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Dorgi (Dachshund & Corgi Mix) Breed Profile

Last Updated - August 4, 2022

Dorgis are a relatively new hybrid of dogs that have gained popularity given their connection to the royal family. These lovable and intelligent little dogs combine the cuteness of two long-bodied and stubby-legged dog breeds to create one fun-loving family dog with a big personality and loyal nature. They come in various colors and coat types but have the same outgoing and social temperaments. 

So how do you know if the dorgi is the designer breed dog right for you? What are its exercise needs, grooming expectations, and possible health issues? Let's take a look. 

Breed Characteristics

Adaptability

Apartment Living

How easily a dog deals with living in an apartment. Despite the dog's size, you should also consider energy level, calmness, and friendliness.

Being Alone

Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to panic and separation anxiety when left alone. When left alone, they can become very destructive, bark, whine, chew and cause mayhem. These breeds do best in a home with a family member around during the day, can go to work with their owner, or recommend attending doggy day care if the owner is not home during the day.

Sensitivity Level

Low sensitivity dogs are easygoing, tolerant, and resilient. They can handle a noisy and chaotic household, a loud or assertive owner, and tolerate an inconsistent or variable routine.

Tolerate Cold Climate

Short coat and little to no coat breeds are vulnerable to cold climates. These breeds will have a low cold tolerance and need to live inside in a cool climate and should have a jacket or sweater on for chilly walks.

Tolerate Warm Climate

Breeds with a thick and double coat are vulnerable to overheating. Breeds with a short nose and flat face are also vulnerable as they can't pant as well to cool themselves off. If these breeds of dog live in a warm and humid environment, you will need to be extra cautious about taking them outdoor in the heat.

Friendliness

Cat Friendly

Friendliness towards cats and humans is very different. Some breeds are gentle and accept cats readily as part of the family. Some breeds will chase, fight, or rough play with a cat and cause severe injury. However, no matter the breed, proper socialization, and training can improve the situation.

Dog Friendly

Friendliness towards other dogs. Some dogs may try to dominate other dogs and attack and fight, while others would rather play. However, no matter the breed, proper socialization, and training can improve the situation.

Family Friendly

How affectionate a breed is likely to be with family members or other people he knows well. Some breeds are independent, some breeds can be aloof with everyone but their owner, while others treat everyone they know like it's their best friend.
Breed, however, isn't the only factor affecting affection levels. Proper socialization and training can improve the situation.

Kid Friendly

Kid-friendly dogs should be gentle with children, be more tolerant of screaming and running children as well as other children's behavior.

Openness To Strangers

How welcoming a breed is likely to be towards strangers. Some dogs will greet a stranger with wagging tails, while others are shy, reserved, cautious, or aggressive. However, no matter the breed, proper socialization, and training can improve the situation. 

Health And Grooming

Coat Grooming Frequency

Amount of bathing, brushing, trimming, and professional grooming needs. Consider how much time, patience, and budget you have for this type of care when looking at the grooming effort needed. All breeds require regular nail trimming.

Drooling Level

Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm or wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you've got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine. But if you are a neat freak, dogs that are drool prone may not be the right choice for you.

General Health

Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems. However, this doesn't mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases, and it just means that they're at an increased risk.
If you're adopting or rescuing a puppy, it's a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you're interested in. You may also want to ask if your shelter or rescue has information about the physical health of your potential pup's parents and other relatives.
If you are purchasing from a breeder, be sure to do your research. Purchase from a reputable breeder and ask for the parent's health records to understand what potential health issue your pup may have.

Shedding Level

Amount and frequency of dog hair shedding.

If you are getting a dog, you'll need to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothes and in your house. However, shedding does vary greatly among the breeds. Some dogs shed year-round, some "blow" seasonally, some do both, and some shed hardly at all. 

Trainability

Easy To Train

Easy-to-train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt, an action, and a reward (such as treats, appraise, or toys). Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training.

Intelligence

Dogs bred for jobs requiring decision-making, intelligence, and concentration, need to exercise their brains. Such as, dogs bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don't get the mental stimulation they need, they can become destructive and exhibit behaviors such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue.

Potential To Mouthiness

Common in most breeds during the puppy stage. Mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn't puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or "herd" their human family members, and they need the training to learn that it's fine to gnaw on chew toys but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy squeaky toys, as well as a good chew on a toy that's been stuffed with kibble and treats.

Prey Drive

Dogs who were bred to hunt have an inborn desire to chase--and sometimes kill. Anything whizzing by, such as cats, squirrels, or rabbits, can trigger that instinct. Dogs who like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you'll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren't a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small animals. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won't chase. But you'll probably have difficulty getting their attention when birds fly by.

Bark Or Howl Tendencies

Some breeds are more vocal than others. When choosing a breed, think about how often the dog vocalizes with barks or howls. While some breeds will bark at every passing bird, some may use other sounds to express themselves.

Physical And Mental Needs

Energy Level

The amount of physical and mental stimulation a breed needs. High-energy breeds are ready to go and eager for their next adventure. Low-energy breeds are like couch potatoes - they're happy to lay around and sleep.

Exercise Needs

Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise, especially those originally bred for physically demanding jobs, like herding or hunting.

Mental Stimulation

How much mental stimulation a breed needs to stay happy and healthy. Purpose-bred dogs can have jobs that require decision-making, problem-solving, concentration, or other qualities. Without the brain exercise they need, they can be destructive and have unwanted behavior issues.

Territorial

A dog's inclination to be protective of his family members, home, yard, or even car.

Watchdog Ability

A breed's tendency to alert you that strangers are around. These breeds are more likely to react to any potential threat, whether it's the mailman or a squirrel outside the window.

Origin

The Dorgi dog breed is a hybrid cross of a dachshund dog or "badger dog" and a Pembroke Welsh corgi dog. Their origins are a bit of a mystery for sure, but lore has it that they have royal beginnings. Supposedly one of Queen Elizabeth II Pem Welsh corgis mated with Princess Margaret's Dachshund named Pipkin, creating the first litter of Dorgis. They continued to interbreed the dogs over the years, and the hybrid became a beloved fixture in the dog breed world. Queen Elizabeth, herself has had at least ten Dorgis over the years since then, and the mixed-breed dogs have only grown in popularity. 

The Dorgi breed is not recognized by any major dog registry or kennel club, including the AKC (American Kennel Club), since there is no regulation process or standard for the breed. But the hybrid dog breed is recognized by a number of designer dog breed clubs like the Designer Dogs Kennel Club, the American Canine Hybrid Club, Designer Breed Registry, and the International Designer Canine Registry. 

gender
male

Height: 9-12"

Weight: 15-28 lbs

female

Height: 9-12"

Weight: 15-28 lbs

Life Span: 9-12

Breed Group: Herding

Size 

Dorgis are small breed dogs that grow to be 9 to 12 inches high and weigh between 15 and 28 pounds full grown.

Personality 

The Dorgi dog breed is an outgoing one, and these social animals are playful, smart, bold, and loyal. This exuberant nature can be prone to bad habits and willfulness; however, consistent training and early socialization are necessary to ensure that only the best personality qualities are encouraged.

Appearance/Colors

The Dorgi parent breeds are both long, short-legged, small dogs, so the dorgi is a small dog with stubby legs, a fox-like face, and a long body. Their coat color and type vary greatly depending on parentage and may be brown, red, cream, white, fawn, chocolate, liver, blue, or black. Possible patterns include brindle, sable, bicolor, and black, and tan. The coat could be short and smooth or long and wiry. The ear shape will also greatly depend on parentage, and Dorgis can have pointy, erect ears or long floppy ones. 

Temperament

The friendly personality of a Dorgi makes it a great family dog. It does very well with older children, though its tendency to bark may not make it appropriate for families with small children.

Dorgis are great for seniors since they do not have particularly excess exercise needs and don't take up much space. However, co-dependency and strong attachment can lead to separation anxiety if not trained to be comfortable alone.

Dorgi can be a bit wary of strangers, but with proper socialization, they can learn to be polite and deal with the situation appropriately.

Diet/Nutritional Needs

One of the greater concerns for Dorgi owners is this breed's potential for weight gain. Regulating your dog's diet is extremely important if you want to avoid health issues related to or worsened by obesity in Dorgis. Consult your vet on the kind and quantity of dog food your dorgi will need to remain healthy given its age, size, and activity levels. Avoid feeding your Dorgi table scraps or excessive treats, and always ensure that fresh water is available. 

Activity/Exercise Needs

Dorgis are playful pups, have average exercise needs, and often adjust to the lifestyles of their owners. However, to prevent obesity and promote optimal health, it is important to provide daily activities involving physical and mental stimulations.

Dorgis come from a hunting dog and a herding dog, so they will enjoy running and chasing activities. They will enjoy going to the dog park and playing games like fetch and hide and seek. Mental enrichment and puzzle toys can provide healthy mental stimulations which can keep bad behaviors under control.

Unexercised and bored Dorgis may resort to destructive chewing and excessive barking. They will also be much more likely to gain unhealthy weight.

Grooming Needs 

The Dorgi dog breed sheds an average amount of dog hair. If it inherits a smooth short coat, its grooming needs will be less, and if it inherits a long wiry coat, the grooming needs will be higher. Regardless you will want to brush your dorgi at least weekly, increasing the frequency as needed. Floppy-eared Dorgis will need extra care given to their ears to ensure they do not get infected or irritated by wax buildup or debris. Nails should be kept short and trimmed at least once a month. You will have to bathe long-haired Dorgis a bit more often than short-haired Dorgis, whose coat often stays cleaner and can often be wiped clean with a damp towel as needed.

Adaptability 

Dorgis thrive on human interaction, and so long as they are with their people, they tend to thrive regardless of where they are. They can be apartment friendly though their barking could become an issue. They may have trouble getting along with other dogs or other pets since they may develop a habit of chasing them around. This behavior can be stemmed if caught early and consistently discouraged at a young age. They should not be left too long alone as they may exhibit excessive barking when they become bored. 

Trainability 

Given the high intelligence of the Dorgi breed, it is very important to train and socialize Dorgi puppies early on and remain consistent throughout their lives. Socialization is particularly critical if you do not want a dog that is easily upset by strangers, other animals, or new situations. 

From birth to 16 weeks is a critical period for socialization. So try to expose your puppy to as much as possible in this window. Obedience classes can begin around 8-16 weeks old, and your puppy should be enrolled in proper classes as soon as they can safely. These dogs are very smart and tend to be willful, so consistency and patience are critical to success. Recall (coming when called by name) is one of the more important lessons your dorgi will need to learn early on since they can easily become fixated on what they are chasing or getting into dangerous situations.

Life Expectancy

As a small breed dog, healthy Dorgis can live quite long lives, with a life expectancy of 12-15 years. 

Potential Health Problems

The dorgi is a relatively healthy hybrid breed. The most common issues a Dorgi might suffer from is relating to their long backs and their potential for weight gain.

Patella Luxation

This short legs dog with a long-bodied breed can get a condition called patella luxation. This is where the kneecap slides 'out of place' or 'dislocated.' 

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Due to purebred corgis and Dachshunds having a long back, they are prone to structural problems like hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia, resulting in the malformation of a dog's joints. 

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease

This is the condition in which the head of the femur bone spontaneously begins to degenerate, which ultimately leads to lameness. 

Intervertebral Disc Disease

Because of its long bodies, dorgi is at risk for intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). IVDD is a spinal disorder resulting from herniating an intervertebral disc, which can be caused by old age or injury.

There is no preventing it from getting IVDD, but you can talk to your veterinarian about strengthening your dog's core, which can help recovery if it develops the condition.

Degenerative Myelopathy  

Pembroke Welsh corgis are particularly susceptible to degenerative myelopathy. Therefore, there is a chance dorgi can inherit this disease. Degenerative myelopathy is an incurable, progressive spinal cord disease that results in increased hip weakness and eventual paralysis—similar to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in humans.

According to UC Davis, this neurologic disorder caused by a gene mutation typically affects dogs eight years or older. Affected dogs may fully lose the ability to walk six months to 2 years after the onset of signs.

To determine if your dorgi carries the gene and is at risk or not, you can get DNA testing.

lara grisko the pet staff

About the Author

Lara Girsko

Doctor of veterinary medicine with extensive experience in animal welfare with a strong interest in feline medicine and plans to pursue ABVP-Feline specialty board certification. A key member of many local veterinary associations and avid reader of animal related science journals and studies.

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