|The Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America wants to help you in your search for the perfect companion by giving you some basic background information about Pembroke Welsh Corgis.
Legend has it that the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is an "enchanted" dog, and certainly this must be true! 'Tis said he was used by the fairies and elves of Wales to pull fairy coaches, work fairy cattle, and serve as a steed for the fairy warriors. Even today those people with keen eyes and understanding hearts may see the marks of the "fairy saddle" in the coat over the shoulders.
Pembrokes have been used by the Welsh as herding dogs, family companions, and guardians of the farm. They continue today to be workers and companions for their owners. It is believed that their ancestry dates back to at least the tenth century. It is unknown whether they are descended from the Vallhunds (Swedish cattle dogs possibly brought to Pembrokeshire by the Vikings) or from the ancestors of the present-day Schipperkes and Pomeranians that were brought to Wales by Flemish weavers.
In the 1920's Corgis were recognized as pure-bred dogs in the United Kingdom. In 1934 the Pembroke and Cardigan Corgis were recognized by the English Kennel Club as separate breeds. American Kennel Club recognition of the two distinct breeds also occurred in that same year.
Pembrokes are sensitive and intelligent dogs. They are easily trained as long as training is done with gentle handling and without severe physical correction. They are healthy and long-lived dogs and are excellent companions for either rural or urban families.
Pembrokes require a proper diet and regular medical care with yearly vaccinations for protection against diseases. Owners who have taken proper care of their dogs are usually rewarded with their Pembrokes living a long and active life. Proper pet care also includes regular exercise, grooming, a regular check of the dog's teeth, and toenail trimming.
Please don't allow your Pembroke to become overweight. A thinner dog will live a longer, happier, healthier life. Pembrokes are great con-artists. Don't believe them! And don't believe what the dog food bag says about how much to feed. Always feed a good name brand-not generic food. Avoid table scraps and extra treats.
Though your Pembroke might be obedient, no dog should ever be allowed to run free. The modern world is an extremely hazardous place for inquisitive dogs. Although the Pembroke is not a toy breed, his compact size is a disadvantage if he is confronted by a larger dog. If you do not have a fenced yard, your dog will certainly need several daily walks. He is an energetic dog, and too much inactivity just might cause him to think up unacceptable activities for himself!
Basic obedience training is strongly recommended by the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America. This training is best when it teaches you how to teach your dog. The time you spend in training, especially during the first year of your pet's life, will be repaid many times over by giving you a well-behaved companion, one that is bonded to you and your family for the rest of his life.
Today Pembrokes are seen in many areas of dog activities. Many of their competitions are sanctioned by the American Kennel Club. They are worked in obedience, herding, and tracking. Agility training and competition are fairly new in this country and Pembrokes and owners are enjoying the challenge. They are still used as working cattle dogs and are loyal family companions.
There is concern in the United States about dogs being abandoned or turned in to shelters because the owner no longer wants to care for the animal. In some cases, the owner has discovered that the dog has a physical or temperament problem, very often the result of irresponsible breeding.
The breeding of dogs is a serious responsibility. Through the years a Breed Standard for Pembroke Welsh Corgis has been developed. It is an approved, written description of the ideal Pembroke: how it should move, look, and act. This Breed Standard is used by conscientious and knowledgeable breeders to evaluate how closely they approach the ideal in producing quality Pembroke Welsh Corgis.
Pembrokes that are found to deviate to some extent from the Standard in appearance, size, action, temperament, or that have known hereditary defects, are not used for breeding by responsible breeders. These dogs are spayed or neutered. The use of such a Pembroke for breeding is evidence of careless, unknowing, and unconcerned breeding.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America strongly recommends that you spay or neuter your Pembroke. Most responsible breeders require this by selling their pet Pembrokes with spay/neuter contracts. There are several important reasons for this recommendation:
As Pembrokes have become more popular, some owners have been tempted to breed them in misguided efforts to make a profit. If you are able to make a profit breeding and selling Pembrokes, you are not doing it with the care and concern that you should be exercising! This "uncaring production" of animals is not beneficial to the breed, and is most often harmful. Only quality Pembrokes should be bred by knowledgeable breeders in an effort to improve the breed. Careless and uninformed breeding will only serve to harm those virtues and characteristics we value most in Corgis.
The American Kennel Club permits dogs that have been spayed or neutered to participate in all phases of obedience, tracking, herding, and agility competitions. Only animals that are capable of reproducing are able to be shown in conformation shows.
Finally, if the day should come when you can no longer keep your Pembroke (for whatever reason: divorce, moving to a no-pet apartment, death in the family, etc.) what should you do? The Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America urges you NEVER to take your Pembroke to an Animal Shelter. You should contact the breeder of your Pembroke. This is one of the reasons that responsible breeders want to stay in touch with their buyers. If that is not successful, or if you cannot locate the breeder, then contact Breed Rescue. Sometimes the local shelter knows who the Breed Rescue contact person is in their area for Pembrokes. If they do not, then please contact your regional Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club, a local all-breed kennel club or obedience club, or the American Kennel Club (51 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010).
If you would like additional information about Pembroke Welsh Corgis, please refer to our Publications pages. In this section you will find several books that have proven to be very helpful.