Long live our noble Corgi

Statistics show surge in popularity of iconic breed as animated film about the Queen’s favourite dogs is released

The popularity of the endangered Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi has soared ahead of the release of The Queen’s Corgi tomorrow (5 July).

Statistics from the Kennel Club show that registrations of both types of Corgi puppies, the Queen’s favourite breed and star of the newly released film, increased by 25 per cent in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2018.

Last year saw the highest registrations of Pembroke Welsh Corgis in ten years. This spike follows decades of decline for both Corgi breeds, which the Kennel Club have been monitoring closely for fear that they could soon become vulnerable.

The peaks and troughs of Corgi popularity can be traced alongside the Queen’s reign – in 1944 when Susan, the Queen’s very first Pembroke Corgi, was born, the breed jumped by 56 per cent in popularity. Numbers steadily increased; Pembroke Corgis enjoyed their heyday in 1960, seven years after the Queen’s coronation when nearly 9,000 puppies were registered. Following this ‘crowning glory’, the breed’s popularity plummeted, dropping to just 1,806 registrations 20 years later.

In 2009, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi was added to the Kennel Club’s ‘At Watch’ list, which identifies breeds that number between 300 and 450 registrations annually. Those that number fewer than 300 annual puppy registrations are included in the Kennel Club’s ‘Vulnerable Native Breeds’ list, which the Pembroke Welsh Corgi was added to once, in 2014, with just 274 registrations that year.

However, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi came off the Kennel Club’s list of ‘At Risk’ breeds at the beginning of 2018 for the first time in over ten years after it featured in the popular Netflix television series, The Crown. Pembroke Corgi puppy registrations increased by 16 per cent in 2017 after the first season aired, and 47 per cent in 2018 following the much-anticipated second season.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “Sadly dog breeds go in and out of fashion, so after a long period of worrying decline for the Corgi breeds it is reassuring to see an increase in numbers.

“When Netflix series The Crown, featuring a young Queen and her dogs, aired on TV, undoubtedly the breed’s profile started to rise, and this is looking likely to continue with the release of The Queen’s Corgi.

“This kind of exposure can help to bring some of our much-loved breeds which are at risk of extinction back to the attention of the public and ensure they don’t just consider the obvious or popular breeds when buying a puppy. Of course, nobody should be buying a dog simply because they’ve seen them on TV; thorough, extensive and responsible research should drive any decision to ensure the breed is right for you.”

Read more information on finding the right breed for your lifestyle.