Corgis are adorable little hounds that have short legs, long bodies, and a lot of personality! Of course, the other most distinguishing factor about Corgis is their beautiful coats. They are double-coated dogs and have soft, colorful fur.
A fluffy Corgi is a long-haired version of the popular Cardigan and Pembroke Corgi breeds. They have a longer coat than a regular Corg with feathered hair under their belly and around their ears, chest, feet, legs, and hindquarters, including that ever-cute Corgi bottom! They are rare and beautiful.
This article will explore how a fluffy Corgi becomes fluffy, why it’s not recognized as an official breed and we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about this unusual and rare variation of the Corgi.
There Are Two Breeds of Corgis
There are two breeds of Corgi recognized by the American Kennel Club: the Pembroke and the Cardigan.
The Pembroke Corgi is perhaps the more famous out of the two, and likely the dog that you think of when you hear the name “Corgi”.
Cardigan Corgis are the original breed that the Pembroke stemmed from. These Corgis have greater variations on coat color than the Pembroke corgi, and can even have darker coats.
Introducing the Fluffy Corgi
However, there is also another type of Corgi: the fluffy corgi. This type of corgi is even fluffier than the Cardigan or Pembroke Corgis.
The fluffy Corgi is not a breed separate from the Pembroke or Cardigan Corgis. Instead, the fluffy Corgi is simply a variation of these two well-known Corgi breeds.
What Is A Fluffy Corgi?
Any corgi can be born “fluffy”.
Corgis are of course famous for their beautiful coats which are typically quite fluffy anyway. But can you imagine how adorable it would be to have a Corgi that’s born with even more fur and fluff?
It’s not just a lucky coincidence that some corgis are born fluffier than others – there’s a reason for it. It all comes down to the genes that a puppy’s parents carry.
Not all puppies will be like their parents
Not all puppies in a litter will be a fluffy Corgi like their parents.
If a puppy got its fluffy gene from its mother, for example, there will be a good chance of this puppy having more fur and a stronger coat.
The gene needs to be dominant
However, just because a puppy has more fur doesn’t necessarily make it a fluffy corgi. As with all genes, there is a chance that it won’t be dominant in a puppy.
The fluffy gene is recessive, which means that a litter of puppies who have a fluffy parent will then be carriers for this gene. They may even have fluffy puppies themselves one day.
The fluffy gene typically takes around two to three weeks before it starts to activate, so you won’t be able to tell from birth whether your corgi puppy is a fluffy Corgi or not.
So what actually makes a Corgi a fluffy Corgi?
There are several genetic rules in play here.
A fluffy Corgi will usually have a weaker than average undercoat, but they sport longer fur on their topcoat. At first glance this may seem like a small difference, however, there is a reason for this.
A fluffy corgi’s fluffiness is caused by a genetic mutation from the recessive FGF5 gene. As far as we’re concerned, the proper name for this gene should of course be the fluffy gene! But we’ll circle back to this in a moment.
Fluffy Corgi Isn’t Recognized As A Breed
So we know that there are two different types of Corgi breeds: the Pembroke and the Cardigan. However, the fluffy isn’t classed as a breed in its own right by any institution or kennel club. There’s a reason for this decision.
This may seem like a strange choice, however, the fluffy gene is typically found in spitz breeds.
A spitz breed is a specific group of dogs that are closely related to a mutual ancestor of the Corgi breed.
Sptiz breeds are usually wolf-like animals who have almond-shaped eyes, pointed ears, and they can come in all different shapes and sizes.
Of course, another trait that spitz breeds share is rugged double coats.
A few of the breeds that belong to this group are the Chow Chow, Keeshond, Norwegian Elkhound, Samoyed, and the Swedish Vallhund. Corgis aren’t included on this list, however, they do share some similar traits to these breeds.
Corgis have the same eyes, the pointed ears, and they also occasionally have the long double coats. However, over time the Corgi genes were altered so that they don’t share every trait they need to be classed as a spitz breed.
So because of this, the fluffy Corgi can’t belong to the spitz classification.
Instead, the fluffy is its own special variety of Corgi.
The fluffy Corgi isn’t a breed
But because of the facts we’ve outlined above, the fluffy Corgi doesn’t classify as a breed in its own right either as a Corgi or as a spitz breed.
Fluffys are considered a fault
The American Kennel Club has determined that “fluffies” are considered a “very serious fault” in the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. You can read about this in the full breed standard, an excerpt of which is below.
And here is the full breed standard for the Cardigan Welsh Corgi where the American Kennel Club has cautioned owners that the coat “should not be so exaggerated as to appear fluffy“.
So the fluffy gene is a fault if it’s activated in a corgi. They do have their reasons for this though, which we’ll cover in more detail below.
Fluffies may not be more widely accepted as a breed in their own right, but that doesn’t make them any less adorable!
What Is The Fluffy Gene?
But why isn’t the fluffy gene as common in Corgis as some breeders would like it to be?
So we’ve already covered that the fluffy gene is what makes some Corgis have longer, fluffier coats and fluffy tails. But what is this gene exactly, and how does it work?
To truly understand this, we’ll need to know a little bit more about genes. We’re not going to go into too much-complicated detail. We’re just going to cover things such as chemicals that decide what your dog ends up looking like, their temperament, as well as everything else that makes up your dog.
Everything about your dog is decided because of the genes they inherit from their parents. Genes make up your dog’s DNA and give their cells all the information they need in order to work. Your dog’s body will work the way it does because of the genes they’ve inherited.
Blue eyes are a recessive gene (example)
Chances are that you’ve covered things like eye color in your biology classes.
Blue eyes are a recessive gene in humans. For example, I have blue eyes. That means both of my parents would need to either have blue eyes (which they did not) or be a carrier for this gene in order for you to have blue eyes. My mom carried the blue eye gene from my grandfather but has brown eyes herself. Blue eyes in dogs are a little more common, but still pretty rare.
Corgis with blue eyes are especially less likely to happen. For example, the blue merle Corgi has blue eyes because of the merle gene.
Basically, the way your dog looks is determined by the genes that they inherit. So the Corgi depends on its genes to determine whether it’s a fluffy corgi or not.
The fluffy gene is recessive
The fluffy gene is a recessive gene that has survived in the Corgi breed. It’s not really a gene that your corgi needs to rely on anymore.
This gene was likely able to survive because ancestral Corgis needed the longer, thicker coats during harsh winters in their native habitats. That wasn’t exactly the fluffy gene, but we’ll cover this in a moment.
Of course, Wales isn’t exactly a tropical location. So because Corgis used to work in the chilly hilly environments, they needed their thick double coat to help protect them from the elements over the past 3,000 years.
So somehow the genes have survived through time. But what exactly is the fluffy gene in scientific terms?
The Recessive FGF5 Gene
At a first look, the FGF5 gene may appear to be a wonderful gene. Who doesn’t want a fluffier Corgi to cuddle? We know that this gene comes from spitz breeds and that Corgis may come from this, too.
The FGF5 gene is an autosomal recessive gene. This is basically a mutated version of the gene which gave dogs their warmer coats during the winter.
Interestingly, the only other breed of dog to have the FGF5 gene other than the Corgi is the Swedish Vallhund. However, just because this gene makes their coats look beautiful, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re particularly useful.
The FGF5 as a fault
The Swedish Vallhund is a working dog, just like the Corgi is. These dogs have to work in even harsher conditions, so they need their double coat to stay warm. The Vallhund’s fur is a lot tougher than the Corgi’s so it’s able to keep them dry and warm.
Here’s where the FGF5 gene can complicate matters. Vallhunds that have the fluffy gene are still double-coated dogs, however, their undercoat is a lot smaller, and doesn’t do as good a job at keeping them warm.
The undercoat of the Swedish Vallhund needs to be dense so that it can keep them warm. The dense fur traps the air which keeps the dog warm in these harsher environments.
The topcoat then does a good job of keeping the dogs dry, and protected from the wind, and also works to protect them from any other predators.
The FGF5 gene makes this undercoat weaker and not as dense, putting all the effort into making a longer topcoat that isn’t that thick. So you can see why this gene is considered to be a fault in the Swedish Vallhund.
The Swedish Vallhund continues to be a working dog today, so it needs a healthy, dense double coat. That the FGF5 gene is considered a fault in their genetic make-up.
Why the FGF5 gene doesn’t negatively impact the Corgi
The Corgi isn’t typically used as a working dog anymore. So even though the FGF5 gene is considered a fault in the Vallhund, it won’t affect a Corgi’s way of life.
If your fluffy Corgi isn’t a working dog, spends most of their time indoors, and you don’t live in any harsh environments, then they will be perfectly fine. This lighter coat will even be more beneficial to them during the summer months.
But if your fluffy Corgi is a working dog, it’s easy to see how your pup would have difficulty as a working dog in their home country of Wales. The longer, weaker coat would get soaked in the pouring rain quite quickly. The harsher winds would make matters even worse, attacking the poor unprotected corgi.
Why are there so few fluffy Corgis with the FGF5 gene
As we’ve covered above, the FGF5 gene is recessive.
So in order for your Corgi puppy to have this fluffy gene, it will need to have inherited it from both parents. Parents can be carriers of the gene, which basically means it doesn’t affect them, but they could pass it on to their puppies.
In the case of a Corgi being a carrier for the fluffy gene, their coats may appear slightly longer than normal, but it won’t really be all that noticeable.
However, even if both parents are fluffy Corgis, there’s only a 25% chance that their puppies also inherit this gene. There may only be one or two fluffy puppies in their litter. So because of this, the FGF5 gene isn’t considered to be a serious fault.
Fluffy Corgi vs Regular Corgi
Fluffy Corgis are the same breed as the two regular Corgi breeds of Cardigan and Pembroke. The biggest difference is that the fluffy Corgi carries a recessive gene for extra long hair and a fluffy coat. Their undercoat and topcoat is less dense than a regular Corgi but they shed more hair.
Better in warmer climates
The dense fur in a regular Corgi’s undercoat and topcoat was designed to keep them warmer in harsh weather outdoors. The lighter fur in a fluffy Corgi means they could be a better fit for warmer climates.
They still shed
It’s worth remembering that Corgis are one of the breeds that shed their fur a lot. The Pembroke and Cardigan Corgis are moderate to high shedders.
So you may wonder if the longer fur of the fluffy Corgi means it’s more likely to shed its coat than a normal Corgi.
As we now know, this longer coat isn’t as dense as a normal Corgi.
Because they have a thinner coat of fur than a regular Corgi, Fluffies don’t shed their fur as much. This again makes them perfectly suited to warmer climates.
But your fluffy Corgi will still shed their fur more than other breeds will.
A normal Corgi usually sheds their fur because they need to lose all that dense hair during the summer months.
So while getting a fluffy corgi in a warmer climate makes sense, you will need to bear in mind that they will still need a lot of grooming.
Your fluffy Corgi will need to be bathed every month or two, and you will need to remember to brush them every day.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my Corgi is fluffy?
You’ll know if your Corgi is fluffy because it will have a much longer coat than a normal corgi. This topcoat will be longer, and they will also have a less dense undercoat.
The easiest way to tell if your Corgi is fluffy is to take a look at its ears. Fluffy corgis will have a lot of very long fur around their ears, also known as feathering.
Which Corgis are fluffy?
It’s important to remember that fluffy Corgis aren’t a breed in their own right.
So both Cardigan and Pembroke corgis can be fluffy Corgis because the important factor is whether they carry the recessive FGF5 gene.
Because this gene is recessive, it means that it’s a lot harder to come across a fluffy Corgi than a normal Corgi.
Are fluffy Corgis faulty or bad?
Although the AKC believes “fluffiness” is a fault, having a fluffy Corgi isn’t bad. They are not prone to special illnesses than a regular Corgi could get.
The only time a Corgi’s fluffiness would be detrimental to them is if they were a working dog. This is because the fluffy gene gives Corgis a longer topcoat but a weaker, less dense undercoat. So they would have less protection from the cold harsh weather outdoors.
So they wouldn’t be able to stay warm and dry in harsh environments, especially as a working dog is expected to be out in all weathers.
Can Corgis spend time alone at home? Are they destructive? Find out here.
Do fluffy Corgis shed a lot?
Fluffy Corgis won’t shed as much as normal Corgis, but they will still shed a fair amount of fur. Because fluffy Corgis actually have a lighter, longer coat, this means they won’t shed as much fur as a normal Corgi.
However, they will still need to be groomed regularly so that you don’t become overwhelmed by corgi fur in your home.
Are fluffy Corgis more expensive?
Fluffy Corgies are rarer. If you prefer a fluffier Corgi, breeders could charge a premium price for fluffy Corgi puppies but that’s just a matter of more demand and less supply.
Are fluffy Corgis hypoallergenic?
Fluffy Corgis have the same fur as regular Corgis. Both regular Corgis and fluffy Corgis are not hypoallergenic. Fluffy Corgis may shed less than a regular Corgi but their dander, saliva, and urine contain the protein that causes allergies in humans.
And now you know more about the fluffy Corgi and what it is! Even though this adorable dog has a unique feature that differentiates it from the Pembroke and Cardigan corgis, it’s not actually known as a Corgi breed in its own right.
The length of your Corgi’s fur is just one factor to consider though. These fascinating little dogs come in a whole range of colors for you to choose from.
The fluffy fur will only be a factor you will need to consider if you’re looking for a working dog or not. A fluffy Corgi will make a better pet than it will a working dog because of its lighter fur.
No matter the Corgi that you choose, they will make an excellent family pet. They are incredibly loyal and loving, and will be well worth the emotional investment.