January is Pet Training Month at Embrace Pet Insurance

Just as understanding how you can maximize your pet's health is part of pet parenting, so is maximizing the quality time you spend together. Training isn't just for tricks; training also:

  • strengthens the bond between you and your dog or cat
  • integrates your pet seamlessly into your family life and the outside world
  • improves the effectiveness of your communication with your pet
  • lets you give your pet more freedom and fewer restrictions
  • and reduces stress and increases happiness of having a pet in the household

Friend of Embrace, Liz Palika, talks about why you should train your dog in her article No Training? Why Not? Rules are important for your dog's social well-being, as well as your own, plus he/she is safer if she's not dashing up the road every time you open your door. And training can be fun - it's not boot camp for either party.

We have a lot of cat and dog training articles on in The Water Bowl, the Embrace informational website on pet health and care, including:

How to Choose a Dog Trainer or Behavior Consultant

Training your Puppy: A Family Affair

Training Your Dog to Come: Make It a Good Thing

How to Carrier Train your Cat

How to Teach your Cat to Enjoy Being Held 

And so on. There are many others listed in the Training Section on our Pet Behavior and Training page.

And yes, we have quite a number of articles on trick training too:

Building a trick routine

Have fun with a hoop 

And many others.

Got any tips that have worked for you you want to share?

Related Posts
January is Pet Training Month at Embrace Pet Insurance
Guest Post: an important reason to train your dog
Podcast: Dr Patrick Mahaney on the Importance of Cat and Dog Training








When it’s time...to Remove a Pet from your Pet Insurance Policy

When I read this post that Embracer Lea wrote, I had a heavy heart and a tear in my eye. I've known Lyger as long as I've known Lea and he's been a wonderful part of Embrace's history.

It's hard to think you would ever drop your pet insurance policy for your older dog. What do you think about Lea's decision below?

Back in 2006 when I started with Embrace as one of just two employees, we weren’t even selling policies yet--just getting ready to.  But when the big day rolled around come October, we all jumped up and celebrated, then set to selling each other our very first insurance policies. Lyger, then just a six year old nutball who would sneak into the board meetings of our office neighbors, was among the first to be “embraced”.  We set him up with the “$5,000 max/$200 deductible/80% reimbursed” plan.

Flash forward a few years and his policy looks quite different.  Until he hit his “tweens” he’d been mostly healthy, with the exception of some arthritis so I reduced his coverage to a more catastrophic $500 deductible and 90% reimbursement option.  And that policy continued to serve us well, reimbursing for his mast cell tumor removal in 2012 and acupuncture in 2012.  Then his renewal rolled around last week, a happy reminder of how many years we’ve been selling policies, but also a reminder of how frail Lyger’s become, and how much the cost of insurance goes up with the advanced age.

During his last vet visit the doctor and I discussed his overall quality of life and noted that his arthritis and a large benign tumor were starting to take their toll on him.  I realized that the cancer surgery he had last year had been very hard on him, a trauma that he hasn’t fully recovered from.  While that’s bought him an extra year, it’s not the sort of procedure I’d put him through again. 

Realizing that Lyger’s $500 deductible wouldn’t serve much use in a situation where we had switched to pallative care, I took a look at the cost benefit of our coverage. Ultimately, Lyger’s insurance reached about $55 per month for a catastrophic plan that wasn’t paying for any of his home pain medications. (I’d opted out of the prescription drug coverage, and stand by my decision to do so...but that’s a post for another day.)  I consulted with my long-time colleagues about my decision, but ultimately took Lyger off of our Embrace plan.

So, now it feels very final.  No going back. No coverage “just in case”, because we’ve sadly hit that point at which  the next major step will be euthanasia.  And honestly, making the decision to jump off of the policy was difficult, but I have come to a resting point at which I no longer need to “make good use” of our policy.  In the insurance industry, we talk about avoiding “financial euthanasia”, or putting an animal to rest because the care is unaffordable.  But, we’re now at a polar opposite...I’ll no longer feel like I should proceed with treatment, just because I can.  It’s almost like I’ve made an internal agreement with myself. No more extreme measures, just respite care.

And I’m ok with it.  For now. Until that hard day comes.  In the meantime, I’ll opt to spend the savings I would have spent on premium on a few trips to his favorite ice cream stand.

A few notes from your Embrace agent about adding/removing pets:

  • Pets can be removed from the policy at anytime, though age guidelines may apply for pets being added to a policy. 
  • Pre-existing conditions may also apply if adding or re-adding a pet to your policy.
  • Coverage changes can be made, but any increase to your coverage will result in pre-existing conditions being reset.
  • Euthanasia is covered by your Embrace plan so long as the decision is brought about due to a covered condition. Cremation and burial costs are not included at this time.
  • When a pet is removed, for any reason, the coverage ceases and the policyholder is issued a refund for the remaining portion of premium paid.

Lyger celebrating a dog birthday in the office Lyger celebrating a dog birthday in the office

November is Cancer Awareness Month at Embrace Pet Insurance

Several of the Embrace staff members (aka Embracers) are or recently have been going through cancer in their dogs and cats and all the physical and emotional toll that takes.

This month we are going to address this difficult health issue with a discussion by Dr Rex Riggs, and a podcast with Dr Patrick Mahaney, as well as some aspects of cancer treatment that pet insurance can definitely help you with.

In the meantime, check out the Morris Animal Foundation's "Golden Retriever Lifetime Study" that has just got going.

Morris Animal Foundation's Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is a groundbreaking effort to learn how to prevent cancer and other diseases. It is the largest and longest observational study ever undertaken to improve the health of dogs. The study will enroll up to 3,000 Golden Retrievers and will last 10 to 14 years.


This study does not directly affect how owners care for their dogs, but it does gather information on their dog's genetics, nutrition, health and environment. The study is expected to provide valuable information on how to better prevent, diagnose and treat cancer and other diseases.

I'm so happy they are doing this study and can't wait to hear some of the findings. What do you think they will find are some of the causes of cancer in Goldens?



October is Working Dogs and Cats Month at Embrace Pet Insurance

This month, we are celebrating working dogs and cats of all types at Embrace Pet Insurance.

And before you ask, yes, there are cats that do "work". Apart from cleaning up the rodents on the premises (which your cat may or may not have a talent for), some cats are quite good at being therapy cats, whether in a hospital, nursing home, or in your own home.

Having said that, dogs pull a lot of weight when it comes to work. There are police dogs that work actively in the field plus sniff out drugs, bombs, fruit and other banned substances, and of course, criminals. There are cadaver dogs, seizure or blood-sugar alert dogs, mold-sniffing dogs, and even cancer-sniffing dogs? And of course, dogs and cats that work on the farm or in the field hunting or dragging a sled in the Iditarod.

So we shall have an interesting month being amazed at all the things that cats and dogs do for us apart from being excellent companions.

Another use for Dell Server boxes - hidey hole! Another use for Dell Server boxes - hidey hole! Another use for Dell Server boxes - hidey hole!Dogs and cats at the Embrace offices. (RIP Bruiser, the wonderful gentlemanly mastiff in the middle there. He just passed away from cancer aged 11. We miss you big guy)

Related Posts

October is Working Dogs and Cats Month at Embrace Pet Insurance
Guest Post: fake service dogs
Podcast: Dr Patrick Mahaney and Laura Bennett talk about the wonder of working dogs and cats
Helping Working Dogs and Cats
One Dog's Passing Highlights the Benefits of Therapy Dogs in Schools

Life with Differently-Abled Dogs

After this month's edition of Belly Rubs went out, I received this email from one of our Embraced pet parents sharing her story about her differently-abled pets. I enjoyed it so much, I thought I'd share it with you.

Your latest Belly Rubs Newsletter (“Differently-abled Pets are AMAZING”) brought happy tears to my eyes, because you shined a very positive light on an issue that hits very close to home for me.

BenjaminMy sweet special-needs boy was Benjamin. A little schnauzer-beagle mix, he came into my life as the runt of an unwanted, pound-bound litter. When he looked up at me with those soulful brown eyes, I was a goner. He needed me and somehow I knew it. I couldn’t realize at the time just how right I would be...and just how much he would give back to me in return.

Within the first week of rescuing him, kennel cough surfaced. Shortly after, he began experiencing chronic digestive problems no one could seem to fully diagnose. After a couple of rough years full of trial and error, it was discovered he had a combination of food allergies and inflammatory bowel
disease (IBD). The search for a diet that would eliminate his symptoms began. Thankfully, the perfect food eventually came along. Little did I know…this medical struggle would only be the beginning.

Shortly after his fourth birthday, while chasing his favorite ball in the back yard, Ben ruptured a disk in his back. Our local vets didn’t have the facilities to repair the damage, so I transported him to the nearest neurology center...three hours away. It was there I was given the option to authorize the
very costly surgery, or have him put to sleep. He was part of my family. I couldn’t let him go without a fight. And so, I maxed out my credit cards, and the surgery began. Although the procedure prevented him from becoming a quadriplegic, his hind legs were permanently paralyzed. Thankfully, he was in no pain and still had a lot of fight left in him.

Ben (Special Olympics)The months that followed were full of sadness, frustration, and a lot of trial and error, while navigating through this new wilderness in which Ben and I now found ourselves. I held tight to my determination to give this precious little dog the best care possible, and to the faith that God would give me the strength and resources I needed to do so.

I had to do bladder expressions and bowel stimulations for Ben four times a day, but I devised ways of doing both that made the routine much easier and kept him clean and dry. I fitted him for a custom wheel chair, which vastly improved his quality of life.

Benjamin’s incredible spirit and patience with his new life was so moving, and his condition gifted me with the chance to enrich people’s lives in a distinctive way. I began taking him to nursing homes and adult daycare facilities for the developmentally disabled, where the vision of him in his wheelchair fascinated the residents and put them instantly at ease. He also enabled me to educate young children on the importance of accepting and embracing the differences that make us all unique.

As word spread around town (our local newspaper did a story about us), people began to seek me out for my advice and/or assistance in helping them grapple with their own special-needs pet situations. It was yet another positive way this challenge impacted my life. The day a young woman tearfully told me that meeting me and Ben had just helped her make the decision not to euthanize her
recently paralyzed dog will be one I will never forget.   

The road is difficult; however, the journey is worth the sacrifice. Life will be different, yes, but it can also be rich, beautiful, and more rewarding that you could ever imagine. As a special-needs pet parent, I realized I am a much stronger and resourceful person than I ever dreamed and I have to say, that kind of self-awareness is a priceless gift.

Bodhi & Stuffed Dog (low res)Benjamin passed away last April. Although I miss him terribly, I wouldn’t change a moment of our life together. I actually adopted a little carbon copy of him last November. He crossed my path when I least expected it. Another rescue terrier mix, his name is Bodhi, and he is the spitting image of Ben in
looks, temperament, attitude... He’s only lacking the wheels :-)  

My purpose for writing this letter and sharing my story with you is to let you know how much it meant to see a company like Embrace showing the wonderful, uplifting side of adopting special-needs pets. More often than not, people tend to focus on the negative aspects...the hard stuff...the challenges.

I also wanted to thank you for creating Embrace. When I went through everything with Ben, I didn’t have pet insurance to help defray the cost. When I first adopted him, I looked into getting a policy, but there wasn’t what I considered to be solid pet insurance companies out there back then. It was all too subjective and I didn’t feel confident the coverage would be there when I needed it. Consequently, I am still paying off Ben’s massive medical bills.

When I brought Bodhi into my life, I researched pet insurance again. This time, I found your incredible company. Right away, I knew it would be different. Your policies, your coverage, your amazing customer service team, and your general overall approach to the pet/person bond let me know I could be confident in purchasing a policy with you. And that is precisely what I did. In January of
this year, Bodhi’s policy took effect.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Related Posts:
May is All About Differently-Abled Pets at Embrace Pet Insurance
Guest Post: differently-abled dogs and people
Podcast: Dr Patrick Mahaney on Differently-Abled Pets
Life with Differently-Abled Dogs

An alternative to brushing your dog's teeth?

Last year, we challenged Embraced pet parent Arthur to start brushing his dog Pancho's teeth and he promised us a video. Fast forward to this year and here's what Arthur wrote to me: 

Clean Teeth 2-22-2013 01Last year around this time, you challenged me to demonstrate, on film, how to brush Pancho’s teeth. After a couple of hours of setting up and shooting, my cameraman lost interest, Pancho became uncomfortable and his teeth were not getting any cleaner. 

Knowing that there had to be a better way, I started doing some research. Wild animals don’t wake up in the morning and brush their teeth, nor do they brush before bedtime. What they do is eat raw meat and chew on raw bones. Their teeth stay white and clean. 

So, Pancho and I switched to a highly rated commercially available frozen raw food diet. That was in June of 2012. Today, Pancho’s teeth are as clean as they were after an expensive professional cleaning at the vet’s office. I do not believe that Pancho will have to endure the anesthesia and trauma of going to the dentist again. 

The pictures are pretty compelling don't you think? I did ask Dr Patrick Mahaney what he thought of Arthur's new regime for healthy teeth and here's what he had to say:

It is great to see that Arthur is able to keep the teeth that we can see in the photo as clean as they appear. Yet, we are not currently looking at all the teeth and the upper teeth in the back of the mouth are often dirtier (more caked with tartar and calculus) than those in the front. So, even if teeth visibly look clean, there could be some degree of periodontal disease (abnormalities affecting the teeth and their associated structures, such as the gums and periodontal ligament) that may not be visible to the naked eye.

There are plenty of dogs that are able to keep their own mouth relatively clean as a result of their genetics, diet, chewing tendencies, and the efforts put forth by the owner to provide regular home dental care. It is still within the best interest of Poncho's health that he has an examination by a veterinarian and Arthur works with the veterinarian (or veterinary dental specialist) to create a dental health and wellness plan that can be consistently carried out throughout Pancho's lifetime.

Wise words indeed. As per Dr Riggs, a dental x-ray every now and then would also be a good thing to identify issues occuring below the gum-line.

Nice work so far Arthur!

Related Posts
February is National Pet Dental Health Month at Embrace Pet Insurance
Does Pet Insurance Cover Dental Cleanings and Illness?
Podcast: Dr Patrick Mahaney on Pet Dental Health
Guest Post: the importance of dental x-rays for your pets
Claim Example: traumatic injury to Bernese Mountain Dog tooth
An alternative to brushing your dog's teeth?

"So Glad I had Pet Insurance" story - surgery for vicious dog attack

This claim was Embrace's first big claim and I couldn't believe how perfectly it illustrates why you should get insurance - you just can't imagine a scenario like this. Poor Storm, an Akita puppy, was attacked by the dog next door. Norma Jean tells the story in her own words.

DSC00019_editedStorm was in our fenced backyard with Rich (my husband). He was running along the fence when our neighbors Malamute managed to get a part of his head under the fence and as Storm ran by he grabbed Storm's right front right leg and tried to drag him under the fence. Storm was just a few months old and the other dog was about 6-7 yrs old. My husband had to go over the 6 foot fence and beat the dog off to free Storm.

We rushed Storm to the emergency clinic. His poor little leg was barely attached and when the people at the clinic saw it, their first thought was to try to save his life. The bone was shattered and he Storm after forelimb surgerywas just barely alive. They managed to stabilize him and found that the main artery going to his foot was still intact. Our Hero, Dr.Paul Moss, did surgery on him for hours and Storm came through it. He had an external metal brace with pins that kept the bones in place and Dr Moss adjusted it for his growing leg about once a month.

Storm had a number of other surgeries over the next year and a half. He is now 6yrs old and weighs about 150lbs and limps a little, but other than that he is doing pretty well.

Now for Embrace. A few days before the accident, I was on the net looking at Pet Insurance… I checked with a number of the companies, but when I spoke with the person at Embrace (I think it was Laura), she was so nice and caring that I decided the take out a policy right there and then. I paid the insurance premium.

DSC00460ALittle did I know how soon we would need it. Storm's accident happened just a few days later …we didn’t even have a copy of the policy yet. I call Embrace and told them what had happened and they were wonderful. There was never a question about their paying the bills and to top it off they stayed with us by phone and email the whole way. They were rooting for Storm as much as we were.

We have been with Embrace since that time and had other claims and they have been just great. They pay more quickly than our own health insurance! And we feel as though they are a part of our family. They are always there when we need them and I recommend them to anyone who has a pet.

I've written about Storm's claim details before but an update on all Storm's claims over the six years insured by Embrace is as follows:

Diagnosis Claimed Covered Paid
Dog attacked - fracture left radius and ulna 1,927.92 1,797.14 1,277.71
Follow up visits and removal of ring fixator 1,251.42 918.62 734.90
Follow up care, right rear leg patella luxation 185.81 119.99 95.99
Rebandage leg 100.00 100.00 80.00
Recheck ulnar ostectomy 100.00 100.00 80.00
Recheck ulnar ostectomy 25.00 25.00 20.00
Follow up reck on ulnar ostectomy 75.00 75.00 60.00
Follow up radiograph on Ulnar Ostectomy 25.00 25.00 20.00
Ulnar Osteotomy 766.93 727.73 582.18
Recheck Ostectomy 50.00 50.00 40.00
Bilateral Medial Luxating Patellas 1,377.52 1,266.72 853.38
Re-stabilze Tibial Crest 545.33 461.05 368.84
Medial Patella Luxation, Losing Weight 463.33 394.89 315.91
recheck x2 50.00 50.00 40.00
re-operate left medial patella luxation 192.00 70.00 56.00
dermatitis - insect bite 89.00 33.00 26.40
dermatitis, dermatophytosis and pyoderma 315.82 48.00 38.40
dermatitis, alopecia, trauma or insect bite 89.98 33.00 26.40
Upper Resp Infection, Conjunctivitis 55.70 33.00 0.00
Lick Granuloma, Dermatitis 104.95 33.00 0.00
Dermatitis, Allergies 130.45 48.00 0.00
Forelimb lameness and Diarrhea 235.62 207.42 5.94
Diarrhea 235.36 211.10 168.88
Total 8,392.14 6,827.66 4,890.93

Related Posts:
September is Pet Health Insurance Month
"Wish I'd had pet insurance" story - painful choice to euthanize
"Wish I'd had pet insurance" story - close encounter with dental floss
Guest Post: can I get pet insurance for that?
"Wish I'd had pet insurance" story - vet techs need pet insurance too!
Guest Post: Pet Insurance Q&Amp;A from Dr Patrick Mahaney
"So Glad I had Pet Insurance" story - hip dysplasia surgery for 1 year old German Coolie
"So Glad I had Pet Insurance" story - surgery for vicious dog attack
"So Glad I Had Pet Insurance" story - cats and lilies do not mix

"So Glad I had Pet Insurance" story - hip dysplasia surgery for 1 year old German Coolie

Being Pet Health Insurance Month, it's time for a "so glad I had pet insurance" story. How's this for a good one. A one year old German Coolie (yes, it's a real cool looking dog too) based in Salem, NY who unexpectedly needed hip dysplasia surgery, for a total cost of $5,417.

Here's Amy H's story in her own words: 

2012-07-01_16-07-51_500When my 1 year old German Coolie Elliot Cool came up three legged lame after a fun weekend of
running and playing, I knew something was wrong right away.  After bringing him to the vet for an exam and radiographs, my worst fears were confirmed.  Elliot Cool was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and would need hip replacement surgery if he was going to be able to live out a full, active life without constant, debilitating pain.  

DSC00321I had never doubted the wisdom of signing Elliot Cool up with Embrace pet insurance when he joined my family at 4 months of age last year.  I have been an Embrace customer since 2008, I know the quality of customer service Embrace provides.  As a financial planner, I also know the importance of having a plan in place for unexpected financial emergencies.  For my policies with Embrace, I have chosen a higher deductible and higher co-pay, in order to keep affordable coverage for those expenses that I can't plan for.

Elliot THRI never anticipated needing to use the coverage for Elliot Cool so soon, but I am so thankful Embrace was there for us when we needed them.  Without Embrace, I would not have been able to provide Elliot Cool the surgery he needed to ensure he would be able to live a pain free life.  

Thank you, Embrace!

There were a couple of vet visits to determine the diagnosis and then an initial specialist visit at Tufts University but then the main surgery details are as follows:

Waste $10.00
Chem 25 $62.00
CBC & Platelet Count $60.00
Micro Exam Blood Smear $0.00
UA A/O $28.00
Radiograph $88.00
Rad Addl $79.00
Total Hip Series 4 views $292.00
Butorphanol 10mg/ml CIV $13.44
Atipamezole 5mg/ml x 0.31 $10.00
Atipamezole 5mg/ml x 0.15 $10.00
Dexdomitor 0.5mg/ml x 0.31 $10.00
Dexdomitor 0.5mg/ml x 0.15 $10.00
Anesthesia 2hrs $220.00
Anesthesia Pre Work Up $54.00
Anesthesia Disposables/Agents $81.00
Hospitalization $58.00
Anaerobic ID & Aerobic $174.00
Lab Accession Fee - Send Outs $3.00
Daily Professional Care $69.00
Cefazolin x 1 $18.00
Total Hip Series 4 views $292.00
Surgery Supplies $14.00
Surgery Implants $1,941.00
Total Hip Replacement Unilat $1,178.00
Cefazolin Sodium 100mg/ml $10.94
Methadone 10mg/ml C II $29.04
Hospitalization $58.00
Daily Professional Care $69.00
Cefazolin x 1 $18.00
Meloxicam 1.5mg/ml Susp x 2.60 $7.57
Hospitalization $39.00
Daily Professional Care $69.00
 TOTAL $5,074.99

Eliot Cool had a $500 annual deductible, an 80% reimbursement percentage and a $10,000 annual maximum, with prescription drug coverage not chosen, for a monthly premium of $24.91.

The surgery reimbursement was calculated as follows:

STEP 1: Calculate Potential Refund
  Billed Amount:         $5,074.99
  Covered Charges:       $5,074.99
  Annual deductible remaining     $122.00
  subtotal     $4,952.99
  Your Share of the claim (20%)     $990.60
Potential Refund          $3,962.39
STEP 2: Compare against annual maximum
     Annual Maximum       $10,000.00
     Prior refunds for this policy year     $0.00
     Coverage remaining     $10,000.00
Total refund is:       $3,962.39

Related Posts:
September is Pet Health Insurance Month
"Wish I'd had pet insurance" story - painful choice to euthanize
"Wish I'd had pet insurance" story - close encounter with dental floss
Guest Post: can I get pet insurance for that?
"Wish I'd had pet insurance" story - vet techs need pet insurance too!
Guest Post: Pet Insurance Q&Amp;A from Dr Patrick Mahaney
"So Glad I had Pet Insurance" story - hip dysplasia surgery for 1 year old German Coolie
"So Glad I had Pet Insurance" story - surgery for vicious dog attack
"So Glad I Had Pet Insurance" story - cats and lilies do not mix

Guest Post: Olympians and their pet breeds

I know the Olympics are over but Dr Patrick Mahaney and I had some fun talking about a couple of breeds that some Olympians known to you have in their homes, including the:



Border Terrier


The health issues and temperaments of these breeds and more are discussed in the audio below.

Laura Bennett & Dr Patrick Mahaney The Olympians and Their Breeds

Related Posts:
August is Olympics Month at Embrace Pet Insurance
Michael Phelps strikes gold with his dogs
Guest Post: Animal Olympics
Breed Profile: Welsh Corgi
Guest Post: Olympians and their pet breeds

Other posts by Dr Patrick Mahaney

Dr Patrick Mahaney
Dr. Mahaney is a veterinarian from the University of Pennsylvania and a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist, having been inspired by his own chronic pain from Intervertebral Disc Disease to provide accupuncture to his veterinary clients. In addition to Dr Mahaney's house call integrative veterinary medicine business, California Pet Acupuncture and Wellness, he sees patients on an in-clinic basis at Veterinary Cancer Group in Culver City, CA.

Dr Mahaney writes a veterinary column (Patrick's Blog) for www.PatrickMahaney.com and contributes to a variety of media, including Perez Hilton's TeddyHilton.com, Fido Friendly, Veterinary Practice News, Healthy Pets and People with Dr Patrick on OutImpactRadio.com, and MSNBC Sunday with Alex Witt and Career Day. His first book, The Uncomfortable Vet, will be available in 2012 through Havenhurst Books


Breed Profile: Welsh Corgi

Since we are pondering on all things to do with the Olympics, here's a very British breed, the Welsh Corgi.

Actually, there are two different kinds of Welsh Corgis: the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. What's the difference?

According to the Embrace breed profile for the Cardigan Welsh Corgi:

The Cardigan is the Corgi with the tail but he stands out from his cousin, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, in other ways, including his larger, more rounded ears and wide variety of colors. His weight ranges from 25 to 38 pounds, making him a little larger than the Pembroke as well.
Although the Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis were both developed in Wales and share the name Corgi, they have different ancestry: twin sons of different mothers, you might say. The Cardigan, nick-named the yard-long dog in his home shire of Cardigan, shares ancestors with another long breed, the Dachshund. Unlike the Dachshund, the Cardi was used to drive cattle by nipping at their heels. Today he’s a companion and show dog, but he still has strong herding instincts.

And from Wikipedia about Pembroke Welsh Corgis:

Queen with her Pembroke Welsh CorgisThe Pembroke Welsh Corgi lineage has been traced back as far as 1107 AD. It is said that the Vikings and Flemish weavers brought the dogs with them as they traveled to reside in Wales. As far back as the 10th century, Corgis were herding sheep, geese, ducks, horses and cattle as one of the oldest herding breed of dogs. Pembrokes have proven themselves as excellent companions and are outstanding competitors in sheepdog trials and dog agility.

And you probably already know that the Queen of England is a longtime owner and breeder of Pembroke Welsh Corgis.

Corgi Health

Both Welsh Corgis are pretty healthy breeds in general. Some health conditions that have been seen in the breed are hip dysplasia, intervertebral disc disease and eye problems such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).

Welsh Corgi health conditions
Corgi fun

One of the fun dog blogs that I love is The Daily Corgi. If you are a corgi fan, you can immerse yourself in all things Corgi there.

And finally, for me, the highlight of the 2012 Olympic Games Opening ceremonies was James Bond and the Queen making their entrance with special guests, the Queen's corgis playing themselves. No stunt doubles required. Enjoy!

Related Posts:
August is Olympics Month at Embrace Pet Insurance
Michael Phelps strikes gold with his dogs
Guest Post: Animal Olympics
Breed Profile: Welsh Corgi
Guest Post: Olympians and their breeds


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