Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Dogs > Sable Corgi: Facts, Origin & History (With Pictures)

Sable Corgi: Facts, Origin & History (With Pictures)

sable corgi standing in the grass

The term “Sable Corgi” refers to a type of coat color present in both the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Sables in both Corgi breeds are known for their unique markings and coats. These multi-hued dogs have become increasingly popular, especially in recent years, due to their distinctive coloring and independent personalities. Some Sable Corgis even have their own social media profiles and adoring fans1.  When it comes to Sable Corgis—whether Pembroke or Cardigan—there’s a lot to love.

Breed Overview


10 to 12 inches


24 to 30 pounds


12 to 13 years


Tan, sable, fawn, red, black- may have white markings

Suitable for:

Active families and individuals


Intelligent, sociable, loyal, affectionate, gets along with other pets

The Sable coats of these dogs are made up of red, black, and white hairs, making it one of the most distinct coat colors out of all of them. In addition, Sable Corgis have their own unique color patterns on their bodies. The backs and shoulders of these dogs have a predominantly black appearance, which is called a black cast. As active dogs with an independent spirit, Sable Corgis have the same breed characteristics as every other (official) coloration of Corgi. Color is the only difference here.

They are very smart and social animals who will bond closely with their owners and are quick to warm up to strangers and other pets—especially when given the right environment and training methods.

Corgi Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.


The Earliest Records of Sable Corgis in History

There is some mystery surrounding the Corgi’s origin, but it is believed that it originated in the 9th or 10th centuries2. When Scandinavian raiders came to the British Isles, they brought their dogs along with them. Swedish Vallhunds, which are akin to Corgis today, are thought to have bred with Welsh native dogs there, resulting in the Corgi. Their name derives from the Welsh words for dwarf (“cor”) and dog (“gi”), giving “Corgi” as a combination of the two words.

Herding instincts were evident in some of these dogs. Through selective breeding, the breed was further developed into a strong herding dog. Cattle, sheep, and horses were herded with the help of these animals. The low ground height of Corgis makes them less likely to be injured by cattle kicks. Furthermore, they were perfectly placed to nip at the legs of the livestock to get them moving. Although we don’t have records of the sable coloration—or any other colors—from this time, it’s certainly possible that Sable Corgis existed then since they are a combination of the three main pigments that occur in Corgis.

pembroke corgi with sable coat
Image By: Jus_Ol, Shutterstock

How Sable Corgis Gained Popularity

Corgis have recently become one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. These fluffy little pups have grown a huge following, with many people around the world loving them for their cuteness and personality. The AKC ranks Pembrokes 11 out of 284 dog breeds and Cardigans rank at a respectable 67. But how exactly did Corgis become so popular?

There are several factors that come into play when it comes to understanding why this breed has taken off. For one, they’re incredibly friendly and easy to train, making them a great companion for owners of all ages. People love their personalities. Additionally, their cute appearance and small size make them an ideal pet for those living in apartments or urban settings. They’re a manageable size. Furthermore, Pembrokes have definitely benefited from a royal connection. Queen Elizabeth II was besotted with these dogs—and we can see from photos that she owned several Sable Corgis over the years3.

Formal Recognition of Sable Corgis

It wasn’t until the 1930s that Corgis were classified under two separate breed standards. As a result, there was a great deal of confusion and controversy at dog shows. Both breeds were recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1934, and the American Kennel Club recognized the Pembroke in 1934 and the Cardigan in 1935. Sable was a recognized coloration—in both breed lines—right from the beginning.

Tail length is the most common way to distinguish Sable Corgis. The tails of Pembroke Corgis are often docked when they are born. This practice is still legal and part of the breed standard in America. Breeders and owners justify this by referring to the Corgi breeds’ days as herders. During herding, the tail could be crushed and shattered by falling hooves. Today this is an aesthetic practice that exposes Corgi puppies to a lot of unnecessary pain. It’s interesting to note that Queen Elizabeth II did not dock her Pembroke Corgis’ tails. Setting tails aside, Pembrokes have squarer bodies than Cardigan Corgis, Cardigans will also tend to have a sloping rear.

welsh corgi in the garden
Image Credit: Michel van der Vegt, Pixabay

divider-paw Top 3 Unique Facts About the Sable Corgi

1. Sable Corgis Have a Widow’s Peak

Sable Corgis are a unique breed of dog with an interesting and distinct feature: the widow’s peak. This genetic trait is characterized by black shaded fur on the top of the head that creates a V-shape, similar to the peak of a widow’s hood. While this feature isn’t exclusive to Sable Corgis, it does give these dogs a lot of character and it adds charm and vivacity to their appearances.

welsh corgi puppy in a crate during a crate training
Image Credit: Jus_Ol, Shutterstock

2. Corgis Have a Fairytale Origin Story

According to Welsh legend, fairies give two Pembroke Corgis to human children. The dogs were owned by fairies who died in battle, so they were given to the children for herding. Corgis were depicted in Welsh folklore as working dogs for fairies, pulling carts and carriages for them as well as helping them fight other fairy tribes. According to another version, the dogs guided the children home when they got lost. Another version states that the children found two Corgi puppies one day and thought they were foxes. When they brought them home, their parents noticed they weren’t foxes, but fairy dogs.

3. Corgis are in High Demand Since Queen Elizabeth II’s Death

Since the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Corgis have become a more popular pup. The beloved monarch had owned dozens of corgis throughout her life, and her fervent love for these dogs has been well-documented. In fact, many breeders have reported selling their puppy stocks at record prices, and internet searches have also seen a sudden spike. People who are interested in bringing home one of these regal pups should be prepared to pay a premium for one as the competition is fierce and demand is high.

Welsh corgi Pembroke sable dog on the rocks at the seaside
Image Credit: Jus_Ol, Shutterstock


Do Sable Corgis Make Good Pets?

As we have seen, Corgis are one of the most popular breeds. Known for their playful and energetic personalities, they have a natural affinity for people and make excellent pets, especially in active households. With proper training and socialization, they can become loving companions who bring a lot of joy to their owners. Since they are so smart, they can learn tricks quickly and often enjoy playing games like fetch or tug-of-war with their owners. They also have an eagerness to please, which makes them easy to train in basic commands such as sit or stay.

Sable Corgis—either Pembroke or Cardigan—display all of these great traits. However, remember that right now Corgis are fetching a premium price, so if budget is a concern, you might want to look at another breed of dog.

girl hug and kissing a corgi dog
Image Credit: JeannieR, Shutterstock



In conclusion, Corgis are lovable dogs that bring joy, companionship, and laughter to their owners. They require plenty of training and exercise, but the rewards more than justify the effort. They’re incredibly photogenic and quite popular. The passing of Queen of England II has only added to their popularity. Sable Corgis can make for wonderful pets for people looking for a loyal canine companion—with a unique, charming look—to share their life with.

Featured Image Credit: Jus_Ol, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets