The Cardigan Corgi a Rare Breed in the Country of Origin

How appealing the Cardigan corgis on this week's cover look: handsome, sturdy little dogs. But how appealing are Cardigan corgis to Britain's dog-loving public?

Apparently not much, according to puppy registration figures released by The Kennel Club (KC). The Cardigan Welsh corgi, one of the oldest breeds in the British Isles, is among the least popular of the 220 breeds recognized by the KC and has been for a number of years. In 2018, KC Assured Breeders registered only 147 puppies. That this represents a marked improvement on figures a decade ago, when fewer than 50 puppies were registered in one year, doesn't diminish the challenge facing the breed in safeguarding its numbers and its homegrown breeding stock.

It's a crisis that affects a number of breeds in Britain, mostly native breeds originally developed as working dogs. For centuries, Welsh farmers used the corgis to herd everything from cattle to geese. Now. with their working lives over, the breed has failed to make the transition to favoured family pets. This is particularly true for the Cardigan corgi that has never enjoyed the iconic status of the Pembroke corgi as the favourite breed of the world's best-known dog owner, The Queen.

On the positive side, the Cardigan enjoys increasing popularity, not only in the USA but also in Europe, especially in the Scandinavian countries where registrations in recent years have outnumbered the Pembroke corgi.