Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Most famous dog breeder in world gives up
The Queen has announced she is giving up breeding Corgis after the upset of losing two of her beloved pack to cancer in recent months.
At 83, perhaps this is just an age-related decision. But, unlike most people of this age the Queen does have a considerable back room team to support her should her health falter.
Is the Queen finally giving up on Corgis because of concern for her health or because of their's? The Queen Mother was still active and acquiring pups well into her 90s.
For the first time the Queen now owns more crossbreeds than pedigree dogs. Is it possible that after 60 years of continuous breeding from the same closed gene pool the Queen has decided that mixed blood rather than blue blood is the way to go?
Losing two dogs tragically early would make anyone think hard about genetic health. Another of the Queen's Corgis was reported to have died as early as eight years old.
In the past the Queen's Corgis have enjoyed up to 17 years of life.
The Queen's current pack now includes three Corgis and four Dorgis - the Dachshund/Corgi cross.
The Queen has owned more than 30 Corgis during her reign, starting her breeding line with Susan who was a present for her 18th birthday in 1944. Most of her dogs have been direct descendants from Susan. But her love of Corgis started even earlier than that, in 1933 when she was just seven years old she was given her first Corgi, Rozavel Golden Eagle, better known as Dookie.
The Queen's latest Corgi was said to have died of cancer at only 12 years old. In April 2001 it was reported that Kelpie, a ninth-generation descendent of Susan, was put to sleep at the grand old age of 17. And Susan, the very first in the line, was 15 when she died in 1959.
Each Corgi bitch was allowed only one litter and the Queen was reported to prefer dogs with a reddish tint. The puppies were never sold, but those that were not kept were given to good homes.
However, in a report on a royal trip to Australia in 2002, it was revealed that the Queen had been trying to breed tricolour Corgis and had finally succeeded in a litter from Emma. She produced two tri pups. The Queen kept one of these pups, Linnet and gave the other, Monty, to her mother.
The Queen remains patron of the Kennel Club, but her love of crossbreeds has been a slight sticking point in the past. When the KC wanted to commission a portrait of the Queen to hang in the club rooms she only agreed on the condition she would be depicted with one of her Dorgis.
Probably the only crossbreed hung in Clarges Street!