Cardigan Welsh Corgi

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Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Brindle and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Common nicknamesCardigan
Kennel club standards
The Kennel Club standard
Fédération Cynologique Internationale standard
Dog (domestic dog)

The Cardigan Welsh corgi (/ˈkɔːrɡi/; Welsh for "dwarf dog")[1] is one of two different varieties of livestock-herding dog breeds known as Welsh corgis (originating in Wales), with the other being the Pembroke Welsh corgi. It is one of the oldest breeds of the British Isles.[1] Cardigan Welsh corgis are known to be an extremely loyal and trainable dog breed, naturally attuned to herding many different animals, from poultry and waterfowl to large livestock such as sheep and cattle.[2] They are also versatile and can live in a variety of settings.


Pembroke Welsh and Cardigan Welsh corgis were both originally listed as one breed by The Kennel Club (UK) in 1925; the two varieties were officially recognized as distinct from one another by The Kennel Club by 1928, but were still categorized together under the title of “Welsh Corgis”.[3] In 1935, the two breeds were finally described as uniquely different and shown separately.[4] The Corgi Club was founded in December 1925 in Carmarthen, South Wales.[3] It was reported that the local members favoured the Pembroke corgis, so a club for Cardigan enthusiasts was founded a year later in 1926.[3] Both groups have worked hard to ensure the appearance and type of breed are standardised, through careful and selective breeding.[3]

One theory, regarding the breed’s origin, is that both types of corgi descended from a line of northern, spitz-type dogs;[5] a second theory is that they descended from the teckel family of dogs, which also is where the dachshund originated.[6]

The word "corgi" is derived from the Welsh: cor gi, which means "dwarf dog".[7] The breed was formerly called "yard-long dog" (Welsh: ci-llathed).[8] The name “Cardigan Welsh corgi” name comes from their area of origin in Wales, Cardigan (Welsh 'Ceredigion'), and ironically not from their coat markings oftentimes resembling a “cardigan” or “vest” worn by the dog.


The Cardigan is a long, low dog with upright ears and a fox brush tail.[9]

Originally used only as a farm guardian, they eventually took on the traits of a cattle drover, herder, and many more.[10] They are still highly valued for their herding, working, and guarding skills, as well as their companionship. The old American Kennel Club standard called it an "Alsatian on short legs".[citation needed] The Cardigan's tail is long (unlike the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, whose tail may be long,[11] naturally bobbed or docked[12]).

Blue merle Cardigan

Cardigans, which are double coated, come in a variety of colors including any shade of red, sable, or brindle, as well as black, with or without tan, brindle or blue merle, with or without tan or brindle points. Other unofficial colors can occur, such as red merle, but these colors are not considered acceptable per the Cardigan standard. They usually have white on the neck, chest, legs, muzzle, underneath, tip of the tail and as a blaze on the head, known as the "Irish pattern."[citation needed] Other markings include ticking on the legs and muzzle, smutty muzzles and monk's hoods, especially on sables (a pattern of darker tipped hairs over a basic red coat color.)[citation needed]. An average Cardigan is around 10 to 13 inches (250 to 330 mm) tall at the withers and weighs from 30 to 38 pounds (14 to 17 kg) for the male and 25 to 34 pounds (11 to 15 kg) for the female.[13]

Life expectancy is 12–16 years.[14] Litter size can vary; usually four to six puppies.


The most common causes of death for the breed were cancer (28.3%), old age (24.6%), and neurological disorders (15.2%).[15][16]

Canine Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) is known to occur in the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. This is likely due to the Cardigan being a dwarf (chondrodysplastic) breed, and these breeds frequently suffer from Type I disk disease. This disease is commonly found in the Dachshund breed.[17]


Cardigan Welsh Corgis compete in dog agility trials, obedience, showmanship, flyball, and tracking events. Herding instincts and trainability can be measured at noncompetitive herding tests. Corgis exhibiting basic herding instincts can be trained to compete in herding trials.[18]

  • Cardigans are highly intelligent, active, athletic dogs.
  • Housepet: They have proven themselves as excellent companion animals. Cardigans are affectionate and devoted.
  • Competitive in sheepdog trials, dog agility, competitive obedience and rally obedience.
  • Guard Dogs: Capable as guard dogs in spite of their small size.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Cardigan Welsh Corgi - Details". American Kennel Club. Archived from the original on 2 March 2017. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  2. ^ Sheldon L. Gerstenfeld; Jacque Lynn Schultz; American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (15 October 1999). ASPCA complete guide to dogs. Chronicle Books. pp. 160–. ISBN 978-0-8118-1904-6. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d Debra M. Eldredge (27 January 2009). Pembroke Welsh Corgi: Your Happy Healthy Pet, with DVD. John Wiley and Sons. pp. 21–. ISBN 978-0-470-39061-0. Archived from the original on 26 April 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  4. ^ "Corgis and the Queen: Celebrating the breed that the Queen made popular". Archived from the original on 2019-01-04. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
  5. ^ Debra M. Eldredge (27 January 2009). Pembroke Welsh Corgi: Your Happy Healthy Pet, with DVD. John Wiley and Sons. pp. 21–. ISBN 978-0-470-39061-0. Archived from the original on 26 April 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  6. ^ "History of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi". Cardigan Welsh Corgi Association. Archived from the original on 2007-04-29.
  7. ^ "Corgi". Archived from the original on 2018-01-03. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
  8. ^ "The "Yard-Long" Dog". National Purebred Dog Day. 2017-09-09. Archived from the original on 2018-01-03. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
  9. ^ Richard G. Beauchamp (1 March 2010). Welsh Corgis: Pembroke and Cardigan. Barron's Educational Series. pp. 25–. ISBN 978-0-7641-4242-0. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  10. ^ Jan Greye; Gail Jesse Smith (30 July 2002). Puppy Parenting: Everything You Need to Know About Your Puppy's First Year. HarperCollins. pp. 30–. ISBN 978-0-06-001260-1. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  11. ^ Hytönen et al. (2008), "Ancestral T-box mutation is present in many, but not all, short-tailed dog breeds", Journal of Heredity, Advance Access published online on October 14, 2008, doi:10.1093/jhered/esn085 [1]
  12. ^ "Pembroke Welsh Corgi Breed Standard". American Kennel Club. Archived from the original on 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2008-05-20.
  13. ^ "Welsh Corgi Cardigan Dog Breed - Facts and Traits | Hill's Pet". Hill's Pet Nutrition. Archived from the original on 2019-01-04. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
  14. ^ Eve Adamson; Richard G. Beauchamp; Margaret H. Bonham; Stanley Coren; Miriam Fields-Babineau (29 March 2010). Dogs All-In-One for Dummies. John Wiley & Sons. p. 535. ISBN 978-0-470-52978-2. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  15. ^ "2004 Purebred Dog Health Survey". The Kennel Club. Archived from the original on 4 May 2007. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
  16. ^ "2017 Dog Insurance Survey". Top10 Pet Insurance. Archived from the original on 13 May 2017. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  17. ^ "Health: IVDD – Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America". Archived from the original on 2020-09-30. Retrieved 2020-02-10.
  18. ^ Hartnagle-Taylor, Jeanne Joy; Taylor, Ty (2010). Stockdog Savvy. Alpine Publications. ISBN 978-1-57779-106-5.

External links[edit]

  • (non-profit charity & social networking for corgi owners)