With the growing trend for ‘designer’ dogs, there are more and more puppies being sold that are a mix of two different breeds. While there can be problems associated with the rise in popularity for this type of cross-breeding, it can also often result in some lovely, family pets.
One such mix is a Corgi crossed with one of our favorite family breeds, the beagle. They are also sometimes referred to as a Beagi. In this article, we aim to dispel some of the myths surrounding this hybrid and also provide you with guidance to allow you to make an informed choice about whether it would be the right dog for you and your family.
Some general personality traits can be attributed to certain breeds but, of course, every dog is an individual, and much of your dog’s temperament will also be determined by how they have been raised in those crucial early puppy days and how their ongoing training and socialization is handled in their new home.
When you have a mix of two breeds, the dog could take on attributes from both. Based on the general personality traits of both the Corgi and the Beagle though, some assumptions could be made about the type of temperament your dog is likely to have.
Beagles are known for being fun-loving, active, friendly and outgoing. For this reason, they are often regarded as a good family dog. They can be known for being a vocal breed and strong-willed though, so they do need consistent training and lots of stimulation to thrive. They are also often referred to as being ‘Houdinis’. They like to dig and can be master escape artists, and your garden would need to be well secured.
There are two official Corgi breeds. While both originate from Wales in the United Kingdom, one is known as the Pembroke Welsh Corgi (the more common of the two), and the other is the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. The Pembroke is slightly smaller in build and has a stubby, bobbed tail, rather than a full one, and their ears are more pointed and angular.
It is the Pembroke that has gained more prominence; mainly because of their association with Queen Elizabeth II, they are her favorite breed.
Both were bred originally for herding livestock and, consequently, they are generally an active and intelligent breed, and they enjoy the company of their humans. If they do not get appropriate training and enrichment, problem behaviors could emerge.
They are also known for being dogs that like to keep watch over their people and territory and can be vocal when strangers approach their patch.
Careful, positive introductions with new people can be important to avoid fearful behaviors developing.
While Corgis are generally good with other dogs they are familiar with, they can be reserved with those they do not know, and this also means that socializing with other dogs should be handled carefully. No unsupervised roughhousing in the dog park!
The Pembroke is seen as being the more high energy of the two and likes to be busy, and the Cardigan is often slightly more laid back and less vocal.
This type of mix would be suited to a home where they will get plenty of company throughout the day. Beagles are sometimes associated with developing separation anxiety issues, and both breeds are very sociable and bond strongly with their people.
They are also both breeds that are energetic and athletic, so, living with a family that enjoys an active, outdoor lifestyle would be beneficial.
While both breeds can make excellent family pets, the herding instinct in the Corgi can mean that, without the right guidance, they could take to ‘herding’ small children and it is not unknown for them to nip at little ankles when they are running. A home without very young children, or a clear training plan to healthily redirect this type of behaviour would be sensible.
Care would also need to be taken when introducing them to a home with other small furry pets. The hunting and chasing instincts of both breeds could kick in if they become over-aroused.
Training the Corgi Beagle Mix
Both breeds are known for being very intelligent. Beagles, as mentioned, can also be particularly headstrong though; so consistent, patient, regular and reward-based training should be applied from the start.
Corgis are known for being dogs that love to learn, and they can make excellent dog sports competitors. Beagles are often seen enjoying Canicross (running with your dog) as it harnesses their natural desire to run out front.
Coat, Colors & Looks
As with any mixed breed dog, you will never know for sure what the dog will end up looking like. Because both dogs are medium in size, you will know that you are not going to have an extremely large or tiny dog.
Corgis have pointed ears and Beagles floppy ones, so who knows on that front. They could end up with the bobtail of the Pembroke Corgi or the full tail of the Beagle. If they take more of the Corgi shape, they are likely to be longer and squatter in the body too.
Well, at least you know you are not going to get a dog that requires intensive grooming, regular clipping, or that has very long hair that requires a lot of maintenance to keep it matt and tangle free.
You are likely to get a dog that will shed a fair bit though, as both breeds are known for this.
Corgis have a much thicker, double coat, whereas the Beagle coat is much sleeker and shorter.
If they end up with a denser coat, they will require more regular brushing to lift out dead hairs and promote a good coat condition. You may even need to invest in a good de-shedding tool like the Furminator. Don’t forget that a double coated dog should never be clipped down. This can change their coat texture, and it can lose its temperature regulating properties.
If the dog has the floppy ears of the Beagle, then more attention to ear hygiene may be required, especially if they enjoy swimming. Using a gentle and safe ear cleanser to wipe away any residue around the ear surface can help to minimise any build up of yeasty bacteria, which can lead to ear infections. Never be tempted to put a q-tip into the ear canal. Not only can this push the debris further into the ear, but there is also a risk of perforating the eardrum.
Beagles and Corgis are genetically predisposed to different health conditions. Of course, whether the dog would be likely to develop these conditions will depend on the health of the parents, their lineage and the luck of the genetic lottery too.
Some of the conditions that are more commonly seen in Beagles include Epilepsy, issues with an underactive thyroid, and spinal disc problems.
Corgis can also develop back problems because of their long, stocky bodies. They are also known for having a predisposition towards hip dysplasia and, like the Beagle, Progressive Retinal Atrophy and this genetic condition can lead to eventual blindness.
Both breeds tend to be very food focussed. Beagles are notorious scavengers and Corgis can be prone to putting on weight easily. It is important that you feed a high quality, healthy diet, and that you appropriately portion control.
You may be surprised to learn that there is an obesity crisis for dogs in the United States. Many people are not even aware that their dogs are too big because it has been normalised as a result of the number of dogs that are overweight.
The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention conducted a study in 2018 that reported that over 55% of dogs were classified as overweight by their Veterinarian!
Obesity can lead to a myriad of health problems, including joint and heart issues. It can also lead to dogs becoming depressed, overheating more quickly, and displaying problem behaviours because of their decreased ability to get exercise and enrichment.
Backyard Breeders and Puppy Mills
Often the argument for purchasing one of these designer dogs is that, because they are a mix of two breeds they are likely to be healthier. This relates to the much debated ‘hybrid vigour’ theory, which works on the premise that a more diversified gene pool will result in a healthier dog.
A wide-scale study that was conducted by at University of California-Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, over a 15 year period, was published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association in 2013. While the study did establish that some conditions are more likely to be found in purebred dogs, it also evidenced that there are a large number of hereditary conditions that mixed breed dogs will be susceptible too. So, getting a mixed breed dog is not a guarantee of a healthier pet.
The problem with the growing trend for hybrid, ‘designer’ breeds is that their popularity means that irresponsible breeders are taking advantage of this demand. Their indiscriminate breeding practices can increase the chances of producing an unhealthy puppy that may also have behavioral problems as a result of inappropriate early days socialization.
These backyard operators and puppy mills are often breeding with no regard for the parent’s health and lineage. Without a structured breeding programme, this means that they could actually be promoting a genetic health problem in their breeding lines.
This problem is more apparent in the designer breeds that have escalated in popularity, like the various poodle mixes, and it is also something seen in some of the ‘teacup’ varieties. This is when the smallest dogs are being bred to produce the tiniest puppies, and this is often accompanied by a host of concerning health problems including heart conditions and brain swelling.
The Corgi Beagle Mix is not as much in demand, but it is still essential that, if you are purchasing a puppy, you look for a breeder that is being responsible.
Because they are not a recognised breed you will not be able to find a ‘registered’ breeder but, if you choose to go down this route, then it is important to make sure that you have met mum and dad and that mum is staying with her puppies in a nurturing home environment. The puppies should be used to appropriate handling, have had all their health checks and they should not be separated from mum before they have been weaned.
If mum and puppies have been separated before they are eight weeks old, you are not getting to see the parents, or you are visiting the puppies out with a home environment, then alarm bells should be ringing.
Not only do bad breeders increase the chances of you having an unhealthy dog that could develop behavior problems, but you are also perpetuating the problem by funding their business. Often the breeding dogs are kept in horrendously cruel conditions, left with untreated health problems, and lack any proper socialization or enrichment.
Always do your research!
Considering a Rescue
Don’t forget that there are lots of wonderful mixed breed dogs that are in shelters nationally that are so deserving of a wonderful forever home.
If you are concerned about not knowing the dog’s background, then you could select a rescue that assesses dogs in a foster home. This will allow you to get more details on how the dog is settling into a home environment.
A Corgi Beagle Mix could make a wonderful family pet. They will likely suit an active, outdoorsy family that are happy to put in the work with the training. They are not going to require a lot of grooming maintenance, and they would probably make an excellent partner if you want to take the plunge into the world of competitive dog sports.
Don’t forget to do your homework. It is important to ensure that the puppy has come from a responsible breeder and that you are not helping to perpetuate the growing problem of negligent puppy mills. This will also help to ensure that you have a healthy and well rounded new addition to the family.