Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS A CARDIGAN WELSH CORGI?
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is one of the breeds included in the AKC Herding Group. As the name implies, these dogs have a heritage as companions and protectors in driving cows and sheep on farms in Great Britain. A good working Corgi was a valuable asset to the farmer. After tending the herd during the day, the farmer brought his Corgi into the home at night where he became friend, protector and companion to the family and children.
WHY SUCH A LONG NAME FOR A SMALL DOG?
The name is easy to remember once you know its origin. They were raised in the Welsh county of Cardiganshire. The name "Corgi" comes from two words in Welsh; "Cor" for dwarf (or perhaps "cur" for working dog) and "gi" (with a hard "G" sound) for dog. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi may be a "little dog" but certainly has a big heart.
WHAT ABOUT THE EARLY BEGINNINGS OF THE TWO CORGIS?
Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis are of different origins. Pembroke Corgis come from the same lines as Terriers, Spitz and Schipperkes and became popular due to the Queen's influence. Cardigans are an older, rarer breed, coming from the same heritage as the Tekdal dogs, such as the Dachshund. They remained in the hands of the old farmers and breeders, who continued to breed them selectively for the purpose of herding and family companions. The Cardigan temperament is more like a Collie or a well-bred German Shepherd Dog. Temperament and trainability are of the utmost importance.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN PHYSICAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE CARDI & PEM?
First of all, there's the obvious tail on the Cardigan, while the Pembroke is docked. Cardigan ears are bigger and more rounded, Pem's ears are small and more triangular. Cardigans are bigger, and longer in body. They are taller at the shoulders. The front on the Cardigan is a bit peculiar, since they are built very similar to the Dachshund or Basset Hound, with a bowed front and toes pointing outward. The Cardigan has a deep chest to enable a large heart/lung cavity, needed in order to perform his work up and down the hills of Cardiganshire, Wales. The forelegs bow out a bit to surround the chest, and his feet are in a line not directly under the shoulders, rather a bit under the chest, giving him a look not usual to the eye.
DOES THE CARDI GET ALONG WITH OTHER BREEDS?
YES! They mix well with larger dogs or small dogs. They love the companionship of another dog or even a cat. Many puppy buyers often add a second pup later as a companion for the original Cardi! Cardigans are contagious!!!
DOES THE BREED REQUIRE A LOT OF EXERCISE?
They get enough exercise running about in your yard, or on long walks. They also get a lot of exercise playing about the house, especially if they have another dog or cat for a companion. Cardigans are adaptable, living on country acreage or city apartments, and anywhere in between!
DOES THE CARDI PREFER LIVING INDOORS OR OUTDOORS?
Cardis are house pets and companion dogs, which means they are meant to be with you. This does not mean that you can't leave the dog outside in your fenced yard to play during the course of the day. You certainly can, provided that you have supplied water and shelter. Dogs can be outside to exercise but brought in several times during the day. Remember to take special care with hot summer or cold winter weather. Cardigans love to romp in the snow. They are so comical hopping out of the snowdrifts! As companion dogs, they love best being with you, especially if they can con you into sharing your lap! They are adaptable to YOUR lifestyle.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE LIFESPAN OF THE CARDIGAN?
It is not uncommon for Cardigans to live as long as 15 or more. Average lifespan is about 12-15 years.
IS THERE MUCH DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MALES AND FEMALES?
NO! As pets, both sexes are intelligent, loyal, devoted, dedicated, and loving. Pets should be neutered. Spayed females and males shed only once a year and unspayed females will shed twice a year, just prior to coming into heat.
WHAT IS THE SIZE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE SEXES?
Average shoulder height on a male is 10.5 to 12.5 inches at the shoulders, weight being around 30-38 pounds. Females are a bit smaller and weigh around 25-34 pounds. Their length is a Welsh yard, between 36 - 43 inches from the tip of nose to tip of tail.
HOW DO YOU PICK UP A CARDIGAN SINCE THEY ARE BUILT SO DIFFERENT?
Their center of balance is just under the chest. Put one hand under the chest behind the front legs, with the other hand supporting the hindquarters. Never let young puppies jump off furniture or go down large flights of stairs. Teach the pup to go up and down a short flight of stairs in the beginning. Remember going downstairs is harder for this long-bodied short-legged dog.
WHY DO THEY HAVE SUCH BIG EARS?
Cardigans have large and prominent ears in proportion to their size. Their hearing is extremely acute, and they can distinguish between familiar sounds and strange noises as an excellent watchdog. They used their acute hearing to hear the approaching kick from a cow; and then they would roll out the way with the use of their long bodies and short legs. When they are young puppies, their ears are dropped, but starting anywhere after 8 weeks, their ears start to come up. When the puppies teethe, the ears may droop, but this is normal.
WHAT COAT COLORS ARE AVAILABLE?
Cardigans come in a wide range of colors, as opposed to the Pembroke. The recognized colors accepted in the current Standard are: tri-color (black, white and tan or brindle points), blue merles (mottled gray & black, with brindle or tan points), brindles (of various shades, i.e., black brindle, brown brindle, red brindle), sable, and red. The Cardigan normally has white flashings on the neck, chest, feet and tip of tail. There are other colors naturally occurring in the Cardigan but these are not eligible for conformation exhibition. No matter what color, the Cardigan will delight you!
DO THEY REQUIRE MUCH GROOMING?
The Cardigan only requires minimal grooming. The correct double coat repels dirt through routine brushing with a shedding blade, slicker brush or with a fine pin brush. Check the ears to keep them clean also, and trim the nails. Show dogs can have their feet trimmed to tidy the feet. That's all!
HOW RARE IS THE BREED?
The Cardigan ranks about 90th among the 135 registered AKC breeds, based on the number newly registered each year in the US.
WHAT ABOUT TRAINING?
A crate is recommended to house-train a puppy. Other basic obedience training can start as soon as the pup settles in to the new home. Cardigans excel in training because they have such a willing-to-please-you attitude. Training will develop a deeper relationship between you and your companion and it is fun!
More questions? Contact a local breeder, or contact our Breed Education Chair, Leah James for the answers!