Country of Origin: Wales
Height: 10" to 12" from ground to highest point on withers
Weight: Between 25 to 30 pounds
Temperament: Intelligent and interested; never shy or vicious
The Welsh Corgi has been called the gift of the wee people. It is said that the Welsh Corgi always slipped away at night to join the fairies and elves to play on the hills of Wales. Even to this day, a faint fairy saddle can be traced in the coats of these little guys.
There are two breeds of Welsh Corgis, or more properly in Welsh, "corgwn" (pronounced corgoon). They are the Pembroke and the Cardigan. From his humble beginnings as a herding dog in Wales to his new home here in the US the Corgi has captivated the hearts of his owners. His alert, intelligent nature, compact size, easy care coat and fox-like expressions make the Corgi a popular choice for children and adults. They can be at home in the country or a city apartment. Pembrokes, as well as their tailed cousins the Cardigans, are actually big dogs in small dogs' suits. These breeds are the smallest members of the AKC herding group, originally used for driving cattle out into the fields by day. They were also general all-purpose farm dogs, guarding the home, ridding it of vermin, and watching over the children. Today's corgis retain the herding and guarding instincts of their ancestors. Both Corgi breeds make smart, friendly pets - they also compete in obedience, agility, herding, tracking, conformation, flyball, and just about every other imaginable dog event.
The Pembroke is the younger of the two types of Corgis. His history traces back to the 12th century. Brought to Wales by a group of Flemish weavers in 1107, the Pembroke is related to the Keeshound, Schipperke, Samoyed and Norwegian Elkhound. Until the 20th Century, these two varieties of Corgis developed pretty much isolated from each other, but as transportation improved, farmers frequently traveled with their dogs and many times these dogs were crossbred. In 1925, the Kennel Club of Britain sought to define the Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis. They were distinguished as two individual breeds in 1934. In 1937, the first pair of Pembrokes were introduced to the US.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is the larger, older, and more rare of the two Welsh Corgi breeds, but to most people the difference is in the tail! "Cardis" sport a long tail (remember long like the sleeves of a Cardigan sweater), and Pembrokes have none (they "broke" their tail off!).
Of the two Corgis, the Pembroke has been the most popular. He was adopted as the family pet of King George VI and has been a part of the royal family for over fifty years.
Responsible kennel owners want to guard against indiscriminate growth in sales of this beloved little dog. They are concerned that he may become the next "in" dog and that puppy mill production and deterioration of the breed may occur.
Low-set, strong, sturdily built and active, giving an impression of substance and stamina in a small space. Should not be so low and heavy-boned as to appear coarse or overdone, nor so light-boned as to appear racy. Outlook bold, but kindly. Expression intelligent and interested. Never shy nor vicious. Correct type, including general balance and outline, attractiveness of headpiece, intelligent outlook and correct temperament is of primary importance. Movement is especially important, particularly as viewed from the side. A dog with smooth and free gait has to be reasonably sound and must be highly regarded. A minor fault must never take precedence over the above desired qualities.
Height (from ground to highest point on withers) should be 10 to 12 inches. Weight is in proportion to size, not exceeding 30 pounds for dogs and 28 pounds for bitches. In show condition, the preferred medium-sized dog of correct bone and substance will weigh approximately 27 pounds, with bitches approximately 25 pounds. Obvious oversized specimens and diminutive toy-like individuals must be very severely penalized.
Proportions-Moderately long and low. The distance from the withers to the base of the tail should be approximately 40 percent greater than the distance from the withers to the ground.
Substance - Should not be so low and heavy-boned as to appear coarse or overdone, nor so light-boned as to appear racy.
The head should be foxy in shape and appearance.
Expression - Intelligent and interested, but not sly.
Skull - should be fairly wide and flat between the ears. Moderate amount of stop. Very slight rounding of cheek, not filled in below the eyes, as foreface should be nicely chiseled to give a somewhat tapered muzzle. Distance from occiput to center of stop to be greater than the distance from stop to nose tip, the proportion being five parts of total distance for the skull and three parts for the foreface.
Eyes - Oval, medium in size, not round, nor protruding, nor deepset and piglike. Set somewhat obliquely. Variations of brown in harmony with coat color. Eye rims dark, preferably black. While dark eyes enhance the expression, true black eyes are most undesirable, as are yellow or bluish eyes.
Ears - Erect, firm, and of medium size, tapering slightly to a rounded point. Ears are mobile, and react sensitively to sounds. A line drawn from the nose tip through the eyes to the ear tips, and across, should form an approximate equilateral triangle. Bat ears, small catlike ears, overly large weak ears, hooded ears, ears carried too high or too low, are undesirable. Button, rose or drop ears are very serious faults.
Nose - Black and fully pigmented.
Mouth - Scissors bite, the inner side of the upper incisors touching the outer side of the lower incisors. Level bite is acceptable. Overshot or undershot bite is a very serious fault.
Lips - Black, tight, with little or no fullness.
Muzzle should be neither dish-faced nor Roman-nosed.
Neck - Fairly long. Of sufficient length to provide over-all balance of the dog. Slightly arched, clean and blending well into the shoulders. A very short neck giving a stuffy appearance and a long, thin or ewe neck are faulty.
Topline - Firm and level, neither riding up to nor falling away at the croup. A slight depression behind the shoulders caused by heavier neck coat meeting the shorter body coat is permissible.
Body - Rib cage should be well sprung, slightly eggshaped and moderately long. Deep chest, well let down between the forelegs. Exaggerated lowness interferes with the desired freedom of movement and should be penalized. Viewed from above, the body should taper slightly to end of loin. Loin short. Round or flat rib cage, lack of brisket, extreme length or cobbiness, are undesirable. Tail docked as short as possible without being indented. Occasionally a puppy is born with a natural dock, which if sufficiently short, is acceptable. A tail up to two inches in length is allowed, but if carried high tends to spoil the contour of the topline.
Legs - Short, forearms turned slightly inward, with the distance between wrists less than between the shoulder joints so that the front does not appear absolutely straight. Ample bone carried right down into the feet. Pasterns firm and nearly straight when viewed from the side. Weak pasterns and knuckling over are serious faults. Shoulder blades long and well laid back along the rib cage. Upper arms nearly equal in length to shoulder blades. Elbows parallel to the body, not prominent, and well set back to allow a line perpendicular to the ground to be drawn from tip of the shoulder blade through to elbow. Front feet oval, with the two center toes slightly in advance of the two outer ones. Turning neither in nor out. Pads strong and feet arched. Nails short. Dewclaws on both forelegs and hindlegs usually removed. Too round, long and narrow, or splayed feet are faulty.
Ample bone, strong and flexible, moderately angulated at stifle and hock. Exaggerated angulation is as faulty as too little. Thighs should be well muscled. Hocks short, parallel, and when viewed from the side are perpendicular to the ground. Barrel hocks or cowhocks are most objectionable. Slipped or double-jointed hocks are very faulty. Rear feet as in front.
Medium length; short, thick, weather-resistant undercoat with a coarser, longer outer coat. Over-all length varies, with slightly thicker and longer ruff around the neck, chest and on the shoulders. The body coat lies flat. Hair is slightly longer on back of forelegs and underparts and somewhat fuller and longer on rear of hindquarters. The coat is preferably straight, but some waviness is permitted. This breed has a shedding coat, and seasonal lack of undercoat should not be too severely penalized, providing the hair is glossy, healthy and well groomed. A wiry, tightly marcelled coat is very faulty, as is an overly short, smooth and thin coat. Very Serious Fault-Fluffies-a coat of extreme length with exaggerated feathering on ears, chest, legs and feet, underparts and hindquarters. Trimming such a coat does not make it any more acceptable. The Corgi should be shown in its natural condition, with no trimming permitted except to tidy the feet, and, if desired, remove the whiskers.
The outer coat is to be of self colors in red, sable, fawn, black and tan with or without white markings. White is acceptable on legs, chest, neck (either in part or as a collar). muzzle, underparts and as a narrow blaze on head. Very Serious Faults: Whitelies-Body color white, with red or dark markings. Bluies-Colored portions of the coat have a distinct bluish or smoky cast. This coloring is associated with extremely light or blue eyes, liver or gray eye rims, nose and lip pigment. Mismarks -Self colors with any area of white on the back between withers and tail, on sides between elbows and back of hindquarters, or on ears. Black with white markings and no tan present.
Free and smooth. Forelegs should reach well forward without too much lift, in unison with the driving action of the hind legs. The correct shoulder assembly and well-fitted elbows allow a long, free stride in front. Viewed from the front, legs do not move in exact parallel planes, but incline slightly inward to compensate for shortness of leg and width of chest. Hind legs should drive well under the body and move on a line with the forelegs, with hocks turning neither in nor out. Feet must travel parallel to the line of motion with no tendency to swing out, cross over or interfere with each other. Short, choppy movement, rolling or high-stepping gait, close or overly wide coming or going, are incorrect. This is a herding dog, which must have the agility, freedom of movement, and endurance to do the work for which he was developed.
Outlook bold, but kindly. Never shy or vicious. The judge shall dismiss from the ring any Pembroke Welsh Corgi that is excessively shy.
A dog must be very seriously penalized for the following faults, regardless of whatever desirable qualities the dog may present: oversized or undersized; button, rose or drop ears; overshot or undershot bite; fluffies, whitelies, mismarks or bluies.