The Pembroke Welsh Corgi, known for being the royal pets of Queen Elizabeth II, was first used by farmers in South Wales to herd cattle, sheep, and ponies. They are a friendly breed of dog that are still used today as herders. These dogs also make good house pets, but require daily exercise and brushing. They are closely related to Cardigan Welsh Corgis; an easy way to tell the two apart is by their tails. Pembroke Corgis have no tails, while the Cardigans do.
Where does the Pembroke Welsh Corgi come from?
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi’s origins are masked in tales and folklore. As the story goes, two children were watching their family's cattle and found a pair of puppies, which they thought were foxes. They brought the puppies home, where they were told the dogs were a gift from the fairies. (According to Welsh legend fairies would use Pembroke Welsh Corgis to pull carriages or as steeds in battle.) As the children’s little puppies grew, they would learn to help family watch over the cattle.
A more likely story is that the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is descended from the Scandinavian raiders’ dogs, the Swedish Vallhund, they had with them at British Isles, possibly as far back as the 9th or 10th century. The Swedish Vallhund has many similarities to the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. The idea is that the Swedish Vallhund breed with the native Welsh dogs. The dogs’ herding ability would be bred into them. Another theory is that the dogs brought over with Flemish weavers, who settled in Pembrokeshire, South Wales in the 12th century, bred with local cattle dogs. This might have added the Spitz characteristics to the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
Where does the word corgi come from?
Another part of the Pembroke Welsh’s origin that is mixed with different tales is its name. One story says that corgi is a mix of the words "cor," which means "to watch over" with "gi," the Welsh word for dog. Another one says that the word corgi is the Celtic word for dog. The last story, and my favorite, is that corgi is a mixture of the word “cor” meaning "dwarf" and "gi," the Welsh word for dog. Combining them and you have "dog of the dwarfs” or "dwarf dog."
Are there any groups for corgis in Louisiana?
If you have a Corgi and live in the New Orleans area there is the New Orleans Corgi Club. This group meets a few times a year at the park for play dates. If you are interested check out their Facebook page here. Want to get a corgi? Consider getting a rescue. Most rescue dogs are in need of homes at no fault of their own. In Baton Rouge we have Cajun Corgi Rescue. Click here to link to their Facebook page.