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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Origin: Great Britain

AKC Group: Herding

Height: 10 - 13 inches (Male)

Weight: 25 - 35 pounds (Male)

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Believe it or not, these small dogs were originally bred to drive large herds of cattle by nipping at their heels. Welsh Corgis are hardy, steady dogs that are quite easy to live with. They're usually reserved with strangers, very good with other pets, but sometimes aggressive with strange dogs. They're smart little dogs that travel well. Welsh Corgis like to bark.

Cardigan Welsh Corgis are part of the herding group. Herding dogs were originally bred to control the movement of sheep and cattle. While some breeds still work the farmlands, others are used for search and rescue and narcotics detection.

When kept as pets, these dogs often try to "herd" their owners, by nipping at their heels. If properly trained and exercised daily, herders make excellent family companions.

Great Britain
Male height: 
10 - 13 inches
Male weight: 
25 - 35 pounds
Rough with a thick undercoat. Brush once a week. Tail hangs down; ears prick up.
Brindle, black, blue merle, sable, or red, usually with white markings. Eyes are dark, but sometimes one or both is blue in blue merles. Nose is black; spotted on blues.

The heritage of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a particularly ancient one, as it is believed that a dog resembling the Cardigan came to the part of Wales (now known as Cardiganshire) when the Celts migrated there around 1000 BCE. These dogs were used to work cattle, and because of their size, could nip at the livestock's heels while avoiding being kicked. The Corgi's style of working was useful because it actually drove the cattle farther afield rather than keeping them herded together, which allowed for a larger grazing area. The farmers were then able to graze their cattle in "common areas" owned by the Crown. Once the farmers began to own their own land, they needed more traditional herding dogs, and the Corgi found himself more frequently by the hearth than in the fields.Two closely related Welsh Corgis exist today: the Cardigan (long-tailed) and the Pembroke (tailless). They share a common history and were interbred and shown together until 1934, when the Kennel Club (KC) officially recognized them as separate breeds. Since the 1930s, fanciers of one type or another have emphasized the breed's individualities - the Cardigan has a tail (most notably) and is a bit heavier boned and longer (a "Welsh yard" from the tip of his nose to the end of his outstretched tail) than the Pembroke. Also, the Cardigan's ears are larger and set wider, and his coat comes in different colors.

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi has a lively disposition and is noted for his intelligence and devotion. Fun loving and affectionate, he likes to be involved in everything his family is doing. He can be standoffish with strangers but is playful and lovable with those he trusts. Alert and responsible, he makes a wonderful family pet.
At home: 
Cardigan Welsh Corgis are adaptable to many living situations, including apartments. They make excellent watchdogs, as they take caring for their family with the utmost seriousness. They need to spend quality time with their owners. Their weatherproof coat means that they can enjoy the outdoors in all types of weather. A fenced-in yard where a Corgi can romp and play is recommended.
Able-bodied and athletic, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi enjoys spending time outdoors and requires daily exercise. He is happiest with a purpose, so exercise that can also provide mental stimulation will keep him truly satisfied.
Cardigan Welsh Corgis are good eaters who need a high-quality food. Their weight should be kept in check, as they are prone to obesity.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a joy to train. Responsive and intelligent, he learns quickly and retains his lessons, always working with enthusiasm. Corgis should be socialized from puppyhood on to bring out their confidence in unfamiliar situations.
Corgis are good with children, especially if raised with and socialized with them, but they may try to "herd" them when playing outside together. Corgis get along very well with other dogs and other pets.
The average life span of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is 12 to 15 years. Breed health concerns may include canine intervertebral disc disease; glaucoma; and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).
Fun fact: 

The derivation of the name "Corgi" has been attributed to various sources, including the Celtic word for "dog," or it may be a combination of the words ("dwarf") and ("dog"), or it may be from "cwr," which in Welsh means "to watch over."

Grooming blurb: 
Regular brushing and combing of his plush double coat with a pin brush or slicker brush are all the Cardigan Welsh Corgi needs to stay looking his best.
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion and are not to be considered a substitute for veterinary care. If you suspect a medical problem consult your veterinarian.