AKC Dog Breeds: Cardigan Welsh Corgi

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Herding Group
Height: 10-13 inches   Weight: 25-38  pounds  Color: red, brindle, black/tan, black, blue/tan, blue

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. Cardigan Welsh Corgis are one of the oldest breeds in the United Kingdom, with early examples of the breed reported in Wales some three thousand years ago. The Cardi was originally used simply to protect herds of cattle en route from Wales to English markets, but in time the early Welsh drovers realized the utility of the Cardi as a herder and began using the breed in this capacity. A later cross with traditional Welsh sheepdogs increased the Cardi's herding capabilities still further, resulting in the Cardigan Welsh Cardi as we know it today.

General Appearance

The height of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is around 10-13 inches, and he weighs in at around 25-45 pounds. He has a low set, yet sturdy and elongated body, with short legs. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi has a double coat. The outer coat is straight, of medium length, and weatherproof, while the inner coat is softer and meant to insulate the Cardi from extremes of temperature during the winter. The coat is slightly thicker around the neck and rear legs, giving the Cardi its distinctive appearance. The Cardigan has a straight topline and a deep chest with prominent breastbone. The front feet turn outwards slightly. The front assembly should be relatively heavy-boned, but not coarse. Dewclaws should be removed. The Cardigan has dark eyes that harmonize with the color of the coat. Blue eyes are allowed only in blue merle dogs. The head is broad between the ears and tapers to the eyes.

Cardis are above all active. As a companion dog, they love to be with their people and are loyal, affectionate and even-tempered. This breed does have a tendency to nip, but their high intelligence and the fact that they are quick to learn makes them easy to train. A Cardigan Welsh Corgi will be just as suited to an inexperienced dog owner as an experienced one. These dogs have plenty of spirit and energy, and are keen, enthusiastic, and eager. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is responsive and obedient, but also independent, with a mind of his own. They can be nippers, but this is part of their herding instinct and occurs when they try and 'herd' people together. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi will usually get along well with children, especially older, more considerate children. When it comes to other pets, he does need early socialization - particularly with cats, as one of his primary tasks used to be chase stray cats away. However, a well socialized Cardigan Welsh Corgi should get along fine with other family pets. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is reserved but polite when it comes to strangers and guests. He can make an effective watchdog because of his tendency to bark and raise the alarm if something is amiss. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a dependable and reliable dog that can make a very good family pet.


The wiry, medium-length water-resistant coat is easy to groom. Comb and brush with a firm bristle brush, and bathe only when necessary. The coat is shed two times per year.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy

Some Cardigan Welsh Corgi's   are prone to PRA and glaucoma. Do not overfeed this breed, as it tends to gain weight easily. The life expectancy of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi  is around 12-15 years.

Activity Level

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi was essentially bred for exercise--the daily exercise of herding cattle along the long roads from Wales to England--and the breed's high energy level remains to this day. Because of this native energy, one could argue that you don't need to do a great deal to exercise your Cardi. They're very good at amusing themselves indoors, require only one or two walks a day, and don't tend to "act out" in destructive ways when they don't get outside often enough. It seems, on the surface, like this is the perfect low-maintenance breed. But the truth is that the Cardi requires a higher level of dedication than this. For one, the Cardi's metabolism can't quite match its energy level when the Cardi is kept indoors most of the time--which is why Cardis have a tendency toward obesity and overeating. You'll need to exercise your Cardi in order to minimize these problems and keep your Cardi not only trim, but healthy.


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