Historically, Welsh corgi used as herding dogs, especially for cattle. They are the type of grazing dog, which means that they “steps on the heels” of larger animals to keep them moving. Both Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire are historically agricultural areas of Wales. The combination of short stature and innate dexterity of the corgi allowed them to avoid the hooves of cattle. The “corgi” in Welsh means “dwarf dog” (cor = dwarf, gi = lenition from ci, dog) and was not offensive to the size of the dog.
Theories of the origin of the breed
There is also a folk legend that says that a corgi was a gift from forest fairies, and that the wool of the breed left traces of fabulous belts and saddles; however, the origin of this legend is doubtful.
Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire are neighboring historic districts in Wales. The geographical distance between the two regions, may have led to a separate evolution of rocks. There are various legends about the origin of corgi. Some believe that the two modern breeds have a common ancestor. While others attribute to Flemish weavers the import of Welsh corgi pembroke since the 10th century. Other theories about the origin of the Pembroke breed suggest that they originated from Central European herding breeds from the territory adjacent to modern Germany. Depending on the time period in which corgis appeared in Wales, they could belong to the breeds German Marriage or Dachshund.
The Welsh Corgi Pembroke is associated with the influence of Scandinavian settlers. Dogs of similar size was in modern Scandinavia and called the Swedish Shepherd. Some historians claim that these two breeds have a common ancestor. At the end of the 15th century, farmers in Cardiganshire began to move from raising cattle to raising sheep, but the existing breed was not suitable for working with flocks of sheep. The dog crossed with the Welsh Shepherd, which affected the mixed color of the breed. Another similarity between the two types of Welsh corgis was related to their crossbreeding or breeding by farmers who wanted the cardigan breed to be closer in nature to the pembroke breed.]
The first corgi
The first recorded date of Corgi’s appearance at an exhibition in Wales was 1925. Captain JP Howell convened a meeting of breeders of both breeds: Pembroke and Cardigan, and formed the Welsh Corgi Club with an initial composition of 59 people. A general breed standard was created, and corgis appeared at shows. The members of this club were primarily interested in the Pembroke breed, although the cardigan breed was also found. At that time the breeds called Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire; later the names changed. The Welsh Corgi first appeared at the International Dog Show in 1927.
Population after World War II
Both breeds survived World War II, although cardigans registered with the Kennel Club numbered only 61 dogs by the end of the war. Pembroke became very popular in the postwar years in Britain; in 1953, they became the fourth most popular Kennel Club breed, giving way to the English Cocker Spaniel, German Shepherd and Pekingese. The corgi breed later lost popularity. Veterinarian Brian Singleton explained to The Times in 1963 that it was due to problems with their temperament.