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This dog breed first originated in Wales, the United Kingdom.
Corgis, also called dwarf dogs, are essentially a working dog breed, strictly trained for herding livestock.
Corgis come in two different breeds: the Cardigan Welsh and the Pembroke Welsh. Both these dog breeds are distinguished for their upright ears, low and long bodies, and energetic spirits.
These corgis are not only favored by common people, but royals adore these unique dog species as well. If sources are to be believed, Queen Elizabeth II owns over 30 corgis. She was introduced to these light coated dogs in the early 20th century, and they were an instant hit with the Queen and her beloved sister – Princess Margaret.
However, the dog breed is now faced with the threat of extinction as it is listed as a “vulnerable” dog species. In 2015, Britain’s Kennel Club released a statement concluding that corgis are “at risk of disappearing from our parks and streets.” Does this prediction hold any grain of truth? Are corgis going to vanish off the face of the earth? Are corgis really going extinct? Let’s find that out!
History of Corgis
Of the two corgi breeds, the Cardigan Welsh corgi is older and belongs to the Teckel – a prominent dog family. The breed has been around in Wales for over 3000 years. Initially, these dogs were expected to drive out predators that may harm cattle herds. Later, they were employed to look after the herd.
This group of dog breed is often mistaken for the Pembroke Welsh, given they look uncannily similar. Though both corgi breeds share some common features, they are quite different. When it comes to the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, the dog breed was originally bred in Pembrokeshire, Wales. It is the descendant of the Swedish Vallhunds – a famous Swedish cow dog that was crossed with the local herding dogs of Wales.
The dog breed came together for the first time in the Kennel Club in Britain in 1925, where it was an immediate hit among the members. Later that year, a group of corgi enthusiasts formed a Corgi Club. To tell these similar dog breeds apart, look at their features. The Pembroke lacks a tail while the Cardigan has rounded ears rather than spiky.
Claims the Breed Is At Risk of Extinction
The news that corgis are going extinct has been confirmed by several media outlets and organizations. According to the UK’s Kennel Club, the dog breed is close to extinction. The most recognized kennel club of England reported that only 241 Pembroke Welsh corgis were registered in Britain.
What exactly is extinction for a dog breed? A breed becomes endangered if it fails to reach 300 registrations in a year. Even though the dog breed is loved and cherished worldwide, there weren’t enough registrations of corgis in England in 2013. Considering this staggering report, Britain’s Kennel Club put the breed on its “at watch” list and was considered a “vulnerable native breed” in the future.
In 2014, corgis were officially listed as endangered species as only 274 corgis were registered with Britain’s Kennel Club. This didn’t come as a surprise as the same issue of the corgi’s declining population occurred in 2013 and 2012.
Corgi experts believe that the dog breed may possibly be facing this population issue because they can’t breed these dogs fast enough. Even though the demand for this hardworking dog breed is there, not enough of them are being produced. That’s because the authorities have banned tail-docking – a crucial step in the process of breeding corgis.
Without tail-docking, the appearance of the corgi differs largely from its original self, resulting in completely different-looking dog species. Because of this, breeding corgis is not the same anymore, and this has stopped many older breeds from producing corgis. Plus, a large part of the population of corgis is old and can’t be bred, causing a further decline in their numbers.
So, When Are Corgis Going Extinct?
Until now, it may appear as if corgis are on the verge of going extinct, but recent reports show that they likely won’t. While corgis may not be popular in England, they enjoy substantial growth and production in America. The American Kennel Club reports a different scenario altogether. According to the American organization, over 5000 Pembroke Welsh Corgis have voluntarily been registered with them. This is a relief, knowing that the adorable dog breed may not be on the verge of going extinct after all.
The Kennel Club’s annual report recently revealed an increase in the population of corgis, with a boast of 38% in their quantity over the recent years. In the 2020 report, the dog breed was listed among the dog breeds that have witnessed a surge in their population in the UK. This report shows the successful attempts at managing the dog’s population and efforts to prevent it from going extinct completely.
There’s no denying that the population of corgis has plummeted in the past. At various points, the question of whether or not this dog species would continue to live on has also surfaced. However, considering the vast popularity of corgis in America and the current rise in their breeding in England, it is quite clear that corgis are not going to extinct.
Plus, the award-winning drama “The Crown,” based on the life of Queen Elizabeth, has also boosted a worldwide interest in the dog species as the young Queen is seen surrounded by her darling corgis in the show. According to the Kennel Club’s website, the interest in the dog breed has soared by 22% after the transmission of the second series of the English show.