Tail Set Versus Tail Carriage

Author Unknown, published by CWCCA c.2001

Two important and different points concerning the Cardigan Welsh Corgi are the tail set and the tail carriage. This is what the Standard has to say about both:

TAIL SET: ” … set fairly low on body line … High Tail set is a serious fault.”

TAIL CARRIAGE: “Carried low when standing or moving slowly, streaming out parallel to ground when at a dead run, lifted when excited, but never curled over the back.”

The topline of the Cardigan shows a croup that has a “slight downward slope to the tail set.” Some dogs have a tail that comes right off the back in a horizontal line with the spinal cord. This is what is referred to as “squared off’ and is faulty. This dog has a high tail set. The croup must slant downward slightly for the dog to have a correct tail set. A dog may have a high tail set and still carry its tail relatively well. The high tail set is STILL a serious fault. If this dog puts his tail up, he may well have it curling over and touching his back, which is most unattractive and faulty.

The preferred tail carriage is low or streaming out parallel to the ground. Almost all dogs, however, even those with a correct set, can and do put their tails up when they are excited. Males are notorious for doing this when they recognize other males in the vicinity. There is no need to fault a dog who puts his tail in the air, as is normal in the breed, providing he has a correct tail set and providing his tail does not go beyond the vertical and curl over the back.

There have been many questions on this point from judges who have felt required to fault dogs who put their tails in the air. Most important is to check the tail set to see where a fault may lie. The Cardigan uses his tail very actively to show his feelings, and as a rudder when working. Therefore, it is and should be a lively and integral part of his body that responds to context and situations that may arise. A completely dead tail that hangs loose and does not show any life is not normal and should be viewed with suspicion.