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Pembroke Welsh Corgi head portrait in a field.
©Justyna -

The Internet loves them, and the late Queen Elizabeth II did, too. They’re known as smart, alert, and affectionate. Who are we talking about? The Pembroke Welsh Corgi, of course!

While you would recognize this herding dog if you saw them, do you know their history? How about the difference between a Pembroke and a Cardigan Welsh Corgi? Well, you’re about to find out with these eight fun facts about the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

1. The Dog’s Ancestors Date Back to the 10th Century

According to the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America, it is believed that the Pembroke Welsh Corgi’s ancestry dates back to at least the 10th century. It is unknown, however, whether they are descended from the Swedish Vallhunds that were possibly brought to Pembrokeshire by the Vikings, or from the ancestors of the present-day Schipperkes and Pomeranians brought to Wales by Flemish weavers.

2. Legend Has It, They Are “Enchanted” Dogs

Welsh legend says the fairies and elves of Wales used the Pembroke Welsh Corgi to pull fairy coaches, work fairy cattle, and serve as the steed for fairy warriors. If you look closely, even today you can see the marks of the “fairy saddle” over the shoulders in the Pembroke’s coat.

3. They Make World-Class Herding Dogs

Don’t let their size fool you, these dogs have been herding for decades! From the beginning, the Welsh used Pembroke Welsh Corgis as herding dogs, family companions, and guardians of the farm. Even today, these dogs are still expert herders. Many Pembrokes even compete in AKC Herding competitions.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi herding sheep in a field.
Nadeika/Getty Images Plus

4. They Are Very Different From the Cardigan Welsh Corgi

In 1934, the AKC recognized the Pembroke and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi as two distinct breeds. What is different between the Pembroke and the Cardigan? First, the Cardigan traces its origins to Cardiganshire, and the Pembroke to Pembrokeshire—two different counties in Wales. The dogs also have easily identifiable physical differences. The Cardigan has a longer tail, while the Pembroke’s is docked close to the body. The Pembroke has a shorter body, and the ears are pointed, while the Cardigan’s ears are more rounded at the tips.

5. They’ll Be Your Best Friend and a Great Competitor

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is known as one of the most agreeable small house dogs and is a loyal, loving pet for families. They also are known for their intelligence and enthusiasm for working. Many Pembrokes compete in dog sports, such as agility, herding, conformation, obedience, and more.

6. Your Dog Engages in “Frapping”

Your dog may tire themselves out running around in circles, dashing from room to room, also known as  “frantic random acts of play (when abbreviated, “frapping”) or more casually, “zoomies.”

Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy running in the grass.
©Grigorita Ko -

7. Corgi Means “Dwarf Dog” in Welsh

Or at least it might. The origin of the name “Corgi” is difficult to determine. Some say it combines the Welsh word “cor,” which means to watch over or gather, with “gi,” a form of the Welsh word for dog. Others have the interpretation that the word “cor” means dwarf, and combine that with “gi,” you have “dwarf dog.”

Either way, these certainly describe the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. And of course, the “Pembroke Welsh” part of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi name comes from the dog’s origins.

8. A Pembroke Welsh Corgi Named Rufus Was Amazon’s Mascot

In the early days of, a Pembroke named Rufus belonged to the editor-in-chief and principal engineer and came with them to work every day. Known for walking the halls, attending meetings, and snoozing, Rufus became the unofficial Amazon mascot. Rufus is also the dog Amazon employees have to thank for their dog-friendly culture.

Related article: Queen Elizabeth IIs Royal Pembroke Welsh Corgis
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