Cardigans are powerful workers of surprising speed and grace. Cardigan Welsh Corgis were named for the medieval kingdom of Cardiganshire, Wales, and is the oldest of all British breeds. The Cardigan’s original work was to go before his master’s cattle herd and clear the way by chasing off potential predators and trespassing herds. Later, the Cardi began to act as a herder driving cattle. Cardigans are built low to the ground to best nip at the heels of cattle and avoid being kicked.
The first pair of breeding Cardigans arrived in the United States in June 1931. The AKC granted full recognition to the breed four years later.
Cardigan Welsh Corgi Appearance
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a long, low foxlike dog with large upright ears, a brushy tail, with front legs slightly bowed around a deep chest. They are 10.5 to 12.5 inches tall, with a longer body weighing 25 to 38 pounds. Their coat is medium length and double with a variety of colors, shades and patterns: brindle, red, sable, blue merle, and black. Blues and blacks can have cheeks and eyebrows in either tan or brindle.
Cardigan’s coat is all-weather and generally clean and odorless. A good brushing at least once a week to remove dead hair should keep the Cardigan’s coat healthy and looking its best. Keeping the hair trimmed on the bottom of the feet helps to reduce the amount of dirt they can bring into the house every day. Like most dogs, he does shed roughly twice a year; in keeping with his moderate coat, the amount isn’t extreme.
Cardigan’s life expectancy is 12 to 15 years. One of the best features about a Cardigan is his personality. A big dog with a matching bark in a small package, his temperament is based upon his original life as a companion and valuable farm helper and vigilant guardian, all of which make him an adaptable and outstanding house pet.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a dog who wants to be truly involved with his family; his family should want to become involved with him too. These athletic, rugged herders have a love for the outdoors, and they thrive on mental stimulation and physical activity. He is full of fun and will shower family with devotion and sensible affection, although some Cardigans withhold their approval from strangers until they get to know them better, then they are all the more loving. Caring for his people (including children) comes naturally to this intelligent, alert and responsible dog.
Well-socialized Cardis are especially fond of kids and agreeable with other large or small animals, as long as they are raised together. However, he does have a herding instinct, and so he may try to herd animals and children smaller than him. They need to be taught that while herding is good for farm living, it’s not necessary in the home. Also due to the herding instinct, some Cardigans may act more stubborn and independent. This is because their ancestors had to stand up for themselves against the large animals they were trying to herd.
Caring for a Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Next, we’ll go into how you should care for a Cardigan Welsh Corgi.
Cardigans are known to become overweight very easily. Careful monitoring of their weight is essential. It is vital that he is fed a high-quality dog food based on the Cardigan’s activity level and nutritional needs. Two smaller meals a day rather than one large one will make for a better digestive process. In addition, don’t overdo giving treats. Yes, Cardigans can hear a cheese wrapper from 50 yards but that doesn’t mean you give them an entire piece. Feel the ribs, and if you can’t feel them easily with your fingertips, then your dog in most likely overweight. Clean water should be available at all times.
The Cardigan is noted for being a very adaptable dog. If you want to hike and go on adventures, they are all for that. Or if you want to watch TV and eat popcorn, no problem. Cardigans thrive on regular socialization, so going for walks in the neighborhood is important for many reasons. It provides fun for both you and the dog, as well as much-needed exercise to avoid becoming overweight. When your Cardigan starts to do “power runs” through the house and over the couch, it is his way of showing that he desperately needs exercise. They also love playing with balls.
Early and regular socialization is of the utmost importance in developing a happy, healthy Cardigan. Gently expose the pup to a wide range of people, places, and situations. This process goes on for a lifetime, but the rewards of a well-socialized dog are wonderful. Go to training classes, and let all members of the family participate. Don’t tolerate inappropriate behavior, and don’t hesitate to seek the help of a qualified trainer or behaviorist if there’s a problem you can’t correct. A little effort early on will reward you with a dog whom you and all who meet him will love.
While the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is in general a very healthy breed, there a several diseases that can be of concern, and all of which in fact, can affect many other purebred and crossbred dogs. These include hip dysplasia, a malformation of the hip joints that causes arthritis and pain, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), a disease that causes blindness and for which there is a genetic test and degenerative myelopathy (DM), a disease that causes progressive paralysis and seems to only affect very old Cardigans. And as with any “long and low” canine, one must be aware of potential back issues. Avoid letting the Cardigan jump down off the bed or couch, and stairs can also be a hazard. At the first sign of any distress or discomfort, see the vet right away. The sooner a problem is caught, the quicker the recovery.
Cleaning ears weekly can be done using commercially-available ear cleaning liquid, such as Vibram Epi-Otic, and a soft cloth or cotton balls. Never use cotton swabs as they may cause damage; only a veterinarian should perform cleaning with swabs. Teeth should be cleaned a couple of times a week. Gum disease can lead to heart, liver, and kidney problems. Nails need to be trimmed regularly. Nails that aren’t trimmed can splinter and infect the quick or grow and curl into the flesh. This can be painful for your dog to walk on. Nails should never touch the ground. Trimming is past due if nails are clicking on the kitchen floor.