Dorgi

Ana Oliveira
Dr Ana Oliveira (DVM, University of Lisbon)
 
Photo of adult Dorgi
BrokenSphere / Wikipedia.org

Dorgis are designer dogs, which are a cross between purebred Dachshunds and Pembroke Welsh Corgis. These small dogs have hunting and herding ancestry, being energetic, alert and courageous. Besides the activity levels, Dorgis have inherited the loyalty, intelligence, friendliness, and sociability of their parents. They therefore make excellent family pets.

Although their appearance is not fixed, Dorgis tend to have the Dachshund’s body and the Corgi’s head, which results in a super cute dog. They have sensitive backs, just like their Dachshund parent, being extremely vulnerable to being knocked, so they are not the best-suited dog for families with very young children. Regardless, they are true companions and great watchdogs.

About & History

The Dorgi is a crossbreed between Dachshunds and Corgis, and its history is, of course, very much intertwined with that of the Dachshund and the Corgi, as this is a recent crossbreed whose origins are mostly unknown. All we know is that this is a popular crossbreed across the United Kingdom and the United States, and that their popularity is related to both their cute appearance, their character, and their talents. Dorgis are good in guarding, herding, sighting, racing, and they also make great companion pets.

The Corgi is a very old breed. Records have it that the ancestors of today’s Corgi were brought to the United Kingdom in the 12th century by Flemish weavers for herding livestock. This breed later developed to what it is today, a beloved dog and Queen Elizabeth’s favorite breed since 1933. Dachshunds are also thought to be an old breed, with over 600 years of history. They originate from Germany, where they were used as working dogs, mainly to dig, find, and hunt badgers. They are strong, resilient, and courageous dogs. The mix between these two breeds resulted in the Dorgi, a crossbreed that is recognised by the American Canine Hybrid Club, the Designer Breed Registry, the Designer Dogs Kennel Club, the Dog Registry of America, and the International Designer Canine Registry.

Appearance

Dorgi Large Photo
D.K. Britton / Wikipedia.org

Dorgis are small and stocky dogs, with a long body that is larger in length than it is in height, just like the Dachshund. They have short legs, large and erect ears, and the fox-like appearance of a Corgi. Their coat is usually short and can be soft or wiry. Dorgis come in the following colours:

  • Light brown or golden
  • Dark brown or chocolate
  • Brown and white
  • Black and tan
  • Black

Dorgis also typically have a white, spotted chest. Dorgis may weigh between 6.5 and 12.5 kg (15-28 lbs), and are short, 23 to 30.5 cm tall (9-12 inches).

Character & Temperament

The Dorgi is an affectionate dog, owing much of its character and temperament to both their parents, as both Dachshunds and Corgis are intelligent, loving, social, and loyal breeds. Dorgis are extremely friendly and are true companions, showing a genuine and keen interest in participating in every activity or task their owners partake. Because of these personality traits, they make good pets. They also get along with other pets, despite their inherited prey-drive towards smaller pets, and with children. However, because of their long body and sensitive back, they are vulnerable to falling or being knocked over, so they are not the best choice for families with young children, who may be less careful while playing.

They are an energetic crossbreed, due to their hunting and herding ancestry, so they love their playtime and to engage in exercise or any active task. They are brave dogs, vocal and alert, therefore making good guard and watchdogs. They are curious and inquisitive, like the Dachshund. When they push more towards the Dachshund parent in terms of stubbornness, they can become somewhat more difficult to train. Nonetheless, they are enjoyable pets, they love attention and cuddles, and usually respond well to meeting new people and animals, as they are agreeable and sweet. Dorgis may suffer from separation anxiety, so owners should not leave them alone for long periods of time.

Trainability

Photo of Dorgi puppy
Jadubandmal / Wikipedia.org

Dorgis are generally easy to train, as they are social and obedient dogs. However, they may also be stubborn, pushing towards the Dachshund, which can call for a more structured, consistent training plan. Overall, tolerance and patience, along with a firm, consistent hand, and lots of love is all one needs to successfully train a Dorgi. Positive reinforcement is preferred, especially with food rewards, as they tend to be real foodies.

Because they may suffer from separation anxiety, it is important to train Dorgis from an early age to be alone, so they do not become destructive and even violent when their owners are away. Gradually increasing the alone time is an effective method, but finding him or her a canine friend is also a great option for keeping both dogs entertained and happy.

Health

Dorgis are hardy, healthy dogs with a lifespan ranging from 12 to 15 years. They love to eat, so obesity is a health issue that owners should be aware of, as it complicates other diseases that may occur:

Achondroplasia

Both the Corgi and the Dachshund, thus also the Dorgi, have long spines and shallow rib cages, resulting in their short legs, but also in their sensitive back. They are therefore more prone to back and skeletal problems, such as intervertebral disc disease, spinal deviation, enlarged joints, and abnormal skeletal growth. Jumping should be discouraged, as well as leaping onto furniture. Also, when picking them up, it is important to keep their back parallel to the floor.

Patellar luxation

Commonly seen in small dog breeds and crossbreeds, patellar luxation occurs when the kneecap jumps out of place to both sides, causing pain and lameness. It is usually associated with a malformation of the kneecap and sometimes it results from an injury, causing the dog to hold up the affected leg whenever it happens, due to pain. Although this is not a very serious problem, it causes a lot of discomfort, which can be alleviated by the use of anti-inflammatory drugs.

Hip Dysplasia

This is a complex condition with a hereditary component that is characterised by a malformation of the hip joint, causing the thighbone to incorrectly fit the hip socket. Because the joint is defective, its normal function is impaired, leading to inflammation, pain, and lameness.

With the help of diagnostic imaging methods, such as X-rays, but also scoring tests, hip dysplasia can be diagnosed and treatment may be symptomatic, with the use of drugs or surgical. There are varying degrees of hip dysplasia and its predisposition can be evaluated by genetic testing.

Cataracts

Cataracts is an eye condition that results from an opacity in the eye lens, causing impaired and blurred vision that eventually leads to blindess. The first signs of a dog with cataracts include the dog bumping into furniture or walls. Treatment consists of surgically removing the affected lens and replacing it with a new one, which is very effective in restoring the animal’s vision.

Exercise and Activity Levels

Dorgis are active pets and need at least 30 minutes a day of exercise and playtime. A brisk leashed walk or jog, and some extra off-leash playtime will suffice to keep up with the exercise and activity requirements of Dorgis. Because both Dachshunds and Corgis are working dogs, Dorgis will also be the happiest when performing working tasks and learning new tricks and games. They will thrive in a home with a backyard where they can run freely and explore, but they will also love to come back home after a busy day to curl up on the couch.

Grooming

Dorgis are easy to maintain and their grooming does not require too much effort. They do not shed much, so brushing them a couple of times a week is usually enough to keep their coat looking good. If the Dorgi pushes more towards the Corgi parent, who sheds more, then it is best to brush it daily.

When choosing a bed, it is preferable to get a large one that can confortably accommodate the Dorgi’s long back. Also, they have a burrowing instinct (owed to the Dachshund parent), so providing enough blankets, cushions, and pillows is encouraged.

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