Meet the Breed: The Cardigan Welsh Corgi



  • Height: 10"- 13”
  • Weight: 25-30 pounds
  • Historical function: Herding, guarding
  • Modern function: Herding, companion
  • AKC classification: Herding

Physical Characteristics:

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is one of two Corgi breeds originating in Wales. The Cardigan is mostly distinguished from the Pembroke Welsh Corgi by the presence of a tail and a slightly longer body. Both are long and low to the ground with very short legs, though the Pembroke's legs are usually straighter. The Corgi's ears are large, pricked triangles with slightly rounded tips. The double coat is available in red, sable, brindle, black and blue merle. White markings are common.

History of the Breed:

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi was developed in Wales as a herding and watchdog. The short stature provided safety as the Corgi would nip at the heels of the cattle because kicks would miss the low-to-the ground dog. The Cardigan has been less popular than the Pembroke due to the fact that the Pembroke is the choice of the royals in England, but has enjoyed pockets of popularity among enthusiasts both in the United States and abroad.


The Cardigan is a friendly, intelligent dog that was bred to make decisions in the field, therefore kind persistence and variety is required to train this independent thinker. As part of their history was guarding their small farms, the Corgi makes a good watchdog. Socialize well to expose them to a variety of situations to be comfortable with lots of people and pets. This is a large dog in a small body, so resist the temptation to treat them as little dogs so they do not become dominant. When this dog knows he is not the pack leader, he will be obedient and eager to please.

  • Best suited for: Families with older children since the Corgi may attempt to herd smaller children. This dog requires a surprising amount of exercise for it's size. 
  • Preferred living conditions: This dog is a family dog that thrives around its people. Can do okay in an apartment with sufficient exercise.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: The double coat requires regular brushing.
  • Exercise needs: Daily brisk long walk. The Cardigan requires more exercise than one would think for a little dog, but as a herding dog, it is necessary. The Cardigan needs even more exercise than the Pembroke.
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years.
  • Health concerns: May be prone to back problems. Do not allow this dog to jump up and down off of furniture or in and out of cars as this could damage the dog's spine.

Breed Club Links: Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America Perfect Pairings: This dog does best with a harness to protect that long back.

Have any stories about a Cardigan Welsh Corgi? Please share!

Photo courtesy of tanakawho.

This entry was posted by Mary.
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