The remarkable dog from the
By Nick Waters
Dog World, December 28, 2007
Some of the images reproduced in this series of vulnerable British and Irish native breeds have been of great artistic merit, others of historical importance and this week's breed, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, fits into the later category.
It was painted by B Howitt-Lodge, who was working in the inter-war years from a studio in London. He specialised in horses, dogs, birds and gardens and his output was prolific. He was a well-known visitor to dog shows and also visited stables and kennels to undertake commissions, many being top winners of their day. Without being too unkind, he was probably not the most accomplished of the group of dog artists working at that time.
Painted in 1928, Howitt-Lodge's picture reproduced here features the celebrated Bob Llwyd, the foundation and cornerstone of the Cardigan as a show dog. Clifford L B (Doggie) Hubbard was a great enthusiast for the breed, Cardigan and Pembroke, and in The Cardiganshire Welsh Corgi (1952) the first British book devoted solely to the breed wrote: "undoubtedly the most important and valuable influence in the breed... a remarkable dog in many ways: he was so excellent a Cardiganshire (although just a little on the small side) that when the Standard for the breed was drawn up this was based upon him".
Thelma Gray wrote of him in The Welsh Corgi Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire Types (1947): "of very good proportions, and his head, coat, and tail all combined to give him a very foxy appearance." He lived to the remarkable age of 18.
Bob Llwyd was an outstanding success as a stud force and sired the first Cardigan champion, Golden Arrow, who won his first CC at Pwllheli in 1929 and was made up in 1931. He also sired the third champion, Brenig Brilliant, made up in 1932.Through these and his other sons, Ye Brython and Tit o'r Bryn, he is behind the entire breed. Ye Brython helped to lay the foundation for the well-known Geler Kennel of Miss D F Wylie by siring her Ch Geler Caressa, her first champion, who was BOB at Crufts in 1935, the first year Cardigans and Pembrokes had separate classification. She was a blue merle, a colour Miss Wylie promoted. I remember Miss Wylie from my youth; an autocratic lady of very much 'the old school' who used to drive a very ancient limousine of which the back was always full of Cardigan Corgis barking their heads off.
Bob Llwyd was owned and bred by Dr JT Lloyd of Tregaron; he was a red and white dog by Bowlin out of Handy, neither of whom was registered. He made his first major appearance in the ring at Lampeter show in 1926, being the winner of the open dog class and had the distinction of being best Corgi dog at Crufts in 1927, the first year the breed had classes there. Best bitch was the Pembroke, Southmore Tiny. (Note: Southmore Tiny was a Cardigan!)