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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Has anyone told the Queen's corgies? Her Majesty's favourite dog has replaced the cat in internet culture

By Mike O'brien

She has been a life-long fan of corgies, owning five Pembroke Welsh corgis, plus four Dorgis, a mix of Dachshund and Pembroke Welsh corgi.

But it seems Queen Elizabeth is not alone in her fondness for the short-legged, happy-looking dogs - the internet has gone corgi crazy!

There are cute corgi videos, corgi t-shirts, corgi games, corgi blogs and, of course, corgi Facebook pages.

Scroll down for video

Too cute: One of many humorous videos on YouTube featuring corgies

The dogs, in fact, are the new cats in internet culture.

Helping to drive this trend is artist Caldwell Tanner, a corgi lover and illustrator at CollegeHumor.com.

His first creation, Hard corg, became popular after he tweeted the character to friends and it made its way on to social sites such as Tumblr, BuzzFeed or reddit.

Puppy love: The profile picture on one of many Facebook corgi fan pages

That led to the Hard corg t-shirt and eventually to his own corgi drawings site.

Mr Tanner said: 'Cats are kind of the prototypical Internet animal, and now it's corgis.

'They're like the new cats, the more sincere version of cats.'

Tanner's 'Pop Corgture' made its way on the popular ihasahotdog.com site on the Cheezburger network.

Life-long appreciation: The Queen with one of her dogs in 1970

According to CNN's Geek Out! blog, Ihasahotdog.com has had a Welsh corgi channel for years.

Geek Out notes that since 2007, the corgi has been the second most popular breed searched on the site. The first? The pug!

Cheezburger editor believe the rise of the virtual corgi has been heavily fuelled by viral videos.

He said: 'In terms of reaching outside of the normal corgi owner subculture, these viral videos feature corgis that are ridiculously cute.'

There is no doubt that corgis' facial expressions and their movements on stubby, little legs are endearing.

Cool ... and clever: The creations of online artist and serious corgi enthusiast Caldwell Tanner

Crystal Whittenton, a community manager in Raleigh, North Carolina, is a corgi owner and founder of the Corgilove community on LiveJournal.

She said: 'I don’t know if it’s real, but I know my dog’s expressions definitely lead me to believe he understands more than we might think.'

Welsh corgi owners often talk about their dog's intelligence, and the American Kennel Club breed standard describes them as: 'Outlook bold, but kindly. Expression intelligent and interested. Never shy nor vicious.'

Miss Whittenton said: 'They are at once short and silly-looking with big happy grins.

'But they are also stately and handsome and, of course, regal, as the Queen well knows.



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