The drover dogs of Wales may have descended from Viking dogs. Short-legged dogs duck under kicking cattle hooves, spring forward, pinch the unruly bull’s bonds again, and dodge the fatal kick with lightning speed. On the farm they keep rats and mice short, herd the cattle, guard the property.

Corgis are always alert, always on duty. The intelligent, medium-sized, short-legged dog is self-confident, powerful and needs consistent training and activity. He always questions the hierarchy in the family and knows how to push through what he puts his mind to!

The watchful dog is not overly aggressive and easy to deal with children. A low-maintenance, delightful pal for the whole family! The Pembroke is occasionally born with a shortened tail. The Welsh Corgi Cardigan is a bit more settled in character.

Contents hide

Corgi is one of the oldest dog breeds

Dog Breed: Corgi Parenting – A Comprehensive Guide 13

One of Queen Elizabeth II’s most loyal companions is a corgi, specifically the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

A breed of dog with short legs and an elongated body that was considered ideal for herding in England. Their roots are said to go back to the year 1107 and to the Vikings and are considered to be one of the oldest dog breeds. Corgi means “little dog” in Welsh.

The first of these royal dogs was Dookie, whom George VI. Acquired as a family pet in 1933 when Elizabeth was seven, followed by Jane and Susan, who was given to Elizabeth II for her 18th birthday. The fourteen generations of the Queen’s Corgis now descend from the latter, about thirty animals in all. She probably discovered her enthusiasm for dogs in her early childhood, when she saw the Marquis of Bath’s children’s corgis.

However, the royal breeding success may end with Holly and Willow, the last remaining Corgis currently owned by the Queen, since the Queen does not want to leave any animals behind given their age and young dogs may be too quick and careless.

The Queen’s corgis are no longer just appendages of their owner, but are associated with her. But despite their charming appearance, the royal corgis can also be different; the bitingness of the cute dogs keeps making headlines in the British press. In addition to police officers, postmen and employees, the Queen herself has also been the victim of such corgi attacks. Regrettably, there was also a fatal incident in 2003 between a Queen’s corgi and Princess Anne’s bull terrier, the corgi eventually having to be euthanized, much to the Queen’s regret.

But of course, the four-legged friends attract attention above all in a positive way, for example alongside James Bond in an advertising film for the Olympic Games in London 2012. For some time now, the Internet has also discovered the Corgis for itself, devoting entire pages and countless video clips to the funny-looking dogs come mainly from America, for example on the website buzzfeed.com, so that one can certainly speak of a viral boom in the breed.

But where does the popularity of the low four-legged friend come from? Asked about the breeders of Palatinate Pixies from Speyer, the Corgi can be described as a charming and funny, but also extremely self-confident dog. Until a few years ago, the Palatinate breeders Sabine Thomas and Phil Dürr were only approached by older women about their dogs. Since the Olympic Games in London and the aforementioned image film, the Corgi has probably also gained a certain degree of popularity in Germany.

In addition to the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, there is another Corgi breed, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, both are very different dog breeds. The Cardigan is generally slightly heavier, has larger ears and is less clingy in nature than the Pembroke. Sabine Thomas and Phil Dürr’s Welsh Corgi Pembrokes come from France and other German breeders and come from Finnish, Norwegian, French, American and Australian bloodlines. Breeding counts a male and four females in total.

In March of this year there was also the second litter. Contact with England, the land of Corgis, and with other breeders in Germany is mainly via social networks. German breeders have also made it to the Crufts dog show in Birmingham, which is considered the British dog show par excellence.

Welsh Corgi Pembrokes are considered to be very capable and in need of learning, like to be involved in family life and are among the most intelligent dogs, and they are also said to have a special sense of humor.

Although there is a lot of interest in Anglo-American countries, the number of Welsh Corgi Pembrokes in Germany and in general is quite low; Lilo Kiel, who works in the Club for British Sheepdogs e. V., which is responsible for the Pembrokes, speaks of less than 100 puppies per year that are born in Germany. In comparison, the number of German Shepherd puppies is 10,000 per year. The number of litters bred each year has tripled in the past decade, yet the Corgi has been on England’s endangered native breed list since 2015.

So it is definitely a positive side effect that the Corgi has become better known as the Queen’s royal companion for more than eighty years. The Elizabeth II dogs also maintain a corresponding lifestyle.

In addition to a separate room in Buckingham Palace, there is also a separate menu for each of the four-legged friends, which includes steaks, chicken breast and homemade sauce, but also homeopathic remedies – all served by a butler on silver and china, of course. But the Queen also takes care of her animals herself, lets them sit in a semicircle in front of her and feeds them according to the hierarchy. She is said to have once said: “My corgis are part of the family.” They also enjoy certain privileges, despite a consistent upbringing, and are allowed to move about the palace freely. And of course there are also gifts for the dogs at Christmas.

The British population also seems to like the dogs, for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton created the cake designer Michelle Wibowo, an almost two meter high and 68 kilogram Corgi, which was made from dog-friendly ingredients was fed to dogs and got it into the Guinness Book of Records.

Other well-known personalities also seem to have fallen for this dog breed. Stephen King, author of numerous novels, has owned a corgi for some time, which he christened “The Thing of Evil” to match his horror stories, and his colleague Michel Houellebecqu also owned a corgi: Clément, who died 11 years ago and to which a separate room was dedicated in the current exhibition “Michel Houellebecqu. Rester Vivant” in the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.

On the occasion of the Queen’s milestone birthday, it is not surprising that the corgis also play a prominent role in the official photos of the Queen’s 90th, taken by star photographer Annie Leibovitz. Alongside pictures with her family, the Queen poses on a flight of steps, smiling and surrounded by four of her dogs, two dorgis – a dachshund/corgi breed – and two corgis, Willow and Holly.

Looking at the photo of Leibovitz, it can almost be heartbreaking, as Willow and Holly will probably remain the last two royal corgis in the British royal family for the time being.

Breed Welsh Corgi Pembroke
Other names Pembroke, PWC, Pem, Corgi, Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Origin Wales, Great Britain
Size Small dog breeds
Group of herding dog breeds
Life expectancy 12-14 years
Temperament/Activity Playful, Outgoing, Friendly, Caring, Tough, Daring
Height at the withers Males: 25-30.5 cm Females: 25-30 cm
Weight Male: 10-12 kg Female: 10-11 kg
Dog Coat Colors Fawn, red, blue, black and white, black and tan, sable, russet sable, fawn
Hypoallergenic no

Highlights

  • Pembrokes are vocal dogs who have a habit of barking at everything and everyone.
  • Although they are intelligent dogs, they are also stubborn. If housebreaking is a problem, crate training is advisable.
  • Their strong herding instincts can lead them to bite children’s heels when they are playing.
  • Pembrokes tend to overeat. Their feed intake should be closely monitored.
  • Despite being small dogs, Pembrokes are high-energy and require a healthy amount of daily exercise.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a dog from an irresponsible breeder, a mass breeder, or from the pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests their breeding dogs to make sure they don’t have any genetic diseases that could be passed on to the puppies and that they have solid characters.

How to properly feed your dog

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Wet or dry? With or without grain? Raw meat or vegan? Here we answer the most important questions about dog food and explain how to feed your dog healthily.

How a good feed is made up

What is actually healthier: wet or dry food?

Both have to provide dogs with all-round care if they are sold as complete food. So they are equal. Studies show: An optimally composed complete feed has no disadvantages for the dog’s health. The majority of dogs tend to tolerate dry food more easily. However, wet food provides more moisture.

How much meat should a good feed contain at least?

It is not the amount of meat or the type of animal that matters, but the composition of the feed as a whole. Even fine fillet or muscle meat does not provide all the necessary nutrients. They are often found in organs and meat by-products: liver provides vitamin A, bone meal provides calcium and tripe provides protein.

Most labels provide inaccurate information about the true meat content, so there is a lot of room for improvement. In dry food, meat and animal by-products are usually the second most common ingredient after grain. The exact amount of meat cannot be determined in the laboratory because the ingredients are dried and ground.

In ingredient lists, it says “poultry meal” rather than chicken breast. By-products such as liver and lungs are high quality ingredients and nutrient suppliers for dogs.

How do I find out the right amount of food for my dog?

The providers indicate quantities for dogs of different weight classes on the products. In our tests, we find that the information is not always correct.

If you introduce new feed, you should compare the moisture and fat content with that of the old feed: if they are about the same, the same amount can be fed as before. If it is significantly fatter, less is enough.

To prevent your dog from becoming overweight, you need to weigh him regularly. Ribs and waist should be palpable. If you feed a lot of snacks, you should reduce the remaining rations.

How can I use the list of ingredients to calculate whether my dog ​​is getting all the nutrients it needs?

Unfortunately, that’s next to impossible. The ingredient lists are usually not detailed enough; In addition, there is a lot of information that cannot be relied on, as our tests of dry food and wet food show. In our investigations, we assumed a moderately active model dog weighing 15 kilos. We determined his needs and compared them with the nutrient supply from the individual feeds.

Our advice: watch your dog. Does he seem tired and listless? Does he give signals that he is missing something? Then you should have it checked by the vet and, if necessary, adjust the amount of food or switch to a different food.

Do nutritional needs change as animals get older?

Yes. Many older animals no longer need as much energy – also because they no longer move as much. Therefore, a ration of food should then contain fewer calories than a ration for younger, adult dogs. Our senior dog model gets 20 percent fewer calories, but exact needs can vary from dog to dog.

At the same time, the allocated amount must provide the elderly animal with just as many minerals and vitamins as before. The protein should be of high quality, and not in excess of phosphorus and sodium.

Retailers sell special senior dog food, of which we tested eight products in 2021. Only one product performed well overall.

What’s allowed – and what’s not

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Are inferior slaughterhouse waste processed for dog food?

Neither in the 28 products of the current dry food test nor in the 31 products of the wet food test from 2019 did we find any evidence of inferior waste in the laboratory. Parts of sick or deceased animals are forbidden according to an EU regulation.

Only hygienically perfect slaughterhouse by-products from animals that are also suitable for human consumption are permitted. These can be organs such as the heart, lungs and stomach, for example – or parts such as the tongue and udder, which in this country hardly play a role in human nutrition.

Parts of healthy animals classified as unfit for human consumption can be processed according to the EU regulation, such as horn, bristles, hair and feathers – but not the gastrointestinal contents.

Does dog food contain attractants to bind the animal to the brand?

No, aromas or flavor enhancers are not common and not necessary. Dogs are mostly shaped by the food they grew up with. Sometimes celery, carrots or leeks are added to the feed to improve the smell. It is often the owners who are bothered by the smell of wet food. The products in the test mostly smelled like bouillon and of innards, some also of meat, fish or cereals.

Are contaminants in dog food a problem?

In the current dry food test, only one food stood out due to its high acrylamide content compared to other products. It cannot be ruled out that acrylamide can also cause cancer in dogs and damage the nervous system. In the wet food test, we analyzed a comparatively large amount of cadmium in one product. However, these are exceptions – normally, pollutants are not a problem in our animal feed tests.

What about sugar as an ingredient?

The rumor that sugar is deliberately added to the feed in large quantities is not true. The sugar levels in the feeds in our tests were always low. Sugar is added to give wet food a brownish, stew-like appearance and make it attractive to owners.

What about grain as an ingredient?

Cereals are a better source of energy than sugar because of their dietary fiber and minerals and are definitely suitable as an ingredient. Both the dry food and the wet food in the test contained classic cereals, but also rice, quinoa or millet. Dogs are good at digesting starch.

Can Grains Harm Dog Health?

No. Many believe dogs are not good at digesting starch. A study disproved that. However, grain must be carefully controlled, as it can be contaminated with heavy metals such as cadmium or mold toxins such as aflatoxins.

The risk is higher with dry food than with wet food because it contains more grain. Aflatoxins are carcinogenic. In the current dry food test, however, they were not a problem.

Which dogs need gluten-free food?

Gluten intolerant dogs only. Gluten is a sticky protein found in grains such as wheat, rye and barley. There are also gluten-free grains, such as rice or millet. How many dogs cannot tolerate gluten is unknown. The problem has been widespread in one breed: the Irish Setter. It was “fixed” long ago by breeding.

Animal feed declared as “gluten-free” can still contain traces of gluten – there is no regulation as to the maximum amount of gluten it may contain. Affected animals need allergy food.

What does “allergy food” actually mean?

In the case of food for dogs with allergies, the protein it contains must be in a hydrolyzed, i.e. broken down, form. It’s easier to digest that way. In addition, usually only one source of protein, i.e. one animal species, is used in order to keep the risk of allergies as low as possible, preferably horses. For dogs with a known allergy, such as to beef, it is sufficient to choose a food with other types of meat.

They recommend dog food that contains many different animal species. How can that be, when it increases the risk of allergies?

It has not been proven that a mixture of many animal species in the food automatically causes allergies in dogs. In the dry food and wet food tests, we checked whether the animal species advertised, such as pigs, poultry or game, are actually contained in the food. If you want to specifically avoid certain animal species, you will find the right information in our tables.

How do I recognize an allergy in my dog? What can I do?

This is difficult. Symptoms such as diarrhea, itching or inflamed ears can also have other causes. Only the vet can diagnose it. He must first rule out other diseases and then approach a diet that omits individual ingredients.

Veterinarians also do blood tests for diagnosis, but a positive result does not bring one hundred percent clarity. This explains, among other things, why allergies are diagnosed more frequently today than in the past and why some diagnoses turn out to be wrong.

Common allergy triggers are beef, fish, dairy products, wheat and soy. If the trigger is clear, you can switch to a chuck without it.

Should I buy food without preservatives?

Many feeds claim that they are “free of preservatives”. Claims and preservatives are superfluous. Although wet food has more moisture than dry food, the tins and bowls are preserved by heating and can therefore usually be kept for at least two years.

I want to switch my dog ​​to a new food. How do I proceed?

Proceed step by step: If you switch from one dry food to another, mix the old and new half and half for a few days. If you switch to wet food, first mix in a third and then increase the amount.

Every new food should be tested over four weeks, the organism has to get used to it. Incompatibilities usually show up after a short time. Then you have to try new food.

Which food is suitable for older dogs?

From a basic point of view, it makes sense to give older animals special senior food. But in the test of eight dry products for seniors, only one did well overall.

If you put together the feed yourself for an elderly animal with reduced energy requirements, you should normally make sure that a ration has fewer calories than before and contains high-quality protein sources – such as muscle meat, dairy products, boiled eggs.

Raw feeding (BARF), vegetarian food and organic dog food

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Is BARFing a recommended alternative?

The BARF concept (Bones and raw foods, usually translated as biological, species-appropriate raw feeding) is based on raw feeding. Dogs are good at digesting raw meat and vegetable ingredients, except for potatoes.

The risk of under- or oversupply is still relatively high with BARF: owners have to pay close attention to the needs of their animal and work out a suitable ration with experts, otherwise there is a risk of illness.

Contact with raw meat poses further risks. Dogs can spread salmonella and other pathogens unnoticed: be careful with children and other sensitive household members. We included some frozen raw meat menus for BARF in the wet food test.

Is BARF also suitable for puppies?

Since they need a ration adjustment every six to eight weeks, BARF is critical. A balanced complete food for puppies is more reliable. If you still want to feed the little ones, you should have your ration recalculated by a specialized veterinarian. Otherwise, skeletal growth disorders can occur, from which the animals have to suffer for the rest of their lives.

Does a vegetarian diet work?

Yes, as vegetarian foods contain animal ingredients such as dairy and egg and can add vitamins and minerals. However, the vegetarian products in our tests were deficient, lacking important nutrients. A vegan diet for the dog is to be rejected, as it completely dispenses with animal ingredients.

What requirements does organic dog food have to meet?

Pet food can be certified according to the EU organic regulation and call itself “organic”. At least 95 percent of the ingredients must then have been produced according to the criteria of organic farming. In addition, organic control bodies have to check the manufacturers. Unlike food, the EU organic seal may not be printed on dog food.

Durability and storage

How long does an opened can of wet food last?

A can contains an average of 400 grams and is usually fed completely. If something is left over, then the can should be kept in the fridge until the next feeding. Before the dog eats it again, the food should be brought back to room temperature in good time. That’s more digestible for him.

What should I consider when storing dry food?

If you’re buying large 30-pound bags, it’s best to take a three-day ration and transfer it to a tight-fitting container. If the bag is opened frequently, the dry food can be damaged by the air supply. Use up the sack within six weeks.

How much meat does dry food contain?

According to the list of ingredients, all 28 dry foods in the test contain meat and animal by-products. They are usually the second most common ingredient after grain. We used DNA analysis to determine the types of animals processed: from ducks to cattle and goats (see dry food test). The exact amount of meat cannot be determined in the laboratory because the ingredients are dried and ground.

In ingredient lists, it says “poultry meal” rather than chicken breast. By-products such as liver and lungs are high-quality ingredients and nutrient suppliers for dogs.

Corgi Dog Breed

Although Pembrokes are still used as working dogs, they are mostly seen as family pets these days. They are known to be cheerful, affectionate and intelligent, but also stubborn or sometimes freedom-loving dogs. They are easily trainable, but don’t expect your Pembroke to be submissive. They like to think for themselves.

Although they want to please their owners, food is a fantastic motivator when training. Proceed with caution: Pembrokes love to eat and can become overweight if their food consumption is not monitored.

Pembrokes are also good watchdogs. They can be wary of strangers and are quick to bark if they feel something or someone is threatening their home and family.

Like any other dog, Pembrokes should be socialized from an early age – while young they should be exposed to a variety of people, sights, sounds and experiences. Good socialization will ensure your Dobie grows up to be a well-rounded dog.

Corgi Health

Pembrokes are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they are susceptible to certain diseases. Not all poodles will get any or all of these diseases, but it is important to be aware of them if you are considering acquiring this breed.

When buying a puppy you should find a good breeder who can show you health certificates for both puppy parents. Health certificates attest that the dog has been tested for and cleared of specific diseases.

At Pembrokes you should expect to be able to view Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) health certificates for hip dysplasia (with a rating between fair and better), elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism and Willebrand-Juergens Syndrome; and for thrombopathy from Auburn University and from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) certificates that the eyes are normal. You can confirm health certificates by checking the OFA website (offa.org).

Hip dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is an inherited disorder in which the femur is not securely attached to the hip joint. Some dogs will show pain and lameness in one or both hind legs, but there may be no symptoms at all in a dog with hip dysplasia.

(X-ray is the surest way of diagnosing the problem.) Arthritis can develop in the aging dog. Dogs with hip dysplasia should not be used for breeding. When you purchase a puppy, have the breeder provide you with proof that they have been tested for hip dysplasia and that the puppy is otherwise healthy.

Cataract: A cataract is a clouding of the lens that causes vision problems. The eye/eyes have a cloudy appearance. Cataracts usually appear in old age and can sometimes be surgically removed to improve the dog’s vision.

Cutaneous asthenia: Also known as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, dermatosparaxis, or dominant collagen dysplasia, this condition causes defective connective tissue in the skin to become brittle, loose, and elastic. Blood vessels are also affected, excessive hematoma formation and blood blisters occur.

Cystinuria: In this disease, high levels of the protein cystine are excreted in the urine, which can indicate stone formation. Usually this problem only occurs in males.

Degenerative Myelopathy: Degenerative myelopathy is a congenital disease of the spinal cord in the lower back region. It causes lameness of the legs, weakness and eventual paralysis and is often misdiagnosed as disc disease.

Epilepsy: This is a neurological disease that is often, but not always, inherited. Epilepsy can cause mild or severe seizures, which can appear as the dog behaving abnormally (pacing around as if being chased, staggering, or hiding), or collapsing, stiff limbs, and loss of consciousness.

Seizures are difficult to watch, but the long-term prognosis for dogs with this condition is very good. It’s important that you take your dog to the vet to get an accurate diagnosis (especially since seizures can have other causes) and get the right treatment.

Disc Disease: Due to their long back, Pembrokes are prone to ruptured discs. Symptoms include unsteadiness, trouble going up and downstairs, trouble jumping on and off furniture, limb collapsing, and paralysis.

Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) with pulmonary hypertension: PDA is a congenital defect in the vascular system that allows unoxidized blood to bypass the lungs. It is usually diagnosed in puppies during a veterinary exam. Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in the lungs and is a rare part of PDA disease. PDA can be surgically corrected.

Progressive Retinal Atrophobia (PRA): PRA is a family of eye diseases involving the gradual deterioration of the retina. In the early stages of the disease, dogs become night blind. As the disease progresses, they also lose their ability to see during the day. Many dogs adapt very well to limited, or total, loss of their vision as long as their environment remains constant.

Retinal dysplasia: This is an abnormal development of the retina. Sometimes the retina detaches, causing blindness.

Willebrand-Jürgens Syndrome: This blood disorder, which can affect humans and dogs, prevents the blood from clotting. An affected dog will have symptoms such as nosebleeds, bleeding gums, excessive bleeding after an injury or surgery, and increased bleeding in the heat or after throwing. Occasionally there is blood in the stool.

This disease is usually diagnosed between the ages of 3 and 5 and cannot be cured. However, treatments such as cauterizing or suturing wounds, transfusions before surgery, and skipping certain medications can make the disease manageable.

Care & Support

Athletic and surprisingly quick, Pembrokes were bred to be herding dogs and require plenty of daily exercises. They are well suited to apartment living as long as they are given the physical stimulation they need.

With their short legs and long backs, they shouldn’t be expected to jump on and off the couch, or any other decent height – fractures are common.

Pems adapt easily to country or city life. While their coat is weather-resistant and they do well in most climates, they are very people-oriented and need to be part of the family at all times – and shouldn’t be left alone in the garden.

Dog coat colors

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Pembrokes have a double coat, with a thick undercoat and a longer topcoat. They shed continuously, at least twice a year. You can find them red, sable, black, tricolor, or tan, usually with white markings.

The length of the fur varies on the body. Some Pems have fluffy fur – long with excessive feathering on the ears, chest, legs and paws.

Many Pembrokes have what is called a “fairy saddle” on their back. This marking, created by a change in the density and direction of the streaks of hair, takes its name from legend: according to legend, fairies rode Pembrokes in their homeland of the Welsh countryside.

Pembrokes are easy to groom, but shedding can become a problem if not brushed regularly, especially during increased seasonal shedding. When they shed the most, daily brushing is recommended. They only need brushing as needed, but many people find that regular bathing helps control the shedding.

Brush your Pembroke’s teeth at least two or three times a week to remove plaque and bacteria. Daily brushing is even better to avoid gum disease and bad breath.

Trim your dog’s nails once or twice a month if he doesn’t wear them down naturally. If you hear the claws clicking on the ground, they are too long. Short, well-trimmed nails keep paws in good condition.

Dog nails have blood vessels in them and if you cut too far you can cause bleeding – and your dog might refuse the next time he sees the nail clipper. So if you don’t have experience trimming dogs’ claws, ask a veterinarian or groomer for advice.

You should check his ears weekly for redness and bad smell to catch infections early. When checking your dog’s ears, wipe them out with a cotton ball soaked in a gentle PH-neutral ear cleaner to prevent infection. Do not insert anything into the ear canal; only clean the outer ear.

Start getting your Pembroke used to being brushed and examined from a young age. Frequently touch his paws – dogs are sensitive to paws – and check his mouth.

Make grooming a positive experience, filled with praise and reward, and set the stage for light vet exams and other manipulations when the dog is an adult.

While grooming, look out for sores, rashes, and signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or skin infections in the nose, mouth, eyes, and paws.

The eyes should be clear, not red and free of discharge. Your careful weekly check-up can help identify potential health problems early on.

Children And Other Animals

Pembrokes have a remarkable affinity for children, however, due to their herding instincts, they are sometimes prone to pinching children’s feet or ankles. Pems are avid learners, however, and can be broken from this behavior at a young age.

As with any breed, you should always teach children how to approach and handle the dog, and also monitor any interaction between dogs and young children to avoid biting, ear and tail tugging – from either side avoid.

Teach your child never to disturb a dog when it is eating or sleeping, or to try to take food away from it. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.

They are friendly towards other pets in the household, especially if they have grown up with them.

Corgi History

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The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is an adorable dog originally from Pembrokeshire, Wales; its origin is steeped in folklore. According to a Welsh legend, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi jumped out of the hiding places of fairies and elves.

According to legend, one day two children were in the fields tending the family’s cattle when they found some puppies. The children thought they were foxes but noticed something strange about them, so they collected the puppies and took them home.

Her parents immediately saw that the puppies were not foxes but dogs and told their children that the puppies were a gift from the fairies that lived in the fields. The fairies used them to pull their carriages and sometimes rode them into battle.

As proof that the Pembrokes really were the fairies’ horses, the parents pointed to the markings on their backs where the fairy saddle was placed on their shoulders. The children were delighted and adored their puppies. As they grew up, the dogs became beloved companions and learned to help the children with the family’s cattle.

For those who don’t believe in fairy tales, historians say the Pembroke Welsh Corgi descended from the Vallhunds, Swedish cattle dogs brought to Wales by Vikings in the 9th and 10th centuries. Others believe they descended from dogs brought to Wales by Flemish weavers in the 12th century.

Either way, the breed has a foggy historical pedigree. Farmers who historically owned working dogs bred the best dogs for the jobs they were asked to do. They didn’t keep good records of their matings.

In the 1920’s the GB Kennel Club recognized Corgis as purebred dogs. They were officially known as Welsh Corgis when they were first shown in 1925. At the time, Pembrokes and Cardigans were shown in the same class as one breed.

Then in 1934 the Kennel Club recognized the Pembroke and Cardigan as separate breeds. That same year, the American Kennel Club did the same. Pembrokes were first shown in the US in 1936.

Pembrokes slowly grew in popularity in the US and today they are among the top 50 most popular family pet breeds. She is also loved by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England, having received her first Pembroke Welsh Corgi in 1933 from her father (King George VI).

The puppy’s name was Rozavel Golden Eagle and he was a playmate of Elizabeth and her sister Margaret. Elizabeth has loved the dogs ever since and currently has a pack of them sick at Buckingham Palace.

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