King Charles Spaniel numbers declining amid Corgi boom

King Charles Spaniel numbers are declining and the breed is on the Kennel Club’s ‘vulnerable list’ – amid Corgi boom following Queen Elizabeth’s death

  • Corgis have seen boom in popularity after Platinum Jubilee and death of Queen 
  • Number of Pembroke Welsh Corgis registered with Kennel Club hit 30-year peak
  • But popularity of King Charles Spaniels is continuing to decline, hitting a low
  • Lovers of the breed are hoping sharing name with new King will boost the dogs

Interest in Corgis has boomed following the Platinum Jubilee and the death of Queen Elizabeth, according to the Kennel Club.

Numbers of Pembroke Welsh Corgis registered with the organisation have reached a 30-year high, the Times reports.

Conversely, King Charles Spaniels are continuing to see a decline in their popularity, with lovers of the breed reportedly hoping that sharing a moniker with the new monarch may give the dogs a boost (though the new king prefers Jack Russells).

The breed, which is on the Kennel Club’s vulnerable list, hit a low in 2020, with just 56 registrations. This increased to 91 in 2021, but numbers so far this year are so low, it is likely to drop beneath 2020.

The number of Corgis registered with the Kennel Club has reached a 30-year high, with interest growing following the death of the Queen (pictured here in 1980 with three of the dogs)

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (as pictured) are doing well in terms of popularity, although their close relative the King Charles Spaniel (not pictured) is seeing a decline

However, it notes that Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, the original breed from which King Charles diverged in the middle of the century, is doing well, with 3,772 registrations last year. 

The original Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog breed was developed from toy spaniels. Popular as women’s pets, they were also beloved of King Charles II, who was said to be so fond of his spaniels, he could not be parted from them.

Although Corgis were on the Kennel Club’s vulnerable list in 2014, they are now one ofthe UK’s most popular breeds, and the Queen is credited with boosting their popularity (pictured: Queen Elizabeth with one of her beloved corgis, Candy)

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has become known as a symbol of British royalty thanks to its long-standing association with the Queen

Lovers of the ailing King Charles Spaniel may look to the influence the Queen had in turning around the fortune of corgis in recent decades.

The breed was listed as ‘vulnerable’ in 2014, and the Kennel Club credits Her Majesty’s love of the dogs as the major factor in making them one of the UK’s most popular breeds today.

Corgis, which have four short legs, a long snout and two huge pointed ears, are famous for being a symbol of British royalty.  


The word ‘Corgi’ is Welsh for ‘Dwarf Dog’, and there are two types; the Pembroke, which is the Queen’s breed, and the Cardigan Corgi, a descendent Teckel family of dogs, which also produced the Dachshund

Pembroke Welsh Corgis originated in Pembrokeshire, Wales from the Spitz family of dogs which are characterised by long, thick fur and pointed ears and muzzle

Corgis are a cattle herding breed that can be traced back as far as 1107 AD, thought to have been brought to Wales by  Flemish weavers 

They are the type of herding dog referred to as ‘heelers’, meaning that they would nip at the heels of cattle to keep them moving 

The combination of their low height off the ground and the innate agility of Welsh Corgis would allow them to avoid the hooves of the larger animals

They were officially recognised as a native British breed by The Kennel Club in 1928, but Cardigans and Pembrokes weren’t seen as separate breeds until 1934

The Queen owned more than 30 of the sandy, short-legged dogs throughout her reign.  

She was gifted her first corgi, called Susan, for her 18th birthday from her late father King George VI. Ten generations of her corgis then descended from Susan. 

Her dogs were given the Royal treatment having their own rooms with elevated wicker baskets and meals of beef, chick, rabbit, liver, cabbage and rice being prepared by a chef each evening. 

Sometimes the Queen herself made the dog’s meals. But her late husband was said to have ‘loathed’ the dogs’ yapping. 

She left behind two dogs – Sandy and Muick – who are now cared for by Prince Andrew and the Duchess of York at their Royal Lodge home.

Muick, pronounced Mick, joined the royal family at the start of 2021 along with a so-called ‘dorgi’, a cross between a corgi and a dachshund, called Fergus.    

Fergus, who had been named after the Monarch’s uncle who was killed during battle in the First World War, died after just five months.

He was later replaced with a new corgi called Sandy, as a 95th birthday present from Prince Andrew and his daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. 

Meanwhile Muick was named after Loch Muick on the Balmoral Estate.   

Palace sources speaking to the Daily Mail previously revealed the beloved corgis were ‘with [the Queen] in the room’ at her deathbed when she died on September 8 at Balmoral.

They then touched people’s hearts when they made a poignant appearance at Her Majesty’s funeral on September 19.

As the late monarch’s coffin made its way from London to its final resting place in Windsor, Muick and Sandy waited for the processional to pass, to see the Queen for one last time. 

The dogs were seen waiting in the quadrangle with two aides before the late monarch was laid to rest in St George’s Chapel. 

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