Showsight Express - July 1, 2021


Figure 9. From left to right: CH Golden Girl, Rozavel Lady Supreme, CH Bowit Bisco, CH Crymmych President, CH Shan Fach, and (not yet CH) Rozavel Red Dragon-as a puppy.

Figure 8. CH Crymmych President

few more references to the Pembroke having an infusion of Terrier somewhere along the way and, as time progressed, these references were left out and their true use as a farm dog was acknowledged. In 1931, the remarkable rise of the popularity of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi began and was further boosted when, in 1933, King George VI (then still Duke of York) acquired a Pembroke puppy for the then Princess Elizabeth (Figure 10), sired by CH Crymmych President (Figures 8 & 9) out of CH Rozavel Golden Girl (Figure 9). There have been many comments concerning the changes in the color of the breed as well as the lengthening in outline over the years. Some people seem to think that the original color was a deep red with few white markings. I found that the picture shown above put to rest the fact that there was little white on all of the early dogs. The dogs in the photo are all from the most well-known kennel of Pembroke Welsh Corgis at the time, Rozavel Kennels, owned by Mrs. Thelma Gray (nee Evans), taken from an advertisement in December 1933. I was surprised the very first time I saw photos of the early Pembrokes. The outline of the modern Pembroke Welsh Corgi is very different from the dogs brought from the crofts of Wales. The length of leg has shortened over the decades and the modern dogs have more substance than the early dogs. I was curious about these changes; the Cardigan of long ago could still be recognized as a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, but I doubt that one of the early Pembrokes would get a second look in the ring today. On my first trip to the UK to attend Crufts, in 1988, I was invited to visit Pat Curties of Lees Pembroke (and Cardigan) Welsh Corgi fame. At that time, she had been involved with the breed for nearly 60 years. I asked her what she thought had brought on these changes in the breed. She said that she thought much of it, especially that the improvement in substance in the breed was brought about by the improvement in canine nutrition after World War II. This seemed to be a very logical explanation to me. Since then, I have had some very good discussions with longtime Pem- broke breeder and judge, Simon Parsons, who is a wealth of knowledge on the history of the breed in the UK and beyond. Simon thought that the change began with the improvement in the front assembly, the increased breadth of which added to the overall length of the body. The final illustration (Figure 11) is from Popular Dogs in 1958 with a photo serving as an illustrated standard for the breed type of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi at that time. So, there we have it; two very different breeds, at first glance, but both exhibit many shared characteristics. The Corgi was first described to me as being similar to the German Shepherd Dog, but with very short legs! The ancient Corgi has certainly changed, hope- fully, for the better, and the younger German Shepherd Dog still carries on the basic make and shape of the original, purposefully developed German shepherding dogs. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if breed character has been maintained in both of them. Please note that this article is written from the experiences of and the opinions formed by the author and is not an official statement of the PWCCA or the GSDCA. Much of the information on the Corgi was first published in a DVD produced by the author titled, “Structure and Movement in the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.” For questions or comments, or to schedule a seminar on structure and movement, I may be reached via e-mail:

Figure 10

Figure 11. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi, c. 1958


References: The German Shepherd Dog in Word and Picture, (American Edition) v Stephanitz ©1923

This is the German Shepherd, Goldbecker/Hart ©1967 The Pembrokeshire Corgi Clifford L. B. Hubbard ©1957 The Corgi, Mrs. Thelma Gray ©1952 The Welsh Corgi Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire, Thelma Gray


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