Pembroke Corgi Breeder – Patsy Smith

Cariadh corgi puppiesMy life with Corgis goes back to the 1970s. The first Pembroke to “own” me arrived in 1979. I was searching for a dog for my parents and thought a Pem might fit well into their household. But when I met “Zap” (Bundocks Viva Zapata, CD), this beautiful sable Pem pulled at my heartstrings. He soon ended up at my house instead of my parents’. The rest, as they say, is history. Zap was my “heart dog” for nearly 16 years. He was a joy in every way and introduced me to the dog world. When Zap came to be 14, we brought home a new puppy “Obi” (Can. CH Aurora’s Oberon, CD), who became my first conformation show dog. There will never be another Obi, my true four-legged angel.

Cariadh Patsy Smith

Obi and I joined the Cascade Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club and fell hook, line, and sinker into the dog world of conformation, obedience, herding, and therapy. Before long I was pouring over pedigrees, planning a breeding program, and dreaming about the possibility of breeding a litter. I found the English Corgis most appealing with their beautiful physique and soft expressive faces.

Thus began my search for a dog to become the foundation of my breeding program. The pursuit led me to England and Scotland and the homes of many wonderful UK breeders. I made lifelong friends on that hunt and eventually returned home with two lovely dogs. Camberwell Tea Rose, “Lucy,” became the foundation of my breeding program; to this day every dog I have bred proudly goes directly back to that beautiful, spirited little Scottish Corgi lass.

I bred my first litter in 1996, and soon a friend from Scotland suggested the name CARIADH for my kennel. Cariadh means “little darling” in Welsh and she thought it appropriate because she knew my dogs were all “little darlings” to me. As a Breeder of Merit, every dog I breed is registered with the American Kennel Club and its registered name begins with Cariadh.

Cariadh Patsy Smith and corgisA year or two of research precedes the breeding of every Cariadh litter. Though I have been breeding for nearly 20 years, I only breed a litter about once every 2 years. I research pedigrees, attend dog shows throughout the country to check out bloodlines and possible stud dogs, and do health checks on the prospective parents. I do hip x-rays, eye exams, and genetic tests. Both parents must be in excellent health and top condition before a breeding occurs.

Since the majority of my puppies spend their lives in wonderful pet homes, producing strong, healthy, structurally sound Corgis with great temperaments has to be my #1 goal. The perfect dog probably isn’t out there, but we strive for the “ultimate puppy” in every litter we breed. Of course my hope is to produce a winning show puppy, but that puppy also needs the qualities to excel in herding, agility, obedience, and the even temperament to be a therapy dog.

Corgi lovers seem to “click” with one another, and I have met many of my dearest friends either through the Corgi club or through my puppies. It truly warms my heart to see the joy my puppies have engendered over the years. I stay in touch with my Corgis throughout their lives and love hearing stories about 13- 14- and even 15- year olds that are still enjoying life and continuing to bring joy to their families.

Some folks may be taken aback at the depth of my interview process for prospective puppy owners.  As with many breeders, my puppies are my “babies” and it is critical that their new homes be a good fit for life. I look for loving families that understand the pros and cons of owning this demanding and hairy breed and are prepared to be “owned” by a Corgi for many years. Corgis need a loving, structured, and safe environment with lots of attention and activity, both physical and mental. At least the basics of obedience training are a must for a well-adjusted Corgi and for his/her family. A 5-star vacuum cleaner can sure come in handy too!

My household pack consists of 5 incredible and very individual Corgis:

The 11-year-old Patriarch, Tynen (CH Cariadh Man about Town, RN)

The 11-year-old Patriarch, Tynen (CH Cariadh Man about Town, RN)

Tynen’s daughter Pixie, the 7-year-old Matriarch (CH Cariadh Tyger’s Eye)

Tynen’s daughter Pixie, the 7-year-old Matriarch (CH Cariadh Tyger’s Eye)

Tynen’s granddaughter, Scottie, age 5 (GrandCH Cariadh Dragonfly in Amber)

Tynen’s granddaughter, Scottie, age 5 (GrandCH Cariadh Dragonfly in Amber)

Pixie’s daughter, the 3-year-old debutante, Ghillie (GrandCH Cariadh Cierra Temptation Eyes)

Pixie’s daughter, the 3-year-old debutante, Ghillie (GrandCH Cariadh Cierra Temptation Eyes)

Scotties daughter and our next star hopeful, 4-month-old baby Ruth (Cariadh Fly Me to the Moon)

Scotties daughter and our next star hopeful, 4-month-old baby Ruth (Cariadh Fly Me to the Moon)

Here are a few summer tips for Corgi owners that come to mind:

Bees and wasps – Allergic reactions can occur with stings, especially on the head. You can give a 25mg Benadryl tablet in an emergency until you can get your dog to a veterinarian.
Fleas – Summer can be problematic, so keep an eye out for scratching and treat your dogs before “hot spots” develop.
Over-exertion – Corgis can over heat with too much exercise or high temperatures, so give them lots of water to drink and wet them down, especially in the belly area, to keep them cool. Be mindful that tri’s are usually more sensitive to the heat, and if it’s too hot for you, it’s to hot for your Corgi too!
Hot pavement – Remember, Corgis are low to the ground and that means they are close to hot pavement, so they will get hot faster than taller dogs when walking on summertime pavement. Beware that pavement can get very hot and uncomfortable for your dog’s feet.

Corgis are known as a magical breed, and they truly do seem to have a magical way of bringing us all joy. Enjoy your Corgis, hug them, love them, and be kind to them. Each and every Corgi is a treasure.

To contact Patsy: smithp@ohsu.edu.

Posted in Guest Breeder