Everyone knows what a Corgi is, and what they look like. But I bet there are a lot of facts about the breed that you’ve never heard of. In fact, I can even guarantee that you’ve never heard any of these.
From how the ‘Doomsday Book’ may potentially save the Cardigan Welsh Corgi from extinction, to a Corgi DNA mutation called the ‘fluffy gene,’ and even a Corgi that might actually know calculus – these surprising facts will surely leave you amazed.
By the end of the article, make sure to leave a comment below and let me know which facts you actually heard of…if any at all. So, here are 10 little-known Corgi facts that you’ve never heard of, but really need to know.
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1. A Corgi was the unofficial face and mascot of Amazon (store).
Nearly everyones heard of Amazon. It’s the behemoth e-commerce superstore founded by legendary entrepreneur and fellow dog lover, Jeff Bezos.
But did you know that during the early days of Amazon.com, a Corgi named ‘Rufus’ was the unofficial face of the company? In fact, Rufus is still mentioned deep within the company’s official website in the customer support section…of all places.
This office Corgi belonged to Amazon’s former editor-in-chief and principal engineer. And, he came into work every single day with him. The staff loved him so much that they gave him the nickname, “Amazon’s shortest volunteer worker.”
During his time at Amazon, Rufus was always strolling through the hallways like a celebrity, sitting in on meetings like a boss, or just sleeping in his crate. He was also excellent at artfully manipulating everyone into giving him lots of treats.
Isn’t that such a Corgi thing to do? And according to Bezos, it was all because of Rufus that Amazon has a dog-friendly office culture today.
2. The “Dogzilla” monster was actually a Corgi.
Cue the Corgi monster! And no, we’re not talking about the little Corgi monster that’s currently sitting by your lap. If you’re a fan of movies and were born after 1967, I’m sorry to say, you missed out on a cultural rite of passage, that is, sci-fi giant monster films.
One of the most famous films in this genre was the 1954 cult classic, Godzilla. It was such a big deal that it actually inspired renowned writer Dav Pilkey to come out with a parody children’s book called “Dogzilla.”
And the dog breed that he chose for his giant fictional monster? It was, of course, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. According to Pilkey, the inspiration to write Dogzilla came when his friend’s son let a Corgi into his house.
The Corgi proceeded to do what Corgis do, and completely demolished the kid’s Lego castle like a true giant monster rampaging through a helpless city.
And if you thought giving Corgis the ability to grow into a 200 foot monster is extreme, you’ll be shocked at why a group of people believe Corgis have magic healing abilities. But before we get into that, let’s talk about the Corgi that’s probably a genius.
3. There’s one Corgi that might instinctively understand calculus.
Do dogs understand calculus? Maybe not intentionally. It’s pretty sad to know a Corgi might actually be better at math than me. But that might really be the case.
A math professor named Timothy was playing fetch with his Corgi named Elvis. Every time Timothy threw the tennis ball into the lake, Elvis would dive right into the water without any hesitation to retrieve like he was a Golden Retriever.
But Timothy noticed something odd. When he started running for the ball, Elvis didn’t run in a straight line from where he stood. He always ran at an angle (or “tangent” for the math nerds) before diving into the water.
This got Timothy curious. So like any true academic, he started to experiment throwing the ball at various angles to observe Elvis’ behavior.
Using his throwing point, along with Elvis’ running and swimming speed, Timothy came up with a math equation that led him to a shocking revelation. Elvis instinctively understood where to dive in and start swimming to reach the ball in the shortest way possible.
Now, we’re not so sure why Timothy was so surprised. I mean – Elvis was a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and we all know how smart those dogs actually are.
4. The late Queen Elizabeth II owned over 30 Corgis throughout her lifetime.
We all know the late Queen’s obsession with Corgis. But you’d probably be surprised at just how crazy obsessed she actually was. In her entire 96 years of life, she actually owned over 30 Corgis! That’s almost a new Corgi every 3 years!
However, her very first Corgi came at the young age of 18, when the King gifted her a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named “Susan” for her birthday. And ever since then, she was hooked on Corgis.
According to anecdotal stories, Elizabeth II loved Susan so much that she snuck her under rugs as she traveled in an open carriage throughout London on her way to her honeymoon.
Of course, the Corgi also accompanied her for the entire duration of her honeymoon. She just couldn’t bear leaving her Corgi for any time at all.
But what about the other Corgis that came later? Well, they all descended from Susan.
5. There’s a legend of Corgis with magical healing powers and fairies.
Where did Corgis come from? Well, according to one Welsh folklore, they came from fairies. Yep, you heard right. According to the legend, these dogs were given to a couple of kids as a gift from the mythical Welsh fairies.
But what’s even more fascinating about the lore is that fairies would ride on the backs of these dogs into battle – like how knights used to ride on the back of horses.
You see that distinctive marking on the back of your Corgi? Does it resemble anything? Perhaps, the shape resembles a horse saddle? Well, it’s unofficially called the “fairy saddle” in the Corgi community because it’s just more fun to believe the legend.
However, the most interesting part of the legend may be the Corgi’s magical healing ability to cure ailments and bring comfort to those in need. It’s interesting because we all know Corgis can and do actually bring comfort to those that need it.
Now this myth may be all fun and games, however, there’s a book that sounds like a myth, but may end up saving the Cardigan Welsh Corgi from going extinct. Well, get to that later…but here’s an interesting fact about the Corgi’s ancestors.
6. The “original Corgi” had a different name.
Between the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, historians believed that the latter was first to appear. As a matter of fact, evidence suggests that Cardigans may have originated in 1200 BCE, which suggests they’ve been around for over 3,000 years!
However, they weren’t always called the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. The original Corgi was called the Bronant Corgi.
Bronant was a small village nestled in the heart of the Cardiganshire hills. But what’s really interesting was that up until around 1870, Bronant was the only place in the world where no other dog breed but the Cardigan Welsh Corgi could be found.
A village full of Corgis? Sounds like heaven to fellow Corgi lovers. However, as the Corgi made its way to other villages in Wales, people began calling them the Cardiganshire Corgis. Eventually, the name was shortened over time to the Cardigan Welsh Corgi.
7. Some Corgis inherit a gene called the “fluffy gene.”
Does it feel like your Corgi is extra fluffy? Well, you can thank the FGF5 gene for that. Unofficially known as the “fluffy gene,” the FGF5 causes a dog’s coat to grow extra long and fluffy – hence, the nickname.
But how do we know this? The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is believed to share a genetic connection with some spitz breeds, most notably, the Swedish Vallhund. Just look at them – the eerily resemblance might be the dead giveaway.
The two breeds are actually connected by the “fluffy gene.” In most cases, dogs carrying this specific gene are considered a fault. Similarly, in Pembrokes, some puppies are born with longer and softer coats, making them ineligible for certain show competitions.
And when Corgis are born with all this extra fluff, we call them “fluffies.” I really can’t think of a better name for these extra-fluffy Corgis.
8. Corgis have a unique “east west front” stance.
You probably have no idea what a “east west front” is. And that’s okay, because we didn’t either. Some dogs, such as the Welsh Corgis, have an “east-west,” where their front feet and toes point outward when standing or moving.
This is also called the “ten to two” front because the feet point towards ten and two o’ clock. In many breeds, this is considered a fault, especially if the breed is a sporting or working dog. But not with the Corgis.
The main argument is that in sports that require lateral stability or strength, this improper foot placement may actually compromise a dog’s balance. However, some experts have come out to argue that there actually isn’t any performance related reason for dogs to have front-facing feet.
And even if they do, their feet likely still point forward when running, which is the most important part. But clearly, this doesn’t affect a Corgi’s ability to herd, as this unique stance is even mentioned in their official breed standards.
9. The world record for largest gathering of a single breed is held by Corgis.
Corgis may not be the quickest, most athletic, tallest, or even the fastest dogs. So it’s no surprise that they don’t hold many world records. But one canine record they can claim is the largest gathering of one dog breed.
In fact, this gathering happens every single year at Huntington Beach in California. It’s called “Corgi Beach Day.” According to the event coordinators, thousands of Corgis show up to this event.
What started off as a humble gathering of 15 Corgis in October of 2012, quickly evolved into one of the most viral events in canine history. Since then, this event has inspired Corgi beach days all over the world!
With how many Corgi fans there are, it was only a matter of time. And if you’re a Corgi owner…or just an enthusiast, you should probably check to see if there’s a Corgi beach day near you!
10. The “Doomsday Book” may save the Cardigan Welsh Corgi from extinction.
Don’t worry – the Doomsday Book isn’t as apocalyptic and grim as it sounds. The proper Middle English spelling of the book is actually “Domesday” with d-o-m-e-s. So what exactly is this book?
First commissioned by ‘William the First’ in 1085, this book represents the earliest public record of Britain. In fact, it’s a fairly significant historical book for the country.
The book documented land and holdings, land owners, livestock, and resource usage, thus offering some valuable insight into medieval society. Throughout history, many people have examined the contents of this book.
But one thing stood out, especially among dog breeders and enthusiasts in Wales. And that’s the mention of “yard dogs,” which measured a single yard from the tip of their nose to the tip of their tail.
In fact, many historians believed this was in reference to the Cardigan Welsh Corgis of the past. Because of this, it actually inspired a group of Mid Wales farmers to establish a yard dog society for the Cardigan.
And alarmed at the fact that the number of registered Cardigans were quickly dwindling by the hundreds, they made it their society’s sole mission to save the breed from its seemingly inevitable extinction.
Today, the efforts of the society are still ongoing. So, whether they can actually change the course of the breed, remains to be seen.
So which of these Corgi facts did you actually know? Don’t lie. Leave a comment in the section below!
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