Intelligent, active and athletic
Brindle, blue merle, black, black and tan, black and brindle, sable, and red, often with white markings
Medium length harsh outer coat, with a soft, dense undercoat
Heavy twice per year
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is an excellent watchdog and a loving family pet. They enjoy the company of their families and are quite loyal to those they are closest to. Intelligent and devoted, they are eager to please and therefore easily trained, often excelling in agility, herding trials, tracking, conformation, and obedience. They are also used extensively in search-and-rescue. They are usually more territorial and less sociable than the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
Although in recent years they have been bred primarily as family companions, Cardigan Welsh Corgis often retain their herding instincts and may try to herd children and other family members by nipping at their heels (although they can be trained out of this behavior). They love to bark and will do so to alert the approach of intruders, and are wary of strangers. They are good with considerate children, but do not appreciate being roughhoused. Cardis are good with non-canine pets and other Corgis, but often will not get along with other dog breeds.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is fearless and often unaware of it’s physical stature. As such, they have a bad habit of getting into fights with larger dogs, and some have even lost their lives the defense of their homes. Great care should be taken to control the dog when they are in defense mode to ensure that they do not enter into a situation they are not prepared to handle.
Cardis are energetic and active indoors and do well in an apartment setting, although like all breeds, they need a daily walk to maintain good health. Crate training is recommended to housebreak this breed.
Both varieties of Corgis (the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Corgi) have lived in Great Britain for over 3,000 years, having been introduced to the area by the Celts of Central Europe around 1200 BC. Collectively, they are one of the earliest known herding breeds, although their skills were not fully utilized in Wales for more than two millennia.
When royalty owned almost all the land in the area, Welsh tenant farmers were only allowed to fence off a limited area around their homes, and the rest of the land was to remain open for all farmers to graze their cattle. To maximize their usage of pasture land, the Corgi was employed to nip at the heels of the cattle, actually pushing them rather than herding them. Eventually, the land was officially divided up among the farmers, and the Corgi’s usefulness in driving cattle became obsolete and the breed fell largely out of favor, but a few individuals remained as household companions and watchdogs.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi and Pembroke Corgi were considered different types of the same breed (the Cardigan having a tail and the Pembroke being tailless) until 1934, when they were recognized as separate breeds in England. The breed was introduced to the United States in 1931, gaining recognition from the American Kennel Club in 1935.
Body Structure and Composition
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi’s long and low body structure is reminiscent of it’s distant cousin, the Dachshund (both originate from the Teckel family of dogs). The Cardi’s body is usually over 50% longer than it is tall. This breed has very large ears that stand erect at the top of the head. The skull is in proportion to the rest of the body, although the neck is moderately long and muscular. They have a level topline and a deep and broad chest. The legs are short and strong, and the feet are relatively large and rounded. The tail is set low on the body and reaches almost to the ground when the dog is at rest. Cardis have an effortless gait.
Although they are generally hardy dogs, Cardigan Welsh Corgis have a relatively high incidence of Hip Dysplasia, a disease usually reserved for larger breeds. This condition occurs when the head of the bone no longer fits in the cup provided by the socket, resulting in arthritis-like symptoms and lameness. Similarly, Elbow Dysplasia can also be an issue, but occurs with much less frequency than in the hip. Like many smaller breeds, the Cardi has a significant occurrence of Patellar Luxation (also known as “slipped stifle”), when the kneecap slips out of place and may require surgery.
Like their Dachshund cousins, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is known to experience Intervertebral Degenerative Disc Disease (IVDD), although reliable studies and statistics are not available. IVDD can cause degeneration of the cushioning cartiledge between the vertebra, causing pain, lethargy, sensitivity, poor appetite, dragging of limbs, paralysis, and loss of bladder and bowel control. There is no specific “cure” for this condition, although pain can be managed through drug therapy.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is prone to various eye conditions, primarily glaucoma and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). PRA is characterized by a degeneration of the retina, leading eventually to blindness.
Grooming a Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a relatively simple process: occasional brushing will do the trick. Bathe them only when necessary to avoid removing the skin’s essential oils. Be careful not to overfeed this breed, as they tend to put on weight easily.
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Approximately 75 million dogs have humans in the United States. 10% of those dogs were rescued from a shelter with little or no known history.
The top 10 dog names of 2011 were: Bella, Max, Buddy, Daisy, Bailey, Lucy, Molly, Coco, Charlie and Rocky. Source: Banfield Pet Hospital
The list of most unusual names for 2011 include: Almost-A-Dog, Franco Furter, Stinky McStinkerson, Sir Seamus McPoop, Audrey Shepburn, Dewey Deimell, Knuckles Capone, Beagle Lugosi, Shooter McLovin, Uzi Duzi Du. Source: VIP Pet Insurance
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Dr. Karen Halligan, DVM
Dir. of Veterinary Services, spcaLA
Doc Halligan's What Every Pet Owner Should Know: Prescriptions for Happy, Healthy Cats and Dogs