Cardigan Welsh Corgis are short-legged, long-bodied dogs originally used as family guardians, and later as cattle drovers. But today they have the reputation of being excellent family dogs even though they are still used as working dogs. Cardigan Welsh Corgi dog breed is a very active one for its diminutive size, and is ideally matched with an owner who has an active lifestyle. They can live in apartments too, as long as they are taken out for their daily quota of exercise.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi dog breed is one of the two Welsh Corgi breeds from Wales as the name suggests, but their exact origins are lost in antiquity. From central Europe, they had reached the Cardiganshire centuries ago, and are among the first breeds to be introduced into the British Isles. The extinct English turn-spit breed is thought to have formed part of the lineage of the present-day Cardigan Welsh Corgi.
The ancient Welsh Corgi breeds were working dogs mainly used for droving cattle. Though initially they were family guardian dogs, their prowess at herding cattle was noticed by the farmers when these dogs accompanied them in the fields. They had a knack of getting the cattle to move quickly over the vast lands by nipping their heels but tactfully avoiding their kicks. Their short legs and low bodies meant that the kicks would go right over their heads. Because of their characteristic body structure, they are thought to belong to the Teckel group of dogs to which the Dachshunds too belong.
Eventually, when the countryside was cut up and fenced into smaller lots, the career of this herder became redundant even though some of them remained with families of the area.
The local dog fanciers of Wales preferred the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, but some favored the Cardigan. Both these groups strived to adhere to the distinct breed standards of each. When the dog was introduced to the United States, these two breeds were clubbed together as just one Welsh Corgi breed. However, in 1931, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi dog breed was officially recognized as separate breed.
This extremely short dogs have a maximum height of 10 to 13 inches, but they weigh anywhere from 30 to 38 pounds. That is because of the heavy skeletal structure of these dogs. Their body is low, but very long, measuring nearly double their heights.
The ears are held upright, and the long, brush-like tail trails behind the dog, further accentuating the length of its body. The coat color varies from different shades of tan to red and black, with or without blue merle, brindle, and sable patterns of color distribution. White is generally found on the muzzle, legs, chest, underside and neck. The tail is usually white tipped.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi dog breed is known for its easy-going nature. They are friendly and playful, and are well-mannered indoors. This makes them suitable for apartment living. However, they like vigorous activities and games when they are outdoors since they are high-spirited, and full of energy, like any other herding dog.
Cardigan Welsh Corgis are highly intelligent dogs ranking quite high among other canine breeds in intelligence. This makes them easy to train into reliable watchdogs. They make excellent family pets for those who do not want an aggressive dog indoors. Even though they get along very well with other pets in the household, they are wary of strange dogs.
Grooming and exercise
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi dog breed requires a thorough brushing of its coat once every week to get rid of the loose hair in its coat.
These lively dogs need its daily quota of exercise to expend its energy reserves that are quite high. In addition to a several brisk walks every day, they need outdoor exercise sessions and play time in the yard. Mental stimulation is as important as physical activity, and training routines and herding games are ideal to keep the dog motivated.
Even though these dogs can tolerate heat and cold to a great degree, they are not for outdoor living. They become very attached to their family, and should ideally spend the nights indoors in the company of their family members. But access to a yard where they can freely roam around during the day is preferred due to their high need for exercise.
Common health issues of Cardigan Welsh Corgi dog breed
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi dog breed generally lives for about 12 to 15 years without any major breed-related health issues other than Canine Hip Dysplasia. A few other disorders observed in this breed are urinary stones, Progressive Retinal Atrophy and degenerative myelopathy. Regular medical checkups should keep the dog in good health.