Many a promising romantic relationship has ended because one partner just cannot tolerate the other partner’s pet. Statistically speaking, the offending creature is usually a cat, but dogs can also be a problem. Perhaps that’s why the Celts of Wales created this old Welsh dog proverb to prevent any misunderstandings about who would or would not not be welcome at the family hearth.
The folklore behind the old Welsh dog proverb says that the popular Welsh Corgi breed was originally a gift from the fairies to two wee Cymry (Welsh) who were herding cattle on royal lands. The children brought the pups home, thinking they might be foxes, but adults quickly corrected that misunderstanding. These small dogs, said the elders, are the mounts of fairy warriors, who ride them into battle. The wise men of the group showed the children the markings on the corgi, said to be evidence of where the fairies placed their saddles on the dogs. Such dogs were considered honored guests in Welsh households and proved their worth time and again as herding dogs. Anyone who refused to have such a magical dog in their household was surely destined for ill fortune.
The less mythical origins of the Corgi in Wales is that Flemish and Viking invaders brought their native dogs and cross bred them with the Welsh dogs, resulting in the breed we know and love today. The new breed proved adept at handling livestock and was quite loyal to its family. The Welsh dog proverb, however, still applies. Again, if forced to make a choice between keeping a dog who was helpful around the farm in so many ways versus a wife(usually) who didn’t want dogs dirting her home, I think the farmer was likely to heed the old Welsh dog proverb and give the boot to the wife.
After all, women are always available to a good farmer, but great farm DOGS are harder to come by.
For more info about the two Corgi breeds, the Pembroke and the Cardigan, click on these sources: