Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Origin: Great Britain
AKC Group: Herding
Height: 10 - 12 inches (25-30 cm) (Male)
Weight: In proportion to size; no more than 30 pounds (14 kg) for males, and 28 pounds (13 kg) for females (Male)
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The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has been around for about 1,000 years. The name "Corgi" is from "Cur-gi", meaning "dwarf dog" in Welsh. How this breed -- and the closely related Cardigan Welsh Corgi -- evolved is not known for sure, but many Pembroke fanciers believe that they descended from members of the larger spitz family. Other breeds that may have contributed to their development are the Lundehund, the Swedish Vallhund, the Buhund, the Finnehund, the Welsh Heeler and the Schipperke. The resulting energetic, intelligent dog didn't require much space or food and became useful to early Welsh farmers. Traditionally, Pembroke Welsh Corgis were used to move stock from one place to another, frequently to market. Although known as a herding dog, particularly for cattle and geese, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi was also useful as a ratter in the barn and could even retrieve fallen game.
The Pembroke (tail-less) and Cardigan (long-tailed) Welsh Corgis were shown together until 1934, when the Kennel Club (KC) officially recognized them as separate breeds. Since the 1930s, fanciers of one type or another have emphasized the breed's individualities -- the Pembroke is a bit lighter boned than the Cardigan, with a foxier look and straighter legs, as well as a lack of a tail. Britain's royal family took an interest in the Pembroke in the 1930s, which led to an increase in the breed's popularity. The Pembroke is the favored dog of Queen Elizabeth II, who owns several of them.
In 1944, on her 18th birthday, Queen Elizabeth II received a Corgi named Susan, and she has owned descendants of Susan ever since.