- Breed group — Hybrid group
- Height — 9-12 inches
- Weight — 15-28 pounds
- Coat length & texture — Short to medium length and wiry
- Coat color — Black, red, gold, fawn, white, and brown color fur is common. Brindle, black and tan, and sable markings may also be present.
- Exercise needs — Average
- Intelligence — High
- Barking — Very often
- Life span — 12-15 years
- Temperament — Energetic, affectionate, outgoing, and playful.
- Hypoallergenic — No
- Origin — United Kingdom
Dorgi fun facts
- The dorgi is a hybrid breed. Dorgis are a dachshund – corgi mix and are not recognized by the American Kennel Club or even the Designer Dogs Kennel Club.
- Dorgis have royal roots. The dorgi breed began when one of the late Queen Elizabeth II’s Corgis bred with Princess Margaret’s Pimpkin, the Dachshund parent to the first known dorgi. The Queen and her sister had at least a dozen dorgis combined.
- Dorgis are active dogs. The dorgi may be a “designer breed” and look like small dogs — and they are. However, don’t let that small size fool you. The breed is high-energy and requires tons of stimulation.
Dorgi temperament and characteristics
From the royal family to yours, one of the best qualities about the dorgi is that the hybrid breed is known for making excellent family pets who get along well with small children. Young children should always be supervised with a dorgi (or any pet). Even the most affectionate dogs can become frightened by a little human pulling at their fur. Dorgis are also highly vocal, which may scare a small child, and their big personalities mean that they may bark at strangers, but they usually warm up quickly.
Dorgis also typically get along well with other animals in the home, including dogs and cats. A breeder or shelter will typically schedule a meet and greet between dogs.
Dorgis’ other beloved personality traits include playfulness and energy. These designer dogs are often up for a game of fetch and will engage with puzzle toys that require them to “hunt” for a treat — a favorite pastime of their Dachshund parent (Dachshunds are hounds bred to hunt). Dorgis are prone to separation anxiety, so attentive pet parents are critical. The energetic dogs are a perfect choice for active families willing to give them lots of love and the time and stimulation they need.
Common dorgi health problems
As a mixed breed dog without a club or official recognition, little high-quality evidence exists regarding health concerns. The good news is that dorgis can live long and happy lives. However, it’s possible to glean some potential health issues from their parent breeds. For instance, the corgi has a long body, as does the Dachshund, which makes the breeds (and Dorgi puppies and dogs) more susceptible to specific concerns.
- Patellar luxation. This health problem occurs when the kneecap pops out of its typical location. Lameness is a common symptom.
- Hip dysplasia. Though most common in larger pups, hip dysplasia can also develop in small breed dogs like the dorgi. Hip dysplasia happens when a dog’s femur bone and hip joint don’t fit properly, causing pain, mobility issues, and lameness.
- Degenerative myelopathy. A chronic disease affecting the spinal cord, degenerative myelopathy can cause weakness in the hind limbs and paralysis.
- Intervertebral disc disease. This spinal disease is common in Dachshunds and is a source of significant back pain.
Cost of caring for dorgis
Caring for any dog is an expense. However, health problems can lead to unexpected costs.
Patellar luxation is one potential issue a dorgi may have. Surgery may be recommended to treat it, which can range from $1,000 to $5,000 per knee. Hip dysplasia carries a similar price tag. Diagnostic imagery for intervertebral disc disease can cost $3,000 to $5,000, and surgery can have a $4,000 to $5,000 price tag.
There is no treatment for degenerative myelopathy at this time.
It’s a good idea to consider health insurance, which is one way to reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Pet owners who sign their pets up early will receive the most significant benefits. Alternatives like creating a budget and a pet savings account can also lower pet healthcare costs.
History of the dorgi
Queen Elizabeth II was known for her love of corgis, having likely owned more than 30 Pembroke Welsh corgis during her 96-year lifetime. Her Majesty was a famous corgi parent, but she wasn’t the only dog lover in the royal family. Her younger sister, Princess Margaret, was also a dog lover.
One day in 1971, Pipkin, Princess Margaret’s Dachshund, fell tail over paw for Tiny, a Corgi belonging to the Queen. The resulting litter of puppies became known as the hybrid breed, dorgi. The Queen and Princess Margaret had several dorgis with adorable names over the years, including Cider, Berry, Vulcan (nicknamed Womble), Rum, Brandy, Chipper, Harris, Piper, Tinker, and Candy. Vulcan even appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair with the Queen in 2016.
Queen Elizabeth’s son Prince Andrew gifted Her Majesty two of her last dogs in 2021 before her death in 2022: Fergis, named in honor of her uncle Fergus Bowes-Lyon, and Muick, whose name comes from Loch Muick, a body of water in Scotland.
Caring for your dorgi
Puppies may be small animals, but they come with new responsibilities. Even if you’re adopting an older dog, you’ll want to be prepared to tick several essential items off your to-do list. It can be overwhelming, regardless of the breed or age of the dog.
First, you’ll need to make an initial trip to the vet to schedule your dog’s vaccinations. Dorgis have small legs, but the curious, spirited animals may need weeks or months to acclimate to what’s on and off-limits in your home. We can help you puppy-proof your space to keep your things (and pet) safe. If you’re bringing home a young dorgi puppy, you’ll want to prepare for teething. No one likes to think about losing their new dog, but FidoAlert provides a free Fido ID and tag, so you’re ready just in case. Here are some other basics specific to the dorgi.
Don’t let the dorgi’s adorable and small size fool you. The high-energy dogs require a good bit of exercise. Though the dorgi does not need 2+ hours of daily physical activity, expect to remain active. As a descendent of purebred Dachshunds, which were bred to hunt small game, the dorgi thrives when given activities that stimulate the body and mind, like puzzle toys and obstacle courses.
Ample walks and games of fetch are also right up a dorgi’s alley. The small pets have short to medium-length fur and stouts long enough to withstand the heat. The dorgi is hardy enough to exercise any time of year. Still, some common-sense precautions, such as leaving out fresh water, especially on warm days, and wiping paws clean after a walk on ice-melting salts in the winter, will keep your dorgi healthy.
Because there is no breed standard for a dorgi, it’s important to note that the appearance and texture of a coat may vary. The Corgi-Dachshund mix typically has short or medium-length fur. However, a Corgi-long-haired Dachshund mix may have longer fur, requiring extra care. The dorgis fur is usually coarse and thick, though some may have softer and finer coats than others. Usually, a bristle or slicker brush will keep your dorgi’s coat shiny and well-kept. Dorgis with longer fur may require daily brushing, while shorter to medium-length coats can probably last a week between grooming.
Other building blocks of a solid rooming routine include regular nail trimming to ward off breakage and hang nails and daily teeth brushing to protect against dental disease. Clean your dorgi’s ears monthly and after any water exposure, including baths.
Diet and nutrition
This unique crossbreed may have an interesting history. However, like any dog breed, most dorgis do best on standard dog food with the AAFCO seal, signifying it meets nutritional requirements. Choose dog food based on your dorgi’s age and weight, which will vary based on their lineage. This food should make up 90% of a dorgi’s diet. The remaining 10% can come from low-calorie treats.
Dorgis are adorable and easy to over-treat and feed. Remember, a dorgi has a small body. Sticking to a nutritious diet of mostly dog food can prevent your dorgi from becoming overweight or obese. Suggested dog food portions are on the back of a bag. Some may list daily portion sizes, in which case you’ll want to divide by two because older puppies and adult dogs eat twice daily.
Your vet can guide you on food and portion sizes for your specific dorgi. However, a 20-pound dog should consume around 586 calories daily. A dorgi with particular health concerns like diabetes or obesity may be put on a specialized diet.
Training your dorgi
Dorgis are generally intelligent dogs who are eager to please, making them highly trainable. All dog breeds benefit from training from a young age. Positive reinforcement works better than punishment. For example, emphasize treats and praise over crating for punishment and scolding. (Crating for safety reasons is OK and different than using crating as a consequence.) Other tips from the Humane Society of the United States include:
Keep commands short — Dorgis can’t follow a lecture, even though the breed is intelligent. One to two-word phrases like “sit” and “leave it” work best.
Stay consistent — Use the same commands every time, and ensure everyone in the household is doing the same to avoid confusing the dorgi.
Treat quickly — Timing matters when using treats as positive reinforcement. You’ll want to give a pet the treat within seconds of them completing the command.
Reach out for help — Training can be overwhelming. Your pet’s veterinarian can recommend behaviorists and trainers in your area.
Breeds similar to the dorgi
Not quite sure that a dorgi is right for you? Even if you are, it’s worth taking the time to research and consider other similar breeds. Here are a few to get you started:
- Jack Russell Terrier. The spunky, high-energy JRT are also small dogs with a playful but stubborn streak, like the dorgi.
- Puggle. A puggle is another option if you’re specifically hoping for a designer dog breed. The beagle-pug cross is friendly and easy-going.
- Pomeranian. Pomeranians are alert little dogs with similarly big personalities. They make excellent family pets.
Frequently asked questions
What does dorgi mean?
Dorgi is the term for a hybrid breed dog that results from breeding a Dachshund with a corgi.
How much does a Dorgi cost?
It can vary, but a dorgi usually costs $500 through a reputable breeder. The dog’s parent breeds, the purebred Dachshund or Pembroke Welsh corgi, can cost over $1,000 per puppy.
What does a dorgi look like?
There is no breed standard for the dorgi. Often, the dogs may have fur that is a fawn, black, white, red, or brown color. A dorgi is a small dog with a long body. The breed can range from 9 to 12 inches and weigh 15 to 28 pounds.
What is the lifespan of a dorgi?
A dorgi can live about 12-15 years, though it’s challenging to come up with a usual lifespan because major clubs do not recognize the breed.
How should a Dorgi be cared for regarding diet, exercise, and grooming?
Most dorgis do best on a diet of at least 90% dog food. Older puppies and adults eat twice daily. Dorgis have a lot of energy and require frequent exercise through walks and playtime. Daily or weekly brushings are usually necessary to keep the dorgi’s coat shiny and smooth. A vet can provide you with more personalized insights for your specific dorgi.