Dog Breed Review

Cardigan Welsh Corgi




What’s not to love about the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Loving and lovable, this is a breed that has a high amount of energy and is intelligent enough for most jobs. A breed that is willing to adapt wherever their master goes.

Even though they’re one of the smaller herding dogs, the Cardigan has the heart the size of the cow they herd. Out of the two Corgi types; it is the Cardigan that has more drive and tenacity.

So what is it about this dog that makes them the perfect choice for a family?

Here is everything you need to know about the Cardigan Welsh Corgi.


The Cardigan Welsh Corgi has quite the interesting story. In fact, the history of the Cardigan resembles that of an underdog, without intentional pun.

Bred to help farmers drive and clear space for neighboring cattle to grace upon the pastures, this breed was also great at guarding property. In fact, there isn’t much the breed can’t do involving herding.

Protecting property owners and farmers from predator and mammal vandals, the Cardigan’s unique ability to nip the heels and keep the herd moving is what set this dog apart from the rest.

To further elaborate the breed’s “big dog-small package,” the Cardigan Welsh Corgi gets their name from the Cardiganshire village in Wales. The word “corgi” simply means “dwarf dog” in Welsh.

Obviously, the breed has an extensive history tying it to the Celtic tribes, who would arrive in Wales from central Europe in 1200 BC. As you can guess, they brought with them their Cardigan Welsh Corgi.

It’s most likely the breed descends from sheepdogs or the Teckel family.

The breed’s popularity would begin to fizzle out in the 19th century, as modern advancements were made leaving the Corgi without work. However, enthusiasts and lovers of this breed knew how important the breed was to keep around. Instead, the breed began appearing in dog shows and were bred as more of a complete companion dog. Of course, the ability and talent was still there, which is what would save the entire breed.

Up until 1934, the Pembroke and Cardigan were one breed. The British Kennel Club made a distinction between the two breeds. That year, the club gave recognition to both breeds.

In 1935, the American Kennel Club made the decision to give the Cardigan Welsh Corgi official recognition. Since then, the Cardigan has been a part of the non sporting group, working, and now herding group.

Today, many families welcome Corgis into their homes as companions. That’s not to say the breed doesn’t work hard still. They are also great at sheepdog and herding trials. According to ABC News, the Corgis were on the list of “vulnerable” breeds in England a few years ago. However, the Pembroke continues to grow in popularity, no longer on the list, while the United Kingdom Kennel Club considers the Cardigan a vulnerable breed to date.


It appears when it comes to herding, size doesn’t matter with this breed. While some classify the Cardigan Welsh Corgi as a small breed, the American Kennel Club lists them as medium size.

Both the United Kennel Club and AKC agree that males should weigh between 30 to 38 pounds, while females can weigh from 25 to 34 pounds.

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi should stand between 10 to 12.5 inches.


The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is an excellent choice despite experience. They adapt well to their surroundings and will live anywhere. You should keep in mind, however, that the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is quite a vocalist. They bark at mostly everything and that could be upsetting with neighbors surrounding you.

However, the Cardigan is the kind of dog you can take anywhere at anytime. They love an adventure and will enjoy regular outdoor activity. This is a breed that thrives on walks and regular exercise. If you are going to own a Cardigan, you will need to honor the high amount of energy they expend.

You can use them for working, guarding, or just companion, these dogs can learn quick. They may make you work for their talents at first, but in time, this is a breed eager to please.

Versatile and capable of being the dog you want them to be. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi loves being the family, and needs plenty of affection. While most experts say the breed is better with older children, the breed will do fine with smaller kids if you properly train them. You should deter bad habits like herding and nibbling.

Strangers and other dogs may be an issue for a dog that hasn’t seen early socialization. That said, the Cardigan can get along with just about anyone. They will protect on moments notice and aren’t afraid to tip off their master to an intrusion.

In summary, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a happy go lucky dog, with an upbeat personality, that strives for affection and is willing to return the favor.


If all goes well, the Cardigan should live a long life of 12 to 15 years. There are few major concerns that usually impact most breeds. In general, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a relatively healthy breed.

With that in mind, when you buy a Corgi, you should make the purchase from a breeder with a good reputation. The breeder should be able to provide you with the proper documentation and health clearances. Of course, regular visits, perhaps twice a year, to the veterinarian’s office will help enhance your dog’s well being.

The biggest issue to affect the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is Hip Dysplasia. This is one of the leading orthopedic diseases, that affects many breeds in the hound group, to Doberman’s, Cairn Terriers and Lab Retrievers. Hip Dysplaisa is a malformation of the hip joints, that can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort. If you don’t treat the disease, it can lead to osteoarthritis. The Cardigan ranks 32nd at 20.4 percent occurrence rate, according to Orthopedic Foundation Of Animals’ rankings.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy, which is an inheritable disease of the retina, where the rod cells inside the retina die systematically leading to partial or complete blindness. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi has the 13th worst numbers among all breeds along with the Bullmastiff, Cocker Spaniel and Siberian Husky.

Degenerative Myelopathy, which typically affects older dogs, is a spinal disease resulting in “ataxia,” which is when there’s a lack of coordination in the limbs of the dog’s hinds. This will cause issues with the Cardigan’s walking. Other breeds like Boxers, Bernese Mountain Dog and Pugs are prone to DM.

There are also issues that are unique to dogs with black coats. For instance, if you own a Cardigan Welsh Corgi that sports a black coat, it is best practice to keep them out of the sun or away from extreme heat conditions. Cardigans with black coats seem to overheat and struggle with hot weather more than other coats.

Cancer was the most common form of death at 28.3 percent for the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. 

Luxating Patella, issues with the back, tumors and neurological disorders are things to keep an eye out for.


The Cardigan may want to bounce around as it loves running and playing, but for this breed’s best interest, you should prevent them from jumping up and down on the furniture or other areas to reduce back issues. Again, the breed is prone to back issues due to their characteristics.

You should also watch their weight, as this breed does have a problem with obesity. Of course, that’s more of a discipline act for the owner than the dog itself.

Inspecting their ears regularly, which are erect and long, for bacterial infections is a good idea. Trimming their nails helps prevent overgrowth, splitting or cracking. It also reduces the chances of wear and tear towards your carpet, flooring and furniture.

One of the essential items with this breed is early socialization and training. They absolutely need it to be a friendlier and integrating canine. They will learn, if you make it interesting. The breed should be getting up to 1 hour of walking time per day. However, two walks per day should suffice.

If you live inside an apartment, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi should do just fine. You may need to monitor the barking level. Cardigans aren’t the biggest fans of being left alone, but they handle themselves better than most breeds. A Cardigan should do fine in cold or hot weather.

Plenty of love, affection and attention is all this breed needs and deserves to break boredom and destructive habits.


How much your Cardigan Welsh Corgi eats will depend on whether you have a companion or herding dog. Herding dogs will require more food for the energy they burn. Of course, factors like age and metabolism have much to do with the volume of food your Cardigan eats.

This is a breed that should be fed and do well with a top notch dry kibble. Meat should be the first ingredient, and you should go by the labels and recommendations from your veterinarian. 

Most Cardigan owners suggest feeding your Corgi 1 to 1.5 cups of high quality kibble. You can break that up into two meals per day. This controls the chances of Bloat and teaches your dog restraint. Again, this is a breed prone to obesity, and you should carefully monitor how much they eat.

For a dog with typical energy and activity, between the weight of 25 to 38 pounds, you will need to replenish 780 to 1068 calories per day. For a moderate working dog between 30 and 34 pounds, they will need between 1490 and 1637 calories daily.

Of course, you should always leave your Cardigan Welsh Corgi fresh drinking water.


Cardigans have a dense double coat. The outside coat should be coarse to fairly harsh in feeling as well as weather proof. The undercoat is short, soft and thick. 

You should brush twice a week to keep your dog’s coat in prime condition. They do shed seasonally and require occasional grooming.

According to the American Kennel Club, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi has the following coat colors; Black and white, blue merle and white, brindle and white, red and white, sable and white.

The Cardigan can have 7 markings; ticked, tan points and ticked, tan points, brindle points, brindle points and ticket, black mask, black mask and ticked.

Fun Cardigan Welsh Corgi Facts

  • Unlike the Pembroke, the Cardigan has a long tail, where the latter has no or short tails.
  • Pembrokes owe the Cardigan Welsh Corgi for their creation as well as Flemish spitz dogs.
  • Food network star and Author Alton Brown owns a Cardigan.
  • Cardigans were bred short to avoid the hooves of a cow.
  • Cardigans are the least popular of the Corgis, as Queen Elizabeth, Governor Jerry Brown and Stephen King are all Pembroke fans.
  • This breed is the 69th most popular dog among the AKC rankings.
  • AKC recognition: 1935 United Kennel Club recognition: 1959
  • One of the oldest breeds from the British Isles.
  • First Cardigan Welsh Corgi in America was in 1931.

Closing Words

If it wasn’t for the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, then the Pembroke would have never been as popular today. Perhaps, enthusiasts and clubs of the Cardigan don’t mind the breed gaining all of the attention. They are still a popular breed here in the U.S. and anyone who owns a Cardigan owns one for life.

That’s because this is a breed that is for the people. They love people and aren’t afraid to show. Yet, the Cardigan happens to be a breed with many talents. Their ability to move animals much larger than themselves, and their ability to withstand long and grueling days at the pastures, gives this breed a whole new level of respect. 

But what really separates this breed from the rest, is their ability to call it quits at work and bring a whole new form of energy back to their family.


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