Perhaps a sad tale

Her Majesty’s preferred breed may be going down the tubes it resembles:

The Queen of England’s favorite breed of dog was placed on Britain’s Kennel Club’s “at watch” list — and could soon become endangered, the organization warns.

Only 241 Pembroke Welsh corgis are registered with the club this year and, unless that number spikes to 300 by January, the pups will be placed on a “vulnerable native breeds” list, the club claims.

One possible reason may be at the little guy’s far end:

The cuteness shortage may be linked to the country’s 2007 ban on tail-docking, which breeders say make corgis less desirable show dogs, London’s Daily Telegraph reported.

No such ban exists in the States, where the American Kennel Club adheres to the following standard:

Docked as short as possible without being indented. Occasionally a puppy is born with a natural dock, which if sufficiently short, is acceptable. A tail up to two inches in length is allowed, but if carried high tends to spoil the contour of the topline.

The Pembroke’s long-lost cousin, the Cardigan — they’ve been separate breeds for the better part of a century — can have as much tail as he wants, so long as he doesn’t carry it high.

Who is gaining at the Pembroke’s expense? Perhaps the French bulldog:

The French Bulldog (owned by the likes of Jonathan Ross, Reese Witherspoon and Hugh Jackman) is the breed with the biggest increase in popularity, with the Kennel Club seeing a 1232 percent rise from 2003 to 2012. The popularity of the breed shows no sign of diminishing, with new statistics revealing that registrations with the Kennel Club have risen by 50 percent in the first three quarters of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012. There have been 4,843 registrations so far this year, making it the seventh most popular breed in the UK.

The AKC reports that in 2012, the Pembroke ranked 24th out of 175 breeds; the Cardigan, 75th; the Frenchie, 14th. (A decade ago, the Frenchie was 58th.)


  1. McGehee »

    8 November 2013 · 7:47 am

    French Bulldog

    They made that up!

  2. CGHill »

    8 November 2013 · 8:51 am

    In the 1800s, actually.

  3. Lynn »

    8 November 2013 · 11:52 am

    As I have said before, I’m not a dog person so this probably won’t mean a whole lot to those who are, but people who are concerned about “breed standards” do not like dogs; they like standards. And, in my opinion, anyone who would dock a dog’s tail has no right to claim to be a dog lover.

  4. Tatyana »

    8 November 2013 · 12:37 pm

    No surprises here; a dog is merely consequence of a human. Its breed is a consequence of human’s occupation.
    If there are fewer shepherds, ther are less shepherd dogs. If the Hunt is not longer a natural pastime, there’ll be no setters, pointers and other hunting dogs. And when Lady of the Manor no longer walks the meadows but mixes with common crowds on London sidewalks, she’ll rather have a handbag dog (like the kitchy French bulldog or worse, the foul-smelling pug) instead of Cavalier Spaniel.

  5. CGHill »

    8 November 2013 · 1:14 pm

    My brother had a pug, though he did put some effort into destenchifying it. (Both are gone now, alas.)

  6. jsallison »

    8 November 2013 · 6:49 pm

    Standards of appearance requiring butchery to attain should be cause for the promulgators of said ‘standards’ to be horsewhipped. With a real horse. Wouldn’t limit it to pooches, either.

  7. CGHill »

    8 November 2013 · 7:00 pm

    Your basic AKC-approved Doberman definitely has a docked tail and probably has docked ears as well.

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