Did you know that Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite dog breed is the Pembroke Welsh Corgi? You may have seen these little balls of fluff walking beside her on their short legs in photographs or even in statues commemorating the queen.
Her affection for Corgis is shared by thousands of people around the country, as they are ranked number 13 on the list of AKC breed popularity. It’s no wonder that they are so popular, as they are known for their lively and agreeable personality.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is totally a dog that just stepped out of a fairy tale. I mean look at him! Those huge ears and tiny legs are to die for!
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is associated with fairy tales. According to Welsh legend, elves and fairies used these dogs to pull fairy carriages and even rode atop their fluffy shoulders.
So the next time you see a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, be sure to check that gorgeous coat for traces of magical fairy dust!
(Or just sprinkle some glitter on his back and ooh your kids!)
If you are interested in adopting a Corgi of your own, read on to learn everything you need about this lovable and adorable breed.
The legendary origins of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi are traced back to the discovery of a pair of Corgi puppies by two Welsh children.
They originally thought the dogs were foxes.
When they brought them back home, the children claimed the dogs were a gift from fairies.
According to legend, fairies would ride the dogs into battle or use them to pull carts. If you look closely, you can even see marks left from the fairy saddles on their shoulders. As the dogs grew, they developed a knack for watching over cattle.
The non-fairy legend traces Corgi history back to the 9th century when Scandinavian raiders were said to bring their dogs, Swedish Vallhums, to the British Isles.
Scholars believe that these Swedish Vallhums were then bred with native Welsh dogs.
Flemish weavers who moved to Pembrokeshire, South Wales during the 12th century also bred their dogs with the local cattle dogs.
The descendants of both these lines share many of the characteristics that the modern Pembroke Welsh Corgi carry today.
Are Pembroke Welsh Corgis Good Family Dogs?
Welsh Corgis are known to be adaptable to new surroundings and easy to live with. Experts often say that they are good family dogs for the right family. In other words:
Families whose habits and ideas for what they want out of their relationships with their pets that align well with a Corgi’s temperament and needs are sure to be a good fit for a Corgi.
Because they were bred to herd, Corgis tend to be naturally bossy and aggressive. As a result, they are not recommended for families with children under 5.
They may even try to nip at the heels of young children in an attempt to herd them. Corgis also do not respond well to being squeezed or tugged on.
That being said, they can get along with older children. However, an adult should still be around to supervise them.
Corgis can be wonderful assets to households that are prepared to provide an adequate diet and exercise schedule for them.
While they are small, they have a lot of energy and will get bored if they are not mentally stimulated enough.
They also tend to gain weight easily, which can be stressful on their small frames.
A consistent training schedule is necessary for raising an obedient dog, as they can be pretty stubborn when they want to be.
As long as you are able to put in the effort to properly take care of your Corgi, you will spend years of happy memories with your furry friend.
You might be wondering what the best food for a Pembroke Welsh Corgi is.
Because of their high-energy and active lifestyles, they will need a high-quality diet filled with lots of protein and fat that can sustain them. Corgis should be fed twice a day; however, when they are puppies, they can eat three meals a day.
When choosing a food to purchase for your Corgi, look for these ingredients on the package labels:
- Two or three meat proteins that are one of the first ingredients listed on the label, they can either be whole meats, such as whole chicken, fish, or lamb or meat meals, which are a concentrated form of meat whose moisture has been removed.
- Fat sources from chicken or fish oil, which provides beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.
Meanwhile, you should avoid these ingredients:
Corgis actually shed a lot thanks to their double coats.
You might even want to invest in a vacuum that specializes in picking up dogs hairs.
At least once a year, usually in the spring, they will shed their undercoats. During this time period, you should groom your Corgi every day until he is finished blowing his coat out.
We recommend using a metal comb with medium to wide-spaced teeth followed by another comb with closely spaced teeth for several grooming sessions a week.
During these sessions, you should check your Corgi’s skin for redness, irritation, and bald spots.
Corgis don’t need to be bathed frequently. However, baths can help speed up your Corgi’s shedding process while he is blowing his coat out.
Corgis need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to keep themselves happy. At least an hour each day should be set apart for these pups to be able to stretch their legs and their brains.
If they aren’t given enough physical activity, they may turn to chewing household objects and digging holes into the ground in an effort to fight off boredom.
Plus, Corgis tend to put on weight easily, so daily exercise is vital for keeping them at an appropriate weight.
Unfortunately, a 10-minute walk around the neighborhood isn’t going to be enough exercise for a Corgi. So try mixing things up with jogging or a game of fetch.
You can even try doing some strenuous aerobic exercise, such as running on a treadmill or swimming with your Corgi.
Food-dispensing toys are a popular item among Corgi-owners, as they are perfect for exercising his mind.
Corgis are extremely intelligent and love mental challenges. However, they are also very strong-willed and can be difficult to train as a result.
Sometimes, they even test their owners to see what they let them get away with.
But as long as you maintain a consistent training schedule and stand your ground when you discipline them, you can successfully train them to be obedient dogs.
Early socializing is also important for helping your Corgi adjust to new environments while teaching him not to be fearful around strangers. If they are not properly socialized, they might develop aggressive traits as they age.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi Health Issues
Pembroke Welsh Corgis are a generally healthy dog breed and have an average life expectancy of 12 – 14 years.
They are prone to certain health conditions, just like any other breed. Before purchasing a Corgi puppy from a breeder, make sure you ask them if your potential puppy’s line has a history of any health conditions.
The most common health conditions associated with Corgis include:
- Hip dysplasia
- Progressive Retinal atrophy (PRA)
- Retinal Dysplasia
- Von Willebrand disease
- Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
- Intervertebral disc disease
- Cutaneous Asthenia
- Patent Ducust Arteriosus (PDA)
Things to Know About Pembroke Welsh Corgis
1. The Number One Thing to Know: Corgis are Famous for Their Signature Sploot
You may have seen photos of a Corgi laying flat on their stomachs with their hind legs stretched out behind them on Instagram or YouTube.
We have your back, if not:
This is what internet fans have called, “the sploot”.
There are even several variations of the pose:
- Sometimes only one back leg is extended.
- Sometimes the hind legs are placed on one side.
- Sometimes, the Corgi lays down in a full pancake in which all four of his legs are fully extended out.
- There is even the reverse sploot, where the dog is on his back.
2. Legend Has it That They Used to Serve Fairies
According to Welsh legend, Corgis used to serve fairies.
Two warring fairy tribes, the Tywyth Teg, and the Gwyllion used to ride on the backs of Corgis into battles.
They would also use the dogs for cart pulling and carriage riding.
The two children mentioned earlier in the article stumbled upon a Tywyth Teg funeral, where the fairies gifted the dogs owned by the departed warriors to them to use for herding.
3. They are NOT the Same as the Cardigan Welsh Corgi
There are subtle differences between the two types of corgis:
- One obvious feature that differentiates the two is the lack of tail on the Pembroke.
- Pembrokes also tend to have pointier ears compared to the rounded ears of a Cardigan Welsh Corgi.
The American Kennel Club actually used to lump the two breeds together until 1934.
Judges would often favor one breed over the other, leading to controversies and tension between the two breeds at dog shows.
4. A Pembroke Welsh Corgi Named Rufus Used to be the Mascot for Amazon
Amazon’s former editor-in-chief and principal engineer used to take Rufus with him to the office every day.
Back then, he was known as “Amazon’s shortest volunteer worker”.
Rufus usually spent his time roaming the hallways, sitting in on meetings, or napping in his crate. Amazon customers loved Rufus and would often send him gifts.
Rufus passed away on May 27, 2009, and his memory is still treasured by employees and fans around the world.
5. Queen Elizabeth II Owned More Than 30 Corgis Over the Course of Her Lifetime
The first royal Corgi, Dookie, was brought into the family in 1933.
Around a decade later, the Queen received her own Pembroke Corgi, Susan, for her 18th birthday. Susan gave birth to a pair of puppies in 1949, initiating a 14-generation dynasty of royal corgis.
The Queen’s Corgis slept in their own rooms and were fed food that was prepared by a personal chef.
Queen Elizabeth II bred Corgis into her old age until she stopped out of fear that she might accidentally trip over one.
The Queen’s last Corgi, Whisper, passed away in October of 2018. However, Candy and Vulcan, who are both dachshund and corgi mixes, still roam around the royal palace today.
6. Sutter Brown, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, was Named California’s First Dog in 2010
Governor Jerry Brown’s Corgi, Sutter Brown, was given the title after the former was sworn into the Senate.
Everyone in the California Capitol loved him and were more than happy to give him a good belly rub every now and then.
Sutter even had his own Twitter account, which accumulated over 11,000 followers. Sadly, after battling cancer for several months, Sutter passed away at the age of 13 in 2016.
7. They Are Surprisingly Fast
Don’t be fooled by their little legs:
Welsh Corgis can run twice as fast as sheep and cattle!
There are even Corgi racing events every year, which are overseen by a Corgi racing society.
8. They Need to be Exercised Regularly as They Can Put on Weight Easily
Corgis love to eat. They would probably keep eating whatever is put in front of them if you don’t stop them.
Not only do you need to give him a balanced diet, but you should also be exercising him at least twice a day.
To see if your Corgi is overweight, move your hands over their ribs and see if you can feel them. If you can’t, your dog might be a little on the heavy side.
9. Welsh Settlements Enacted Heavy Penalties for Thieves Who Were Found Guilty of Stealing a Corgi
Corgis were prized for their loyalty and herding skills.
So much so, that several laws were placed in early Welsh settlements which would severely penalize anyone caught stealing one.
10. A Company Cleverly Used Corgis to Predict the Name of Kate and William’s Second Child
Back in 2015, before Princess Charlotte was born, the Ladbrokes, a U.K.-based online betting and gaming company, held a race to predict what the then-unknown baby’s name would be.
10 Corgis lined up next to each other wearing sashes that had potential royal baby names written on them.
The Corgi wearing the Alexandra sash won.
11. SoCal Corgi Beach Day is Held Three Times a Year on Huntington Beach
If you love Corgis and a good day on the beach, this festival may interest you: over 1,000 Corgis attend beach day along with 8,000 of their human friends and fans.
Food trucks, live music, vendors, meet-and-greets, and giveaways accompany the event, making it a full-fledged festival that everyone can enjoy.
The beach days are typically held during the spring, summer, and fall. And the event is completely free!
Don’t worry if you don’t have a Corgi, owners of dogs that aren’t Corgis as well as humans who don’t currently own a dog are more than welcome to attend.
That being said, your dog must be on a leash when entering and exiting the beach, which is not fenced in. The event owners also advise against bringing in a puppy who is less than four months old. And if your dog has never attended a dog beach before, this festival may not be the best first introduction for him.
12. Some Corgis Are Born Without Tails
Some Pembroke Corgis are actually born without tails, or with tails that are naturally short.
If owners end up docking their tails, they do it to either follow historical tradition or conform to the Breed Standard set by the AKC. According to the AKC, tails should be docked to no longer, or shorter, than 2 inches.
This tradition has, of course, come with its own share of controversy.
Some dog registries actually forbid tail docking. In 2008, the American Veterinary Medical Association spoke out against tail docking done for cosmetic reasons.
13. They Worked Alongside Vikings
Did you know that Corgis have been around for over 3,000 years?
It is believed that these little pups accompanied THE Vikings as they traveled across the pond to Wales.
14. Even the Name of the Corgi Has Interesting Origins
It is said that the Corgi name can be divided into cor and gi for Welsh translations.
In Welsh, “cor” translates to “dwarf” and “gi” translates to dog. So, in short, Corgi means “dwarf dog” in Welsh.
Considering the Corgi’s short stature, this translation is more than fitting for these adorable dogs!
15. They Are Talented Herders and Watch Dogs
Believe it or not, Corgis were actually bred to be herders and watchdogs.
In fact, their jobs as cattle herders began as early as the 10th century. Because pastures were not separated by fences, farmers needed a method for keeping their cattle in line.
That’s where the Pembroke Corgi comes in.
Their fast legs and short statures made them perfect for nipping at the cattle’s legs to keep them in line while avoiding their retaliatory kicks.
Their attentive nature also makes them great watchdogs.
Thanks to their acute hearing, Corgis can detect any potential intruder to their homes. And while they may be small, their voices can be quite loud and intimidating.
16. Corgis Come in All Sorts of Colors
Corgis come in five Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America (PWCCA) recognized colors.
White markings may or may not accompany their main coats.