The Vexed Question of
By Anne G. Biddlecombe (Teekay Pembroke Corgis)
I approach this question with some diffidence, as I know that there is a very strong feeling in the breed on this subject, and I know too, that my own ideas are not altogether in line with those of some other breeders.
That there has been for some time a tendency for the show Corgi to be overweight, and, if not too big, at all events on the top limit for size, is indisputable. How much this has spread through the breed as a whole is open to question.
Looking back over the years, I am of the opinion that the breed has benefited enormously from the use of these rather heavier dogs. Memories are short, but it is not so very long ago that the cry was all in the other direction, and the Pembroke in real danger of becoming a miniature breed. Gone are the days when the puppy and novice classes were at least half filled with little, light boned, weedy specimens. The alternative, at that time, which was an exaggeratedly low, overboned, clumsy animal, has largely disappeared as well.
With size we have gained considerably in both type and temperament. I don't know why it should be so, but taken all round the bigger type of Corgi seems more even tempered than his smaller brother. The nervous, yappy puppy, of my experience, has nearly always been a little light, undersized one.
We have now in the breed, plenty of young dogs, good in type, active, and well within the standard for size, from which to build the breed of the future.
What we must remember is that a pendulum is never still, unless the clock has run down altogether; but it can be adjusted to swing in either a big art or a small one. I respectfully suggest that we want to set our pendulum in motion very gently, so that it doesn't swing too far in the opposite direction.
Two suggestions have been made recently to tackle this size problem, both of them, I think, not only impracticable, but quite wrong, One, that judges should unconditionally put down all dogs with any tendency to oversize or overweight - the use of scales in the ring has even been mentioned. Size must be judged on the same level as any other point in the standard; provided there is no undue exaggeration in either height or weight, so as to make the dog untypical, his other good points must be taken into consideration. Give me a good, sound, typical Pembroke, a pound or two overweight, every time, in preference to a smaller one with straight shoulders, a short back, or any other really bad fault.
The other suggestion is that the standard should be altered to fit the fashion, because that is what it really boils down to. If this were ever to be seriously considered, it would not take us very long to produce a freak breed, at the mercy of every passing whim and fancy. The standard is there to act as a yardstick, and to bring us up short when, as now, we show signs of getting away from it.
I think the biggest danger that may arise from a general tendency to either over or under size, is that one's eye can get accustomed to it. I know how very small a twenty-two pound dog can look in an open class, amongst a lot of big ones, and how big that same dog can look in a novice class, amongst a lot of young puppies.
I am sure that I am speaking for the great majority of breeders when I say that we don't want to go away from the standard at all, as regards size. The breed is, or should be, a handy breed, small enough to fit in anywhere, big enough to do almost anything. Let's keep it that way.
Welsh Corgi League Handbook 1954