Known as the Corgi with the tail, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is the older of the two Corgi breeds. Like the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, the Cardigan is low set with moderately heavy bone and a deep chest. Originally used as a drover and farm dog, the breed is small and powerful, capable of great speed and endurance. Coat colors include red, sable, brindle, black and blue merle. White markings are common. [AKC]
One of the best features about a Cardigan is his personality. A big dog in a small package, his temperament is based upon his original life as a companion and valuable farm helper and guardian, all of which make him an adaptable and outstanding housepet. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a dog who wants to be truly involved with his family; his family should WANT to become involved with him too. He is full of fun and will shower that family with devotion and sensible affection, although some Cardigans withhold their favors from strangers until they get to know them better. Caring for his people (including children) comes naturally to this intelligent, alert and responsible dog. Because they’re expressive and trainable, Cardigan Welsh Corgis have also been seen in several recent motion pictures. [CWCCA]
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a long, low fox-like dog with large upright ears, a brushy tail, moderate bone, and front legs slightly bowed around a deep chest. His appearance should conform as closely as possible to the AKC Standard, which states, “…a small, sturdy but powerful dog capable of endurance and speed.” The average size is handy, approximately twelve inches at the shoulder with females ideally ranging from 25-34 pounds and males from 30-38 pounds. The Cardigan’s practical coat is medium length and double with a variety of colors, shades and patterns: brindle (which gives a wood grain effect), red (brown or golden), sable (with black hair tips), blue merle (black and grey marbled) and black. Blues and blacks can have “points” (cheeks and eyebrows) in either tan (for a tri-color) or brindle. White flashings are usual on the neck (as a partial or full collar), chest, legs, muzzle, underparts, tip of tail and blaze. Black masks are acceptable along with some ticking (freckles). [CWCCA]
Learn more about the Cardigan’s Breed Standard
With reasonable care, the average lifespan of a Cardigan is around 12-15 years, with 16 and 17 not unheard of. All Corgis deserve good care, which includes a secure place, a good diet and water, exercise, veterinary visits and vaccinations, general grooming (including nails and teeth), socialization, training and love. If not show quality, he/she should be neutered or spayed; a litter requires many considerations including genetics, time, effort (!) and expense.
The Cardigan’s coat is all-weather and generally clean and odorless. It is best if brushed once a week to remove dead hair. Like most dogs, he does shed roughly twice a year; in keeping with his moderate coat, the amount isn’t extreme. [CWCCA]
A small but hardy dog was found centuries ago in the remote, misty green hills of Cardiganshire in Wales. He was a “Corgi,” “Cor” for dwarf (or perhaps “cur” for working dog) and “gi” (with a hard “G” sound) for dog. This “ci-llathed” or “yard-long” dog was highly valued by his family as affectionate companion, guard, general farm worker, and driver of cattle. In fact, ancient Welsh law provided for severe penalties to those who harmed or stole one of the little “corgwn,” because the corgi’s talents could help determine his family’s economic status.
Never numerous and sometimes confused with the more common tailless Pembroke Welsh Corgi, the Cardigan is a separate breed of ancient lineage, descended from the Teckel or Dachshund family. The earliest Cardigans were heavy, golden or blue merle with perhaps drop ears. Careful crosses were made with working qualities in mind, probably with brindle and red herders; the result was also more refined, dignified and foxy-looking.
Although the Cardigan Welsh Corgi was first shown in England in 1919 and the English Cardigan Welsh Corgi Association was founded in 1926, the Cardigans and Pembrokes were not finally declared to be separate breeds by the English Kennel Club until 1934. The first pair of Cardigans was imported to the United States by Mrs. B.P. Bole in 1931, with the Welsh Corgi recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1934, and the Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis recognized separately in December, 1934. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America was founded in 1935. The Cardigan has gone from the Non- Sporting to the Working to the Herding Group. [CWCCA]
Beyond the Home
As a recognized AKC breed, the Cardigan can compete in AKC dog shows. However, he does not have to be limited to conformation. In keeping with their Welsh farm heritage and intelligence, Cardigans do well in obedience, tracking, agility and, of course, herding trials. [CWCCA]
Dogs are judged on their adherence to the standard of excellence developed for the breed. A good show dog is one that demonstrates many of the virtues called for in the breed standard.
Tests a dog’s ability to perform a prescribed set of exercises on which it is scored. In each exercise, you must score more than 50% of the possible points (ranging from 20 to 40) and get a total score of at least 170 out of a possible 200.
Based on Obedience, except competitors proceed around a course of designated stations with the dog in heel position. Unlike traditional obedience, handlers are allowed to encourage their dogs during the course
Demonstrates teamwork through a timed obstacle course of jumps, tunnels, and weave poles.
Simplified Lure Coursing, a performance event where dogs chase a lure — typically a plastic bag attached to a rope line — around a course in an open field. The event tests the dog’s innate coursing and hunting by sight ability. Coursing Ability Tests are open to all breeds, unlike the traditional Lure Coursing.
The purpose of the competitive herding trial program is to preserve and develop the herding skills inherent in the herding breeds and to demonstrate that they can perform the useful functions for which they were originally bred
Showcases a dog’s natural ability to locate and follow a scent.
The parent club for the Cardigan Welsh Corgi breed, and is a member of the American Kennel Club.
Content within paragraphs that have [CWCCA] following it, have been used with permission of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America.
A good informational source for all AKC dog-related events and general breed information.
Excellent resource from an international panel of Cardigan enthusiasts whose aim is to provide a forum where Cardigan fanciers from around the world can exchange knowledge, experience, and viewpoints, providing available information on everything related to Cardigans.
The parent breed club for Cardigan Welsh Corgis in the UK