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Why Do Corgis Butts Float in Water? (According to Science)

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Dogster Team

Corgi butt dog pembroke welsh corgi walking outdoor in summer park

Why Do Corgis Butts Float in Water? (According to Science)

Corgis are an unusual breed of dog in many ways. They have shorter legs than most breeds of their size and stature, but despite their unusual build, they are highly skilled herders and cattle dogs. Another surprising fact about Corgis is that their butts actually float in water! This is because their double coats and extra body fat made them more buoyant.

About Corgis

There are, in fact, two breeds of Corgi: the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Both originate from Wales in the UK. Both are similar but it is the Pembroke Welsh Corgi that is usually referred to when talking about the Corgi breed.

The Corgi was bred to be low to the ground so that it could nip around cattle without getting kicked. They were not only used to herd cattle but also acted as a guardian dog for livestock and also as a companion for the farmer and their family.

Today, the Corgi is a popular family dog and pet, but is still used as a working dog and performs very well in agility and other canine sports events.

Swimming Pembroke Corgi dog across the river
Image By: p6foto, Shutterstock

Why Do Corgis’ Butts Float in Water?

As well as having short legs, Corgis do have quite large butts compared to the rest of their body. Because of their extra body fat and dense double coats, it means that this part of the body works in a similar fashion to a flotation device, lifting the Corgi’s rear end to the surface of the water.

Are Corgis Good Swimmers?

Despite their floating butts and the fact that many Corgis do seem to enjoy being in the water, they are not usually the best swimmers. Their long bodies and short legs make it difficult to propel themselves through the water, and this is further exacerbated by their barrel-like chests.

The 5 Interesting Facts About Corgis

As well as having flotation devices at their rear end, Corgis are fascinating dogs for a lot of reasons:

1. Some Pembroke Corgis Are Born Without Tails

Cardigan Welsh Corgis are not as popular as Pembroke Corgis and are rarely seen outside their homeland of Wales. While Cardigan Corgis are born with tails, some Pembroke Corgis are born without tails. This was likely bred into them so that their tails wouldn’t get stood on.


2. They Were Popular With Vikings

Although the breed’s precise history is unknown, it is believed that Flemish people and, in particular, Vikings, helped introduce them to the world. It is likely that the Vikings brought Corgis, or their ancestors, with them when they settled in Wales.

two happy welsh corgi pembroke dogs at a beach
Image By: Jus_Ol, Shutterstock

3. They Were Popular With Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II was also a big fan of the Corgi. Throughout her life, she was known to have more than 30 Corgis, and they would accompany her to some events and around the grounds of Buckingham Palace.


4. Their Double Coat Is Easy to Maintain

Corgis were bred to spend a lot of time outdoors, tending cattle and looking after the farm. To aid them during the winter months, both breeds of Corgi have a thick double coat. This not only keeps them warm but helps keep moisture away from the skin. Potential owners shouldn’t be put off by the thought of the double coat, however, as it is considered low maintenance and easy to care for.


5. According to Legend, They Used to Carry Fairies

According to Welsh folklore, Corgis used to carry fairies on their backs and pull carriages containing fairies. According to legend, this is where the Corgi gets the thicker line of coat on its back, which was created by fairy saddle marks.

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In Conclusion

Corgis are unusual dogs with long backs, short legs, and barrel chests. They also have facial features that are similar to those of a fox, but perhaps the most unusual design feature of the breed is that they have large butts that with thick fur that helps keep their hind ends afloat, although they still don’t make the most adept or capable swimmers because the rest of their features do not facilitate propulsion or flotation in water.


Featured Image Credit: Natalia Fedosova, Shutterstock

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