This type of Corgi was first used by farmers in South Wales to skillfully herd cattle, sheep, and ponies. A friendly and beautiful dog, it is still used today as a farm herder -- nipping at heels and bending under hooves -- but is more often kept as a house pet.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi, an agile cattle and sheep herder, has a smooth and free gait, with good drive and reach. Low to the ground and long, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi differs from its cousin, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, in that it is not as long bodied or as heavy-boned. One of the immediately recognizable differences is the tail, which is short in the Pembroke and long in the Cardigan. The short tail is a natural trait, but it may be docked for a more pleasing appearance, as well.
Although the dog’s expression is interested, intelligent, and foxy, it is not sly. Its longish, coarse outer coat is red, sable, fawn, black, or tan in color, and its undercoat is weather-resistant.
The Pembroke is fun, friendly, devoted, and willing to please. It behaves well with children, but it may nip at heels during play. Many Pembroke Welsh Corgis are shy around strangers and some bark incessantly. This quick-witted dog not only has an active body but an active mind.
As the Pembroke Welsh Corgi loves to herd, a regular herding session is an ideal form of exercise. If it is unable to herd, take it out for a moderate leash-led walk or play session.
The Pembroke is suited to live outdoors in temperate weather, but temperamentally it prefers to share its owner's home, while having access to the yard. Coat care comprises of a weekly brushing routine to ride the dog's coat of any dead hair.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi, which has an average lifespan of about 11 to 13 years, is prone to serious health concerns such as intervertebral disc disease and canine hip dysplasia (CHD), as well as issues like epilepsy and degenerative myelopathy. Lens luxation, von Willebrand's Disease (vWD), progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and urinary stones are also noticed in the breed on occasion. To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may recommend hip, eye, and DNA tests for the dog.
Although many believe the Pembroke Welsh Corgi to be an ancient breed, outlining its origins is difficult. A book dating back to the 11th century, however, does mention a Welsh cattle dog.
The Pembroke shares its background with the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, but this Corgi was bred separately in Pembrokeshire. As it was a hard-working dog, the Corgi occupied the farms when many early dog shows were taking place. In the 1920s many dog show owners began entering their Corgis into these competitions, and in 1926, the Cardigan Club formed.
As breeders attempted to improve the breed's natural good looks, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi became more popular. However, noticeable differences between the Cardigan and the Pembroke were difficult to judge. The Pembroke and Cardigan Corgis were eventually classified as separate breeds in 1934.
Although they can be seen in farms around the world, it is more popular as a house dog, especially in Britain.