Cardigan Welsh Corgi Breed Guide

Cardigan Welsh Corgis are small, but powerful dogs that are sturdily built and capable of both endurance and speed. The breed's double coat comes in red, brindle, sable, black, and blue merle. White markings are common. The medium-length outer coat is slightly harsh and lies smooth, while the undercoat is short, thick, and soft. Cardigan Welsh Corgis have deep chests, short legs, and long necks. Their eyes are widely set and their ears are large. These dogs measure 10.5 to 12.5 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 25 to 38 pounds. With proper care, this breed lives up to 15 years.

Cardigan Welsh Corgis are highly intelligent, obedient, and eager to please, which makes them a very trainable breed.

These dogs are ideally suited for active, outdoorsy families that have no other pets. Cardigan Welsh Corgis get along well with children, do fine in apartments or in rural areas, are generally quiet and clean, and require very little grooming.

This breed is known by the nickname "the yard-long dog" in its native Cardiganshire. This nickname comes from the shape of its body, which is similar to that of a Dachshund.

As a breed, Cardigan Welsh Corgis are adaptable, affectionate, and good with kids and cats. They can even get along with other dogs, provided they are raised together. They are loyal and even-tempered, which makes them great family pets, but they tend to be reserved and standoffish with strangers.

Provided they are given enough attention and exercise, Cardigan Welsh Corgis are quiet, clean, and polite and can thrive in urban apartments or in rural areas. These dogs need a lot of exercise for their size, however, and do best with daily vigorous play sessions, moderate to long walks, and a large yard for running and playing. This breed excels in dog sports, including flyball, herding, agility, obedience, tracking, and rally.

These dogs are definitely family dogs. While they enjoy spending some time outdoors, they prefer to spend the majority of their day inside with their human family members. Cardigan Welsh Corgis are not suited for life as outdoor animals.

Although they are a generally healthy breed, Cardigan Welsh Corgis suffer from certain health conditions more often than some other dogs. Glaucoma, cataracts, and progressive retinal atrophy, which is an inherited retinal disease that can lead to blindness, are all known to affect these dogs. Obesity is another potential problem with very serious consequences. Fortunately, attention to diet and regular exercise can help prevent these dogs from becoming overweight or obese.

Additionally, this breed is a risk for urolithiasis, or stones in the urinary tract, and certain spinal problems. Intervertebral disc disease, a degenerative condition that causes lameness or paralysis in one or more legs, also affects Cardigan Welsh Corgis. This disease can lead to permanent nerve damage without prompt diagnosis and intervention.

Weight management, routine veterinary care, and timely vaccinations all ensure Cardigan Welsh Corgis live a long life of up to 15 years.

Cardigan Welsh Corgis are highly intelligent, obedient, and eager to please, which makes them a very trainable breed. They are also a determined breed, with some dogs becoming quite stubborn.

Without proper training, these dogs may become bossy and some may turn into nuisance barkers. These behavioral problems tend to be worse if the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is not given sufficient attention and stimulation. Positive reinforcement works well when training these dogs, and play and treat rewards help ensure success.

Cardigan Welsh Corgis are naturally suspicious and need early and frequent socialization to prevent hostile, fearful, and aggressive behavior toward strange people and animals. These dogs need to be around people often to remain friendly, and they should be exposed to a variety of sights and sounds beginning early in life.

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a low-maintenance breed when it comes to grooming. Most of the year, a weekly brushing is generally sufficient to remove dead hair and distribute skin oils throughout the coat. However, these dogs shed a lot, and brushing may need to be more frequent during shedding seasons to keep hair off furniture and clothing. A shedding blade, fine pin brush, or slicker brush is a good tool to use when attempting to control loose hair on these dogs.

Cardigan Welsh Corgis rarely need bathing. Their coat repels dirt and these dogs don't smell, which makes baths unnecessary unless they roll around in a sticky, stinky, or harmful substance. When baths are needed, a veterinarian-approved, canine shampoo will prevent skin irritation and drying.

These dogs need their nails trimmed every few weeks, and they benefit from weekly ear checks to look for excess wax or signs of infection. The hair on their feet can be trimmed for a neater appearance, and their teeth need brushing regularly to protect against dental disease and bad breath.

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is one of the oldest breeds in England. These dogs arrived in Cardiganshire, South Wales in 1200 BC. They came over with the Celts and were originally kept as companion animals.

Over time, these dogs took on the role of drovers and farm dogs. They were used for pushing herds out to pasture when royal pastures in the area were open for use by all. When these lands were divided, sold, and fenced, Cardigan Welsh Corgis no longer had a clear purpose, although some were kept as guard dogs or companion animals. The breed's numbers dwindled and they nearly became extinct.

Eventually, these dogs were transported to America, where they were bred to be kept as household pets once again. The breed shares ancestors with the Dachshund, which helps explain its long form.

The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Cardigan Welsh Corgi in 1935.