Attending dog shows near you (even better if it's a corgi specialty!) is one of the easiest and fastest ways to connect with the best corgi breeders in the country and ensure you get a healthy, well-bred puppy.
By Lauren P.
My husband Shane and I both grew up with family dogs, so we knew that we would eventually want to get a dog of our own. In late 2018, we moved into a house with an enclosed yard and built up some savings, so we felt like it was the right time to start looking for a dog to join our family. Shane actually reached out to Aiden (Geordi’s owner) for advice on getting a corgi puppy and she suggested that we go to the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of Southern California (PWCCSC) Specialty Show to meet the breeders in person.
Before we went to the specialty, we did some research. We tried to familiarize ourselves with PWCCSC, dog show lingo, and to learn about the breeders and their kennels.
We arrived at the show right when the event started on a Friday morning, so there weren’t any other spectators. Honestly, it felt really awkward at first. The area is organized with the competition ring in the center and pop-up tents set back around the perimeter, where the breeders groom their dogs. There were no banners or signage on the tents, so we had to rely on our research to help us identify the people with whom we wished to speak.
The breeder we were most interested in (Coventry Corgis) had a large, open tent set up, so we felt more comfortable approaching them first. To our delight, after we sort of hovered around their tent awkwardly for a few moments, they greeted us and welcomed us to come closer for a look at their dogs. We took the opportunity to admire their dogs and compliment them on some of the recent news we’d seen on social media, and they asked if it was our first show. After we spoke for a few moments, they actually invited us to “help” with some of the 10 month old puppies they were preparing to show for the first time. We were charged with making sure the puppies didn’t jump off the grooming tables (no pressure – ha!).
During this time, they continued chatting with us as they made the final preparations to show their pups. We talked about our background and what brought us to the show, and they casually went through the screening questions that breeders typically ask potential buyers. Additionally, they shared with us their approach and philosophy to breeding and health screening, and more about the dog show world and the point of competing in conformation. In all, we probably spent an hour having a nice friendly conversation with them before their puppies were called out to the ring.
Since there still weren't many other spectators there, we continued to stand out and several folks approached us and asked if we were there to try to get a puppy. They were all very friendly and encouraging. One person even had his 19 year old (!) corgi with him and shared stories about the dog’s prime years as a breed champion.
After a while, we went to another breeder’s tent to chat. She asked us about ourselves and went through some of the screening questions. This conversation felt a bit more formal than our conversation with the first breeder. As the chat wound down, she asked us to follow up with her by email.
So, after the show, we emailed both breeders. Coventry Corgis added us to their waiting list and asked us to follow up regularly. The second breeder offered us a puppy in March - just one month after the show! It was suuuper tempting to accept that puppy, but we knew we wouldn’t have the necessary time and energy for a puppy until May, so we decided to decline her offer.
Ultimately, we decided to wait for a puppy from Coventry because we really appreciated their approach to breeding and it seemed to be just a matter of time and patience before they’d have a puppy for us. Our rapport with them was also really important to us because we knew that reputable breeders appreciate keeping in touch for the dog’s lifetime.
In May, after one of my regular follow-up emails, they let me know that it looked like they’d have a puppy for us soon. In July, we were able to go pick up Remy. (Fun fact: he barked at us nonstop for 30 minutes on the way home. I mean, I would too if I thought someone was kidnapping me, hahah).
It might take a little more work to get a dog from a reputable breeder, but it is totally worth it! Both the breeders we spoke with in person mentioned that coming out to the specialty show was a huge boost in terms of position on their waiting lists, and it was important to them that we had clearly evaluated our lives and waited until we were in a suitable home and financial position to get a dog.
In all, it took us a few hours at a dog show, some ongoing emails, and just 4 months of waiting until we got Remy. We spent those few months slowly puppy-proofing our house and accumulating all the supplies we needed. In return for your patience, you'll receive a thoughtfully bred, healthier dog, lifelong support from your breeder, and the knowledge that by supporting a reputable breeder, you are helping to ensure that healthy, well-tempered corgis will continue to exist in the future.