Corman Shepherd | Corgi German Shepherd Mix Breed Profile
Do you love the look of a German Shepherd, but wish you could have one in a smaller package? Meet the Corman Shepherd, a cross between the German Shepherd and Welsh Corgi.
Dr. Sara Redding Ochoa | Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine
Sara is Wileypup’s Veterinarian Adviser and helped compose this article to ensure the information is up to date and accurate. For more information on Sara click here
Before you take the leap with a Corman Shepherd puppy, make sure she is going to be a good fit for you and your family. While this mix almost always has great looks, she can be a handful for novice owners.
This Guide Has Everything You Need To Know About The Corgi German Shepherd Hybrid, Including:
- What can you expect from this hybrid?
- What are the characteristics of the parent breeds?
- Is the Corman Shepherd the right breed for you?
- Where can you find Corgi Shepherd puppies?
Corgi German Shepherd Mix: Corman Shepherd
An all around hardworking, stocky athlete, this intelligent hybrid has a lot to offer. However, they may not be well suited for apartment living, novice owners, and households with small children.
Every individual dog has their own unique personality and can be considerably molded by basic training and solid leadership. However, there are some characteristics that are common between the German Shepherd and Welsh Corgi breeds which you can more or less expect to see in a cross of these two breeds:
Smarty Pants: Expect a smart canine companion who can be easily trained as long as you have experience with basic training principles and can provide consistency.
Stubborn Streak: With intelligence comes a well-developed will. These traits are almost hand in hand with both people and dogs! You will have to choose your battles with Corman Shepherd puppies, choosing to focus on behavior issues that are most important to her safety and appropriateness in a human world. Allow her some room to express herself in safe and appropriate ways and you will strike the right balance.
Loyal to a Fault: Both of the parent breeds show a strong loyalty to their pack. They both have been bred to have some guarding instincts and to bond with their “charges.” If not properly socialized, this can be a dangerous characteristic as these dogs have been known to bite if they sense their people or property are under threat.
Hard Working and Eager to Please: The Corgi German Shepherd hybrid is a work horse when given a job. A strong desire to please their owners as well as incredible focus gives this canine a drive for purpose.
Loud Mouth: Barking is something that is considered desirable in some herding breeds developed for moving large livestock. If left alone too long, or allowed to become bored, this designer breed is very likely to become a problem barker.
Pushy: If allowed to be in charge, this breed can quickly become out of hand and demanding. They tend to have alpha personalities that need to be checked with strong leadership. Their energy and drive must be harnessed with purpose and direction in order to thrive and be a welcome member of your family.
Curious and Playful: When properly socialized as puppies, Corman Shepherds will be confident and eager to explore the world. While they are likely to remain somewhat aloof with new people, exposure to lots of different situations when they are young will help pave the way to a brave little dude who is enthusiastic about adventure.
While Corgis tend to have a relatively stable size range (10”-12” and 25-40 lbs.), the same cannot be said for German Shepherds. Therefore, predicting the size of the offspring of this mix is largely a factor of the size of the GSD parent.
What you can expect is a significantly shorter dog than German Shepherd as, in almost all cases, the dog will be significantly “dwarfed” by the short and compact stature of the Corgi. A good range for a rough estimate is 40-70 pounds, and 15”-20” in height.
Coat and Appearance
While coloration can turn out in almost any variation, most Corman Shepherds look like a German Shepherd that has short legs and the tell-tale smile of the Corgi in the face. In fact, their good looks are a key reason for the popularity of this cross.
In terms of the coat, expect a major shed twice a year. To keep down shedding inside the remainder of the year, take your pup outside for a quick brush every week. Their double coat is easy to maintain and well suited for outdoor adventure in just about any climate as long as they are well acclimated.
Their stocky athleticism makes them a great cross for dog sports such as flyball or Dog Parkour. These two canine sports are very welcoming of mutts and the Corgi and German Shepherd cross makes for an excellent competitor.
Health and Life Expectancy
Thanks to their small stature, Corman Shepherds tend to have a longer lifespan than GSDs, which is great news. Although the hybrid is new, and there is not enough data to know the exact average lifespan, 11-14 years is a good rough estimate.
Luckily, cross bred dogs do tend to be healthier when it comes to congenital conditions since the high concentration of genetic problems in most purebreds is largely a function of in-breeding to maintain the breed standards.
That being said, there are some common genetic conditions that both breeds carry in this case. Hip dysplasia and degenerative myelopathy can be a problem.
Luckily, the longer legs of this breed significantly decreases the chance of IVDD, a degenerative spinal condition that makes purebred Corgis more prone to debilitating spinal cord injury.
If you want to know if this is the right hybrid for you, make sure to read to the bottom where we will reveal the types of owners that should probably avoid this mix, along with the best matches for the Corman Shepherd!
For more Corgi & German Shepherd Mixes check out these articles:
Pembroke Welsh Corgi | Corman Shepherd Parent Breed Profile
There are actually two main breeds that are referred to as a Corgi: the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi.
They are closely related in terms of genetics, with the Pembroke tending to be smaller and sometimes born without a tail or docked as a puppy. Pembrokes also have pointed ears, while the Cardigan tends to have a more rounded ear.
Because the Pembroke is the more popular of these two breeds in the U.S., this breed review will be focused on them, however, Corgi hybrids can be bred from either of these purebred herding canines.
The earliest known ancestors of the modern-day Welsh Corgi go back to 1107 (A.D.) when Flemish weavers relocated to Wales. These artisans brought their dogs with them, although they had been used to herd a large variety of livestock including ponies, geese, sheep and even cattle as far back as the 900’s A.D.
Although the origin of the stock is a matter of some controversy, it is likely they have a mix from the ancient dog breeds including Keeshonds, Pomeranians, Chow Chows, Norwegian Elkhounds and the Finnish Spitz.
Originally shown as a single breed, the Cardigan Corgis split into their own breed in 1925 and have been bred separately from Pembrokes ever since.
Queen Elizabeth II has owned over 30 Pembroke Welsh Corgis, giving them plenty of visibility in England. She is following the trend of her royal family line since the first Corgi, “Dookie”, was added to the royal canine family in 1933.
They live a life of luxury in Buckingham Palace with their very own room with special wicker basket beds to lounge in. They enjoy the dinner stylings of a gourmet chef who cooks their meals from scratch.
While once one of the most popular breeds in the U.K., Pembrokes have fallen out of fashion recently due to the tail docking that is standard for purebreds that happen to be born with a tail, considered unethical by many in Britain.
Bred for cattle and livestock herding, you might expect a dog with a bold and independent spirit and you would not be wrong. However, unlike some herding breeds, the Corgi is well suited to family life as long as they are given basic training and are kept mentally and physically stimulated.
The Corgi has a playful spirit and a slight tendency to guard. They are polite but often aloof with strangers, preferring the company of their family best.
Because they are very intelligent and have a strong food drive, these small dogs are easy to train with consistent positive reinforcement-based training and plenty of leadership.
One thing to be aware of with the Corgi is that they can become problem barkers, which can make them a poor choice for apartment living. They can also be finicky about other pets and are best added to homes with other animals when they are still puppies.
Corgis need to be supervised with small children. They can be nippy, either when trying to “herd” small children with ankle biting or by being intolerant of rough handling typical of toddlers.
As adults, Pembroke Corgis tend to reach about 30 pounds, with the males slightly larger than females. 10-12 inches is the confirmation standard. Their Cardigan cousins are slightly larger, weighing in at around 35 pounds for females, and 38 for males with an additional half inch or so of height.
However, don’t let these little shorties become couch potatoes. Although the perfect medium sized dog for travel and adventure, these little athletes need a good amount of exercise to maintain their condition and keep them from putting on unwanted pounds.
Coat and Appearance
Colors on Pembroke Welsh Corgis can range from red, sable, fawn, and black and tan. They can be confirmed according to the breed standard with or without white markings.
Their coat is double, with a softer downy coat under a slightly stiff medium length top coat. This gives the Corgi great weather protection for just about any climate and condition. It also means that twice a year you can expect a major molt that will require some extra grooming. However, most of the year the coat is very easy to maintain.
Health and Life Expectancy
Typical for the smaller end of medium sized canines, these little guys live 12-13 years (Cardigans have a slightly longer average lifespan of 12-15 years).
Because they have a long spine and short legs, this breed is prone to Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), although they are not as prone as the Dachshund in terms of the incidence of this debilitating spinal condition. It is important, however, to keep a Corgi in great physical condition, including a healthy weight, to reduce their chance of back injury.
Although a very healthy breed overall, other conditions to be on the look out for include hip dysplasia, epilepsy and degenerative myelopathy.
German Shepherd | Corman Shepherd Parent Breed Profile
While they sometimes have a reputation for being aggressive, the German Shepherd is a very stable dog when well trained and handled by an experienced dog person. Read on to learn more about this very popular breed.
Most German Shepherds today can trace their ancestry back to a single sire, Horand von Grafrath, the very first GSD. This dog was chosen by Max von Stephanitz, a retired German Captain in the early 1900’s who was obsessed with developing a standard breed with a very strong work ethic, physical soundness and intelligence.
This dog was actually one of many that had been bred in the different farming villages that littered the landscape of Northern Europe from the 1800’s on. They were bred to herd and guard flocks of sheep that roamed over great expanses of countryside.
In the years that followed, the GSD became associated with guide dogs for the blind, military and police dogs. They have kept their strong working drives and although they have been largely replaced by less aggressive dogs for service work, they remain a popular choice in rescue and law enforcement.
The breed has been the subject of recent controversy surrounding the standard for confirmation. In particular, a trend towards a severely sloped back has become the norm. In 2016, after winning best in breed at Crufts, a very slope backed GSD ignited public outrage. In response, the standards at Crufts have been adapted to put more emphasis on sound dogs.
Meanwhile, many lovers of the breed have been breeding for the original straight back and athletic build of the original von Grafath vision for the breed, so there is no shortage of this style of German Shepherd for those looking for a solid and sound GSD.
German Shepherds are prized for their temperament: loyal, intelligent, hardworking, and brave. They tend to bond very closely to their family and are often aloof and sometimes wary of strangers. They make excellent guard dogs.
One of the smartest canine breeds with a strong work ethic to boot, the GSD is easy to train with basic dog training principles. However, they do require strong leadership in order to be balanced dogs.
They tend to be good with children in the household, but they can be reactive if they sense that one of “their” kids is threatened. Supervision around kids is strongly recommended.
In order to be balanced and stable, it is important to socialize young German Shepherd puppies with as many people, places and pets as possible so they will learn to be trusting and confident in a variety of situations.
German Shepherds are powerful dogs, with a stronger bite per square inch than Pitbulls. These large dogs require responsible ownership from people that understand dogs and can provide proper training and leadership.
The AKC breed standard looks for 22”-24” (50-70 lbs.) for females and 24”-26” (65-90 lbs.) for males. Outside of the show ring German Shepherds are often significantly larger with heights of 30” and over 120 lbs. being quite common.
Coat and Appearance
The German Shepherd has a double coat with a nice downy undercoat for plenty of warmth in cold climates, and a top coat that is perfect for weather protection in rainy conditions.
They will have a major molt a few times a year. Plan to take them outside for a daily brush with a special shed comb outside every day for a few weeks in Spring and Fall. A blow-dryer on the cool setting can also help “blow out” the excess fur during these shedding periods.
The only color that will disqualify a German Shepherd in the show ring is white, although they do come in white. Although less common than the standard black and tan, solid colors such as red and black make for a very beautiful and noble looking GSD.
Although the confirmation standard in some places includes the sloping back that has become associated with GSDs, this look has been the subject of some controversy and many breeders resist the slope backed look.
GSDs should have an alert look with perky triangular ears and a focused gaze. They have one of the most regal and yet intimidating stances in the dog world, making them excellent guard dogs.
Health and Life Expectancy
Although larger dogs do have a shorter life expectancy than their tiny cousins, the German Shepherd has a poor life expectancy for his size. 7-10 years is the average for this breed plagued by a variety of health issues.
Hip and elbow dysplasia are common problems in GSDs. They can also suffer from degenerative myelopathy, osteoarthritis and degenerative spinal conditions. Responsible breeding is an absolute must for this breed!
In fact, one of the best reasons to consider a German Shepherd hybrid is to help reduce the risk of the common genetic problems endemic to this breed.
Due to their large chest cavity and size, GSDs can be particularly prone to Bloat, a potentially deadly condition that has a rapid onset and is not entirely understood. This condition is caused when the stomach turns and gets pinched, causing a buildup of gas. GSD owners should familiarize themselves with the symptoms of bloat and the best ways to prevent it.
Is a German Shepherd Corgi Puppy Right for You?
The Corman Shepherd is a great fit for:
- Those with active lifestyles, particularly those that seek regular outdoor adventure
- People with properties large enough for plenty of outdoor, off leash play
- Folks interested in getting involved with organized dog sports
- Families with older children seeking a big protector in a small package
- Experienced dog handlers that want a faithful, intelligent, and brave companion
- Folks that travel a lot and want a compact companion who is alert and ready for action
- Farmers and ranchers looking for a hand managing livestock
The Corman Shepherd isn’t a good match for:
- Families with small children
- People that work long hours and expect a dog to feel comfortable waiting at home
- Folks living in apartments or close quarters (Corgi Shepherds can quite vocal)
- Those with little access to safe places for regular off-leash exercise
- People that are inexperienced with dogs
- Pushovers – these canines need consistent leadership
How to find Corgi Shepherd puppies
Before you rush out and look for Corman Shephard puppies for sale on the internet, please think through this important decision and make sure that you are not just getting this mix because of their admittedly stunning great looks.
In addition, there are many backyard breeders that are taking advantage of the designer dog trend. Not all are responsible breeders. You could well end up accidentally supporting a puppy mill if you are not careful. This is especially true with designer breeds.
Here are some tips on how to find Corman Shepherd puppies in a responsible way:
Start with breed rescue groups.
Most breeds, including German Shepherds and Corgis have organizations dedicated to protecting them and getting them out of at risk situations. They usually employ volunteers that foster these animals until the right home is found.
It is not uncommon for them to rehome crosses that include their respective breeds. So, before you go with a puppy that was bred with sale in mind, check with GSD and Corgi rescue groups in your state and let them know what you are looking for in the event that they know of an eligible dog up for adoption.
Check the animal shelters in your area.
You don’t even have to go into an animal shelter these days to find out what dogs they have available. Most have a strong online presence including social media on sites such as Facebook.
And, there are some great sites that allow you to check the entire list of adoptable dogs across many different organizations, including shelters and breed rescue groups. Check out Petfinder, a site that even lets you search by breed!
If you go with a breeder…
Sometimes you just know the hybrid breed you want and are looking for a responsible breeder to provide it. If this is the case, here are some things to look for to make sure you are supporting a responsible breeder AND receiving a healthy puppy:
- Evidence that they are involved in showing or competing with one or more of the parent breeds (show titles, competition badges, etc.)
- They invite you to tour their breeding facility or home to inspect for a clean and healthy environment with plenty of room for play and socialization
- Health records offered for both the parents and puppies
- Indicators that they are concerned about YOUR home, training skills, and resources to provide for the health and safety of their German Shepherd and Corgi puppies
- A return policy that requires you to surrender the puppy back to them if things don’t work out
Conclusion: Do you already have a Corman Shepherd?
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Sharon Elber (M.S. in Science & Technology) - Professional Dog Trainer
Sharon is a professional dog trainer with over 10 years experience. She is also a professional writer that received her M.S. in Science & Technology Studies from Virginia Tech.
For more info on Sharon click here