By Freeman Lloyd from Dog Breeds of the World (somewhat abridged)
AKC Gazette April, 1936 - Part III
Mrs. Lewis Roesler
As remarked in one of my other articles on the Pembroke Corgi, a great deal of the popularity the breed is enjoying is because Princess Elizabeth of York, now second in line of succession to the Throne of England, for a couple of years, has been an owner of a corgi of Pembroke type. Golden Eagle is the dog's name. Elizabeth has been the darling of the British public almost since her birth. She also was the particular joy of her late grandfather, George V. She is beloved by all children of her nation. So the corgi's place in the English kennel world is likely to become more prominent than ever.
The prospect of having another Queen Elizabeth is not displeasing to the British people, who remember that, for some reason, they have always been luckiest when they were ruled by a woman.
Not so long ago, a direct and specific question was addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Sid Bowler, of Haverfordwest. It read:
"Why have you dropped Sealyhams and giving all your valuable time and interests to the production of corgis of the Pembroke type?"
The reply was as short as it was explanatory. It read:
"For the reason there is no trouble or labor in looking after the coats of corgis; there's no trimming and all that bother."
With the Bowlers, it was just a matter of expediency. So let us hope, the trimming of the little Welsh cattle dogs' coats will be a long delayed operation. Like the Shetland sheepdog let the corgi remain just a natural sort of dog; always bearing in mind, he is a fold dog rather than one of the proportions of his second, third and fourth cousins, in blood; the larger sheepdogs of Wales, and the collies of Scotland and of England.
In the year 1935, there were close on 420 registrations of Welsh corgis made in the stud book of the English Kennel Club. About 74 per cent of these were of the Pembroke corgi type At Cruft's Show, London, England, in February, 1936, there were 165 corgi entries in 12 classes, giving on the average pf 13.75 per class. This, according to R.H. Voss, Our Dogs' official correspondent, was a record for the breed. There was an extraordinary "hot" class of bitches in the open section which was eventually won by Mrs. Bowler's Bowhit Brick.
If Brick's win in the Challenge Certificate competition made her eligible for the full title of champion, the Bowhit interests will have made their seventh champion in 11 years.
In comparison with the 165 Pembroke corgi entries, there were 45 nominations in the seven classes provided for the Cardigan Variety - an average of 6.42 per class. About 100 dogs and bitches of the two types were exhibited.
Defiant Girl, Bowhit Punter, and Little Madam
The head of Punter (centre) is typical
While the corgis were forging ahead abroad in point of numbers as well as in popularity, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America was inaugurated in New York. Mrs. Lewis Roesler was elected president; Mrs. Lindsley Tappin, first vice-president; Miss Elizabeth Loring, second vice-president; and Miss Elizabeth Anderson of Blue Hill, Maine, secretary-treasurer.
Need it be added that unbounded price swelled within my breast when a message arrived asking if I would accept the honorary presidentship of the Club. Why the proffered gift of such a distinguished and "life" position? it was asked.
"Because you have done so much for the corgi," was the reply.
But, in all humility, it must be stated, I have attempted to accomplish no more on behalf of corgis than several of the other breeds of the world's dogs. True, that I have known the old Welsh cur or cattle dog, from childhood days; but it has been because of the kindness of old friends and a few long cherished stories, I have been enabled to put a little local color, and, it might be, romance into my writing concerning the breed.
When the Sealyham terrier became a vogue, several known-to-be legendary stories crept into the news regarding the old breed at Sealy Ham Mansion. Among these was an alleged statement made by the late Miss Borrodaile, of Great Hook, and a near relative of Captain John Tucker-Edwardes, that the originator of the strain of rough-haired crossed them with corgis and used the produce for running with the Sealyham otter hounds and foxhounds.
While there is yet time, I would like to asseverate that Captain Edwardes, as a practical sportsman, could have been trusted not to use such a stupid cross to improve his strain of terriers. Sealyham terrier dogs, at walk, might have been bred to farm corgi bitches, but no home-bitch at Sealy Ham would have been allowed access to a corgi male. The size, color, herding inclinations and other unterrierlike physical forms and temperamental inclinations would be strictly undesirable in the terrier employed chiefly for bolting hunted otters from their holts.
About 25 years ago, I was shown a brace of corgi-Sealyham cross-bred dogs. They had the almost all-white color of the terrier, but were as big as houses - as the expression goes - and altogether too long in the leg and too bulky in body to be of any use for going to ground to fox or badger. These cross-breds were seen on the Cardigan Road, a couple of hundred yards from the top of Prendergast, a part of Haverford, noted for the keenness of its professional hunters, fishers, trappers and game sellers. Possibly those corgi-terrier mongrels were peddled off as "terriers"! Anyway, let this be a warning. Never cross the corgi with any one of the terrier varieties.
Princess Elizabeth with "Dookie"
When Princess Elizabeth, the child-daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York, and now second heiress to the English throne, made a pal or companion of a Pembroke corgi, is not unreasonable to write that tens of thousands of other British children egged their parents to let them have a dog of the same breed.
It must be because of this latent, or as yet not fully disclosed sentiments of the young of a nation, that the market for corgis is on an upward trend. Because of this appreciation in corgi prices, Captain Jack Howell, former M.F.H. and of Trewellwell, Solva, Pembrokeshire, one of the chief supporters of Sealyham terriers and now a noted breeder of corgis, must after a day's hunting, sit back in his easy chair, enjoy his grog and cigar, while surveying the foxhunting pictures, fox masks and badger skulls that adorn the walls of his dining-room, and wonder at the once disdained "garnets" in his kennels, dogs which now are spoken of in terms of "diamonds" and much gold? Verily, every dog hath its day!
Captain Checkland Williams, soldier-sportsman, and high official in the Treasury of the See of St. Davids, a Sealyham terrier admirer, is another of the Pembroke corgi enthusiasts and charter member of the Club devoted to its interests. The gallant gentleman is a believer in the corgi as a hunting dog. He likes the corgi as a rabbiting or rough-shooting dog, where a dog is not called upon to point game. He likes him as a game-hunting dog, as much as a cattle-heeling corgi.
Why, many will ask, does Mrs. Lewis Roesler of Merriedip Farm, Great Barrington, Mass., take such a great pride in her Pembroke Welsh corgis?
To be precise, Mrs. Lewis Roesler is a descendant of Catherine Williams Lewis whose ancestor, in the year 1636, voyaged from North Pembrokeshire, in Wales, to America, and settled in Farmington County, Connecticut. The farm house still stands. There, over a stone fireplace, may still be seen the initials of one of the stalwarts who founded the City of Hartford.
Now, the reader will understand the unexpressed sentiment behind the photograph of Mrs. Roesler, which illuminates the first page of this story - a picture that in a measure portrays the joys of a woman returning to the land of her birth, accompanied by dogs actually whelped in the land of her long-passed fathers - men of far vision and affluence of exactly three centuries ago.
Unity in type. Note the superior forelegs of the corgi (right).
All have good heads and expression.
Fishguard, about 16 miles from Haverford, is another of the leading corgi centres. From there have come quite a few of the American-owned corgis of today. Hither, last autumn, journeyed Mrs. Roesler and Percy Roberts, both on corgi-hunting bent. Mr. Roberts acquired three or four, and met several old friends and acquaintances of the writer. He sent pictures of delightful scenes of flood and field - views of never to be forgotten salmon and trout fishing places, and fox, otter, and hare-hunting adventures.
Moreover, Mr. Roberts, born at Carmathen, 30 miles from where he then stood, and whom America knows as one of the country's most successful public kennel owners and professional handlers, midst
such surroundings of ocean and mountain views, must have thought back to the times of his youth when, with his father and others, he rounded up herds of the wild ponies of the Welsh breed.
Fishguard through the ages has been noted for its corgis, its cobs, mountain ponies, lordly salmons and plebian herrings! Mrs. Roesler also made purchases, and will tell you a great deal that is interesting about the quaintness of the old inn at which she stayed.
In August next, the greatest of Welsh festivals - the National Eisteddfod - will be held at Fishguard. Choirs from the United States and Canada will compete in the international choral contests. From what is learned, it is not unlikely a local corgi show will be staged as a contemporary event. So it might be that corgis will be looked upon by thousands of visitors as suitable souvenirs to bear away to other lands.
It will be gathered from the illustrations here presented that the Pembroke corgi breed is unmistakably fixed in its type. When we bear in mind this dog has been only 10 years officially recognized as a pure breed, we shall recognize that wonders decidedly have been accomplished.
At the latest and greatest of Westminster Kennel Club shows, in New York, a Pembroke corgi gained third place in the variety group of working dogs. This dog was Robin Hood of Down East, owned by Miss Elizabeth Anderson. He was bred, near Haverford, by Miss Edith Morgan, whose notes on the breed were incorporated in last month's article.
Robin Hood, the son of Ch. Sierra Bowhit Pivot and Cherry Bark, was the first of his kind to attain such a high position among an aggregation of internationally famous American-owned working dogs, the majority of which were champions.
So, it seems, the Pembroke Welsh corgi is on its way to increased prominence at American as well as at European exhibitions.
I have been requested to write a few lines on training corgis as cattle dogs. Here they are, I hope they'll be of value.
A cattle dog, of whatever breed, should be a driver. The great idea is to teach him that his place is at the heel of the beast, and not at its head. So the main proposition must be to encourage your dog as a heeler rather than a header and rounder-up of cattle. This is the method in a cattle or western country where the stock is rounded up by cow-punchers on cow-ponies. The dogs are used to drive along the stragglers. Everything depends on the driver or drover keeping the beast moving on ahead.
The cattle dog must not bark, and he should be sternly corrected by voice, whip or anything handy if he commences to yap. This barking may be of service in driving sheep, but not so in cattle. There is a reason: When a cattle dog starts barking, it is natural that the cows with calves immediately turn around and break back to see what the dog is barking at. The maternal instinct is aroused, and a heifer is especially very careful of her offspring; indeed, a dog to the young mother is like a red rag to a bull in a Spanish bull ring. A cow becomes aggressive as soon as the cattle dog commences barking.
The cattle dog is supposed to stay at heels of the saddle horse, and to go and bite the cattle when he is told to do so. The corgi has to bite the beast low down at the heel; and the dog must come back when he is called upon to do so. An unruly dog can be restrained by the use of a training collar to which has been attached a long line, say of about 100 feet, this line being of stout whipcord or sash line make and quality. To one end of the line must be attached a spring hook and a swivel, the hook being slipped onto the rings of the metal collar made up of reversible links.
The line is soaked in water over night, so that it will run flat and snakelike through the long grass. The dog will forget that he has anything dragging behind him, while, in excitement, he is over-driving the cattle. It is at this moment of his waywardness that the dog must be corrected.
The drover can immediately bring the dog to his senses and a knowledge of what is required of him, by stepping on the line at its nearest point, and shouting to the dog at the same time. The training collar will do the rest. After suffering three or four of these corrections, the cattle dog will immediately recognize the voice and admonition of his master.
The line also can be attached to the saddle of the mounted cattle man. This plan will be found to produce results either to stop a dog from going off and driving a single beast, and chasing rabbits or other animals. A cattle dog that will not bite a beast at the heel, cannot be made to do so. Such dogs will run for the head, and are generally cowards at heart.
It is often said that a "soft" dog at home is a demon with strange cattle. There can be no doubt that the cattle, or, indeed, any other farm dog, is more or less partial in his kinder dispositions towards the beasts among which he has been brought up.
Unfortunately, the rest of the article is not available.