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The word “corgi” means “dwarf dog” in Welsh. Quite appropriate, I think, for this cute pet measuring just 10 to 13 inches in height!

There are two distinct breeds, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. So how do you tell the difference? The Pembroke does not have a tail, usually accomplished by tail docking, although some are born that way, and has pointy ears. Cardigan Welsh corgis have rounded ears and a longer tail.

Corgis were originally used as herding dogs, going back as early as the 10th century. In those days, pastures were considered common land and there were no fences. In order to keep a farmer’s cattle together and separated from other herds, corgis would nip at their legs to herd them. This makes them heelers and their small stature and agility, along with them being low to the ground, means that they could do their job effectively without getting trampled.

Corgis have a double coat of hair, which makes them great dogs for our cold Canadian winters. However this also comes with a disadvantage. They lose a layer in the warmer seasons when the softer undercoat sheds causing a lot of hair in the house! Get those vacuum cleaners ready if you want to get a Corgi.

They have a long history. Cardigans are among the oldest herding breeds and over 3,000 years old! They were introduced to Wales by Celts around 1200 BCE. The Pembroke is believed to have been introduced by Flemish weavers from around the 10th century.

For such a small dog they have a loud bark. This came in handy when they were herding, as they used their loud bark to keep the cattle moving. If you choose a Corgi as your pet, be prepared for their vocalizations. They will use their voice any chance they get to let you know when there is an intruder!

This is one of the most amusing facts about Corgis: Some people say that The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is an “enchanted dog” beloved by fairies. Legend has it that at night the magical creatures were kept hard at work pulling fairy coaches and herding cattle for fairies

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