Welsh Corgi – Pembroke & Cardigans

Welsh Corgi originates from Wales, United Kingdom. Corgi translates to “Dwarf Dog” in Welsh. In this context, it refers to small sized herding dog. There are two breeds of Welsh Corgi – Cardigan Welsh Corgi and Pembroke Welsh Corgi. The Celtics brought with them, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Pembroke breed is believed to be brought to Welsh territory by Flemings in 10th Century. The similarities seen in these two breeds are attributed to centuries of interbreeding. Cardigans are now listed in the Vulnerable Native Breeds of Kennel Club. Pembroke Welsh Corgis on the other hand are quite popular throughout the world.

Herding breed from Wales

Welsh Corgis have served as herding dogs, to monitor cattle. They are quick and agile. They are commonly referred to as “heelers” in farmlands. They would nip at the heels of the cattle to keep them moving. Their speed and rolls save them from getting hit by the rear leg of cattle. Both the Pembroke and Cardigan counties in Welsh were agricultural areas for such long time. Both of them are adjoining counties in the Southwest of Welsh. There has been various tales of Corgi’s origin, including a few mythological ones. For similarities in appearance, some claim they could have been Dachshunds too.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a social media star in the U.S. It is a part of the Royal family in U.K. The short sturdy breed with strong personality has 1000 years of documented history. The breed set foot and got registered outside Wales, only less than a century ago. Pembroke Corgis can herd sheep, fowl, horses and cattle. They drew cattle around the field and turkeys to the market. If anyone happened to steal them till 1800s they faced tall penalties of ancient Welsh laws. They were such valuable dogs during that time.

The Spitz connection

They are the smallest herding dogs according to AKC. They have been herding dogs for centuries. They gather cattle and livestock together. Thanks largely to its double layer coat, these Corgis are rain proof. The short thick inner coat is hidden by coarse longer outer coat. Pembroke descended from Northern Spitz dogs. Its nearest relative is off course the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Siberian husky is its bigger cousin. For fact, the Cardigans and Pembroke were considered as one breed under Welsh Corgi. It was only later, the differences were officially recognized.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi vs. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

There are clearly defined similarities and dissimilarities between Cardigans and Pembroke Welsh Corgis. Cardigans are bigger with bigger bounds and bigger ears. Cardigans are more rounded and Pembroke are more pointed. Cardigans are slightly longer in length than Pembroke. Pembroke is a more popular breed than Cardigan. Both of these breeds are fox-like. Since they were considered as one breed, they were freely interbred. The Welsh Corgis you see today feature just 100 years of evolution. It’s hard to see exclusively ancient or native breed attributes in them. Both the breeds have mythical tales for origins in SW Welsh territory.