Has a cute Corgi caught your eye? There are good reasons why these plucky pooches are Queen Elizabeth’s favourite. Among the oldest (and shortest) of all English dog breeds, they make friendly additions to any family. It also rates highly on intelligence, and will bring character and joy to your home.
In recognition of International Corgi Day (yes, it’s a thing – 4 June), let’s delve a little into this wonderful dog breed.
Types of Corgis
Properly speaking, there are two recognised Corgi breeds, both of Welsh origin (in fact, Corgi derives from Welsh for ‘small dog’). There’s the Pembrokeshire and then there’s the Cardigan. The main difference in these diminutive doggos is in the tail: Cardigans have them, Pembrokeshires do not.
Believe it or not, even with those little legs, the Corgi was bred for herding cattle. This has a direct influence on their personality, and you can expect a Corgi to be trainable, faithful, and vigilant guardians. What they lack in stature, they make up for in voice, with a loud (and sometimes frequent) bark.
A properly socialised Corgi is great with the children and will get on well with other pets. And did we mention cattle herding? They’re athletic and full of beans with a keen appreciation for regular exercise, which should extend past physical activity to mental stimulation.
History of Corgis
The Corgi is an ancient breed with a lineage that goes back nearly a thousand years. The first Corgis are believed to have originated from the region now known as Belgium, coming in with Flemish folks seeking a new life in western Britain.
Both the Pembrokeshire and Cardigans were shown for the first time under the rules of The Kennel Club in 1925. The Corgi Club was founded the same year in Wales. There was some argy-bargy over the differences in appearance, with the Club favouring the tailless Pembrokeshire. A separate club for the Cardigan appeared soon after.
Despite their popularity with royalty, the Corgi has fallen out of favour in the United Kingdom in recent years. However, the breed remains popular elsewhere, with their distinctive appearance and highly desirable characteristics adding to their broad appeal.
That’s been helped by appearances on TV, in particular Brooklyn Nine. Indeed, the Corgi is growing in popularity in the United States.
While generally vigorous and healthy pups, like other breeds, these short-legged cuties are prone to certain conditions and diseases. None of which should be a deal breaker, especially if you have pet insurance protection from the beginning.
These issues include hip dysplasia (like German Shepherds), eye problems such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), retinal dysplasia and persistent pupillary membranes, and hypothyroidism. As with any breed, being aware of potential problems means being equipped to look out for and treat them in good time.
As they say, knowledge is power. And with these dogs, power (even with those short little legs) is not a foreign concept!
Corgi – over to you
Do you have, or have you had, a Corgi? What are your favourite things about them? Let us know in the comments.