Cardigan Welsh Corgi - General Features, Temperament, Health problems


FCI # 38, Origin: Great Britain, Group 1.1 Sheepdogs and Cattle dogs.

Height: 10-13 in, Weight: 25-30 pounds

Grooming: Low, Shedding: Medium, Coat: of medium length with the undercoat.

Color: red, brindle, black and tan, blue merle (all with or without white markings)..

Ease of training: High, Energy level: Medium, Span of life: 12-15 years.

Breed: The Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi are two different breeds, which are derived from two different districts of Wales. These two districts have been divided by mountains, and people did not travel often through those mountains, that's why there was not much crosses between this two breeds of dogs.
According to the versions of historians Lloyd-Thomas and Brandt from these two breeds the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is the oldest. Ancestor of the smallest Shepherd in the world was brought to the British Isles by the Celts in the late Bronze Age (3000 years ago).

In the 10th century, the Cardigan was known as the most versatile dog - a wonderful hunter, perfect guardian and shepherd. This small but strong and hardy dog ??????had a significant role in the life of the peasants, because Cardigan was a perfect fit to the way of a farm life -  this absolutely unpretentious dog was in the same time a wonderful companion and a great worker.

The origin of Cardigan Welsh Corgi can be traced from a family of Heeler-type, herding dogs and Dachshund-type dogs. From his grandparents he has a long body, deep chest and a rougher muzzle compared with the Spitz-like Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Historians call the Cardigan Welsh Corgi - a native breed of England, and believe that the breed name "Corgi" refers precisely to the Cardigans, by the name "Corgi" were called the dogs of the indigenous population of medieval England. For centuries, the breed evolved in the original way in the Cardigan-shire County (Wales), due to the natural isolation of this mountainous region of England.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi sometimes can have a blue color, like the Blue Australian Heeler, and his head resembles the head of the German Shepherd. "If there is another breed, which looks like a Cardigan - it would be the German Shepherd Dog with short legs. Pembroke is reminiscent of Spitz, and this two breeds do not look like each other"- said Leah James, in his book" The Magical tail of two Corgis."

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi evolved in isolation until the late XIXth century, when the development of transport started to expand the trade ties between previously isolated Counties Pembroke-shire and Cardigan-shire.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi dog breeds

As pointed out by historians in the mentioned period the practice of interbreeding between Pembrokes and Cardigans became quite widespread. It is known that farmers of Cardigan-shire were selling puppies of Cardigan Welsh Corgie to Pembroke-shire. Lloyd-Thomas is supporting the theory of interbreeding, but argues that there has been a blood cast-on from the Cardigans to Pembrokes, the opposite situation with the adding of blood to the Cardigan Welsh Corgi was not observed. However, until the end of 20s of the XXth century, Cardigan and Pembroke were considered to be two varieties of one breed, therefore, we can assume that the mixing of blood was not only in respect of Pembrokes and had the impact on the appearance of both breeds.

General Features: The Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsha Corgi, if you will not pay attention to the differences of origin, are the only herding breeds that were bred to avoid a kick of the cow. But there the similarity ends. A close look at the standards of these breeds will reveal their differences.

One of the most fundamental and obvious differences between the Pembroke and the Cardigan is the size. Both breeds should create a general impression of a stocky, strong, sturdy working dog, but their size, proportion and substance, make the difference in appearance even at first glance. In general, the Cardigan is larger than the Pembroke when comparing the same males and females.
The overall impression of a heavy skeleton, deep chest and powerful silhouette adds impressiveness to the Cardigan. His length is almost two times bigger than his height. Cardigan is a real big dog on the short legs. Cardigan looks more like a brachycephalic breed, because he has a large body on short legs, even though both breeds are true dwarfs. Cardigan has a rounded bones with lots of curves.

In addition to the size, these two breeds are different in their silhouettes.

Cardigan has a narrower back, obviously tight groin and sloping croup, low-set tail. The neck of Cardigan Welsh Corgi should be long and muscular, proportionate to the body and passing into a corresponding strong and muscular shoulders. The body must have a protruding ribs and a clearly defined waist. Cardigan should be stocky and long, giving the impression of a beautiful, powerful, small dog, capable of speed and endurance, strong but not rude. Cardigan has long, low set, wide tail. The tail should not fall below the hocks and must be well feathered.

For the Cardigans are permissible most color variations common among the herding breeds, including the colors that never occur in Pembroke - brindle and blue merle. Standard of Cardigan Welsh Corgi says: "White on the head should not predominate and should not be around the eyes." Cardigans may have bigger white markings than Pembrokes, but still if the white color is more than fifty percent of the whole body - it should be disqualified.

Temperament: Long time ago the Cardigan Welsh Corgi were used for herding the cattle. Particularly well in this capacity, Cardigans were used in the XIX century, when the farmers of Wales began to engage in the sheep breeding and this dogs were able to apply their pastoral instincts.

In addition, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, not only grazed and accompanied the flocks of sheep, goats, geese, they were also guarding their owners at night. When the adults were at work during the day, Cardigans with pleasure were working as "nannies" for children, usually collecting them into a "flock" and watching their games, not allowing much mischief. To the conventional "dog's" range of sounds - barking, growling and whining - Corgis added their own sounds - this dogs are quite talkative.

Their bark varies from very low if Corgi is warning the uninvited guest, to a cheerful, ringing, leaping barking when the dog is playing with her owner.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi breed photo

Corgi is quite unpretentious, knows no fatigue, and even though his job boils down to biting the feet of cows, driving them closer to the herd, Cardigan is much calmer than the Pembroke, and there is no fear that he will bite the heels of unsuspecting guests. Although the Cardigan Welsh Corgi originally is a working breed, he easily adapts to the life of a favorite family pet and can live just fine with daily walks of a medium range. But beware: when there is no proper physical exercise, these dogs immediately lose their slim figures. Do not let your Cardigan Welsh Corgi to jump from the high places, especially when he is overweight, this can cause injury to the spine.

For those people who appreciate a healthy lifestyle, Cardigan will be the perfect companion while jogging. He loves long walks and is easily adaptable to any pace of movement, and for the people who were sedentary before acquiring a dog, Corgi - unlike most of working breeds - does not "fall" with the problem of insufficient physical exercise. With his lively temper, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is able to entertain himself during the walk, for example playing with the other dogs. As a typical herding dog, Cardigan loves to work, training for this dogs is a great pleasure, they love to study new things and play new games. Corgi are pretty quick and like to take part in obedience classes and agility competitions.

It is impossible not to notice the wonderful "sunny" nature of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi - their great love of life, sense of humor, liveliness, kindness and innate intelligence. Cardigans are loyal and very friendly dogs, who love attention and are ready to do just anything to please the owner. They are loyal to all people and also to the other animals. Corgis love to play, but will not demand the continuation, if the owner decided to finish the game. With all the people in the household, they maintain an excellent relationship, clearly showing their preference, but with those who do not wish to accept them, Cardigan Welsh Corgi will just "keep a distance." They adore children.

The focus of Corgi on his owners in admirable. Perhaps it is a product of selection. Such a little dog to herd the cows, beside for the mobility and stamina needed to learn to think like a cow to predict it's next steps. And, having become a companion dog, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi could transfer this ability to predict the actions of the others in their relationship with people. This dogs know exactly when to come and snuggle up, when it's best not to get caught in your eyes, when they can afford to be capricious and when they are required to be completely devoted to their work. The hypersensitivity of Corgi to your emotions and desires sometimes seem almost magical.

These dogs love to get all possible pleasures out of life: whether it be food, walks with games or training, which is a real pleasure for a dog - Corgi believes that it's a great game, and for the owner - because Cardigan, as he is a very intelligent dog, learns instantly and works not just with full dedication, but with inspiration! Corgi does not know fear. They are friendly by nature and believe that all dogs are like this. Even when they meet a huge Great Dane, they run quickly to get acquainted, or better to play.

Health problems: Like in all short-legged breeds, the back of a Cardigan Welsh Corgi always needs a special attention. Also this dog should never be overfed.

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