Corgis have captured the world’s attention, thanks in no small part to England’s Queen Elizabeth II and the internet. The breed has become popular in the Philippines as well.

The corgi originated in Wales, and in fact translates to “dwarf dog,” which is apt as they’re one of the smallest breeds of herding dogs. There are two types: the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. The younger of the breeds, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi originated in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

Animal Scene asked Arby Estolano, businessman and lover, about Corgis in general and about Stark, his prize-winning, pandesal-loving Pembroke Welsh, in particular.

Why Corgis?

My first impression of Corgis were that they were really low and cute. They looked like silly little creatures and when I first got Stark, I learned it was true! He’s the funniest big little dog ever!

Are Corgis hard to train?

Corgis aren’t hard to train; you just need to be consistent with them. They are herding dogs, and are bred to follow their masters, and should be very hard workers on the field.

What is the most challenging thing about raising and training corgis?

I think the most challenging thing about raising them is keeping them well socialized and sort of adapted to ‘house living’. As small herding dogs, what I’ve researched is that they love to nip at their masters’ feet , and ‘herd’ other dogs.

What is the best thing about raising and training corgis?

Given the right bait, or treat, Corgis are very fast learners. They will do it for the treat, and are very focused [on performing for it]. This makes it easy for the trainers to teach them tricks or commands.

What do judges look for in a prize-winning corgi?

Stark joins conformation shows and is judged based on the Pembroke Welsh Corgi’s breed standard. A breed standard is the ‘Bible’ of what a particular breed should look like, how [it] should measure, and how [it] should move. The dog closest to the breed standard in the eyes of the judge will be declared the winner.

What should regular people look for in a corgi?

When friends ask me what to look for in a Corgi, I always tell them to go to a breeder who joins dog shows and has a track record for winning. Why? Because these breeders produce puppies that are proven to be within the correct standard. Correct standard is also an indicator that the pup does not have any structural defects.

What are the things you wish more people knew about show dogs in general?

Show dogs are the best examples of a particular breed. They should aspire to own show dogs even as pets because of the research and time the breeders put into them into making sure they are very sound and healthy. Our show dogs are pets above everything else, so we treat them as our family as well. They just happen to have more weekend activities compared to us.

What do you think is the secret to your success in training champion corgis?

None that I would really call a secret, but I guess it’s by doing research first, and knowing the right breeder to go to already takes up to 80% of what you are supposed to do. The remaining 20% will 9be comprised) of actual training and conditioning. And of course, most importantly, love what you do.

What are the three things you wish more people knew about corgis in particular?

Corgis are like big dogs that come in… small packages in terms of their temperament. They are not lap dogs! They require lots of love and attention so they can grow to their full potential. Never leave them caged!

What kind of owner is a corgi most suited for?

I would have to say they are suited to someone who loves dogs in general, and also to someone who can give them the love and attention that they need.

What do you love most about raising dogs?

Most people fall in love with puppies (all of them are cute!, but lose that love when they become huge dogs, rowdy dogs, or even drooly ones, but what I love to see is them growing up to their full potential and be the best examples of their particular breed.


This appeared in Animal Scene magazine’s April 2018 issue.