History & Overview
Two quite different dogs carry the name Corgi in their official designation: the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the lesser-known Cardigan Welsh Corgi. The two are not simply different varieties of the same breed. The Cardigan and Pembroke trace their lineage to different ancestors, and that constitutes the differences in appearance and temperament.
The Cardigan, the breed with a tail, is the original Corgi and is much older than the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi was bred to work both mean-spirited cattle and easily frightened sheep in a very harsh environment. This required a dog of great versatility: rugged enough to stand up to cattle, but gentle enough to handle the timid sheep.
He is always alert and active, never shy or aggressive, and very intelligent. A great companion dog who enjoys his family, he may try to herd the children and the family cats. The Cardigan is wary of strange dogs and should not be trusted with small pets.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a sturdy, tough, mobile, and capable of endurance dog. Its muscular body is fairly long in proportion to height. The ideal height at withers is 10.5 to 12.5 inches. However, the FCI breed standard’s requirements “Long in proportion to height” and “exaggeration of body length and excessive shortness of legs” are in fact an area of risk in this breed, as well as in the Dachshund, Basset Hound and Pekingese.
Breeders should select away from such extreme conformations, towards moderate, safer shapes. Specifically, dogs should not be bred for extremely long backs and extremely small size, if the associated risk of intervertebral disk disease is to be prevented, even though substantial changes may be required in some breed standards to move towards lower risks.4
His straight coat is weather-proof, short or medium, with good undercoat. All colors are allowed in this breed, with or without white markings, but white should not predominate.
- FCI-Standard N° 38/12.05.2010/GB
- Richard Beauchamp – Cardigan Welsh Corgi
- Liz Palika – The Howell Book of Dogs
- Packer et al. – How Long and Low Can You Go? Effect of Conformation on the Risk of Thoracolumbar Intervertebral Disc Extrusion in Domestic Dogs – PLoS One. 2013; 8(7): e69650.