Perrine Crampton, email@example.com. Copyright 1995.
Table of Contents
The Corgi with a Tail:
A small but hardy dog was found centuries ago in the remote, misty
green hills of Cardiganshire in Wales. He was a "Corgi,"
"Cor" for dwarf (or perhaps "cur" for working
dog) and "gi" (with a hard G sound) for dog. This "ci"
or yard-long dog was highly valued by his family as affectionate
companion, guard, general farm worker, and driver of cattle. In
fact, ancient Welsh law provided for severe penalties to those
who harmed or stole one of the little "corgwn," because
the corgi's talents could help determine his family's economic
Never numerous and sometimes confused with the more common tailless
Pembroke Welsh Corgi, the Cardigan is a separate breed of ancient
lineage, descended from the Teckel or Dachshund family. The earliest
Cardigans were heavy, golden or blue merle with perhaps drop ears.
Careful crosses were made with working qualities in mind, probably
with brindle and red herders; the result was also more refined,
dignified and foxy-looking.
Although the Cardigan Welsh Corgi was first shown in England in
1919 and the English Cardigan Welsh Corgi Association was founded
in 1926, the Cardigans and Pembrokes were not finally declared
to be separate breeds by the English Kennel Club until 1934. The
first pair of Cardigans was imported to the United States by Mrs.
B.P. Bole in 1931, with the Welsh Corgi recognized by the American
Kennel Club in 1934, and the Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis
recognized separately in December, 1934. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Club of America was founded in 1935. The Cardigan has gone from
the Non-Sporting to the Working to the Herding Group.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a long, low fox-like dog with large
upright ears, a brushy tail, moderate bone, and front legs slightly
bowed around a deep chest. His appearance should conform as closely
as possible to the AKC
Standard, which states, "...a small,
sturdy but powerful dog capable of endurance and speed."
The average size is handy, approximately twelve inches at the
shoulder with females ideally ranging from 25-34 pounds and males
from 30-38 pounds. The Cardigan's practical coat is medium length
and double with a variety of colors, shades and patterns: brindle
(which gives a wood grain effect), red (brown or golden), sable
(with black hair tips), blue merle (black and grey marbled) and
black. Blues and blacks can have "points" (cheeks and
eyebrows) in either tan (for a tricolor) or brindle. White flashings
are usual on the neck (as a partial or full collar), chest, legs,
muzzle, underparts, tip of tail and blaze. Black masks are acceptable
along with some ticking (freckles).
With reasonable care, the average lifespan of a Cardigan is around
12-15 years, with 16 and 17 not unheard of. All Corgis deserve
good care, which includes a secure place, a good diet and water,
exercise, veterinary visits and vaccinations, general grooming
(including nails and teeth), socialization, training and love.
If not show quality, he/she should be neutered or spayed; a litter
requires many considerations including genetics, time, effort
(!) and expense.
Owners should be careful about allowing puppy Cardis, with their
very distinctive front assembly, to jump down.
Note that a very
young puppy has drop ears; usually those big ears will come "up"
on their own, but occasionally ears are temporarily supported
with tape. A Cardigan should be picked up by placing one hand
under the chest behind the front legs with the other hand supporting
The Cardigan is generally an active dog, but in adulthood he doesn't
get carried away with it. He has stamina and LOVES walks and romps,
but doesn't absolutely require more exercise than he gets around
the house and yard. With exercise, he can be quite athletic with
surprising ball-chasing speed.
The Cardigan's coat is all-weather and generally clean and odorless.
It is best if brushed once a week to remove dead hair. Like most
dogs, he does shed roughly twice a year; in keeping with his moderate
coat, the amount isn't extreme.
A puppy is a long-term, emotion-filled investment and should be
purchased carefully. With needs including proper health care and
socialization, a puppy should NOT be purchased from a pet shop.
A responsible and knowledgeable breeder is important. Breeders
directories can be obtained from the CWCCA. If you need a contact
address or telephone number, contact the American Kennel Club
at 51 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010 or 1-900-407-PUPS. In looking
for a Cardigan, expect to be interviewed by a reputable breeder
as to your qualifications to own and care for a special puppy.
As a recognized AKC breed, the Cardigan can compete in AKC dog
shows. However, he does not have to be limited to conformation.
In keeping with their Welsh farm heritage and intelligence, Cardigans
do well in obedience, tracking, agility and, of course, herding
trials. If you would like to participate in these activities,
your dog's breeder, the CWCCA or the AKC can offer advice.
The CWCCA is devoted to the appreciation and advancement of the
Cardigan Welsh Corgi. To that end, Specialty Shows with seminars
are held yearly in different regions of the country, the Cardigan
News-Bulletin and Newsletter are published several times a year,
and a Yearbook is published every other year. In addition, the
Club has many committees, including Rescue and general education.
A current Breeders Directory is available through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although not all are easily obtainable, there are several resources
written or produced on the Cardigan:
- The American Kennel Club has a video tape available on the
Cardigan Welsh Corgi.
- Your Welsh Corgi by Robt. J. Berndt, Denlingers, Fairfax,
VA., c. 1978...This book deals with both Corgis.
- The Cardiganshire Corgi by Clifford Hubbard, Nicholson and
Watson, England, c. 1952 (Out of print, but might be found in
- The Welsh Corgi by Charles Lister-Kaye and Welsh Corgis by
Charles Lister-Kaye and M. Migliorini, both Arco Publishing Co.,
NY, c. 1970 and 1971
- Welsh Corgis by Charles Lister-Kaye, W. and G. Foyle Ltd.,
- How To Raise and Train a Cardigan Welsh Corgi by Mrs. Henning
Nelms and Mrs. Michael Pym, TFH Publications, NJ, c.1965
- The Cardigan Handbook by Pat Santi, Denlingers, c. 1980
Cardigan Welsh Corgi FAQ
Perrine Crampton, email@example.com