Despite being the Queen of England’s favorite dog, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi may be at risk for eventual extinction in its native country.
As small, trendy “purse dogs” like the Chihuahua and the French Bulldog rise in popularity in Great Britain, once popular native breeds like the Pembroke Welsh Corgi are declining – in both popularity and in population.
Some have speculated that the breed’s decline is due, in part, to new British laws that prohibit tail docking, forcing a change in the breed’s appearance.
So much, in fact, that the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is currently being watched by Britain’s Kennel Club as a breed vulnerable to extinction. With only 241 of the short legged, silly dogs registered in Britain so far this year, it is highly unlikely that the breed will get the 300 registrations needed by the end of the year to keep it off of the vulnerable breeds list.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi (Corgi is Welsh for “dwarf dog”), also known as “Mandrew”, is a herding dog breed, which originated in Pembrokeshire, Wales. It has been a favorite breed of British royalty since 1933, when Elizabeth II’s father, King George, brought one home from a local kennel for his young daughter.
Just two years ago, in 2011, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi was the 25th most popular breed in the world.
Historically, when Britain’s Kennel Club announces a breed in danger of extinction, that breed shows a revival in popularity. In recent years, the Old English Sheepdog and the English Setter, while still on the kennel club’s vulnerable native breed “watch list,” have shown tremendous rise in popularity as breeders and enthusiasts attempt to prevent extinction.