In photos and videos on Instagram and Twitter, on jewelry and clothing: corgis are everywhere. The dogs with the short legs are not only popular with the Queen. What’s the deal with the Corgi hype? About the nature of these dogs, their breeding and the criticism of it.

Suddenly they were everywhere. On Instagram, on Twitter, on socks. There are corgi-shaped hair clips, there are corgi-shaped brooches. And again and again you meet Corgis as the dogs they are: the ones with the short legs and the big ears. They romp around in the park or are performed in the pedestrian zone. Corgis also had big performances on the Queen’s 70th jubilee: at Corgi parades in honor of the Queen. Because Elizabeth II loves the small dogs, which are actually medium-sized, and had them around for decades.

However, the origins of the Corgi were by no means royal. Instead of cute photos on royal cushions, it was about work in the fields. According to the British Sheepdog Club, the two Corgi breeds Pembroke and Cardigan are one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. Since the 12th century, the Pembroke has been known as a herding and driving dog for cattle and ponies and was used to drive cattle herds to pastures and markets. His tactic: He pinched the spot above the edge of the hoof from behind. So a calf biter. According to the herding dog club, this is a behavior that has now largely disappeared and can be easily stopped.

What are the differences between Cardigan and Welsh Corgi Pembroke?

As their names suggest, Welsh Corgi Pembroke and Welsh Corgi Cardigan, Corgis originally come from Wales. Of the two, the Pembroke has the more compact build and smaller ears. It is available in the colors red, sable and mixed black and red (tricolor). There’s something fox-like about him. According to the breed standard, it should reach a height of up to 30.5 centimeters and weigh a maximum of 12 kilograms. The Welsh Corgi cardigan is mostly sable or fawn colored or black.

Who is the Pembroke Welsh Corgi the right dog for?

Corgis are felt to be everywhere – at least on the internet. Are they primarily an internet phenomenon and particularly popular in the Queen’s homeland, or are there now more of them in Germany as well? “Our breeders are now better connected and more on social media than they were three or four years ago. We welcome that,” says Sarah Boyd of the British Shepherd Dog Club. “But we don’t see a trend that there are more corgis now. Corgis aren’t fashion dogs.” There are 20 to 50 litters every year in the club.

And who then takes in the Corgi puppies? “We see that couples in their early 30s are particularly interested in Corgis, who don’t want to go with the crowd and want a special, different dog.” The Corgi as a distinctive feature.

Boyd raves, “Corgis are wonderful dogs. They’re family pets.” But the Corgi Pembroke is also a little clown. “We recommend taking them out for an hour or two every day. That’s not a lot compared to other breeds, but dog owners should still spend plenty of time with their Corgi because they’re smart and they like to be kept busy.” And they are adaptable: “You can keep a Corgi in an apartment in the city, that’s not a problem at all. Corgis have little or no hunting instinct.”

Peta’s criticism of Corgi breeding

However, the enthusiasm for the short-legged dogs is not unlimited. On the occasion of the Queen’s jubilee celebrations in early June, the animal rights organization Peta criticized Corgi breeding. “Corgis have been purposely bred to have legs that are too short for their bodies, causing painful hip and spine problems, and they are prone to numerous other health issues,” Peta UK tweeted, appealing, “Never buy corgis. Buy them.” supports breeders who produce litter after litter to make a profit.” According to Peta, there is no such thing as responsible breeders (derstern reported).

Sarah Boyd defends her profession. She points to the long history of Corgi breeding and the breed’s origins: “They had to be fast and cover long distances. Sick or vulnerable animals would not have been in the spirit of breeding at all.” They are not today either: “On the contrary – as breeders we make sure that no hip or back problems or other diseases are inherited.”

Lars Theyse, professor of surgery at the clinic for small animals at the University of Leipzig, says when asked by stern: “The Corgis are bred as herding dogs with shorter legs because that was an advantage at work.” As with most dog breeds, the purpose is no longer leading in breeding. He gives the all-clear: “With short legs, dogs can function just fine without lameness or pain. Just think of dachshunds.” The Welsh Corgis are no less healthy than other breeds. “All dog breeds are the result of targeted human breeding. This means that each breed also has its specific diseases.”

How much does a Welsh Corgi Prembroke cost?

Anyone who does not rule out the purchase of a breeding animal per se and is explicitly interested in a Corgi must bring the necessary money with them. “2000 euros for a puppy,” says Sarah Boyd. Waiting time: six to seven months. Anyone interested in a Corgi can contact those responsible for Corgis in the British Shepherd Dog Club or the breeders in the national groups. After an initial phone call, there is an opportunity to get to know each other. In conversation with Boyd, it quickly becomes clear that this is not about any trade, but about relationships, yes, about family: “It is very important that the breeder and the future owners understand each other,” emphasizes Boyd. “After all, the puppies are our babies that we give away.”

It’s not just the breeders who are attached to them: “Especially when it comes to people who have a dog for the first time, we urge caution. Because Corgi puppies are incredibly cute.” Inexperienced dog owners in particular would tend to spoil the animal. “And then later their corgi dances on their noses and sets the tone.”

Sources: British Shepherd Dog Club, Peta UK, Instagram, Twitter