Celebrating the Corgi
The Queen has been very much in our thoughts over the last few weeks, following her sad passing on the 8th September. Now as the period of mourning comes to a close and the royals look to their future, we are going to take a moment to celebrate the dog-loving monarch’s favourite pooches and explain why more people should consider owning a Corgi.
Last year we wrote about the Kennel Club’s most Vulnerable Native Breeds – the pedigree dogs that are waning in popularity and face the risk of disappearing if more people don’t step up and keep them as pets. Just outside of the top ten in the list - rather surprisingly -was the Corgi. A firm favourite in the Royal household for almost a hundred years these wonderful dogs do sometimes get a bad press, so we were very excited to see that this year, the Kennel Cub reported that Corgi registrations are finally on the rise, but what makes these little dogs so special?
Corgi Photo by Pixabay
Types of Corgi
What many people don’t realise is that there are two types of Corgi – the Pembroke Welsh Corgi (favoured by the Queen) and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. But how can you tell the difference?
Physically, Pembroke Welsh Corgis are less stocky, they have slightly rounded ears and white markings. Cardigan Welsh Corgis are stockier, their ears are bigger and slightly pointed and they are more likely to come in a variety of colours variations, with a black mask, brindle, merle or tan flecked coats. But the biggest difference is their tail.
The breed standard for Pembroke Corgis requires them to have their tail docked, so in most cases they will have a short stumpy tail a bit like a guinea pig. If you see a Corgi, the chances are it is a Pembroke Corgi as - perhaps owing to their lack of Royal endorsement – Cardigan Corgis are considerably rarer – but if you see a Corgi with a tail, the chances are it’s a Cardigan Corgi.
Corgis were originally bred to herd cattle in Wales which means despite their short stature they have lots of stamina, they enjoy being outdoors and are happy, loving and intelligent. They are definitely not lap dogs and they will not snap at your heels (unless you’re a cow). They have a reputation for being difficult to train (although some breeders dispute this) and are known for being wilful, stubborn and independent but perhaps this is why the Queen loved them so! They also make excellent guard dogs because they are very ‘on the ball’ and possess a magnificent deep bark.
Photo by Fatty Corgi on Unsplash
The Queen’s Corgis
In 1933, the Queen’s father King George VI presented the family with a Chestnut-coloured Corgi named Dookie (also a Green Day album) which he had bought from a breeder in Surrey. Young Elizabeth was just 7 years old when Dookie arrived and thus began her lifelong love affair with the breed. 11 years later, on her 18th birthday, she received a Corgi of her own. She named the dog Susan and almost all of her Corgis over the years have been descended from that one dog. A canine bloodline spanning 14 doggy generations. It is estimated that the Queen owned more than 30 Corgis during her lifetime and the most that she owned at the same time was 13. Where possible she liked to feed them herself, although she wasn’t always able to train them and sometimes hired a trainer to help. She also bred several ‘Dorgis,’ a cross between a Dachshund and a Corgi.
Following her death, the Queen’s two remaining Corgis, Muick (pronounced Mick) and Sandy have been adopted by Prince Andrew who will be looking after them in Windsor. As far as we know, King Charles and Camilla won’t be continuing the Corgi tradition as they have two Jack Russel Terriers named Beth and Bluebell whom they adopted from Battersea Dogs and Cats home in 2017.
Dreaming Corgi photo by Javon Swabyon Pexels
Fancy getting yourself a Corgi?
Despite being initially bred for herding, Corgis really do make wonderful, loving and loyal pets, whilst they retain their working instinct they don’t need as much exercise as other herding breeds - such as the Border Collie - and they do not require a great deal of food, although they may tell you otherwise! Despite their short legs they love to play, enjoy long walks in the countryside and they don’t mind mud or puddles. Some fans of the breed describe them as ‘up for anything.’
According to Metro the Corgi-owning community have described the Queen’s death as losing part of their world and there is some concern that this already rare breed could fade into obscurity. If you own a Corgi we’d love to hear about your experience and why more people should own one – let us know about your dog in the comments section below!
Main photo: Adventurous Corgi Photo by Y Tsui on Unsplash