History of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Theories regarding the Pembroke Welsh corgi's origin vary among experts, but it is generally believed that the breed dates back to around the 10th century. One theory is that the breed's ancestors were brought to Wales by Flemish weavers. Another theory suggests they may have descended from Swedish Vallhund. Either way, they have been part of life in Wales for over 1000 years.
Pembroke Welsh corgi's are achondroplastic, a dwarf breed with shortened legs. They are the shortest breed of the herding dog group. A fanciful tale is that the fairy saddle markings seen on their backs are due to them being ridden by fairies.
Pembrokes were developed in Wales where they were used as herding, companion, and/or guard dogs. There are obvious similarities between Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh corgis, and these breeds were actually crossed in the past. In 1934, the two were officially recognized by the English Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club (AKC) as separate breeds.
You may be familiar with the pet corgis kept by Queen Elizabeth II. She has been a Pembroke Welsh corgi owner since her father gave her one in 1933. They hold a special place at Buckingham Palace.
Some Pembrokes are born with only a stub of a tail. Traditionally, Pembroke Welsh corgis had their tails docked as this would show the dog was a working dog and exempt from taxation as a pet dog.
Docking is not required for show dogs in the U.K. but the AKC standard says tails should be docked no longer than 2 inches. Docking is illegal in many countries.