Corgis and Labs are pretty much the cutest, so we don’t blame you if you’re looking at the Corgi Lab Mix.
But if you’re thinking this mixed breed dog could be your new pet, you’ll want to know all the facts first.
The Corgi Lab mix aims to combine the amiable cuteness of the little Corgi with the winning personality and eagerness to please of the Lab.
Is this pup the right companion for you and your family? Read on to find out.
Where Does the Corgi Lab Mix Come From?
This is one of the newer mixes, and it is sometimes considered a “designer dog.”
Such dogs are not recognized by purebred registries such as the American Kennel Club.
But if you don’t care about showing your dog, crossbreeding isn’t necessarily an issue.
Crossbreeding has a long tradition in the creation of dog breeds, but it is controversial. And if you’re getting a designer dog breed, you should probably know why.
Briefly put, purebred dog lines are cultivated by responsible owners to standards that maximize their health and the breed’s signature attributes.
But if breeding is done without looking toward improving the genetics of a breed, it can cause additional health problems instead.
Owners must be careful and knowledgeable.
Research shows that mixing breeds can result in more genetic diversity.
That can lead to better health for the dogs overall, without having to be so careful of ancestry.
But just remember that your dog’s welfare is more important than any purebred vs mutt debate.
And your mixed breed dog may very well take after either parent.
A pup from two purebred parents of different breeds can randomly inherit any trait of either parent.
So it’s important to weigh the characteristics of the parent breeds first.
Origins of the Corgi
Did you know there are actually two Corgi breeds?
The one you know best, as being the favored pup of Queen Elizabeth II of England, is the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
The other breed is the Cardigan Corgi. The Cardigan breed is the older one.
Cardigan Corgis can be distinguished by their larger and rounder ears, smaller eyes and a non-docked tail.
They are more active than Pembroke Welsh Corgis and slightly heavier.
Both breeds may be descended from Swedish cattle dogs or possibly dogs brought into Wales by Flemish weavers.
They have herded, guarded farms. They’ve also provided companionship for families and Wales since the 10th century.
The breeds began to diverge in the mid-1800s, and were recognized in 1934 as separate breeds both by the English Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club.
Meanwhile, Cardigans have more Dachshund characteristics. Pembrokes are the more popular breed.
Origins of the Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dog breed in the U.S.
They are believed to be descended from the St. John’s Water Dog, a Retriever Waterdog used to fetch waterfowl.
They’re not actually from Labrador, though.
They’re from Newfoundland. They were called Labradors by English aristocrats who brought them back to England in the 1800s.
There, the breed was standardized, despite crossbreeding that threatened the Lab’s existence for a while.
England’s Kennel Club recognized them in 1903, and the American Kennel Club followed suit in 1917.
Fun Facts about the Corgi Lab Mix
- Labrador Retrievers have been the most popular dog breed in the U.S. for a couple of decades. Pembroke Welsh Corgis and Cardigan Welsh Corgis rank 15 and 68 on that list.
- This hybrid is sometimes called a Corgidor.
- Corgis can be considered a “bandwagon” breed because they are trendy.
- One of the things that makes them so cute is their size. This is actually because Corgis are a true dwarf breed, built like bigger dogs but in smaller bodies.
- Their short, stubby legs come from a phenotype called chondrodysplasia. This is associated with certain health problems.
Corgi Lab Mix Appearance
Corgis are long and low-set, strong and sturdy dogs. They tend to have more than one color in their coat.
Pembrokes are usually red, sable or black. Cardigans can be black, tan, fawn, red, sable, brindle or blue merle.
They often have white markings.
From ground to shoulders, Welsh Pembroke Corgis tend to be 10-12 inches and generally weigh up to 30 lbs.
They have a tapered muzzle and medium-sized ears that narrow to a rounded point.
Their coat is of medium length and has two parts—a coarser, longer outer coat with a short, thick, weather-resistant undercoat.
Labradors are medium to big dogs that generally come in solid or “self”colors” of yellow, brown and black.
They are somewhat larger than Corgis at 24.5 inches of height (maximum). Labs tend to weigh 44-80 lbs.
These are well-proportioned dogs, also with a double coat like the Corgi. They have an “otter” tail, a thick and strong tail that enables them to swim well.
So what can you expect from a mixed breed pup? Basically any of these sizes, weights and conformation details are possible.
It’s simply impossible to predict in advance.
Cardigan Welsh Corgis can weigh about 10 lbs. more than Pembroke Welsh Corgis, so know for sure which parent breed is involved.
Corgi Lab Mix Temperament
Labradors are known for their friendly, outgoing, confident, laid-back personalities.
They’re not really good guard dogs, but they are smart, loving and affectionate. They adore people, and are loyal and good with kids.
They are good choices for service and therapy dogs because of these qualities.
Corgis, on the other hand, are intelligent and bold. They tend to be more protective. Some lines can be aggressive or high strung.
Pembrokes especially have been known to bite under certain circumstances.
They were, after all, trained to nip at the heels of much larger animals while herding them. They also bark quite a bit.
Cardigans, on the other hand, are friendly but more aloof.
That makes them less desirable for families. That’s why socialization and training is super important for this breed.
Remember that a dog’s adult personality may differ from the puppy personality, so don’t skimp on the training.
Training Your Corgi Lab Mix
Both Corgis and Labradors have plenty of energy and stamina for doing their jobs.
So, if you’re not going to put your pup to work, your Labrador x Corgi hybrid will need plenty of exercise and activity.
Corgis do well on long walks and slow jogs. Just don’t go too fast if your hybrid pup has those short legs.
Training and basic obedience is a necessity. Socialization is also key, especially since some Corgis can be nervous.
Labs who don’t have enough to do may start to get hyperactive or destructive.
Agility, herding, swimming and tracking events may be helpful for both breeds.
The dwarfism associated with the Corgi breed may lead to complications, so don’t encourage a Corgi to do any jumping.
Additionally, the Corgi’s long body is prone to health problems. So let’s talk about their health next.
Corgi Lab Mix Health
Breeders estimate the life expectancy of the Corgi at about 12-15 years. For Labrador Retrievers, it’s about 10-12 years.
These are generally healthy breeds but are susceptible to certain inherited health problems. And the mixing of these breeds leads to unpredictability.
Labs are prone to obesity and related issues, such as diabetes, arthritis and thyroid problems.
They may experience hip and elbow dysplasia (disorders of the joints) and may get cancers, such as lymphoma.
Labs can have hypothyroidism and tricuspid valve dysplasia, affecting the heart.
Other genetic issues include exercise-induced collapse, centronuclear myopathy (canine muscular dystrophy that causes weakness) and patellar luxation (loose kneecaps).
They can also experience ideopathic epilepsy (brain seizures).
Labs may get certain vision problems, such as progressive retinal atrophy or cataracts, and may be more likely to have allergies that lead to skin problems.
Their floppy ears, which can hide and shelter bacteria, may be more likely to develop ear infections.
Corgis, as we have mentioned, may face issues relating to chondrodysplasia—short legs, long body.
These include spinal problems such as degenerative myelopathy.
Like larger dogs, they can have hip dysplasia.
Among the biggest causes of death in Corgis are heart conditions, like heart murmurs, primary hypertropic cardiomyopathy, cardiac shunts and persistent ductus arteriosus.
Another big cause of Corgi death is cancer.
They can have a form of platelet defect called von Willebrand’s disease.
Other potential health problems include neurologic disorders, gastrointestinal issues, renal failure, cutaneous asthenia or “weak skin,” invertebral disk disease, and autoimmune diseases.
A heart defect called patent ductus arteriosis can show up in Corgis. Corgis can also have trouble reproducing.
They experience certain eye problems, such as retinal dysplasia, primary lens luxation, corneal dystrophy and cataracts.
Health Differences Between Corgis
There are some differences in health between the two types of Corgis as well.
For example, Cardigans have a deeper lung and chest cavity so that causes other problems.
Cardigans can also experience intervertebral disc disease.
Make sure to have your Corgi Lab health tested, and request documentation of the parents’ health tests.
Grooming the Corgi Lab Mix
One way to help keep your dog healthy and glowing is by grooming properly.
Both Corgis and Labs have short- to medium-length double coats that shed year round.
Your Lab x Corgi will require brushing at least once or twice a week.
Do Corgi Lab Mixes Make Good Family Dogs?
Labradors are good pets for kids and adults, as they are friendly and mellow.
But are Corgi Lab mixes suitable for families? Well, it depends.
Corgis are not as good with small children, and their potential health problems could cause stress in certain households.
We encourage you to consider whether or not you can handle a Corgidor that takes more after the Corgi side more than the Labrador when it comes to temperament and health.
While we can’t recommend the breed to all families, some Corgi Lab mixes might be a good family dog.
Rescuing a Corgi Lab Mix
Corgi Lab mixes are somewhat rare in rescues, but it is definitely possible to find one if you are patient.
You may wish to try breed-specific Labrador or Corgi rescues, as they often take in mixes.
There are advantages in rescuing mixed breed dogs because you can have a better idea of personality and temperament.
Also, any early onset genetic issues may already be present, so you can know better what you’re getting into.
But you’ll have fewer choices about which dog to adopt.
Finding a Corgi Lab Mix
You can start your search online if you’re looking for a breeder. Ask your friends and social networks for recommendations, too.
And once you find a breeder, make sure to vet the breeder properly before you fall for a Corgi Lab puppy.
Ask questions about a pup’s health, parents, environment and genetic history.
Make sure you’ve seen all documentation and visit if possible.
Don’t buy one if you don’t feel comfortable with the breeder’s practices and interactions with the dogs.
Avoid pet stores and puppy mills.
Visit our category on searching for puppies instead for everything from finding the right place to buy your next puppy to naming your new family member.
Raising a Corgi Lab Mix Puppy
Like all puppies, a Corgi cross Lab will require plenty of love and positive reinforcement from you to grow up happy and healthy.
If you have questions about how to train your puppy, visit our category on puppy training.
If you do it right, your Corgi Lab Mix puppy will be a great companion for life!
Pros and Cons of Getting A Corgi Lab Mix
We’ve included a lot of information here, so let’s sum up the main advantages and disadvantages of mixing Labs and Corgis.
Let’s start with the cons.
- Labs are sweet and low-key pups, but Corgis can be a touch more nervous and aggressive. If your mixed pup takes after the Corgi side, you may end with a higher-strung dog.
- The dwarfish profile of the Corgi may cause health issues related to their condition.
- A Corgi Lab mix may not be the best for certain families because of these issues.
There are advantages too!
- Corgi-Lab mixes might be really sweet and friendly dogs, taking temperament traits from both breeds that make them so popular.
- They won’t require a lot of grooming, since their coat is low-maintenance.
Similar Breed Mixes and Breeds
If you’re looking for something similar, we recommend looking at Labradors and Corgis separately.
Both breeds make good pets. Of course, with Corgis you’ll have to consider issues from the dwarfism.
If you really want a mixed breed, consider other Lab mix options that aren’t so disparate in size, such as the Labradoodle.
Corgi Lab Mix Rescues
Looking to rescue a hybrid pup? Here are some breed specific rescues where you can start your search.
Colorado: Rocky Mountain Lab Rescue
California: Golden Gate Labrador Retriever Rescue
US-wide: Pembroke Welsh Corgi Rescue Network
East coast US: East Coast Corgi Rescue
US and Canada: Cardigan Welsh Corgi National Rescue Trust
New England/North East US: Mayflower Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club, Inc.
Midwest US: Lakeshore Pembroke Welsh Corgi Rescue
Know of others? Let us hear about it in the comments!
Is A Corgi Lab Mix Right For Me?
Only you can decide if this mix is perfect for your needs.
Your Corgi Lab is likely to be a cute, smart and friendly dog, tempered perhaps with the guarding and herding tendencies of the Corgi.
Can your family handle the issues you might see in health and temperament?
Will you commit to the socialization and training of your new dog?
If so, a Corgi Lab might be in your future!
Resources and Further Reading:
Adams, V. J., et al., 2010, “Methods and Mortality Results of a Health Survey of Purebred Dogs in the UK,” Journal of Small Animal Practice.
March, P.A., et al., 2009, “Degenerative Myelopathy in 18 Pembroke Welsh Dogs,” Veterinary Pathology.
Phavaphutanon, J., et al., 2009, “Evaluation of Quantitative Trait Loci for Hip Dysplasia in Labrador Retrievers,” American Journal of Veterinary Research.
Sutter, N.B. and Ostrander, E.A., 2004, “Dog Star Rising: The Canine Genetic System,” Nature Reviews Genetics.
Zoran, D. L., et al., 2010, “Obesity in Dogs and Cats: A Metabolic and Endocrine Disorder,” Veterinary Clinics: Small Animal Practice.