AKC GAZETTE JUNE 2012
Cardigan Welsh Corgi Breed Column
Social media is going to the dogs— or, more accurately, the dogs are going to social media.And the technological revolution is here to stay.
Once upon a time, reputable breeders spent hours on the telephone speaking with prospective puppy buyers, hoping to find that good, loving home. Nowadays, reputable breeders can use the Internet and social media. And prospective buyers can as well, narrowing down their potential breed contacts by visiting kennel websites and seeing photos and pedigrees of the parents and often pictures of the litter from which they hope to acquire a puppy. E-mail has made it much easier for breeders and prospective buyers to discuss breed-related details as well as to share information about the litter itself.
Cardigans in particular are reaping huge benefits from social media. For example, breeders are able to post thorough information about the physical and temperament differences between Cardis and Pembrokes.We can share videos of the parents of our litters as well as of the darling babies.We can explain about the Cardigan’s tail and about the brindle and blue merle colors that don’t exist in Pembrokes.We can reach a significantly wider audience than earlier breeders could, when newspapers were the only venue in which to advertise their puppies.
Now there are smartphones that can take both still photos and videos from ringside and show a puppy,a bitch due to be bred, or a sire-to-be in show-ring action. Breed newcomers can see how a correct Cardigan moves,and so can prospective and provisional judges. No longer must one stand at ringside and later try to remember what one saw— now one can make a photographic or videographic record of it.
As do many parent clubs, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America uses a PowerPoint presentation in judges’ seminars. No more are breed mentors limited to using transparencies for overhead projectors or printouts of the illustrated standard as the only reference. One may now watch the PowerPoint presentation and then look at the living dogs brought in for the hands-on portion.The presentation also offers a background on the origins of Cardigans in Wales,and it includes photos of the terrain that the hardy Cardigan faced in his job of driving cattle out to pasture and bringing them back.
The Cardigan has always been the lesser known of the two Corgis.Back in the day,when asked by others what kind of dog was on the end of the lead, the owner had to sum up briefly what the Cardi was and how it differed from Pems. Now the Cardi breeder can still sum up briefly—but she can also hand over a business card containing the address of a website where the interested person may then go for more detailed information.The same may be done at dog shows,when it’s often difficult to provide the details about the breed that prospective buyers should learn.
Facebook has proven to be a true uniter in the global interest in Cardigans. In this online community breeders from all over the world “meet” other breeders and host lively discussions about their dogs and the breed itself, thereby expanding breed knowledge exponentially.
The Cardigan is no longer so rare a breed because of the technological and social media revolution. It’s up to breeders to use the technology wisely in presenting our breed to the world.
—Jennifer Roberson; Jennifer@cheysuli.com
First published in the AKC Gazette Digital Edition, June 2012.
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