In sad news for royalists and dog-lovers alike, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is now classified as a breed “vulnerable” in the UK.
The Kennel Club has re-categorised Pembrokes into the same at-risk group as their Cardigan Welsh Corgi relatives for the first time in the breed’s history.
Only 274 Pembroke puppies were registered during 2014, which was a 13 per cent decrease on the previous year. They have been on a watchlist for four years since dropping below 450 yearly registrations, but this is the first time they have missed the 300-registration threshold to stay off the “vulnerable” list.
But this isn’t the only sad news for Pembrokes. While they are the Queen’s favourite dog, the monarch recently announced that she would not be taking on any new dogs, based on the concern that tripping over them could injure her, thus preventing her from performing her royal duties.
Caroline Kisko, secretary of the Kennel Club, said: “The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is one of the country’s most iconic dog breeds and so it is worrying to see the breed dip to a historic low and become one of our vulnerable breeds for the first time ever.”
Ms Kisko attributed the decline to a lack of celebrities adopting Pembrokes, as well as a falling number of serious breeders. Others have suggested that the 2007 ban on tail-docking may also have played a part, or that Corgis have come to be perceived as an older person’s dog.
Originally bred as cow dogs, Pembroke Welsh Corgis are known for their intelligence and liveliness, as well as their tendency to “herd” small children if not given enough exercise - this should be kept in check, as they may nip if their “cattle” don’t move fast enough! They are also independent thinkers, yet easy to train with consistency.
According to Welsh folklore, the first Corgis were ridden by fairies, or used to pull their carriages, on account of their short legs.
Written by: Hannah Dyball