You’ll readily recognize a Cardigan Welsh corgi from its long tail and its long body. Compared to the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, the Cardigan is more ancient, having existed for much longer in the British Isles.
This breed was selectively bred to herd, keep cattle safe from predators and as a cattle drover, driving cattle to the market often by nipping at their heels.Why were they bred to be so long and so low? Most likely to keep the safely out of the way from any kicks by cattle. Their use was quite worth their weight in gold because back in time there were no fences. They also made good guardians, varmint hunters and family pets. Back in the old days, these dogs were so treasured by farmers that a Welsh law was passed to impose severe penalties to anybody who stole them or harmed them. He’s affectionately called the “yard-long dog” because of his long body, something he inherited from the Dachshund ( Teckel family of dogs)and the basset hound. His ancestors are believed to have put foot in Wales about 3,000 years ago along with the Celtic warrior tribes who migrated there from Central Europe.
Once upon a time, Cardigan Welsh Corgis and Pembroke Welsh corgis were categorized as the same breed and were allowed to even interbreed. However, in the late 1920s’ a dog known by the name of Bob Llwyd changed the future of the breed and a breed standard was crafted to differentiate the two. The first cardigans to put foot on US soil in 1931 included a corgi named Cassie owned by Mrs. B.P. Bole . One of her puppies, a corgi known as Megan, became the first U.S. champion of the breed. Today, she is still cherished by the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America, which holds a competition of champions known in her honor as “the Megan Competition.” This breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1935. While this breed was initially categorized under the Non-Sporting, it was later categorized under the Working and then finally into the Herding Group.
This is the shortest dog in the herding group. He’s known as the yard-long dog for a good reason; his back is long. His legs are also short, making him look like a dwarf. His weather-resistant coat comes in different colors and patterns including red, brindle, the popular blue merle and black often combined with white markings found by the legs, chest, neck, muzzle, belly and tip of the tail. Some have a blaze on the head known as the “Irish pattern.. The ears are large and slightly rounded at the tips. He is distinguished from the Pembroke by his larger size, heavier head, longer body, long tail (the pembroke has a short tail) and rounded ears. Cardigans weight between 25 and 38 pounds. On average corgi stand between 10 and 12 inches at the withers. The breed may have what is called a “fairy saddle” on the back. This marking gets its name from the legend that these dogs were ridden by fairies in the old times in Wales. The fur is thicker around the neck and the rump area. The eyes may be blue in vlue merles.
Interesting facts: the breed’s name derives from the Welsh word ” cor gi” which means dwarf dog. The name cardigan derives from his country of origin: their area of origin: Ceredigionb (Cardiganshire) in Wales. An ancient legend has it that Queen Victoria was travelling on an old country road when the carriage stumbled on a fallen branch. As she figured a way to get across, a fairy produced 2 corgis, the Pembroke and the Cardigan to assist her. They moved the branch and this explains why this breed is much cherished by the Queen. Another fold tale has the Cardigan featured as a hero once again, fighting against an ancient dragon.
This is a big dog on short legs with a serious working dog temperament. These are intelligent dogs with a stubborn streak. Very versatile throughout history, excelling in many different tasks. They have a tendency to be alert and bark at minimum noises. Despite their size, corgis need a good amount of exercise and mental stimulation. These are affectionate and devoted companions that thrive in a family that gives them the attention they deserve. They are very playful and capable of chasing balls at impressive speeds. These dogs may have more drive and may appear a bit more tenacious compared to the Pembroke.
The Ideal Household
Expect this breed to be a barker. Corgis are very vocal beings that will bark the alarm for the minimum reasons. This makes him a good watch dog, if you don’t mind the barking. Don’t forget him in the yard; this breed wants to be with you and can get destructive when left alone. Not a good choice for owners who work and leave him alone all day as he’ll bark to his heart content and aggravate neighbors. The ideal owner must be active and willing to exercise this active breed. Corgis don’t need to walk or jog miles but several daily walks will do. With children, remember this breed was a herding breed so he may feel compelled to nip the heels of running children or try to round em up. He’s overall quite sturdy compared to small dogs who can be easily injured, but always make sure your kids know how to treat him right. This breed does best with older children. Always supervise all interactions between dogs and children. With other dogs and pets he may get along especially if raised with them. They may not like other dogs or pets they are not familiar with. Beware of their territorial tendencies to chase out any animals from their perceived territory; after all, back in history they were kept on farms to keep unwanted critters away from the farm or livestock. If you own a farm, this breed will be as happy as can be working with livestock. Many horse owners appreciate this breed’s company and some help them out loading their equines onto trailers. However, if you can meet this needs for exercise, he can be quite versatile, living in an apartment or a farm with acreage.
Intelligent, yet stubborn, this breed needs you to employ motivational training. He may be easy to train but some times he just does as he pleases. Early socialization is important to help this reserved dog recognize friend from foe. This breed may love to run in agility, flyball and herding trials.
Keep in mind that this breed likes to fill up its belly. Watch those extra calories to prevent your corgi from becoming obese. They may be prone to the following conditions; Intervertebral Disk Disease, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). Because of this breed’s long back, like the dachshund he is prone to back injuries. When they’re pups, pick them up gently by supporting their front legs and rear end. Make sure your kids are careful handling him too. Also, keep him from jumping down off the coach. The average lifespan is 12 to 15 years.
The coat is double and weather resistant to help this breed cope with the elements of his native country. They tend to shed all the time, but much more twice a year.Frequent brushing will help reduce those stray hairs from sticking on to furniture, your clothes and upholstery.
Where to get one:
Cardigan Welsh Corgi National Rescue Trust