Hiking is a great way to keep both yourself and your corgi fit and healthy. But when it comes to endurance, it’s hard to know how much your corgi can handle. Do their short legs tire easily? How far can they hike? This article explains how corgis make surprisingly good hiking companions, as well as other frequently asked questions about endurance, distance, and more.
Corgis make excellent hiking companions and have both stamina and strength. On terrain that’s relatively flat and soft to walk on, most healthy corgis in their prime can easily go on 3-mile hikes.
Can Corgis Go Hiking?
Despite their size, corgis make awesome hiking partners, under the right conditions...
Corgis can hike well on easy terrain that’s mostly flat. Due to their short legs and long back, it’s not advised to hike any steep trails or climb over rocks with your corgi, as this can quickly lead to injuries. Let alone be very difficult for them in the first place. I will also mention below how Corgis are prone to IVDD (Important to read).
If the terrain is simple, then your corgi will be just fine.
Why go hiking? Hiking with your corgi will provide valuable mental stimulation, not just physical exercise. It’s more than just chasing the ball in the park… it’s exploring new trails, smelling new smells, and seeing new sights. For these reasons, hiking proves to be very satisfying and rewarding for our furry friends.
How Far Can Your Corgi Hike?
Corgis can actually walk and hike pretty far, depending on the terrain and their existing health.
If the terrain is flat and soft (preferably mud) and your corgi has good existing health, then 3 miles is easily achieved by most corgis.
But if you’ve never hiked before or your corgi isn’t accustomed to this kind of distance, you must build up to it slowly.
Other factors that will affect how far your corgi can walk/hike will be the weather conditions. If it’s very cold or too warm, the distance will decrease dramatically. Always use common sense and remember that just because we can tolerate a hot and sweaty hike in the summer, our dogs most likely can’t. The same goes for overly cold conditions.
A fit and healthy corgi on easy terrain can likely hike 3 miles without issues, but first, consider:
- Pre-existing health
- The terrain (Is it soft? flat? steep? or rocky?)
- The weather conditions (too hot or too cold is not advised)
- Is your corgi accustomed to walking long distances already?
- Age. Young puppies and senior corgis should receive a less strenuous form of exercise
It’s always important to act responsibly, and use common sense when thinking about how fair your corgi can go.
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Corgis Are Susceptible to IVDD
One thing that all Corgis owners should be aware of is Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD. Unfortunately, this affects many small breeds, particularly those ones when long back (like dachshunds, cocker spaniels, miniature poodles). And Corgis are no exception.
So what does this mean? IVDD is when the soft padding discs in between the vertebrae start to bulge or even dislodge slightly and move out into the spinal cord space. This can be excruciatingly painful and in the worst-case scenario could lead to paralysis.
How does it happen? This can happen particularly from trying to jump up at things, but also when landing hard too. This certainly applies to hiking, even jumping over a log may cause your corgi to land hard, due to how short they are…
This means that great caution needs to be taken when exercising your Corgi in general. Avoid excessive running, jumping, landing at all costs.
This comes back down to choosing a safe route, taking it easy, and not over-exerting your corgi on any kind of hiking trip.
8 Important Tips For Hiking With Your Corgi
Below I cover some additional tips to consider before going out on your first hike with your corgi.
Check that the trail is dog-friendly
It’s important to first check that the hike or trail you intend to go on welcomes dogs. Fortunately, the vast majority of public spaces, trails, and hiking areas are dog-friendly, but there are still some places that are not. And even if you’ve seen other dogs there before, it doesn’t mean that it’s okay. Avoid a hefty fine, by checking online first.
Check the rules of national parks
If you plan on hiking inside of a national park, check the rules first. Some national parks have specific areas where dogs are allowed and are not allowed, as well as the on-leash, off-leash rules. I’ve had many friends get caught out here and have had to pay fines.
Avoid rivers, lakes, bodies of water
I know they seem fun and exciting, but in reality, they’re just a hazard that should be avoided. Strong currents, deep spots, and unknown lakes pose obvious safety risks for your corgi. Be particularly careful of your corgi trying to drink from stagnant lakes, as there can be a range of bacteria and parasites in these areas.
Be cautious of other animals and wildlife
This is heavily affected by the region you live in, and in some areas, this may not be a worry. For others, you could have snakes to consider or even mountain lions. Always be cautious of the area you are in and become familiar with the local wildlife you may run into.
Keep your corgi on a long leash until comfortable
When hiking a trail for the first time, it’s a good idea to keep your corgi on the leash (although I know you don’t want to!). New trails present new hazards that you are unaware of. Plus, it’s going to be very exciting for your corgi, which means there’s a chance his recall and obedience isn’t going to be where it usually is. Using the leash for the first time is a sensible idea.
Take extra drinking water and a bowl
Always take a lot of drinking water and never forget a bowl! It’s quite difficult and even off-putting for some dogs having to drink from a water bottle. Fortunately, there are many nifty hiking bottle/bowl combinations nowadays which I will link to below. They are affordable and perfect for carrying your corgi’s water separate from your own.
Don’t hike every single day
Especially in the beginning, your corgi will need more time to recover and rest than you. I’m not talking about stamina, but more so the paws, legs, and joints. Paws can become saw and overwalking can cause serious joint issues, so remember to have rest days and switch up the exercise activity until your corgi becomes accustomed to the routine.
Bag The Brownies
And I’m not talking about your grandma’s famous brownies. Nope… Always pick up the poop even if your corgi goes in the shrubs. It’s not fair for other dog walkers or animals. If other dog walkers spot you or even a national park staff member, you’ll be looking at a hefty fine and some serious penalties depending on what country or state you are in.
Recommended Read: Why your corgi might have diarrhea & how to help
Recommended Dog Hiking Equipment
Here’s some of the most helpful dog hiking equipment on the market at the moment.
All items are of great quality and have excellent reviews which I encourage you to check out for yourself.
Your corgi will make an excellent hiking partner. Just consider their existing health and fitness, as well as the terrain, trail, and weather conditions before you start hiking.
Be sure to check the rules where you plan on hiking.
And remember to start slowly, building up to longer hikes in the future.
● Thank you for reading! I hope this has answered your questions about taking your corgi hiking. If you have further queries, please contact me and I will be happy to get back to you. All the best, Harry.
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