Last Friday I received an email with the following question:
Can Corgis hike?
In this article you’ll discover the truth.
Keep reading to learn:
- If Corgis can safely climb mountains.
- What are safe areas to take your Corgi to.
- Dangers when letting your Corgi climb down (make sure to read this).
- One crucial tip you cannot do without (hint: it’s number #3 and I bet that you haven’t seen this before).
- And more…
Table of contents
- Can Corgis hike?
- Can Corgis climb mountains?
- 5 dangers when you’re hiking with your Corgi
- 7 tips to safely hike with your Corgi
Can Corgis hike?
Corgis can hike. In fact, they can reach a whopping 6-8 miles in a day. But you need to consider two things before you go on: their health and the terrain because Corgis can have problems with steeper areas like stairs. However, they can scale natural slopes without issue.
Can Corgis climb mountains?
Corgis can climb mountains well. Their long bodies allow them to easily work sloped surfaces. However, their short legs will have a harder time scaling through rocky areas. If you have a guide with you, you may want to ask for more favorable routes so your Corgi can have fun.
5 dangers when you’re hiking with your Corgi
#1: Their curiosity can hurt them
Corgis are dogs that love to go to places and assert their independence where they tread.
This is because of their herding nature. The minute they see anything resembling a cattle, they will put them in their place.
If they are awestruck, they can move around and even be too distracted to obey commands.
This behavior, combined with the treacherous terrain, can cause accidents.
For example, they can sustain injuries such as a broken leg or wounds on their paws.
They might also accidentally encounter more aggressive animals. This can make your Corgi frustrated or even scared.
Caution: If you are not careful, a simple hike can traumatize your Corgi.
As such, your dog needs a lot of physical and mental preparation before you can hike with them.
You also need to train your Corgi with all kinds of commands to make sure they don’t overdo it.
Note: See Tip #6 if you wish to learn more about the essential commands!
#2: Hiking is a joint effort
Hiking is a strenuous form of activity for your Corgi.
If they climb inconsistent terrain, their joints will certainly be worn out by the experience.
At the very least, a Corgi’s hike can be worth days of exercise at home.
Without any supervision, your Corgi can also be at risk for various health problems over time. This can include:
In general, these diseases can be triggered because each step a Corgi makes can apply varying pressure on their joints.
The more difficult the terrain, the likelier the disease.
But that’s not all…
Since Corgis are energetic dogs, they are going to run and have fun.
And this can be problematic because each second means you are losing control.
You want your Corgi to have fun, but you don’t want them to get hurt.
A balance between the two has to be reached. This is why the two of you must work together.
Doing this means understanding three crucial things:
- You should be gentle but firm. Corgis will easily wrest control from submissive owners. Let them play, but be firm if the situation calls for it.
- Your constitutions are not the same. Corgis have much weaker legs as a result of their canine dwarfism.
- Your stamina levels are not the same, too. Corgis may have a lot of stamina, but they tire faster due to lack of discipline. Rest up if your dog is tired.
#3: You can’t have your dog climb down
Going down is a problematic situation here.
Corgis may be able to handle slopes, but as with stairs, there’s a difference between going up or down.
This is because a Corgi’s front legs are less capable of tolerating gravity.
A Corgi also has to watch for any spikes on the ground that they might step on.
This means they’re not just susceptible to long-term illnesses, but to flesh wounds as well.
Inevitably, you will need to carry your Corgi almost half the time.
What if I can’t carry my dog?
If you’re already having a hard time carrying stuff, you should try finding a route that works for your Corgi’s legs.
For example, you could try looking for flatter slopes instead of steep inclines.
This means you have to “walk down” from the mountain or hill instead of climbing down.
Even then, you also need to watch out for things your Corgi might step on.
If your Corgi does sustain a wound, you might need to conduct first aid.
#4: Some areas are better than others
Corgis are energetic dogs, but their bodies are also extremely picky.
Having been raised as natural drovers, the legs of Corgis are more suitable to predictable, flat terrain.
Their long bodies may allow them to climb, but it’s not their legs’ primary function.
For this reason, you need to consider how steep the slope in the area is.
A good way to do this without doing the math is to try it before bringing your dog in for the hike.
If your knees start to hurt after a few steps, you should probably not bring your dog to that area.
This is because like humans, dogs will also feel the pressure build-up within their knees and muscles.
However, unlike us, they sometimes do not tell us about their pain until it’s too late.
It would help if you have a guide or at least someone who knows the terrain more intimately.
With their help, you will find a much safer place to climb on.
It might be less challenging on your part, but it means a lot for your Corgi.
#5: Choking hazards
In the wild, there are plenty of things for your Corgi to munch on.
Ants, grass, mushrooms, leftover plastic – anything that has the fragrant mark of a stranger’s leftovers will likely be fair game.
This can be a serious problem because some of these things may not be digestible.
In fact, since dark chocolate is widely considered good for hiking, there’s a chance your Corgi might spot someone’s leftover chocolate and eat it.
Caution: Dark chocolate can cause chocolate poisoning, which can lead to death.
There’s also a slim chance that they might accidentally choke on a stray bone.
Further, the wrong mushroom can poison your dog in a variety of ways.
This can leave them pained, nauseated, or immobile.
Caution: When this happens, medication and even surgery will have to be considered.
How do you keep this from happening?
You can prevent this by doing two very important things:
- Stay close to your Corgi. Even when they’re on a leash, be sure that they are within your field of vision. Be prepared to throw things away.
- Have food prepared for them. A Corgi won’t be eating foreign objects as often if you feed them. They love meat and cheese.
You might also want to read: 7 Reasons Why Your Corgi Eats Poop + 5 Tips To Stop It
7 tips to safely hike with your Corgi
When hiking with your Corgi, you want to make the experience as safe as possible.
Although healthy Corgis are headstrong, their bodies don’t necessarily reflect it.
Your role in hiking is to be more than just a companion. You also have to be your dog’s provider and even confidant.
Here is how you can help:
#1: Give your dog a checkup
Hiking is a huge step for your Corgi.
On one hand, it’s a glorified playtime session for your dog, giving you the opportunity to bond more intimately.
However, it’s also a health risk because your Corgi could start developing back problems while climbing.
Many of these problems are reversible such as heatstroke.
However, many of these also stay, such as hip dysplasia.
Thus, you need to have your dog checked before embarking on such a risky adventure..
If there are any injuries or underlying conditions, then the vet will likely recommend you keep your dog at home.
Should you also give your dog a checkup after the hike?
Dogs should also get checkups after a hike.
It doesn’t even matter if they only got checked the day before.
This is because Corgis can do so many things during such a time:
- Jump (Please place the link on Corgi’s jumping once published) around.
- Prick themselves.
- Ingest something inedible.
- Run longer than the prescribed period.
It’s also encouraged that you don’t wait for symptoms to show themselves, because you might lose money to your dog’s illness.
Note: It is always okay to be safe than sorry. There is only so much one can do once you are forced to bring out the big guns.
#2: Decide where to start climbing
When it comes to dogs and hiking, what matters is location, location, location.
Corgis are at their prime when they run on flat ground (grasslands).
Nothing can hinder them there but their own playtime. They are free to interact with nearly anything on flat surfaces without consequence.
Hiking is a whole different story: the terrain can start off flat, then become really rocky later.
You might even have to ford or go around bodies of water along the way.
This chaotic setting is a recipe for pain on your Corgi’s part because their legs love certain terrains and hate others.
Thus, you need to start off on flat ground first, followed by friendly inclines.
Walking on such can be considered “stretching” on their part for steeper slopes later.
The end result will be something like this video here:
Note: Observe the Corgi’s flawless footwork. This is what happens when owners keep their Corgis fit: they make difficult terrain look easy.
#3: Give your Corgi some gear
Just like human beings, Corgis need the right equipment to help them brave nature and live to bark the tale.
But what kinds of gear are necessary for your Corgi?
You will find each of these useful for the hike:
- Harnesses – they allow you to move your Corgi around and resist some of their own without unnecessarily injuring them. This makes them better than leashes.
- First-Aid Kit – this is handy for treating your Corgi should anything go wrong in the process.
- Canine footwear – the ground can be treacherous for your Corgi’s paws. To prevent wounds or injuries, you need protection for their paws.
- Collars with added functionality – normal collars are acceptable, but you may want specific collars for different purposes during the hike. LED collars allow you to see your pet at night. This is useful for overnight stays. Collars with bells allow you to keep track of your Corgi even if something distracts you. This is great for when you are climbing and concerned for your Corgi at the same time.
- Food and water kits – foraging can feel good for people who want authentic experiences, but for dogs, stick with what works.
Bring all the food or water you can with you. Be sure to only feed your Corgi with those.
#4: Hike only when your Corgi is old enough
The Golden Age for any Corgi is 1 year or older.
At this point, all of their joints will have developed. They will have been fortified by their experiences with you at home.
You can think of hiking as the first test of endurance on your Corgi’s part.
You need to make sure that your Corgi is absolutely healthy for the task.
Caution: Do not stop with age. If your Corgi has an underlying condition, regardless of how old they are, don’t send them out.
More importantly, even if you are confident, always ask for an expert’s opinion.
Note: It is always better to be worried over nothing when it comes to Corgis. They require so much care that any suspicion of disease must be taken seriously.
This doesn’t mean they’re not healthy. Rather, you just need to watch out for more things for your dog.
#5: Take seminars before the big day
Hiking with your dog is not just about proper equipment or the timing.
It’s also about you and how far you are willing to go for your dog.
While accidents rarely happen in hiking, the possibility of them happening is never 0.
Your dog may bruise, choke, or even lose their heartbeat over something unwarranted.
And you must do your part by participating in these seminars:
- CPR Training – this is textbook training for any dedicated owner. It prolongs your dog’s life in a situation that could take it away.
- First Aid Training – this allows you to nurse your dog for any flesh wound or bruise they might sustain during the trip. You can even learn a special Heimlich maneuver!
- Dog Walking Seminars – these allow you to know how to walk your dog more readily for the long haul.
- Dog Behavior Seminars – they allow you to understand how a dog feels based on movement. Are they sick, tired, angry or sad? Only one way to find out!
Note: Take as many as you can. Your combined knowledge of your dog will help you a lot in hiking and emergencies.
#6: Train your Corgi with commands beforehand
Corgis have a strong capacity for self-control and can be surprisingly humble.
However, these are not their natural attitudes. Corgis instinctively need to feel superior over other animals.
It doesn’t matter if they’re as little as an ant or as tall as a human being. Nothing intimidates them.
And in hiking, these true colors will surface if you have no knowledge of dog commands.
Here is a short bucket list of all essential commands you will need to learn before marching:
- Stay – You want to make sure that your Corgi only traverses favorable areas. The best way is to tell them to “stay” so you can reposition them if needed.
- “Off” – Great for keeping dogs off the couch, it’s also a useful command to make them get off rocky sections with the word and a flick of your finger.
- Potty – In hiking, you don’t want to be bogged down literally by your Corgi’s poop. “Potty” ensures you can control when your dog relieves themselves.
- Come – You are your dog’s point of return in the mountains or wilderness. By telling them to “come,” you will ensure that they stay close to you, even with a leash.
#7: Don’t bring other dogs if you are alone
Let’s call a spade a spade: hiking is not a social call.
It’s supposed to be bonding time between just you and your dog.
If you bring other dogs along, your Corgi might become needlessly energetic.
They love being around friends, and in hiking, this is a weakness.
This opens up plenty of opportunities for injury due to lessened control on your part.
It may seem like you’re playing favorites here. But remember that you are doing this to protect your dogs.
It is better to consider an awkward social arrangement than to risk your dog’s life.
If you have to bring other dogs, bring another person with you.
This way, you can divide responsibilities between the two dogs.
Each owner will be responsible for commanding, treating, checking, and even stopping each other in case things get too rough.
Note: The ideal ratio is one dog per owner. Two at maximum, if you can handle it.