keep them in your apartment.

7. They Know How to Outsmart Their Owners

I guess you already know how smart they are with what I mentioned in the introduction. But, just to add, due to their intelligence, they can be a bit manipulative and they tend to outsmart their owners.

These dogs need a firm and confident owner because they assume the alpha role if they feel that you won’t put them up for a challenge.

What Is a Cowboy Corgi?

A Cowboy Corgi is a cross between a Pembroke Welsh Corgi and an Australian Cattle Dog or Heeler. Their history is not very well documented as is with other hybrids, but most breeders claim that they only come to exist at the turn of the century.

They are incredibly smart and loyal which makes them highly satisfying to own. Since this hybrid combines the genes of a Heeler and a Corgi, they have a natural tendency to herd or work.

Their herding instinct is attributed to their Corgi blood since this breed was originally developed to drive and herd cattle.

On the other hand, Cowboy Corgis are also adept at working due to their Australian Cattle Dog lineage.

They can withstand tough weather and work in fields, so if you are an outdoorsy person who loves to bask in the sun, hike, or run, you will find Cowboy Corgis fit for your lifestyle.

What Does the Cowboy Corgi Look Like?

It is hard to describe the exact appearance of Cowboy Corgis because it will depend on which of its parent’s genes are more dominant.

They can either look more like a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, but they can also appear similar to an Australian Cattle Dog. There is also no published breed standard for this pup, so we don’t have any concrete basis for describing them.

But don’t get disappointed yet. I decided to consult some breeders I’m acquainted with, and here’s how they described the Cowboy Corgis:

  • They have a barrel-shaped body.
  • A majority of them have upright and pointy ears.
  • Some of them have a mask on their face.
  • Usually, if they take after the tailless Pembroke Welsh Corgis, they have a docked tail.
  • Their coat is short and dense.
  • Cowboy Corgi colors are almost similar to that of the Australian Cattle Dog which are blue or red. They are usually speckled or mottled and come with tan markings. Here are some examples:
Cowboy Corgi (Corgi and Blue Heeler mix)
Photo from @thedogarchie (IG)

Cowboy Corgi Size and Weight: How Big Do Cowboy Corgis Get When Fully Grown?

Before we discuss the size of a Cowboy Corgi, let us first look at their parents’ size.

Typically, Pembroke Welsh Corgis weigh between 28 to 30 pounds and stand at 10 to 12 inches. Meanwhile, Australian Cattle Dogs, with their compact built, are around 35 to 50 pounds and 17 to 20 inches in height.

Since their offspring have inherited the long body of Corgis and their short stature, they do not weigh more than 30 pounds. In terms of height, they are 13 to 20 inches.

Note that all of these may still vary depending on the percentage of the Cowboy Corgi you got. They may not be the first-generation cross, so their features are more unpredictable.

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Do Kennel Clubs Recognize Cowboy Corgis?

Unfortunately, top kennel clubs like the AKC, CKC, and UKC do not recognize Cowboy Corgis because they are a mixed breed. If you want your dog to be registered, you should contact the Designer Breed Registry (DBR) which was established in 1979 to promote mixed-breed development.

You can also choose to enroll your Cowboy Corgi in AKC’s Canine Partners Program which is implemented since the year 2009. Even though the AKC will not recognize your dog, they can still participate in different stand-alone events like AKC rally, obedience, and agility.

Are Cowboy Corgis Rare?

Corgis aren’t that rare compared to other mixed breeds. Many dog breeders specialize in producing this dog, so you can easily get one.

However, I would still remind you never to transact with backyard breeders and puppy mills even though they produce the majority of Cowboy Corgis.

Puppies from these breeders were raised in poor living conditions and had many congenital problems and severe health issues.

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Cowboy Corgi Temperament: Do They Make Good Family Pets?

The temperament of the Cowboy Corgi will greatly depend on the parent with the most dominant gene. Let me first discuss the behavior that they manifest if they inherited the traits of a Pembroke Welsh Corgi:

  • They are very affectionate and companionable, but they are not needy.
  • They are independent and fearless.
  • They are intelligent, so they’ll respond well to your commands.
  • They are friendly towards strangers.
  • They are adaptable, meaning they can stay with you in your apartment.
  • They are especially good with livestock since their Corgi parent is a known herder.
  • They can become destructive if left alone for a long time.
  • They manifest territorial aggression towards cats and dogs that they’re not familiar with.
  • They need a confident owner because they are strong-willed.

In case your Cowboy Corgi is dominated by the Australian Cattle Dog gene, here is the exact description of their overall disposition:

  • They are intelligent to the point that they can outsmart their owner.
  • They need to be constantly challenged because they resort to mischief when they get bored.
  • They are loyal to their owners but wary of strangers.
  • They are aggressive towards other animals.
  • They know how to take charge so they require a confident owner.
  • They love to nip and chase anything that moves, including toys, bikes, cars, joggers, etc.
  • They are fiercely protective so you can use them as watchdogs.
  • They display dominance towards children.

Keep in mind that a mixed breed’s temperament is more unpredictable than the inheritance than their appearance. You may also see a combination of the traits I discussed because that’s how genetics work.

But generally, Cowboy Corgis can make great family pets as long as you socialize them early and show them that you are the alpha.

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How Long Do Cowboy Corgis Live?

According to various anecdotal accounts of Cowboy Corgi breeders, a Corgi and Heeler mix lives up to 13 years. This means that they take after the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

If you want your dog to exceed this expected lifespan, you better have them routinely checked for potential diseases, so they can be given the appropriate medication before their condition gets out of hand.

Who knows, maybe your Cowboy Corgi can live up to 20 plus years and claim the Guinness World Record for the oldest crossbreed.

Cowboy Corgi Health Issues

Here are the common health issues of Cowboy Corgis that you should watch out for:

  • Hip Dysplasia: This condition targets the development of the Cowboy Corgi’s hip joints, leading to limping over time. The symptoms of this disease are standing or jumping difficulty, stiffness, swaying gait, and a decrease in their motions.
  • Intervertebral Disk Disease: This is characterized by the degeneration of the discs that separate each bone of the dog’s spine. Due to this, Cowboy Corgis partial loss of function on their limbs or paralysis.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: This is a clinical condition that greatly affects the photoreceptors of a dog’s eyes. If not treated early, this can cause night blindness or total vision loss.
  • Deafness: Australian Cattle Dogs are commonly affected by this condition; that’s why some Cowboy Corgis also turn deaf. The signs that your dog is slowly losing its hearing capability is refusal to come when called, disobedience, excessive barking, increased sleep, and startle reflex.
  • Degenerative Myelopathy: Cowboy Corgis also have an increased likelihood of developing this serious disease which affects their central nervous system. The common symptoms that your dog will manifest are posture issues, limb paralysis, and a decrease in its muscle mass.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease: This prevents blood from clotting and therefore leads to anemia and blood loss.

How to Care for Your Cowboy Corgi’s Basic Needs?

When you decide to bring home a Cowboy Corgi, you are also assigning a big responsibility to yourself. You need to learn how to cater to their needs so that your companionship won’t become stressful. Here’s how you can work with their specific needs.

Food and Diet

You should feed your Cowboy Corgi three times a day with high-quality dog food which you can easily purchase from Amazon or local stores. If you are unsure what will work for your dog, consult a veterinarian because they keep a list of kibbles that are proven to be beneficial to mixed breeds.

Cowboy Corgis are prone to being overweight so you have to strictly control their food consumption. Only give them treats during training and don’t let them manipulate you to give them more just because.

Remember that these dogs are very smart and there are instances that they will try to outsmart you to get more food. Be very firm, lest you want the roles to be reversed.

You should also make sure that fresh and clean water is available for them all the time to keep them hydrated.

Training and Exercise

Cowboy Corgis have high energy levels so daily exercise is necessary. They love playing frisbee, running, swimming, flyball, and other activities that are really intense.

If you don’t have time to provide them with their exercise needs, I suggest that you don’t get one. The least demanding task they need out of you is to walk them multiple times a day. This won’t work if you are always stuck in your office.

And since this dog loves working thanks to their parents’ genes, you should also give them tasks to do at home. This will keep them occupied which can prevent their tendency to be destructive.

When it comes to training, early obedience classes are highly recommended. Early socialization is necessary as well because they don’t go well with other pets they aren’t familiar with.

Cleaning and Grooming

You should give extra attention to your Cowboy Corgi’s coat because they are heavy shedders. You need to brush them for at least 20 minutes a day using a slicker brush to ensure that all of their loose furs and the dirt they got from playing are removed.

Aside from their hair, their nails should also be checked to prevent breakage. You should also attend to their dental needs regularly.

When it comes to bathing, it is not that required unless they rolled into something unpleasant while playing. But if you really want to bathe them, you can do it once every three months.


As is with other breeds, be it mixed or purebred, you should regularly bring this dog to the veterinarian for check-ups and prevent the most common diseases that afflict their kind.

The recommended health tests for this dog are hip evaluation and ophthalmologist examination.

Cowboy Corgi Price and Expenses: Do They Cost More Than Purebred Corgis?

Unlike other mixes who are way too expensive because their mother underwent cesarean section during birth, Cowboy Corgis are fairly cheap.

Their price usually ranges from $2,000 to $2,800 depending on the reputation of the breeder you are buying them from.

Of course, if their parents are from AKC champion bloodlines, they will also be a bit more costly.

Here are the other expenses that you have to prepare for once you bring them home:

Type of ExpenseAverage Cost
High-Quality Dog Food$85
Leash and Collar$20
Food and Water Bowls$11
Chew Toys$23
Training Treats$25
Dog Crate$44
Dog Bed$40
Urine Cleaner$25
Poop Scooper$20

RELATED: How Much Does a Corgi Cost? (2023 Price Guide)

Places to Find Cowboy Corgi for Sale and Adoption

Wondering where you can buy your next Cowboy Corgi companion. I got you covered! Here are some breeders you should check out:

  • Herding Pups – This breeder is located in North Central Alabama and you can visit them personally or check out their website to have a good look at their litter.
  • Premier Pups – Similar to Herding Pups, you can also view the Cowboy Corgis being sold at Premier Pups by visiting their website. Their price, as well as their age and weight, are also listed on their page.
  • Step N Stone Stables – This is located in Powder Springs, Georgia and primarily breeds horses. However, they have also embarked on breeding Cowboy Corgis and doing a fantastic job. You can check out their available litter on their website.

It is always a good option to adopt. If you decide that bringing home a Cowboy Corgi from a rescue or shelter is what will work best for you, here are some suggestions:

  • East Coast Corgi Rescue – This rescue is based in Washington, D.C. and is composed of a network of volunteers who want to help rehome Corgis and Corgi mixes.
  • Southeast Corgi Rescue – This is a non-profit rescue that caters to North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Similar to the former, they also help rehome Cowboy Corgis and other mixes.

Related Questions

Do Cowboy Corgis Shed?

Both the Cowboy Corgis parents are heavy shedders due to their double coat, so this mix is also not suitable for people with extreme allergies. You should brush them from time to time, especially during the two seasons where they shed the most.

Can a Cowboy Corgi Be Left Alone?

Leaving a Cowboy Corgi unattended is a very bad idea because they easily get bored. This will make them destructive, so if you just bought your furniture, just ask someone to take care of them or bring them to a daycare.

What Are the Two Types of Corgis?

The two types of Corgis are the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. They are actually separate breeds, and the main feature that differentiates them from one another is the tail. Pembrokes do not have one, while Cardigans do.

Final Thoughts: Is the Cowboy Corgi Right for You?

Cowboy Corgis are simply one of the best dog mixes there is. They have tons of energy, they are smart, and they are also great watchdogs. You’ll get along well with them if you have an active lifestyle.

Another thing you’ll love about their personality is that they are extremely playful. If you need to destress from work, they’ll be glad to keep you company as you jog around your neighborhood or do more extreme activities like hiking. They like it when you exhaust them, trust me.

If you are still unsure if they are the right pet for you, just take your time and weigh your options. But if you are ready to bring home one, make sure to check out the breeders and rescue centers I have included in this blog.

I’ll make sure to update the list from time to time so you get to choose from the top Cowboy Corgi litter.