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Cardigan Welsh Corgi Breed Fact Sheet

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Cardigan Welsh Corgi Breed Information

Group 5: Working Dogs

Energy Level: Moderate

Original Function: cattle driving

Temperament: Alert, intelligent, steady, not shy or aggressive.

Characteristics: Alert, active and intelligent.

Recommended for: Most people/families

Be Aware: Very adaptable to all environments.

Lifespan: 12 - 15 yrs

Height: 25-30cm (10"-12")

Coat: Straight, Dense & medium length.

Colour: Red, Sable, Fawn, Black/Tan with White on the chest, neck & legs. Cardigans can also be brindle or merle with white.

General Appearance: Small sized body. Wedged shaped head with dark eyes, & erect ears. Long tail. A highly intelligent working dog with a great sense of humour, a "laid-back", even, easy-going temperament, an easy to manage double all weather coat and makes an excellent house dog.



There are two completely different breeds of Welsh Corgi - the Cardigan and the Pembroke. The average person is understandably confused with the two breeds. Both have distinct and different backgrounds. They do not have the same ancestors, nor do they have the same history. Confusion probably lies in the name "Corgi" which merely means dwarf dog.

Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire are two neighbouring counties in Wales and these two breeds are the only cattle dogs to come out of Wales. Both have a special place in the pastoral economy of the Welsh Counties where every farm had a Corgi occupying the role of house dog, watch dog, herder or driver of cattle to and from pasture or market.

The Pembroke Corgi tended to have a higher and shorter body than the Cardigan, straight light-boned forelegs, straight sided tipped ears, perky restless easily excited disposition and finely textured coat compared to the Cardigan's "double" weatherproof coat, spooned ears, low build, heavy bone and long muscular body ending with a fox brush tail. Over time the Pembroke has grown lower to the ground, more stocky and stronger headed and the Cardigan has become more refined in appearance, and lost something of its former size and weight while acquiring erect ears and the two breeds have tended to assume a striking degree of similarity in appearance, though not to the same extent in character.

It is believed that the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is the original Welsh herding dog probably having been brought to the British Isles from Central Europe between 3,000 and 4,000 years ago by Neolithic Man and is of the Teckel canine family. It is likely that either the Vikings or the Flemish weavers, who settled in south west Wales in 1107, brought to the British Isles the Pembroke Welsh Corgi which is of the Spitz family and exhibits little or nothing of the Teckel characteristics.

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi had to be tough, strong, courageous and tenacious as well as agile to be capable of endurance and of bursts of speed and by instinct, selection and training he is a heeler of cattle and the dog being low of stature, is able to duck under the kicks aimed at it. The required strength and agility necessitates a medium sized strong well proportioned dog, long in relation to height (traditionally a yard long from nose to tip of tail), deep in body and strong in back and hindquarters but in no sense course. With its full bushy tail the Cardigan resembles a fox in outline though of heavier build.

Regardless of breed history it is generally agreed that the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a very old breed of dog which makes an outstanding farm worker, house pet, apartment companion, child's playmate and friend and show-off in the show ring. And doubtless all will agree that there is nothing so beautiful as a Cardigan in full run in the field or yard, turning and twisting at lightning speed and returning to stand at his starting place as though he had never moved. This mighty little dog with a big heart and a tremendous devotion to his family is really being noticed today in both the breed and obedience rings.

The Corgi of either variety has a strong desire to please his master whether by performing in the show ring, as a cattle herder or as a household pet. They are truly noted for their wit, their humor and their devotion to those who love them. The Corgi is a little dog with a mighty character. Welsh people can be proud of the two breeds of Corgi they have produced. From Wales they have spread around the world finding a home wherever a sturdy, reliable, intelligent dog is appreciated. Corgis give the impression that their most important (and difficult) job in life is looking after their rather scatter-brained owners. May they never be disillusioned!

Grooming- males drop coat once a year and female twice. During these times extra brushing is needed other wise their medium length coat only requires a brush once a week and a wash when needed.

Exercise- they love to run around and play with you, regular walking is also needed to keep them fit and happy.

Health- This breed can be prone to back problems due to their short legs and long backs.
For Diet and other general dog health information Health/Nutrition

Information suppled by
Milnholm Cardigans


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