Author: Perrine Crampton, email@example.com. Copyright 1995.
Table of Contents
* A Brief History
* Physical Appearance
* Buying a Puppy
* Beyond the Home
* The Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America
* Online Resources
* Additional Resources
A Brief History
_The Corgi with a Tail_:
A small but hardy dog was found centuries ago in the remote, misty
green hills of Cardiganshire in Wales. He was a "Corgi," "Cor" for
dwarf (or perhaps "cur" for working dog) and "gi" (with a hard G
sound) for dog. This "ci" or yard-long dog was highly valued by his
family as affectionate companion, guard, general farm worker, and
driver of cattle. In fact, ancient Welsh law provided for severe
penalties to those who harmed or stole one of the little "corgwn,"
because the corgi's talents could help determine his family's economic
Never numerous and sometimes confused with the more common tailless
Pembroke Welsh Corgi, the Cardigan is a separate breed of ancient
lineage, descended from the Teckel or Dachshund family. The earliest
Cardigans were heavy, golden or blue merle with perhaps drop ears.
Careful crosses were made with working qualities in mind, probably
with brindle and red herders; the result was also more refined,
dignified and foxy-looking.
Although the Cardigan Welsh Corgi was first shown in England in 1919
and the English Cardigan Welsh Corgi Association was founded in 1926,
the Cardigans and Pembrokes were not finally declared to be separate
breeds by the English Kennel Club until 1934. The first pair of
Cardigans was imported to the United States by Mrs. B.P. Bole in 1931,
with the Welsh Corgi recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1934,
and the Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis recognized separately in
December, 1934. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America was founded
in 1935. The Cardigan has gone from the Non-Sporting to the Working to
the Herding Group.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a long, low fox-like dog with large
upright ears, a brushy tail, moderate bone, and front legs slightly
bowed around a deep chest. His appearance should conform as closely as
possible to the AKC Standard, which states, "...a small, sturdy but
powerful dog capable of endurance and speed." The average size is
handy, approximately twelve inches at the shoulder with females
ideally ranging from 25-34 pounds and males from 30-38 pounds. The
Cardigan's practical coat is medium length and double with a variety
of colors, shades and patterns: brindle (which gives a wood grain
effect), red (brown or golden), sable (with black hair tips), blue
merle (black and grey marbled) and black. Blues and blacks can have
"points" (cheeks and eyebrows) in either tan (for a tricolor) or
brindle. White flashings are usual on the neck (as a partial or full
collar), chest, legs, muzzle, underparts, tip of tail and blaze. Black
masks are acceptable along with some ticking (freckles).
With reasonable care, the average lifespan of a Cardigan is around
12-15 years, with 16 and 17 not unheard of. All Corgis deserve good
care, which includes a secure place, a good diet and water, exercise,
veterinary visits and vaccinations, general grooming (including nails
and teeth), socialization, training and love. If not show quality,
he/she should be neutered or spayed; a litter requires many
considerations including genetics, time, effort (!) and expense.
Owners should be careful about allowing puppy Cardis, with their very
distinctive front assembly, to jump down. Note that a very young puppy
has drop ears; usually those big ears will come "up" on their own, but
occasionally ears are temporarily supported with tape. A Cardigan
should be picked up by placing one hand under the chest behind the
front legs with the other hand supporting the hindquarters.
The Cardigan is generally an active dog, but in adulthood he doesn't
get carried away with it. He has stamina and LOVES walks and romps,
but doesn't absolutely require more exercise than he gets around the
house and yard. With exercise, he can be quite athletic with
surprising ball-chasing speed.
The Cardigan's coat is all-weather and generally clean and odorless.
It is best if brushed once a week to remove dead hair. Like most dogs,
he does shed roughly twice a year; in keeping with his moderate coat,
the amount isn't extreme.
Buying a Puppy
A puppy is a long-term, emotion-filled investment and should be
purchased carefully. With needs including proper health care and
socialization, a puppy should NOT be purchased from a pet shop. A
responsible and knowledgeable breeder is important. Breeders
directories can be obtained from the CWCCA. If you need a contact
address or telephone number, contact the American Kennel Club at 51
Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010 or 1-900-407-PUPS. In looking for a
Cardigan, expect to be interviewed by a reputable breeder as to your
qualifications to own and care for a special puppy.
Beyond the Home
As a recognized AKC breed, the Cardigan can compete in AKC dog shows.
However, he does not have to be limited to conformation. In keeping
with their Welsh farm heritage and intelligence, Cardigans do well in
obedience, tracking, agility and, of course, herding trials. If you
would like to participate in these activities, your dog's breeder, the
CWCCA or the AKC can offer advice.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America
The CWCCA is devoted to the appreciation and advancement of the
Cardigan Welsh Corgi. To that end, Specialty Shows with seminars are
held yearly in different regions of the country, the Cardigan
News-Bulletin and Newsletter are published several times a year, and a
Yearbook is published every other year. In addition, the Club has many
committees, including Rescue and general education. A current Breeders
Directory is available through http://www.cardigancorgis.com
* There is a mailing list for Corgi owners ( see the Complete List
of Dog-Related Mailing Lists).
Although not all are easily obtainable, there are several resources
written or produced on the Cardigan:
1. The American Kennel Club has a video tape available on the
Cardigan Welsh Corgi.
2. _Your Welsh Corgi_ by Robt. J. Berndt, Denlingers, Fairfax, VA.,
c. 1978...This book deals with both Corgis.
3. _The Cardiganshire Corgi_ by Clifford Hubbard, Nicholson and
Watson, England, c. 1952 (Out of print, but might be found in some
4. _The Welsh Corgi_ by Charles Lister-Kaye and _Welsh Corgis_ by
Charles Lister-Kaye and M. Migliorini, both Arco Publishing Co.,
NY, c. 1970 and 1971
5. _Welsh Corgis_ by Charles Lister-Kaye, W. and G. Foyle Ltd.,
6. _How To Raise and Train a Cardigan Welsh Corgi_ by Mrs. Henning
Nelms and Mrs. Michael Pym, TFH Publications, NJ, c.1965
7. _The Cardigan Handbook_ by Pat Santi, Denlingers, c. 1980