The Pembroke Corgi was developed from the Cardigan Corgi and may also have a splattering of Keeshond, Pomeranian, Schipperkes, Lancashire Heeler and Swedish Vallhund brought to the areas around Wales in the 800s.
From this known ancestors there are varying tales of how the breed actually developed. Many breeders and experts believe that the Pembroke Welsh Corgi has definite spitz ancestors that likely were introduced to the line early on in the development of the breed.
Sometime in the 1100's Flemish weavers came to the Pembrokeshire area of Wales and brought the original Pembroke Welsh Corgis to the area. Bred with the local Swedish Vallhund descendants the breed was more completely developed. It is often reported that the short legs and stature occurred from breeding with Pomeranians, and there is somewhat of a resemblance with both this breed and the Schipperkes which may also be in the lineage, brought by Flemish weavers to Pembrokeshire, Wales, in the 12th century.
Whatever its ancestry, the foxy Pembroke has always had enormous appeal.
In 1933, the Duke of York, later to become King George VI, bought a Pembroke puppy for his daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret Rose. Later a mate was added and it is the descendants of that pair that are pets of the Royal family today.
At one time, both Corgi breeds were shown as one but Britain granted them separate status in 1934.
The Pembroke is smaller, more foxy in appearance than the Cardigan is also born tailless or has its tail docked.
Pembrokes, also called PWCs or Pems, are the smallest of the Herding Group. Pems were bred to herd cattle, sheep and horses.
Some say the older Cardigan was from Cardiganshire brought there by the Celts in 1200 BC. Whereas, the Pembroke's ancestors were introduced by Flemish weavers to the Celts in the 1100s.
Whatever, the Cardigan and the Pembroke Welsh Corgis were interbred and considered the same breed until 1934, when a show judge thought they were too different and separated them into two different breeds.
When the two breeds gained their own separate recognition of breed the Pembroke gained in popularity and to this day is more popular than its cousin the Cardigan.
Originating in Pembrokeshire, Wales, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is an enchanting dog whose background is steeped in folklore.
According to Welsh legend, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi sprang from the lairs of fairies and elves! As the legend goes, one day two children were out in the fields tending to their family's cattle when they found a couple of puppies.
The children thought they were foxes, but recognizing something different about them, bundled them up and took them home. Their parents immediately saw that the pups were not foxes, but dogs, and told their children that the pups were a gift from the fairies that lived in the fields. The fairies used them to pull their carriages and sometimes ride into battle.
As proof that Pembrokes were indeed the mounts of fairies, the parents pointed to the marks on their backs where the fairy saddle had been placed on their shoulders. The children were delighted and cherished their pups. As they grew, the dogs became treasured companions and learned to help the children take care of the family's cattle.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi were not recognized as separate breeds until about seventy years ago. Prior to that both breeds were developed for their herding and watch dog abilities. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi makes an ideal herding dog and will drop and roll to avoid being kicked. They are so low to the ground that this natural movement is very graceful and allows them to change directions and move very quickly rather than stopping or backing up as larger herding breeds will do.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi became a popular dog when Queen Elizabeth the Second started breeding and raising them herself. They have been used in many commercials and advertisements both in the United Kingdom and around the world, and the breed has become very popular since its first official showing in 1926. No longer used as much as a herding dog they are considered an ideal companion dog in almost any type of setting.
• Pembrokes are popular in the horse world, in part because of Queen Elizabeth’s love for the Corgi. • Intelligent, active and stubborn. • Even though they are a somewhat small dog these guys have a lot of enery • Require regular, solid exercise every day. • Pembrokes are known to be vocal and will bark at everything. • Love eating, prone to overeating and gaining weight. Needs to be monitored. • Housetraining can be a challenge, so crate training is advised. • Love food, so can be prone to overeating. Their feeding amounts need to be monitored. • Pembrokes are easy to train and eager to learn. • Great with children and other pets. • Pems can be ‘nippy’ towards strangers who approach them too quickly.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is an overall happy, jolly and very loyal dog that is completely devoted to the family. They are great dogs with considerate children and love to run and romp with the family. Although they are small in height they are a big dog at heart and can handle a fair amount of rough and tumble play. They can be somewhat dominant at times but with proper training and socialization this should not be a problem with the breed.
As a breed that has been developed to herd livestock, they have a natural instinct to try to keep everything that moves in a group. As puppies they may be prone to nipping at people's heels to try to get them to move in the right direction. Training and firm and consistent obedience lessons will control this tendency. Overall the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is an easy breed to train and will often learn new tricks and lessons very quickly. Since they are required to work independently they are good problem solvers but tend not to be as stubborn and independent as some of the other herding breeds. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi does not do well with highly repetitive training and should be challenged with new routines and training concepts to avoid boredom.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi will be an excellent companion dog with other pets and dogs provided they have early and constant socialization. They are natural watchdogs and will bark whenever strangers or strange dogs approach so they must be trained to stop barking on command. Occasionally males can be very dog-aggressive but neutering and socialization at early ages will usually help to minimize this behavior.
Although Pembroke Welsh Corgis are very loyal and loving to their families they are somewhat aloof with strangers and will have a natural distrust of people they don't know. These dogs will protect the family home even against larger dogs and may need to be fenced for their own safety and protection.
As with all long bodied breeds Pembroke Welsh Corgis may have Health issues with their backs in the form of intervertebral disc disease. Canine hip dysplasia is also somewhat problematic and any signs of back or leg problems should immediately be checked by a vet to prevent the situation from becoming worse. Eye problems such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Glaucoma can occasional be seen in this breed. von Willebrands Disease and Epilepsy are not commonly seen but may occasionally be found in some bloodlines. Always check the history of both the parents to check for any hereditary health concerns in the line.
The medium to short coat of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is very easy to maintain and only sheds heavily during the spring and summer sheds. For the rest of the year twice a week brushing with a wire brush or pin brush is all that is needed. It is always important to groom the dog with the direction of hair growth to remove all tangles, debris or knots. After the coat as been detangled, it is then possible to use one hand to push the coat against the direction of growth, then using the brush to get the undercoat completely free of knots. Finish with grooming with a slicker brush or pin brush for a sleek appearance.
The ears of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi should be checked for any debris or wax build up. The breed typically has few problems with ears or ear infections, but occasionally debris in the ears can lead to infections. The teeth can be cleaned during the grooming routine using a finger sleeve or dog toothbrush, this will help in preventing tartar build up or possible problems with the teeth as the dog matures.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a naturally water resistant coat and so bathing is only recommended when absolutely necessary. If you do need to bathe the Pembroke Welsh Corgi be sure to use a good quality dog shampoo that has the proper pH for a dog's hair and skin. Always ensure that all shampoo and conditioner is completely and thoroughly rinsed from both the inner and outer coats and no residue is left.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a very active dog that loves to go on long walks and romps. They do best with long and frequent exercise and need a space to be free to run and play. They can live in an apartment but ideally need a medium to large sized yard unless they can have regular scheduled exercise.
Like many of the longer frame breeds it is very important that the Pembroke Welsh Corgi stay within acceptable weight ranges. Heavier dogs are more likely to have back injuries and spinal problems and are also more likely to not want to stay active. A Pembroke Welsh Corgi should never be encouraged to jump up or down in exercise or even onto furniture as it can potentially cause injury to the back or legs.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi loves to be with people and is an ideal dog for children to play with. They are not delicate or easily frightened, and games of tug of war, hide and seek and even chase are some of their favorites. They will also do very well on a hike, regular walk or even a jog provided they are in shape and ready for strenuous exercise. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi generally loves to ride in the car and, when properly socialized, are an easy dog to walk even in the presences of other dogs making them ideal for a trip to the park.
If you have more than one dog the Pembroke Welsh Corgi will run and play with the companion dog, often self-exercising. They will also do well with cats and other pets if raised together from a young age.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a highly intelligent dog that is very quick to learn what the owner is expecting. They do require firm and consistent training but rarely need to be corrected as they will respond immediately to the tone of voice or withdrawal of attention if they have done something wrong. The breed does not like repetitive training exercises and will quickly become disinterested in repeating the same command over and over. Change training routines frequently to prevent this from becoming a problem.
A natural watchdog they will need to be taught not to bark or this can become a problem. Usually a Pembroke Welsh Corgi that is socialized, trained, exercised and loved will not develop barking issues, but those that are left alone, isolated or bored will use barking as a way to stay entertained.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi will bond very strongly to the owner and family and will usually respond well to commands from the family members, although they will usually not respond at all to strangers. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi needs socialization at an early age to overcome any natural dominance or aggression issues and this is particularly important for males of the breed. Occasionally a Pembroke Welsh Corgi can be somewhat dominant and controlling and may require obedience training to deal with this problem. Once trained they are ideal obedience and show dogs. They are also used in herding competitions and will often need very little formal training on herding skills.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi can be taught to respond to both whistles and hand commands. To train with hand signals or whistles be consistent and clear in your expectations, pairing verbal command with the hand signal or whistle then gradually replacing the verbal with the signal command. Lots of praise and attention will really help this breed learn quickly.