Country of Origin: The Cardigan Welsh Corgi (also known as the ‘Cardigan’, ‘CWC’, or ‘Cardi’) is one of the oldest herding breeds, thought to have originated in Wales over 3,000 years ago. ‘Cor gi’ translates to ‘dwarf dog’ or ‘gathering dog’ in Welsh; the rest of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi’s name comes from its birthplace of Cardiganshire, Wales. Prior to the twentieth century, it was known as the ‘Yardlong Dog’ as it ideally measured an English yard from the tail tip to the nose. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is believed to have descended from the Teckel family of dogs; it was later crossed with the Collie for additional colors. Originally used as a hunter and guard dog, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi was trained to drive cattle by nipping at its heels and ducking its kicks—at the time a farmer was allowed to own more land if his cattle were widely spread. When these laws were changed, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi dipped in popularity and went nearly extinct; those who remained were crossed with brindle herding breeds. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1935 and is today a modestly popular herding dog and pet, but remains outnumbered by its popular cousin the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
Size: The Cardigan Welsh Corgi has a shoulder height of 30 cm (12 in) and weighs 11-14 kg (25-30 lbs). It is nearly twice as long as it is tall. Cardigan Welsh Corgis have long, rounded, upright ears and a slightly flat skull. They have a flat back, low set and low carried tail which is not docked, and large, round feet. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is similar in appearance to a fox or a short-legged German Shepherd. It is distinguished from the Pembroke Welsh Corgi by its larger ears, undocked tail, and heavier set.
Coat: The Cardigan Welsh Corgi has a short-haired, weather-resistant outer coat and soft undercoat. Cardigan Welsh Corgis may be various shades of red, sable, brindle, black with possible tan brindle, or blue merle with possible tan brindle. All may have white markings on the chest, legs, muzzle, tail tip, or blaze (vertical line between the eyes). White areas should not exceed 30 percent of the coat. Other common markings include ‘ticking’, ‘smutty’ muzzle, and ‘monk’s hood’. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi sheds its coat twice a year.
Character: The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is smart, brave, and calm. It is intelligent and affectionate, forming a close bond with its family, but tends to bond most closely with one person. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a bit more aggressive and energetic than the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. It will stand up to bigger dogs to protect its owner, even at the cost of its life.
Temperament: The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is known to be somewhat reckless with other dogs. Early socialization is necessary for the Cardigan Welsh Corgi to get along with cats and other household pets. It gets along fine with children. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is wary of strangers and does not easily allow new people into its circle of friends.
Care: The Cardigan Welsh Corgi should be brushed occasionally to remove dead hairs and bathed only as necessary. It has a life expectancy of 12-15 years. It is susceptible to eye problems such as PRA and glaucoma. Obesity in the Cardigan Welsh Corgi can lead to serious health conditions, so proper nutrition and exercise are important. Another potential health issue is Canine Degenerative Myelopathy, which may be present if the dog stands with its feet abnormally close together. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi can live outdoors but prefers to split its time between life indoors with the family and playtime in the yard.
Training: Cardigan Welsh Corgis are eager learners and quickly understand what is expected of them. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi excels at dog sports such as sheepdog and agility trials.
Activity: The Cardigan Welsh Corgi requires more exercise than its size indicates. This breed greatly enjoys the outdoors. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi enjoys long walks and sports such as Frisbee catch. Herding is the Cardigan Welsh Corgi’s favorite activity. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi should not be made to jump from significant heights (even a few feet) or run for great distances because of its long back and short legs. It doesn’t mind apartment life as long as it is sufficiently exercised.
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