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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Corgi - The Cardigan and the Pembroke see the differences

There are two breeds of Welsh corgis, the Cardigan and the Pembroke, each named for the county in Wales where it originated. The two breeds were recognized as one breed until 1934 when the Kennel Club recognized them as Pembroke and Cardigan. The differences between the two breeds include bone structure, body length, and size. Cardigans are the larger of the two breeds, with large rounded ears and a 12-inch-long foxy, flowing tail set in line with the body. Though the Cardigan is allowed more colours than the Pembroke, white should not predominate in its coat. 

corgi dog
The Cardigan Corgi


The Cardigan is a double-coated dog where the outer coat is dense, slightly harsh in texture, and of medium length. The dog's undercoat is short, soft, and thick. The breed stands about 12 inches (30 cm) at the shoulder, and weighs about 30 pounds (14 kg). The Cardigan is sturdy, mobile, alert, active, intelligent, steady, and neither shy nor aggressive.







pembroke corgi
Pembroke Corgi
Pembrokes feature pointed ears, and are somewhat smaller in stature than the Cardigan. Considered a practical dog, they are low-set, intelligent, strong and sturdy with stamina sufficient to work a day on the farm. The dog's head is fox-like and the tail short, which can be accomplished through breeding or docking. Historically, the Pembroke was a breed with a natural bob tail (a very short tail), and today, if the Pembroke has a tail at all, it is usually curly. Due to the advent of tail docking in dogs, the bob tail was not aggressively pursued, with breeders focusing instead on other characteristics, and the tail artificially shortened if need be. Given that some countries now ban docking, breeders are again attempting to select dogs with the genes for natural bob tails. Pembrokes stand from 10 inches (25 cm) to 12 inches (30 cm), and weigh approximately 28 pounds (13 kg).


Corgis are herding dogs, and perform their duties by nipping at the heels; the dog's low height allows it to avoid being kicked in the process. As herding dogs, corgis work livestock differently than other breeds. Instead of gathering the cattle the way a collie would, by running around the livestock, corgis drive the herd forward by nipping at their heels and working them from behind in semicircles. Seldom giving ground, if an animal should turn and charge, the corgi will bite its nose, causing it to turn and rejoin the herd. Although they specialize in herding cattle, corgis are also used to herd sheep and Welsh ponies. Welsh corgis also guarded children and were pets.
The corgi's origin is difficult to trace. There is mention in an 11th-century manuscript of a Welsh cattle dog, though there is no evidence about whether this is the corgi or an ancestor.

Welsh folklore says the corgi is the preferred mount of tiny, woodland fairy warriors. There is also a folk legend that says corgis were a gift from the woodland fairies, and that the breed's markings were left on its coat by fairy harnesses and saddles. Corgis often have a marking, a white stripe, that runs from the nose, through the eyes, and up into the forehead; this marking is referred to as their blaze.


The first recorded date for corgis appearing in the show ring in Wales is 1925.
The first show corgis were straight off the farm and gained only moderate attention. Subsequent breeding efforts to improve upon the dog's good looks were rewarded with increased popularity. For years the two breeds, the Cardigan Welsh corgi and the Pembroke Welsh corgi, were shown as two varieties of a single breed. Since the two Corgi breeds developed in the Welsh hill country, in areas only a few miles apart, there is evidence of crossbreeding between the two that accounts for the similarities.

The Cardigan is one of the oldest breeds of dog in Britain and has been employed for centuries by Welsh farmers to herd cattle, herding the owner's livestock to grazing areas and driving the neighbour's cattle out of gardens and open pastures. In early settlements these dogs were prized family members, helping hunt game and guarding children. The Pembroke is believed to have been introduced to Wales by Flemish weavers about 1100, though 920 is also a suggested date. Another possibility for this corgi's origin is breeding between Cardigans and the Swedish Vallhund, a spitz-type dog resembling the Pembroke and brought to Wales by Norse invaders.

In 1933 the first Welsh Corgis were brought to the United States by American breeder Mrs. Lewis Roesler, for her Merriedip Kennels in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts. She purchased a Pembroke bitch, Little Madam, at London's Paddington Station for twelve pounds at the time, followed by a mate named Captain William Lewis. The breed received recognition in America in 1934 with Mrs. Roesler's dogs being the first recorded Pembroke Corgis in America.

There has recently been a concern regarding the population size of the Welsh Corgi. Currently the Corgi is on Britain Kennel Club's watch list. In 2013, only 241 Welsh Corgis were registered. In order to stay off the breed vulnerable list 300 corgis would need to be registered; this is not expected.

The Cardigan tends to be a little hardier and has fewer documented hereditary health problems; however, both types of dog are genetically predisposed to encounter canine hip dysplasia, canine degenerative myelopathy, and progressive retinal atrophy more frequently than other breeds in this group. Persistent papillary membrane (PPM) is an eye disease that occurs in a number of Pembrokes. PPM occurs when pieces of developmental membrane remain, measuring from small spots to large connected threads. Cardigan Welsh corgis have a typical life expectancy between 12 and 14 years, and Pembroke Welsh corgis typically live between 12 and 15 years.

Corgis often compete in dog agility trials, obedience, showmanship, flyball, tracking, and herding events. Herding instincts and trainability can be measured at noncompetitive herding tests. Cardigan and Pembroke corgis exhibiting basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in herding trials.


Corgis are very active and energetic. They have a strong desire to please and should receive both physical and mental exercise regularly. They should be socialized early on because they tend to be shy and cautious with strangers and other dogs. They have a tendency to be very vocal, and for this reason make good alarm dogs. They are typically good with children, but due to their herding behavior they may nip at their heels during play, although this behavior can be trained out of the dog.Pembroke corgis are outgoing and playful as well as bold and protective while Cardigan corgis are more devoted and affectionate.

Outside Wales, Queen Elizabeth II has kept a number of corgis in her retinue, typically four and once as many as thirteen. Her first corgi was called Susan. She currently keeps two corgis who are about twelve years old.
Some portraits of Queen Elizabeth II include a corgi.
Corgis as characters were incorporated into the storybook fantasies Corgiville Fair, The Great Corgiville Kidnapping, and Corgiville Christmas of American author and illustrator Tasha Tudor. In 1961, the Walt Disney film, Little Dog Lost, brought the Pembroke Corgi widespread publicity. In the anime Cowboy Bebop, the main characters have a super-intelligent Pembroke Welsh corgi, Ein, on their ship.
The Top Shelf graphic novel Korgi plays on the folklore tradition of the corgi as a faerie draft animal. It features the "Mollies" (fairy-like beings) who live in close relationship with the land and their Korgi friends, who are based on and resemble the Pembroke Welsh corgi.


Monday, November 2, 2015

Considerations when buying toys for dogs and cats



While it may be tempting for some to get that gigantic chew bone or the brightly colored squeaky toy, some caution is advised before shopping for pets.

Know your pet recipient

As with a gift for a human, realize that each pet has their preferences (chewer, ball player, etc.) and some may have health conditions that warrant special attention when deciding on a gift.
Food allergies are common in pets, so tuna treats are not the gift for the fish-allergic feline.
Some pets have special dietary needs. Fatty or sugary treats are not appropriate for the diabetic or overweight pet.
Whenever buying food or treat gifts for animals that are on a special diet or allergic to certain foods, remember to check the labels carefully - even when labeled as "beef" or "chicken" there are often other fillers, such as corn or fish, that may cause problems for sensitive pets. (See Unsafe Toys)

Toys to Avoid


Toys that resemble common items


Caution is advised when purchasing toys that are stuffed animals or resemble "regular" items such as shoes. Pets may not differentiate between their toys and human toys (or shoes). This is especially important in a house with small children - stuffed animals abound and the shoes are about the same size as the 'toy' ones. (See Toys are not a Luxury)

Dyes and preservatives

Pets don't care what color it is, the colors added to treats and chews are for the people. (Think of the stuff dogs eat in the yard.) In addition to not being healthful, dyes may stain bedding and carpet where your pet is consuming the treat.

Flimsy construction and dangerous materials

Thin rubber squeak toys and Mylar ribbon cat toys are colorful and fun, but left unsupervised, a pet may chew and consume parts of these toys, with potentially very serious consequences.

String Alert

Given the chance, many cats will continue to consume a ribbon or string (tree tinsel, gift wrap, or cat 'fishing pole' type toys). Once consumed, the ribbon will bunch up in the intestines and can be fatal. This condition is referred to as a linear foreign body, and veterinary attention is required immediately. These toys are OK with supervision, but after playing, the ribbon toy should be placed in closed area, such as a closet.


Ingestible Toys Not Always Digestible

Rubber balls and chew toys can also have serious consequences when consumed. If large enough pieces are swallowed, they can cause a intestinal foreign body obstruction, also potentially life-threatening. Smooth objects (balls, coins, marbles) and hard rubber toys may be a cause of intestinal obstruction and often necessitate surgical removal.
I have removed a rubber rat head from a cat's intestine, so cats can be victims of dietary indiscretion as well as dogs. (When the owner saw the toy rat head, chewed off of the toy rat body, she exclaimed that it had been kitty's favorite toy.)


Favorite Pet Gifts

Dogs

I love the Kong Dog Toy. They offer a wide variety of sizes, shapes and "chewing strengths" - be sure to purchase a toy that is appropriate for the dog. Kong also makes cat toys now too, that are favorites of my cats.



Cats


My felines love a good catnip treat. It is important to note that not all cats enjoy catnip - approximately 30% of them do not have the necessary receptors to 'experience' the catnip, so some cats could care less about this as a gift. Catnip toys come in a variety of shapes and sizes. My cats love them!
Another good choice for cats during the cold winter months is a nice pet snuggler bed.

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