Every social media platform has an abundance of dog photos being shared by the second. It is rare for someone to see a video of a puppy rolling around in the grass and not smile. All dog breeds have their own unique qualities that their owners adore, but the internet seems to place the Pembroke Welsh Corgi as one of the people’s favorite – with adequate reasoning, of course. Their short stubby bodies and big eyes melt the hearts of millions. Beyond just being internet sensations, corgis have even managed to make their way into the royal family, thanks to Queen Elizabeth II’s love for the breed. One can only imagine the gourmet meals the royal corgis must receive.
The majority of our population could instantly point out one of these dogs if they saw their short legs and big heads walking down the street, but only a slim few know the fascinating history of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. This article touches on a range of fun facts about the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, including where the term “corgi” comes from, what legends say about Pembrokes, and which individual corgis have managed to become famous. The fact that you cannot avoid opening one of the apps of your phone without seeing a photo of one of these pups makes it difficult not to consider adopting one. The fact that they are purebreds also makes them an admirable option for many. Before running to your nearest animal shelter or breeder, read the following list of facts about the Pembroke Welsh Corgi to find out if they’re the right type of dog for you!
10The Pembroke Welsh Corgi Has A Long History
Pembroke Welsh Corgi ancestry has been traced back all the way to the 1100s. Although their name suggests otherwise, it doesn’t seem as though The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is actually Welsh. One theory of where corgis came from is that they were initially found in Belgium but are believed to have made their way to Wales when Flemish weavers would bring them along in their travels. In this case, they are thought to be the ancestors of Schipperkes and Pomeranians. The second theory about corgi ancestry is that the breed are they descendants of Swedish Vallhunds and that it was the Vikings that eventually brought them to Wales.
What continues to be known today as The Corgi Club was first founded at the end of 1925 December 1925 in Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire. This club was created to ensure that both Pembroke Welsh corgis and Cardigan Welsh corgis were bred in a standardized manner. Regardless of where exactly they come from, their ability to be well-rounded farm dogs centuries later tell us that they hunted small animals and insects, watched over their homestead and handled their owners’ livestock. Their small figures made them easy to maintain in the olden days because they require fewer portions of food than larger dogs. Their bobbed tails exempted them from taxes, regardless of whether they were naturally like that or had been cut off.
9Pembrokes Are World-Class Herding Dogs
Pembrokes do not let their small size stop them from being the leaders of the herds on farms. The ability to herd so well has descended down from the many decades of them living as farm dogs. From the moment Pembrokes arrived in Wales, the Welsh have been adopting them to be family pets, guardians of their lots, and herding dogs. Many Pembroke owners who have their dogs trained properly are likely to put them in herding competitions, where they get judged on what their ancestors had been raised to do.
By standing at only a foot tall, Pembrokes are the smallest herding breed found in the Kennel Club. These dogs don’t let their size dictate what they can and can’t do – we should learn from them!
8The Pembroke Welsh Corgis Differs from The Cardigan Welsh Corgi in Many Ways
There are only two types of corgis: the Pembroke Welsh corgi and the Cardigan Welsh corgi. In 1928, when the Kennel Club formally recognized them, they were put under the single umbrella of “Welsh Corgis.” Before this, they were always considered distinct from each other. The reason they had ever been differentiated from one another prior to this is that people knew that the two kinds of corgis came from different ancestors. The fact that the two types of corgis manage to look quite similar, although coming from different backgrounds, is the consequence of crossbreeding between the two during the 1800s. The Pembroke Walsh Corgi differs from the Cardigan Welsh Corgi in appearance as the Pembroke stand straighter, have smaller ears, and are not as long as the Cardigan. Their most obvious physical difference is their tails. Pembrokes have barely any tail, as opposed to the Cardigan that has a bushy tail that resembles that of a fox.
The Cardigan is the older breed of the two. They were discovered for the first time in Wales in 1200 BCE when a tribe of Celts brought them over to Cardiganshire. The “Cardigan” in Cardiganshire is where they got their name from. Corgis during this time were members of the Teckel hound group, which today also includes the dachshund.
Putting the two breeds into one category the way the Kennel Club did quickly led to favoritism of one kind to the other from judges. This ended up causing many conflicts at dog shows, which led the breeds to be officially given their individual names in 1934. Pembrokes and Cardigan corgis may have several differences when it comes to their physical appearance, but they have been said to have very similar personalities. Thesmartcanine.com states that “both the Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis are affectionate, loyal and alert dogs. Because they’re herding dogs, they have a ton of energy that needs to be dealt with.”
7Pembrokes Are People Pleasers with Large Personalities
As breeding dogs, Pembrokes are prone to run after anything they see coming. If they get used to this habit, they are never going to interact well with other animals or young children. Having a lack of interaction with other animals causes corgis to become anti-social, which is rare for them. Surrounding them with other animals from a young age turns them into social butterflies as they grow up. Pembrokes are believed to have a good sense of humor, which continues to demonstrate their ability to be great friends.
If all Pembrokes were the same astrology sign, they would definitely be Leos. These dogs never want to miss anything, so they are always where all the action is occurring. They have big egos for tiny bodies and are sure to let you know of it. To implement their power while they’re herding, they show off their speed. This shows all the animals larger than them who’s in charge. Their small size also allows them to bite the farm animals on the heels and then get to the ground to avoid their incoming responses.
They desire attention so severely that they begin digging and chewing anything in their sight if they are left alone for too long. So, if you’re considering getting this type of pup, make sure you have the time to commit to them. Pembrokes are the perfect canines for bringing to your office is its dog-friendly. If you did so, everyone you share a workspace would thank you for bringing in a fluffy stress-reliever.
6Some Corgis Have Taken Their Fame to New Heights
During the beginnings of Amazon.com, the editor-in-chief and primary engineer brought his Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Rufus into work every day. Rufus became a celebrity in the Amazon office. He spent his days strutting down the halls, going to his owner’s meeting, and taking naps whenever he felt like it. Rufus’ owner bringing him to work every day led to Rufus becoming the unofficial mascot for Amazon. Since this time, all Amazon offices have allowed dogs in their workspace.
Ralph, a corgi from North Carolina, became famous thanks to the fact that his owners made him an Instagram account a few years ago. Now, he has 238,000 followers, which is more than most of us can say. Ralph’s page is not merely full of cute pictures of him, though. His owners photograph their two infants’ growth through Ralph’s perspective. His Instagram handle is @ralphthecorgi – and his content is worth spending hours of your day lurking.
Another corgi that has is a pop culture star is Ein, the corgi in Cowboy Bebop. During the early years of the show, Ein played a leading role. He may be an anime character, but he still helps continue corgis’ praised name. Cowboy Bebop fans say the show correctly depicts the intelligence of corgis, especially consider Ein is a corgi with excellent computer skills in it. Some corgis have computer skills, and some get named the first dog of California. Sutter Brown is the lucky corgi to have received this title. His owner, Jerry Brown, is the governor of California and he brings Sutter almost everywhere he goes. The governor even used pictures of Sutter on his campaigns, which is sure to have helped raise the number of votes he received in the 2010 election. Sutter is now lucky enough to be one of the best-known dogs in the United States.
5Pembrokes Require A Lot of Care
Corgis are not the easiest of dogs to take care of due to how much grooming they require on a day to day basis. The daily care they need includes being groomed, exercising, having their teeth checked, and their toenails clipped.
Beyond their need for grooming and exercise, it is also necessary that Pembrokes take many trips to the veterinarian’s office to get the essential vaccinations to help reduce their chances of getting diseases. They must also be fed an adequate diet to ensure that they never reach obesity, although such occurs very often with Pembrokes. Pembrokes are great at persuading people into giving them all kinds of different food, so they need to be watched for this. The few extra treats that wouldn’t hurt a human could lead a corgi towards health risks. Once owners get into the routine of making sure their corgi is properly taken care of at all times, they get to enjoy having a happy and healthy pup around.
4Welsh Fairy Tales Say Pembroke Welsh Corgis Are “Enchanted” Dogs
Welsh legends tell us that corgis were once what fairies used to get around. Fairies are assumed to have ridden corgis as a mode of transportation in the same way humans once used horses. Although it’s nearly impossible to find which Welsh legend actually mentions this, the thought has managed to transcend, which says something.
The poem “Corgi Fantasy” by the English author Anne G. Biddlecombe is one of the first discovered sources to have mentioned the relation between fairies and corgis. In this poem, two children bring home what they thought were two foxes, but their father assures them that they are dogs. The man tells his children that they are in fact corgis and that corgis are friends with fairies. He proves this to them by showing them the fairy saddle marks around their shoulders.
The people who believe in this folklore say that the lighter spots found on both sides of Pembrokes’ withers were once “fairy saddles.” These markings actually occur from the different thicknesses and directions their fur grows in, but the image of a fairy holding onto a corgi’s shoulders is hard not to visualize after someone tells you about it. Modern people see the magic inside this dog breed as well. There is a list of books and paintings released in the last century that depict non-dog lovers making an exception for corgis. Whether or not this means that they’re “enchanted,” or just precious, cannot be proven – so that one is up to you.
3Pembrokes Are an Intelligent Dog Breed
Pembrokes are known for being brilliant animals. They are people pleasers, which makes it extremely easy to train them. They are rapid learners thanks to their great memories. If instructed by the right person, corgis could probably do anything.
Their intelligence was recognized in Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs, where they were given 11th place for the most intelligent breed of dog. Coren’s intelligence ranking was based on each dog breed’s willingness to obey, problem-solving skills, socialness, alertness, and memory.
Corgis’ high alertness at all times, which helped raise their score in Coren’s study, is what makes them excellent watchdogs. In his book, Coren warns dog owners that the smarter their pup is, the more likely they are to try and manipulate them. Since corgis want nothing but to please their owners, it is uncommon that they play tricks on them. The main time a corgi tries to persuade people into doing what they want is when it comes to food. Since their owners typically have them on strict diets because of their high risk of obesity, they take advantage of newcomers when they sit around the dinner table.
Beyond the forms of intelligence that Coren rated them on, Pembrokes also show signs of high emotional intelligence. Corgis are known for being able to tell when their owners or any humans in their presence are upset or sick. Corgis stay these people’s sides to make sure they are alright. Their ability to pick up on people’s behavior proves that they are no typical breed of dog.
2Pembrokes Commonly Suffer from Numerous Diseases Because of Their Dwarf Bodies
It is uncertain where exactly the term “corgi” comes from, but there are a few assumptions. In Celtic, the prefix “cor” means dog, and the suffix “gi” means dog. So, the Irish referred to them as dwarf dogs. Unfortunately, the Celtics chosen titles for these dogs is the reason they have so many health problems. Pembrokes are achondroplastic, which means their bodies are legitimately dwarfed.
Pembrokes live 12 to 15 years on average and reach their full size by the age of one, but it happens that some continue to grow until two or three years old. The reason this life expectancy isn’t as high as other dog breeds is mostly because of their susceptibility to a long list of diseases. According to Pembrokecorgi.org, “Pembrokes can suffer from monorchidism, Von Willebrand’s disease, hip dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy (DM), and inherited eye problems such as progressive retinal atrophy. Genetic testing is available for Pembroke Welsh Corgis to avoid these issues and enhance the genetic health pool.” Another one of their misfortunes is that many of them suffer from obesity, as previously mentioned because herding breeds have massive appetites.
1Queen Elizabeth II Has Had Corgis Since She Was A Little Girl
One of the birthday gifts Queen Elizabeth II received from her father, King George VI, during her youth was a Pembroke Welsh Corgi as a pet. From that moment forward, the Queen had a deep-rooted love for the breed. This corgi that she received became the first royal corgi and was given the name “Dookie” from Elizabeth herself. Soon after getting Dookie, young Elizabeth received Jane, her second corgi. Once living in the same house, Jane and Dookie rapidly became parents to a litter of corgi puppies. The Queen’s father only allowed her to keep two of the puppies from that litter.
Over five years ago, the Queen stopped breeding corgis with hopes not to leave a corgi behind after she passes away. On April 18th, 2018, Willow, her last corgi passed away. Queen Elizabeth II has now had over 30 corgis during her lifetime. Although she no longer has any purebred corgis, she still lives with her two dorgis, Vulcan and Candy, which are a mix of dachshund and corgi. The Queen received these dorgis after her corgis cross-bred with Princess Margaret’s dachshund Pipkin. In 2007, the Queen had a total of 14 dogs, made up of corgis, cocker spaniels, and dorgis. There is no doubt that the Queen prefers dogs over cats.
The royal corgis are known around the world because of the piece of art they appear in. Queen Elizabeth II has had the top artists paint her and her dogs together. Besides paintings, the royal corgis also show up in a number of statues. An abundance of pictures of the royal corgis with the Queen can be found online. So, the next time you see 40 consecutive photos of corgis come up on your newsfeed, you can thank the Queen for their popularity.
If you are searching for the best-friend relationship between dog and owner, you’re sure to find it with a Pembroke. They spend all of their time making sure you’re happy, safe, and loved.
The sad truth that none of us wanted to hear is that corgis shed immense amounts, which means their fur is likely to get everywhere in your home. This may serve as a difficult thing for some owners to deal with, so keeping this fact about them in mind is necessary. Another vital thing to be mindful of before adopting a Pembroke is that they require a lot of exercises, so you must be willing to help them do so. Always watching them for obesity issues must be in the back of your mind at all times. Although these dogs are athletic, their tiny bodies can keep up with their massive appetites.
While this may sound stressful, exercise is as good for you as it is for your potential new corgi! Walks with your new dog are therapeutic. If you have a lot of free time, or time you’d give up spending it with your pup, then a Pembroke would love you. The American Kennel Club gave Pembroke Welsh Corgis 20th place as the most popular dog breed back in 2015. Now, only four short years later, they have undoubtedly climbed their way up this list. Beyond Queen Elizabeth II’s influence, their tiny tails and big smiles are surely what keep them winning people over time and time again.