The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is moderately long and low, less heavily boned than the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. The dog’s movement is free and smooth, with good reach and drive. This is a breed that needs to be quick and agile, even after herding all day, in order to avoid the cattle’s kicking hooves. The breed combines a weather-resistant undercoat of medium length with a coarser outer coat of slightly longer length. The expression is intelligent and interested, foxy, but not sly.
The Corgi was an essential helper to the farmers of South Wales. Although these little dogs specialized in herding cattle, nipping at their heels and then ducking under their kicking hooves, they were almost certainly also used in herding sheep and even Welsh ponies. Despite claims for the antiquity of the breed, it is difficult to trace the origins or even authenticate the breed’s existence in early times. A Welsh cattle dog is mentioned in a book of the eleventh century, however. Although the breed certainly shares its past with the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, the Pembroke was developed separately, in Pembrokeshire, Wales. As a hard-working dog, the Corgi was out in the fields when many of the early dog shows were being held. Only in 1926 did a club form and the breed enter the show ring. The obvious differences between the Pembroke and Cardigan were troublesome to judges—the Pembroke is smaller, with sharper features, a more foxlike expression, and characteristically no tail. In 1934, the Cardigan and Pembroke Corgis were divided into two separate breeds, after which the Pembroke soared in popularity. Its appeal was heightened when it became the favorite of King George VI and, subsequently, Queen Elizabeth II. By the 1960s, the Pembroke had become one of the most popular pet breeds all over the world, especially in Britain. This popularity has since waned slightly, but far more Pembrokes can be found herding in backyards than in farmyards today.
Quick and quick-witted, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi has an active mind and body. This breed needs daily physical and mental exercise. The dog is devoted and willing to please, fun loving, amiable, and companionable. The breed is very good with children, although may nip at heels in play. This dog is usually reserved with strangers. Many enjoy barking.
The Pembroke loves to herd, and a daily herding session would be ideal to meet exercise requirements. The dog can do fine without herding, however, as long as there is a moderate walk on leash or a good play and training session off-leash. Coat care consists only of brushing once a week to remove dead hairs.