May 23, 2009

We herd, we work ... or we get bored and sad

by pawlitico

Look at our furriend Emma Corgi herding! She knows how to communicate to give each individual sheep safe directions. It's in her body language and her special Corgi communication ability.

Emma Corgi herding sheep
Herding and droving is what we Welsh Corgis do well and have always done well. Like other working dogs who herd, and like cutting horses, we see the world in terms of keeping individual animals and flocks organized and safe.

Emma is a happy Corgi. She gets to do what she loves.

Emma loves her work.
We Corgis are not lap dogs. We are not toy dogs. Not a play thing or a puppet or a toy.

We don't want to be kept in little crates in apartments and brought out just for show and cuddles.

As Emma paw-elegantly stated, "Working/herding/water dog breeds are great, just as long as they can live the lifestyle they were bred for (by humans). Otherwise, they are frustrated, develop behavioral problems, and end up in shelters being destroyed."

There's been so much controversy lately over dog breeding. I feel that I must bark about maintaining the strength and vitality and health of traditional breeds, especially working and herding breeds.

My Corgi feelings are hurt that humans mix up overbreeding with breeding, as if it's bad or elitist to be a working dog.

We want us dogs to be healthy and happy. What we don't want is to reduce the dog population at the expense of breed integrity.

Pawleeze reduce dog overpopulation: Reduce breeding as a source of human income!

And pawleeze help humans understand us better. If they did, very few of us would end up abandoned in shelters!

Paw-note: You can rescue a wonderful Pembroke or Cardigan Welsh Corgi through CorgiAid and Golden Gate PWCF and other organizations.


Vinogirl said...

Great go boy!

nicole said...

Thank you for such an insightful article.

Working dogs live to work! It feels so right to be herding, if you are a Corgi. It feels so right to be digging, if you are a terrier. It feels so right to be holding tightly onto something, if you are a bull dog. It feels so right to chase something, if you are a hunting dog.

It is a sad misconception that these dogs would prefer a couch potato lifestyle. This is torture for working personalities.

Overbreeding could almost be defined by production of dogs with complete lack of functionality. Even breeding for "pet" purposes requires attentive, careful selection for dogs that can meet the demands of pet owners -- extreme bite inhibition, minimal energy, long lifespan, tolerance of grooming!

Well-written with excellent points.

Everycat said...

What an excellent post! I love Corgis, I used to have one as a neighbour, he was a stout, friendly and characterful little guy named Patch. He loved to herd, he was really bright and a good friend to all animals.

You are so right about breeding, it should be for function and health primarily. It's the only way to keep a breed in good health.

Whicky Wuudler