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  Dahl House Kennels
  Sandy Dahl-Kvistad

   Dassel, MN

All About Corgis!  If you’re in the market for an exceptional pup, check this one out!

Corgis make wonderful companions and are great with children. They are the smallest of the herding breed, so they tend to stick close to your side, looking for approval. Families are using them to compete in all classes of dog shows. Corgis were top winners in agility this year at large competitions. They travel well and love the outdoors, as well as being in your home. They also are considered to be a “big dog” in a little dog’s body, so they tend to make somewhat of a watch dog... They aren’t yippy, but will warn you when someone approaches. Corgis will then turn around and greet strangers with a wag of their stubby little tail. They are, hands down, the best overall dog I’ve met yet in the doggy world.

The Origin of the Corgi

In 1933, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth decided to give Corgis as gifts to their daughters, Elizabeth (the present Queen Mum) and Margaret. The royal family fell in love with the highly intelligent, loyal and somewhat impish little dogs. Ever since, they have included Corgis in their royal lives. Here is yet another tale, from Wales, of how Corgis came to be and their connection with royalty

Queen Mab clapped her hands. “I am bored,” she cried. “Let us take our steeds and go for a ride.” Instantly before the fairy queen appeared a small red-white dog wearing a gold collar and bell. On his back was a tiny saddle made of the finest leather and chased in silver. Similar dogs appeared to the other members of the fairy court. They each mounted their enchanted dogs, and led by Queen Mab and her huntsman, Dark Edric, they rode out of the hollow hills. By the light of the moon, they flew through the forests of Wales.

Suddenly, one of the fairies gave a cry. His steed had brushed against a trap set by poachers. Made of iron, its touch was deadly to fairy folk, and both the courtier and his little dog were laid low by its power. The other fairies gathered round, yet keeping their distance lest they too be struck down by the cold bite of iron. “What shall we do?” said Queen Mab. “We cannot leave them here to die.”

A small, hesitant voice broke the silence that followed her question. A human boy peered from behind a tree, his frightened sister at his side. “If you please, your majesty, I can move the trap away so that it won’t be touching them anymore,” he said. “And my sister knows herbs. She may be able to ease their pain.”

“What are you doing out at this time of night, boy?” the queen demanded. “Do you not know that the night holds many dangers for mortals?”

“My father is a shepherd,” the boy replied. “Our best ewe is lost, and without her we shall surely starve.”

“Heal my friends,” the queen said, “and I shall repay you many times over.”

The boy and his sister tugged at the heavy trap until it was far enough away to do no harm. Then the girl gathered white oak bark and blackberry leaves. Wetting them in the stream, she made a soothing compress. With their rapid healing powers, the fairy and his dog steed were soon well again.

“I promised you a reward, boy.” Queen Mab said. Twice she rang the golden bell that hung around her dog’s neck. Two red-and-white puppies appeared. They were low-set, strong and sturdy, with dark eyes that gleamed with intelligence. “These are fairy dogs,” Queen Mab said. “They are swift and clever and true, and they can herd cattle, as well as sheep. Treat them well, and you shall never lose your livestock again.” Then she clapped her hands and the entire fairy court disappeared, leaving behind only the two pups.

The shepherd’s family prospered, and the fairy dogs gave birth to puppies. The 'Corgis', as they became known - from the Welsh words cor (meaning “dwarf”) and gi (meaning “dog”) - were highly prized throughout the land for their herding ability. As a mark of their fairy steed origin, they all bore saddle or harness marks behind their shoulders. And on Midsummer’s Eve, the fairies returned to ride the Corgis so they would never forget where they came from.

By: Kim Campbell Thornton. “Dog Fancy Magazine”, volume 31, Welsh Corgis addition.

So, as you can see, these little 'fairy tale dogs' carry quite the royal history.

Some historians believe that Pembroke Corgis were born to shepherds with tails (some are not, which is believed to be due to their origin) and had them docked to avoid taxes. The Welsh story has it that dogs without tails were considered to be working dogs and were not taxed. Owners who had dogs with tails paid taxes on them.

The Corgi Temperament

The connection with royalty is likely the reason for both the Corgi’s ability to find its way into your heart and for its overall popularity. People fall in love with its happy and bold, yet sensitive and loyal, qualities. The Corgi is truly a people-orientated breed, making it an excellent family pet.

When asked how our family would best describe Corgis, we say, “They are a highly intelligent dog with a fox-like appearance. Their personality is very cheerful, energetic and full of life. They are curious about everything that is going on around them.”

Although they do tend to be busy, which does require some form of mental and physical exercise, Corgis are not hyper dogs. They maintain their independence despite needing a little attention.

These independent, little 'dwarfs' can be quite the clowns at times, and yet, they are extremely faithful. Corgis want nothing more than to please you and be near you.

Even though it is considered the smallest in the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) herding group, the Corgi has the heart of a big dog, which is demonstrated by its bold and outgoing personality. It will make a true dog lover out of you, if you aren’t already one.

The Corgi Name

There are several theories out there as to how the Corgi name came to be.

• Although the meaning of its name is unclear, some believe Corgi came from the word 'cur', meaning 'to watch over'.

• Others believe it came from the word 'Corgi', which is Celtic for 'dog'.

• Yet another belief is that the Corgi came from the word 'cor' meaning 'dwarf' and the word 'gi' meaning 'dog'.

• 'Pembroke' means 'broke tail'.

Each of these possibilities likely played a part in naming the Welsh Pembroke Corgi and in the many stories and fables told about them today.

The Corgi Appearance and Size

Corgis come in the following five unique colors:

• Red and white

• Fawn and white

• Sable and white

• Black and tan

• Tri-color (black and tan with white markings)

Their size can vary anywhere from 20 to 30 pounds, and they usually measure somewhere around 11 inches from the ground, at the withers.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long do they live?

They typically live to be 12 to 14 years old.

2. When can puppies leave their litter?

Because our puppies are raised in a family environment, they receive much-needed socialization. So, therefore, we do not recommend they leave before eight weeks of age. If they leave sooner, the little puppies become mouthy because they do not learn the proper bite inhibition from their mama and siblings.

3. What health problems do they have?

Although Corgis tend to be mostly healthy, they can be at a slightly higher risk toward back problems because of their short stature and long backs.

4. Do they shed?

Yes. Because Corgis are dogs that wear a double coat and can tolerate the cold weather well, they do shed, usually twice a year. Brushing and grooming can be helpful in minimizing the problem, though.

5. Are they easy to potty train?

Because these little partners are so smart, Corgis can usually be trained quite easily. Make sure you use a firm (but not physical) method of training.

6. Because they are a herding dog, does that mean they can’t live in an apartment?

Absolutely not! People in town, as well as in the country, own Corgi dogs. They make excellent companions, and they adapt well to any situation, given the proper exercise. A lot of people also show their Corgis and travel with them (because of their smaller size, easy nature and athletic ability) doing agility classes.

Our Recommendations

Research a breed of dog before you choose to buy, as a pet is always an important and lifetime (at least for the dog) commitment.

Make sure you ask the breeder which type of puppy temperament would best suit your lifestyle.

Find a good book on puppy picking for clues on which type of puppy may be best for you and your family. It could be a dominant one, who can boldly come up to greet you, the one that seemed to have 'picked' you, or one that sits back and watches and tends to be more cautious. Make sure you know which type of dog you will have adequate time and energy to care for.

We are absolutely in love with and adore our Corgis, and we’d like to help you find out if they are the best breed for your family!

Historically, we’ve seen Corgis used in a number of different farm and family roles. The following article is an excellent source on the origin and story behind the Corgi: Pembroke Welsh Corgi History, Origins and Other Interesting Facts by Stephanie Hedgepath

To find out the AKC’s breed standards on Pembroke Welsh Corgis, visit the Pembroke Welsh Corgi page on their website.

Please give us a call if you have any further questions about the Pembroke Welsh Corgis that we offer. We are always happy to answer them the best we can!

Have a wonderful and blessed year!
Sandy Dahl