What is a Cardigan Welsh Corgi?

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Written By Dane Michael

MyFavCorgi is a community of corgi fans and owners with advice to buy, raise and care for your corgi.

Everything you need to know about the history, personality, and physical traits of one of the world’s most popular dogs

The Cardigan Welsh corgi has a long history as a loyal companion.

One of two main corgi breeds, these furry little friends have a special place in the hearts of their devoted owners. But what sets the Cardigan Welsh corgi apart from other breeds? And how are they different from Pembroke Welsh corgis?

Cardigan Welsh corgis are a small breed with a long body, short legs, and a thick double coat. They are active, happy, and social dogs that are also smart and trainable. They are also very protective of their owners, and make good watchdogs for homes.

This is a Cardigan Welsh corgi. Notice its short legs, long body, a thick coat.

What is the history of the Cardigan Welsh corgi?

The Cardigan Welsh corgi is a breed of dog that originated in Wales. It is one of two breeds of Welsh corgi, the other being the Pembroke Welsh corgi.

The Cardigan Welsh corgi has a long history dating back to the Bronze Age. They were first bred by the Celts, who used them for herding and guarding livestock.

In the 1930s, the Cardigan Welsh corgi was recognised as a separate breed from the Pembroke Welsh corgi by the Kennel Club in the UK. The breed was first recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1935.

Today, the Cardigan Welsh corgi is a popular family dog around the globe.

Fact Sheet: What is a Cardigan Welsh Corgi?
A guide to define their physical, personality, social and lifestyle traits

Physical traits

​How tall is a Cardigan Welsh corgi?

The average height of a Cardigan Welsh corgi is 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm) at the shoulder.

Male Cardigan Welsh corgis are bigger than females and may reach heights of up to 12.5 inches (32 cm).

Every individual corgi will be a different due to their genetics, diet, and exercise. If your corgi is undersized or oversized, have a chat with your breeder to ensure they are healthy.

How much does a Cardigan Welsh corgi weigh?

An average Cardigan Welsh corgi weighs 25–35 pounds (11 to 16 kg). They are slightly larger than Pembroke Welsh corgis.

The average male corgi is 30–38lb (13.5–17kg). The average female corgi 25–34 lbs (11–15.5kg).

The ideal height for your corgi will depend on its age, health, and height. Your vet will be able to give you specific advice for your corgi to help you maintain your corgi’s healthy weight.

What does a Cardigan Welsh corgi look like?

The Cardigan Welsh corgi is a small dog with a long body and short legs, and a dark double-coat. It also has a short broad head and large pointed ears.

Cardigan Welsh corgi have a strong, muscular build and a deep chest. Its silhouette is long in proportion to its height, with a low tail set and a fox-like brush.

The Cardigan Welsh corgi is a handsome, powerful dog that is capable of both speed and endurance. 

How are Cardigan Welsh corgis different to Pembroke Welsh corgis?

Cardigan Welsh corgis are a little larger and more reserved than Pembroke Welsh corgis. Pembroke Welsh corgi faces are also more fox-like than Cardigan Welsh corgis.

The Cardigan Welsh corgi and the Pembroke Welsh corgi are both short dogs with long bodies. But they are both distinct breeds of dog.

On average, Cardigan Welsh corgis are heavier and taller than Pembroke Welsh corgis. The Cardigan Welsh corgi also has a longer, thicker coat and a longer brush tail.

You’ll find the face of a Cardigan Welsh corgi is less pointy in both the chin and the ears. Cardigans also feel curvier due to their sloping rear. This is opposed to the Pembroke Welsh corgi’s squared-off behind.

Despite these differences, both breeds are intelligent and adaptable. You can read more about the differences between Cardigan Welsh corgis and Pembroke Welsh corgis.

What is the breed standard for Cardigan Welsh corgis?

The breed standard for Cardigan Welsh corgis is a set of guidelines. These describe the ideal physical and temperament of the breed.

The American Kennel Club have set the breed standard for the Cardigan Welsh corgi. It includes:

  • Appearance: Cardigan Welsh corgis should be sturdy, hardy, and well-balanced, with a strong, muscular body and a deep chest. They should have a medium-length, weather-resistant coat and a thick, bushy tail that is set low.
  • Size: Cardigan Welsh corgis should be between 10.5 and 12.5 inches tall at the shoulder and should weigh between 25 and 38 pounds.
  • Head: Cardigan Welsh corgis should have a broad, blunt head with a deep, well-defined stop and a wide, powerful jaw. They should have medium-sized, triangular ears that are set high on the head and are semi-erect.
  • Eyes: Cardigan Welsh corgis should have medium-sized, almond-shaped eyes that are dark in colour.
  • Nose: Cardigan Welsh corgis should have a black nose that is well-pigmented.
  • Mouth: Cardigan Welsh corgis should have a strong, powerful jaw with a scissors bite. This means the upper incisors should meet tightly over the lower incisors.
  • Neck: Cardigan Welsh corgis should have a strong, muscular neck that is slightly arched and well-proportioned to the head and body.
  • Chest: Cardigan Welsh corgis should have a deep, well-defined chest with well-sprung ribs.
  • Forequarters: Cardigan Welsh corgis should have strong, well-muscled forequarters with well-defined withers, straight front legs, and large, round paws.
  • Hindquarters: Cardigan Welsh corgis should have strong, well-muscled hindquarters with well-defined hocks and a strong, wide rear.
  • Tail: Cardigan Welsh corgis should have a thick, bushy tail that is set low and is carried down or slightly curved.
  • Coat: Cardigan Welsh corgis should have a medium-length, weather-resistant coat. It should be thick, dense, and slightly wavy. The coat should be shorter on the head, ears, and legs and longer on the neck, chest, and tail.
  • Colour: Cardigan Welsh corgis may be red, sable, brindle, black, or blue merle, with or without white markings.
  • Temperament: Cardigan Welsh corgis should be intelligent, alert, and energetic, with a strong desire to please. They should be friendly and outgoing, but also have a strong protective instinct.

For more information on the breed standard, read the full description from the American Kennel Club.

Lifestyle traits

Are Cardigan Welsh corgis affectionate with families?

Yes, Cardigan Welsh corgis make great family pets. They are affectionate and loyal dogs. You will find though that they are more reserved than Pembroke Welsh corgis.

Cardigan Welsh corgis build strong relationships with their owners and their families.

While you will find they are not as social as Pembroke Welsh corgis, they are playful and energetic and thrive when given attention.

This makes them a great dog if you have young kids or want an energetic addition to the family home.

Are Cardigan Welsh corgis good with young kids?

Cardigan Welsh corgis make excellent companion dogs and are well-suited to families with children.

They are affectionate, loyal, and playful, and they enjoy spending time with their families and doing lots of games and activities.

However, it’s important to remember that every dog is an individual, and the personality and behaviour of a particular corgi may depend on its upbringing, training, and temperament.

​Are Cardigan Welsh corgi good with other dogs?

Cardigan Welsh corgis are social dogs and make friends with other dogs easily. This is useful if you already have a pet dog, as well as at the dog park.

Cardigan Welsh corgis enjoy interacting with other dogs and people.

If you have a corgi, you know the joy of bringing them down to the dog park and seeing their faces light up when they see their friends.

As with any breed, it’s critical to properly socialise and train them to ensure they play in a positive way – and don’t bark or try to take on bigger dogs.

Socialisation involves exposing your corgi to a variety of people, places, and experiences between 3 and 12 weeks of age. This will help stamp out fear-based aggression or other behavioural problems.

A good breeder will ensure your corgi is socialised before they give it to you, and will give you guidance on how to continue their socialisation.

Training is also an important aspect of ensuring that your corgi gets along well with other dogs.

Basic obedience training can help your corgi follow commands, listen to you, and behave appropriately around other dogs.

​Do Cardigan Welsh corgis shed?

Yes, Cardigan Welsh corgis do shed. The best way to manage their shedding is regular grooming and cleaning.

Cardigan Welsh corgis shed a moderate amount of fur.

They have a double coat that consists of a soft, downy undercoat and a coarser outer coat. The coat is thick and long to protect your corgi from the elements and keep them warm.

Cardigan Welsh corgis shed their coat regularly to keep it healthy and maintain a proper balance of oils.

The breed has a heavy shedding season, which occurs twice a year when the old coat is replaced with a new one to better match the new season (heavier in winter, lighter for summer).

To reduce shedding, you should groom your Cardigan Welsh corgi regularly. This can involve brushing or brushing the coat to remove loose fur, as well as bathing and drying the dog as needed.

It’s also a good idea to vacuum frequently and use a lint roller to remove fur from clothing and furniture.

Do Cardigan Welsh corgis drool?

Cardigan Welsh corgis do not have a reputation for being heavy droolers.

While all dogs produce some saliva and may drool to some extent, Cardigan Welsh corgis do not produce a large amount of saliva or drool.

There can be few reasons why your corgi may drool more than usual.

For example, some dogs drool more when they are anxious, excited, or stressed. Others drool more when they are hot or hungry, or when they are exposed to the smell of food.

If you notice that your Cardigan Welsh corgi is drooling more than usual, it’s a good idea to monitor them and take them to your vet if necessary.

How often do you need to groom a Cardigan Welsh corgi?

I recommend you groom your corgi at least once a week to keep its coat healthy and prevent tangles and matting in your corgi’s fur.

Your corgi’s coat should be brushed to remove tangles and mats and to distribute natural oils throughout the coat. A slicker brush or a comb with both wide and narrow teeth is useful here.

Cardigan Welsh corgis should be bathed every 2–3 months, or as needed. When bathing your corgi, use a mild dog shampoo and be sure to rinse thoroughly to prevent dry, itchy skin.

You should keep your corgi’s nails trimmed to a length that allows them to just touch the ground when the dog is standing. Overgrown nails can cause discomfort and problems with the dog’s gait.

It is a good idea to check your corgi’s ears and clean them as needed to prevent ear infections. Use a gentle ear cleaner and a soft cloth to clean the inside of the ears. Be careful not to insert anything into the ear canal.

You should aim to get your corgi used to grooming at a young age to make the process easier and more enjoyable for both you and your dog.

Social traits

​Are Cardigan Welsh corgis good with strangers?

Cardigan Welsh corgis are friendly and social dogs that get along well with people, including strangers.

They are known for their intelligence, energy, and playfulness, and they enjoy interacting with others.

However, like any breed, it’s important to properly socialise and train a Cardigan Welsh corgi to ensure that it gets along well with strangers.

A good way to do this is by going on public walks around the neighbourhood, or take them down to your local dog park.

​Are Cardigan Welsh corgis good watchdogs?

Cardigan Welsh corgis can make good watchdogs, as they are alert and attentive to their surroundings.

Corgis are smart and they are quick to respond to any unusual sounds or movements.

Some corgis may be more naturally watchful than others, and a corgi that has been well-trained is better suited to acting as a watchdog than one that has not.

While Cardigan Welsh corgis can make good watchdogs, they are generally not as large or intimidating as some other watchdog breeds, and are not be suitable for protection work.

They are primarily companion dogs and you should treat them as such – with lots of love and family hugs.

​Are Cardigan Welsh corgis playful?

Yes, Cardigan Welsh corgis are playful and energetic dogs that enjoy a wide range of activities.

Corgis love nothing more than chasing a ball around the yard or playing fetch with a toy. They are also very intelligent and loves learning new tricks and commands that challenge their minds.

Cardigan Welsh corgis are always eager to play with your family. They are very social and love interacting with other people and dogs.

You’ll find that whenever you go out for a walk, they are always eager to say hello to anyone you encounter and they love making new friends.

​Are Cardigan Welsh corgi adaptable?

Yes, Cardigan Welsh corgis are adaptable dogs that are able to adjust to a variety of homes including apartments, town houses, suburbia, and out in the country and on farms.

You’ll find that your corgi is able to adapt no matter where you end up moving.

Frequently, I get messages asking if a corgi is going to be right going from a house to an apartment, and yes, in most cases they adapt with no problem.

They are also good with all sorts of people. So whether you’re buying for an older relative or for young kids, corgis are able to adapt to either situation.

Personality traits

Do Cardigan Welsh corgis bark a lot?

Yes, Cardigan Welsh corgis have a loud bark and they bark a lot. By using up their excess energy, you can make them bark less frequently.

Barking is a natural behaviour for dogs and serves a variety of purposes, including alerting their owners to potential threats and communicating their needs.

It’s important to understand why your corgi is barking and work out what you can do to help them.

Some corgis may be more prone to barking than others, and a corgi that is not properly trained or socialised may be more likely to bark excessively.

To reduce your corgis barking, it’s important to make sure they get enough regular exercise to tire them out. You can also train them to limit their barking and better communicate their needs.

​Are Cardigan Welsh corgis easy to train

Cardigan Welsh corgis are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them easy to train.

Like any breed, they need patience and consistency from their trainers, but with positive reinforcement and reward-based training methods, you can teach them a wide range of commands.

It is important to start training at a young age to give them the best foundation for learning and to prevent poor behavioural issues from developing.

Cardigan Welsh corgis are sensitive and benefit from a gentle and patient approach to training.

It is also helpful to keep training sessions short to keep their attention and motivation high.

​Do Cardigan Welsh corgis have lots of energy

Cardigan Welsh corgis are energetic, active dogs that require regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.

They are a herding breed, which means they were originally bred to work long hours on the farm, so they have a lot of energy and stamina.

It’s important to make sure you give your corgi enough play time and regular exercise to tire them out. This will help keep their behaviour and barking under control.

​Do Cardigan Welsh corgis need lots of stimulation

Yes, Cardigan Welsh corgis need lots of stimulation. Because Cardigan Welsh corgis have a lot of energy, you need to give them lots of attention and exercise to keep them stimulated.

They are intelligent, active dogs that need plenty of exercise to stay fit and keep their brains pumping.

Cardigan Welsh corgis enjoy playing fetch, going for walks or runs, and playing with toys.

In addition to physical exercise, it is also important to provide them with mental stimulation through activities like puzzle toys, training sessions, or interactive play. 

Buy a corgi

How do I buy a Cardigan Welsh corgi?

There are several steps you can take to buy a Cardigan Welsh corgi including finding a breeder, choosing the right dog, and creating a home for them.

Here’s a step-by-step process for what you need to know.

  1. Research the breed: Make sure you understand the breed’s characteristics and needs to determine if a Cardigan Welsh corgi is the right fit for you and your lifestyle.
  2.  Find a reputable breeder: Look for a reputable breeder who follows responsible breeding practices and can provide health clearances for the parents of the puppies. It is a good idea to visit the breeder’s facilities in person and meet the puppies’ parents to get a sense of their health and temperament.
     
  3. Ask questions: Ask the breeder about the puppies’ health, temperament, and breeding history. You may also want to ask about any health issues or genetic conditions that are common in the breed.
     
  4. Choose a puppy: Choose a healthy, well-adjusted puppy that is appropriate for your lifestyle and experience level. Make sure to ask about the puppy’s feeding, vaccination, and socialisation schedule.
     
  5. Take the puppy home: Make sure you have all the supplies you need for your new puppy, including a crate, bed, food, water bowl, toys, and a leash. You will also want to make sure you have a good veterinarian lined up to provide ongoing care for your puppy.

It is important to do your research and choose a reputable breeder to ensure that you are getting a healthy, well-bred puppy.

Avoid purchasing puppies from pet stores or online sellers, as they may not have been bred responsibly and may have health or behavioural issues.

Find out more with my complete guide to buying a corgi.

Final thoughts on Cardigan Welsh corgis

Cardigan Welsh corgis are a charming and intelligent breed of dog that are known for their playful and affectionate personalities.

They are relatively small in size, making them well-suited for apartment living and other urban environments, but they also have a lot of energy and require regular exercise.

Cardigan Welsh corgis are known to be good with children and are generally friendly and social with other dogs and people.

They are also intelligent and can be trained to perform a variety of tasks, including obedience, agility, and herding. However, they can be stubborn and may require patience and consistent training to teach them new commands.

Overall, Cardigan Welsh corgis are loyal and loving pets that can make great companions for the right owner.

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