Cardigan Welsh Corgi
(aka: Cardi, Cardigan, Corgi)
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi has a low set, yet sturdy and elongated body, with short legs. His expression is one of readiness and enthusiasm. The coat of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is weatherproof, and has a hard texture. The exterior coat can be short or medium in length, and he also has a shorter, dense undercoat. Corgi's are members of the herding group.
Cardigan Welsh Corgi Temperament
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is an affectionate and loving dog, with a high degree of intelligence and a responsive and gentle nature. This breed does have a tendency to nip, but their high intelligence and the fact that they are quick to learn makes them easy to train. A Cardigan Welsh Corgi will be just as suited to an inexperienced dog owner as an experienced one. These dogs have plenty of spirit and energy, and are keen, enthusiastic, and eager. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is responsive and obedient, but also independent, with a mind of his own. They can be nippers, but this is part of their herding instinct and occurs when they try and 'herd' people together.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi will usually get along well with children, especially older, more considerate children. When it comes to other pets, he does need early socialization - particularly with cats, as one of his primary tasks used to be chase stray cats away. However, a well socialized Cardigan Welsh Corgi should get along fine with other family pets. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is reserved but polite when it comes to strangers and guests. He can make an effective watchdog because of his tendency to bark and raise the alarm if something is amiss. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a dependable and reliable dog that can make a very good family pet.
The grooming requirements for the Cardigan Welsh Corgi are low, and you simply need to use a firm bristle brush to brush his coat once or twice a week. This breed is a medium shedder, but will shed more heavily on a seasonal basis, which is when you will have to step up the brushing and grooming to a daily basis.
Cardigan Welsh Corgis are one of the oldest breeds in the United Kingdom, with early examples of the breed reported in Wales some three thousand years ago. The Cardi was originally used simply to protect herds of cattle en route from Wales to English markets, but in time the early Welsh drovers realized the utility of the Cardi as a herder and began using the breed in this capacity. A later cross with traditional Welsh sheepdogs increased the Cardi's herding capabilities still further, resulting in the Cardigan Welsh Cardi as we know it today.
The original Cardigan Welsh Corgi breed was split during Viking invasions near the end of the first millennium AD, when members of the Spitz breed (which accompanied the Vikings) cross-bred with original Welsh Corgis, resulting in two different strains: the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the closely-related Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Although some cross-breeding between these two distinct varieties of Corgi occurred--encouraged by the refusal of English kennel clubs at the start of the twentieth century to consider the Pembroke and the Cardi as two distinct breeds--the breeds were finally separated in 1934, and the breed lines have remained reasonably pure ever since.
Cardis are highly intelligent, highly athletic, and highly trainable--providing that the trainer knows what he or she is doing.
Cardis' natural cleanliness makes them easy to house train as puppies, and their natural abilities with problem-solving makes them ideal candidates for teaching both basic commands (heel, sit, and the like) as well as more complicated commands and tricks. As with all dog training, it's most effective to use positive methods of reinforcement (treats and rewards of attention and play) as opposed to negative methods (punishment or harsh language)--the Cardi's natural intelligence will naturally latch on to the gist of the trick or command he or she is being taught, and more than likely the knowledge itself (and the dog's pride in it) will be its own reward. (If you do offer a food reward, however, make sure that you do so only sparingly - Cadis have a tendency to obesity as a breed, and it's difficult to stop offering food rewards for successful obedience once you start offering them.)
In fact, Cardis are so trainable--and so instinctively good at their basic, instinctual drives toward herding behavior--that it's a good idea to continue training them and offering intellectual challenges long after basic obedience is achieved. This isn't just fun for you and your dog, but it's also practical: the Cardi's basic herding behavior involves biting, nipping, and occasional barking, and if you don't provide the Cardi with intellectual challenges to distract from those basic drives, the Cardi will probably fall back on them simply to keep his or her active brain busy. So keep your Cardi well-trained and be willing to constantly introduce new challenges into his or her environment in order to spare yourself some occasional grief at your Cardi's sometimes overabundant energy.
Because of their basic herding instincts, Cardis are exceptionally good with children and can often act as caretakers and protectors for extremely young family members. However, Cardis are not quite so good with other household animals, and they should be introduced to their prospective housemates at an early age in order to ensure adequate socialization and a minimum of dominance struggling or unwanted "herding" behavior. This holds especially true with other dogs--socialization with other household dogs should be done very, very early, and it's probably a good idea to tell your dog-owning friends to leave their canine pals at home when they come for a visit, no matter how well-trained your Cardi might be.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi has a life expectancy of around 12-15 years. A number of health issues and illnesses are associated with this breed, and this includes thyroid problems, spinal problems, HD, PRA, and obesity. The parents of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates.