History of Breed: Origin and Ancestors
Cardigan Welsh Corgis are one of the oldest herding breeds known, and are believed to have inhabited Wales for over 3,000 years. Corgis are descendants from the Teckel family of dogs which are closely related to the Dachshund. The Teckels were a group of hunting dogs that originated in Germany during the Middle Ages. They stood close to the ground, with legs small enough to allow them to crouch low and chase after their prey into their holes. The Teckels would hunt badgers, rabbits, and foxes, emerging victorious with their prey. This breed was known for hardy durability in all kinds of weather, and their ability to hunt effectively both above and below ground.
Cardigans Welsh Corgis were first developed by the Celtic tribes of Cardiganshire in Wales. The people of this tribe migrated from the European continent, bringing their stocky little dogs with them. These dogs were a cross between the hunting Teckel dogs of Germany and the Spitz pups, both of which became ancestors of the Bronant Corgi. Some scholars also insist that Corgis also are descended from Swedish Vallhunds, Schipperkes and Pomeranians.
The word corgi is believed to come from Welsh word “cor” (dwarf) and “ci” (dog). Other scholars have found that the word “corgwn” was referenced in singular form for the plural “corgi.” This same breed is linked to the Old English word from a London dictionary in 1547, referenced as “Corgi or curre dogge” (referring to the breed as “cur.”) The word corgi is also an Old English synonym for the word “heeler.”
The original Bronant Corgis were named for the small village of Bronant in Cardiganshire, and until the 1870’s, no other dog breed could be found in this part of Wales. Evidence of these useful cattle herding dogs were mentioned in the Ancient Welsh Law (written around 920 AD) which classified the Bronant Corgis as a watch cur or shepherd’s “cur,” meaning a dog who would snap at the heels of the flock. However, these same dogs were regarded as an essential part of a herdsman’s home, and would often be considered as having the same value as an ox. They were relied upon as protective house pets, vermin hunters, and guard dogs who would chase off predators or warn of any intruders. They would even accompany their masters on hunting excursions, working as gun dogs for birds and small animals. Though Corgis primarily worked in herding cattle as a team or an individual, they also were also used to guard domestic fowl, corralling them to into the pens at night, or guiding the geese to the market. Corgis would also rid the grazing area of trespassing herds, and would accompany their masters as a necessary right-hand helper in their daily tasks. The role of Corgis was vital, both at the home and in the fields.
The genetic makeup of the Bronant Corgi was perfectly designed as a working dog. They were swift, short to the ground, and closely resembled a stockier Dachshund. This dog was a “heeler” who was trained to nip at the heels of cows, sheep, goats, etc. to help the master herd them. The Bronant Corgis retained their Dachshund-like appearance, until they were bred the Brindle Herder and the Hillman. The result of this cross breeding brought about the upstanding bat-like ears, so characteristic of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi as we know the breed today.
With the invention of machinery, numerous herding breeds and farm dogs began to lose their importance, and if it has not been for the development of dog shows, these breeds may have waned all together. Fortunately, during the late 1800’s, livestock shows begun to hold training classes for heeler dogs and “curs;” however Corgis were not fully recognized in dog shows until the 1920’s.
Some of the first registered and recognized Cardigan Welsh Corgi dogs were sired by a red and white Corgi named Bob Llwyd in the 1920’s. He was father to the first Cardigan Welsh Corgi champion named Golden Arrow who was born in 1928 and retained his championship title until 1931. Shortly thereafter the Cardigan Welsh Corgis began to lose popularity in the face of their relatives the Pembroke Welsh Corgis who became the favorite pets of the British Royal Family in the 1930’s.
Cardigan Welsh Corgis are closely related to their cousins the Pembroke Welsh Corgis, with whom they would appear in shows as early as 1925. The two breeds were recognized as distinct from each other in 1934 by the American Kennel Club. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi breed is different from the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Breed in that it is an older breed, and that the Cardigans have some distinguishing characteristics, such as an elongated backs and foxlike tails. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are tailless and they tend to have lighter coats than the darker markings of the Cardigan Welsh Corgis.
The Corgi family grew in popularity in Great Britain, and in 1931 the first Cardigan Welsh Corgis were transported to America. Cassie, a white bitch with brindled patches, was famous for producing quality litters with superior markings in the United States. One of her pups (a red and white dog named Megan, born in 1933) went on to be the first champion of the breed in America. Today, one of the most elite dog shows held by the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America is an annual a contest for champions, called the “Megan Competitions” and was named for the award-winning pup.
Corgi Legends and Folklore
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi was regarded as the “enchanted dogs of the Fay” or the Welsh fairies. They were believed to be magical creatures who would pull fairies and elves in their carts, or be ridden by the warrior fairies into battle. In centuries past, Welsh families would tell their children of how their pet Corgis would run away to the glens at night to dance and play with the woodland elves, and if the children would look closely, they could see the saddle markings on their backs.
As legend has it, once while Queen Victoria was riding in her coach, her trip was hindered by a couple of large trees blocking the road. Some say a Cardigan Welsh Corgi and a Pembroke Welsh Corgi leapt out and helped move the trees for her, so she could continue along. Others claim that two mysterious fairies were seated on the Corgis’ saddles while the mighty little beasts moved the logs. Either way, the British Royal Family has reportedly favored Corgis ever since.
*This legend may have arisen from the fact that many Cardigan Welsh Corgis often have large patches of color markings, often called the “fairy saddle” on their back.
Appearance & Description
The exact proportions and design of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi’s body are suited for the requirements of his tasks and skill set. The Corgi’s body was designed to move speedily and close to the ground. The strength of his muscles and structural alignment would be able to afford the Corgi hours of strenuous work. His gait would be straight and propelled in power, without wasting energy bouncing up and down while covering the rough ground to round up the herds. The thick durable coats also suit the long days of the relentless cold weather and rain of Wales. The ears stand alert and able to pick up sounds and calls of their owner, hearing them over the rain and sounds of the flocks. Below are the detail breed standards stipulated by the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America, in conjunction with the American Kennel Club.
General Appearance: The small stocky bodies of the Cardigan Welsh Corgis appear sophisticated yet able. They are heavy-boned, with long backs, bushy foxlike tails, and a robust chest. They have short legs, a thick furry neck, medium length snouts and bat-like ears which stand on end. They must be “long, low and well-muscled” with sturdy necks that are not too short, nor heads that are too large. The overall look must be one of balance.
- Height: Both dogs and bitches should extend between the length 10.5-12.5 inches at the withers (shoulder blades).
- Weight: Male dogs should weigh between 30-38 pounds, while bitches should weigh 25-34 pounds. (In dog shows, any gross variation or appearance of imbalance in the dogs will register as a “serious fault.”)
- Length: The body of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi should be roughly 1.8 times longer than the length of his tail, when measuring from the breastbone to the rear of the hip.
- Head: The Cardigan Welsh Corgis’ head will vary based on the sex of the dog. The male’s heads should be proportionately larger than a female’s, and must be a perfect balance, neither too larger and nor too small for the body.
- Eyes: The eyes should not bulge out nor receded too far in, but should be medium to large sized, widely set in the skull, and with distinctly dark corners. The eye color is usually dark brown, amber, blue, or mixed (one light and one dark). In order to be considered show-worthy, a Cardigan Welsh Corgi is allowed to have one brown eye and one blue eye, or both eyes blue ONLY IF his coat is a blue merle. In all other cases, the dog must have brown eyes to be considered the ideal breed standard.
- Nose: The dog’s head must be perfectly balanced and proportionate to rank highly in a competition. If the muzzle is too long or too short, or has a slight hump or “Roman nose”, than those are considered “head faults.” The dog’s nose should be black, unless the dog is a blue merle, in which case butterfly noses are acceptable, though black is to be the breed standard.
- Ears: The correct Cardigan Welsh Corgi ears should fan out like a bat, without being too upright above the dog’s head, too small and pointy, or to low and wide set. They must be large relative to the size of the head, and rounded at the tip. A Cardigan Welsh Corgi may have wider-set ears when a puppy, but then must grow to the proper proportions to rank well at competitions. [Note that while gaiting, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi may lay one or both of his ears back.]
- Skull: The shape of the Cardigan Welsh Corgis’ skull also plays a factor in the ranking of the head. For example, if the top of the head is too flat, or curved in a dome shape, those are considered defects of the standard. The ratio of the muzzle to skull should be 3:5. The cheekbones should be understated, and the skull solid and flat between the ears.
- Mouth: The jaw should be strong, with well-spaced teeth fitting in a scissor bite, and should be just below the nose and rounded at the chin. The lips must lay trimly and evenly over the teeth, not hanging down in a droopy manner. An over-bite or under-bite are considered faulty, and a scissor bite is preferred.
- Body, Neck, Topline:
- Neck: The neck should be thick and muscular, well balanced in length without being too long or too short. It should arch subtly, and be set on straight shoulders. The fur around the neck should be thick without being saggy or sloppy, due to carrying excess skin and weight.
- Topline: The topline of the dog’s back should lay as flat as a board, without rising at the rear. If the top line of the dog rises too high or drops too low, it is considered faulty.
- Body: The body ought to be visually long and sturdy with a broad chest, and distinct breastbone and well-spaced ribs, affording plenty of space for deep lung capacity. From above, the widest part of the Corgi’s body should by up by the shoulders. The waist should not be “gut-like” or saggy, but rather firm and trim.
- Forequarters: The balanced wide chest should narrow down to a deep brisket. The scapula (shoulder blades) and the humerus (upper arm) meet at a right angle, and roughly the same length. The legs should support the dog’s weight evenly, curving around the ribs.
- Shoulders: The shoulders should be strong, without being too muscle-heavy. They should fit firmly against the ribs, without protruding too far forward over the legs.
- Elbows: When the legs are turned out at the elbows, the feet with not give proper support of the chest; and if the elbows are set too widely the forelegs will align straight down. Both of these problems are considered incorrect for the breed. Correct elbow alignment is key for moving correctly, and poor positioning will be considered a fault in breed shows.
- Forelegs: The forelegs are bent in slightly against the body, and are turned out subtly to create room for the chest. If the forelegs are too short, the dog’s mobility will be limited, and his stride uneven, causing a lack of stamina in herding tasks.
- Hindquarters: The legs should be stocky and strong, with defined muscles and thighs. The hind legs in particular should be short, sturdy boned all the way down, and should be set narrower than the front shoulders. The dog’s pelvis should create a right angle at the hip socket, sloping downward at the croup. The appearance of the hindquarters ought to look as if the muscular hind legs have enough power to drive his body efficiently over hilltops and the rocky pasture commonly found in Wales.
- Feet: The feet of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi are round and should be thickly padded, designed to help guard against the cold weather of the British Isles. They should be slightly turned out, to give support to the wider shoulders which rest upon the legs. If the feet are too turned out, this will be indicated by the splaying of toes, which compensate for the imbalance of weight. This is incorrect for the Cardigan Welsh Corgi breed standard. The hind leg feet should point forward and have an oval shape with toes arched and paws thickly padded. They should be slightly smaller than the broader feet in the forequarters of the dog. Show standards stipulate that all dew claws should be removed from the feet.
- Tail: The style should resemble the shape and thickness of a fox brush tail. It should be connected low along the bodyline, extending below the hock. The fur on the tail should not fan out or feather, nor should the tail be too short, reaching only to the legs. When at a resting pace or steady stroll, the tail should be carried low; at a running pace/gait, the tail should lie flat across. The tail may be slightly lifted when the dog is excited or running, but high-set or curving tails is considered unacceptable and faulty by the breed standards.
- Coat: The coat thickness and length may vary depending on how the dog is bred. Cardigan Welsh Corgis can be born with longer coats often referred to as the “fluffy Corgi,” since these are not up to breed standard, these cannot be shown. The standard Corgi coat should be straight, never curly, wired, or silky. They should be tough and weather resistant as well as thick. Even the under coat of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi should be dense and fuzzy, with a coarser outer layer. The face ought to have shorter hair along the muzzle, head, ears and legs, with a slightly longer coat on the body. The hair will be a thicker layer located the neck/chest, back of the thighs and under the tail.
This coat will shed seasonally, and should not be groomed beyond the possible trimming around the legs. Corgis can shed alarming amounts of fur due to hormonal changes, weather fluctuation, and dietary deficiencies. To help limit the shedding, brush the Corgi daily, wash him frequently, and monitor a balanced diet, employing de-shedding pills as necessary to help him retain a healthy coat.
- Color Variations: Cardigan Welsh Corgis may have all shades of sable, brindle, black, liver, red, black-and-tan, black-and-brindle, blue merle, without or without brindle areas. Patches of white are to be expected. There is no set coloration preference when judging the breed, as long as it falls within breed regulations of balanced markings.
- Markings: The standard markings on a Cardigan Welsh Corgi consist of white flashes on the neck/collar area, as well as the chest, muzzle, underbelly, tip of the tail, or blaze on the head. If there is too much white or one solid color, that is considered incorrect. Though white is acceptable almost anywhere on the body, it cannot comprise of more than 50% of the dog’s coloring. The eyes should never be surrounded by white, but rather any of the aforementioned darker shades of fur. It is permissible for speckles of dark colors or peppering to appear on the white patches; however any merle markings or marbling of other colors beside blue would be disqualified from shows. The breed standard requires that Cardigan Welsh Corgis have a black nose, unless in the rare case of a blue merle butterfly nose.
- Movement: Even the form, agility and grace with which Corgis move is taken into account when showing this breed. At a running pace, the gait must be fluid and effortless. Evenly transferring the weight of this long, stocky dog is a skill in its own, and one which the show dogs are rated on. When viewing the front of the dog in motion, note that the legs do not advance in parallel lines, but inclined inwardly to balance the width of the chest. The feet should not swing out from underneath the body, nor cross into each other or overlap in anyway. The dog’s stride should be free and long without a short or choppy tread, or rocking tendency. The hind legs should extending considerably, and drive the body forward in a powerful continuous motion. The overall appearance of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi’s gait should be rapid, balanced and smooth.
The Cost of a Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Cardigan Welsh Corgis vary in price depending on the breeder. Purebred Cardigan Welsh Corgis can cost anywhere from $600-1000 depending on the pedigree of the dog and the quality of the animal. Some Corgis have been known to sell for as much as $2000, while other mixed-breed Corgis that still have a similar appearance to the official breed standards may be as low as $200-400. Before a pet own considers purchasing a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, he must also factor in the cost of vaccinations, spay/neutering, and potential obedience training should the need arise.
Note: If you are looking to add a Cardigan Welsh Corgi to your family, make sure that you are dealing with a reputable breeder, and take time to review the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of North America Code of Ethics.
Temperament & Behaviors
Cardigan Welsh Corgis are a working breed known for their reliability and efficiency of work. They should never be considered “small dogs” but rather large dogs with short legs. Their intelligence and stamina require that they be revered as a dog worthy of respect, consistent training and challenging tasks. They need rigorous exercise, and are able to move with bullet-like speed and agility, over rough terrain, and are able to withstand chilly and damp weather. They are hardy dogs of determined and loyal dispositions.
Corgis are neither characterized as shy or vicious, nor are they lazy and moody of temperament. They easily adapt to all environments, and are known for being exceptionally even tempered and affectionate. They have a high level of energy and ability to stay focused, working for hours with seemingly inexhaustible stamina and determination. Because of their breeding heritage, Corgis have a superior hunting sense, making good companions for hunting trips. They are adept ratters and can rid a wide area of pests.
They are well-mannered with company, responsive and obedient to their masters, as long as it is clear that the human is the pack leader, not the Corgi. These are intelligent dogs with the ability to make decisions themselves as a key element of their herding instincts. This can Corgis to be stubborn; they will attempt to boss around the master if allowed. The intuitive and independent nature of this herding breed might make Corgis attempt to call the shots or test boundaries; but if routinely corrected, will submit to authority. Good masters will put the Corgi’s intelligence to proper use through diligent training and mental challenges.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is also very vocal creature that tends to bark frequently. (This may be expected from a dog bred to work in close communication with its owner, or commanded to give warning signals to cattle.) If left alone for long periods of time, the neighbors will hear wailing and barking from the lonely, inactive animal. Corgis need exercise, mental stimuli (such as tasks and work), companionship and activity to stay healthy and avoid developing destructive behaviors.
If they are neglected or left to their own devices, they can become territorial with animals and children, acting willful and resistant to authority. Corgis are sometimes likely to nip anything that moves in their reach, such as feet, bikes, children, smaller animals, etc. They can become snappy and incessant barkers if these bad behaviors aren’t corrected.
However, one benefit of their vocal inclinations is that Cardigan Welsh Corgis are excellent watch dogs. They audibly signal the approach of strangers, unfamiliar animals or livestock, and will let their owners know if anything is unusual or suspicious. While this can be a very useful skill, it should be balanced with limitations, and if the strange who the Corgi was warning about is actually a friend, he should be made to come over and meet them. If a strong resistance to unfamiliar people goes unchecked, it can develop into a deep mistrust of strangers, causing Corgis to be overly defensive toward anyone they are not familiar with. This breed tends to be more reserved with strangers, and has the same demeanor toward many other kinds of dogs. With other canines, Corgis have a reputation for being scrappy and territorial. (This is usually born out of a protective and loyal sense, which merits the appreciation and devotion of their owners.)
Because of these behavior pitfalls, Corgis will require regular socialization between with adults, children, animals, dogs from the neighboring area. For centuries, herding dogs primarily spent most of their time with their family, master and flocks, seldom with other people. Therefore Cardigan Welsh Cori owners will have to be prepared to spend sufficient time socializing their pet in order to help him have a balanced temperament.
Corgis are good family dogs, generally having an affectionate and loving nature. They enjoy spending time with the family, and being comforted and played with. However, Corgis sometimes try to exert dominance over small children, have been known to try herding groups of kids, even nipping at their heels if one is particularly rambunctious or misbehaving. By teaching children how to give commands, lead, express authority over the dogs, this dynamic can be avoided. Cardigan Welsh Corgis are also well-suited for larger properties, particularly those with other animals, livestock, or foul.
Positive behaviors summary
- Athletic companion: This enthusiastic breed will play and run tirelessly with his family, proving to be a lively companion on long treks across rough terrain.
- Cheerful: Though each dog varies, most Corgis are up for anything, tending to have an upbeat and consistently cheerful disposition.
- Steady and reliable: Cardigan Welsh Corgis are not mean-spirited dogs, but have reliable temperaments if given a healthy lifestyle. They are polite with visitors when they know the person isn’t a threat.
- Receptive to training: These are intelligent dogs that are receptive to training when they respect their owner, and can learn all varieties of commands, at all stages of their lives.
- Low-Maintenance: Corgis do not require extensive grooming, washing, styling and trimming as many breeds do. Aside from basic wellness (such as brushing) and hygiene, Corgis not need frequent groomer visits.
- Helpful on big properties: These dogs are great with livestock and excel on larger areas where they can roam and inspect the grounds. Cardigan Welsh Corgis are “big dogs on short legs” with a robust frame and convenient sizing.
- Loyal and protective: Corgis prove to be superb watch dogs, quickly warning their families of intruders. They are also very protective and affectionate toward the people they love.
Negative behaviors summary
- Noisy Barking: Corgis have a reputation for frequently vocalizing and barking loudly. Anytime there is an approach of strangers, or something uncertain or unfamiliar, the Corgi will have something to say about it.
- Nipping/Chasing: This is a herding breed inclined to chase smaller creatures, and will have to be taught not to bite and nip heels of children, runners, or other pets.
- Aggressive/Territorial with animals: Cardigan Welsh Corgis are defensive initially to other dogs and cats when unfamiliar with them of when he feels threatened. However, Corgis do grow accustomed to other pets with enough exposure, and can cohabit nicely with cats and dogs.
- Stubborn/Strong-willed: Corgis require a dominant pack leader, or they will attempt to run the show. They can be bossy, independent and stubborn unless taught to submit.
- Heavy shedding: The thick long coats are built for keeping these canines warm in the wet winter, meaning they are serious seasonal shedders. Corgis can literally shed pounds of fur and need to be brushed regularly.
- Separation anxiety: Cardigan Welsh Corgis are herding creatures that benefit from company and do not like being left alone. If they begin to develop separation anxiety due to long periods of solitude, they may need a companion dog.
- Challenges, tasks, and mental stimulation: Families that are not able to provide this kind of lifestyle might find that the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is too demanding of a pet. Corgis can be destructive if they are bored or neglected.
Cardigan Welsh Corgis are strong creatures that experience generally good health, and have an average lifespan of nearly 12 years. Corgis are durable animals with strong athletic tendencies that promote a vigorous lifestyle, but do face a variety of certain ailments and physical struggles. Some of the most common diseases which assail Cardigan Welsh Corgis are: intervertebral disc disease (IDD), progressive retina atrophy (PRA) and Degenerative Myelopathy (DM). However, the most common causes of death in Cardigan Welsh Corgis, is old age or cancer.
Intervertebral Disc Disease
Because of their long back, short legs and heavy bodies, Cardigan Welsh Corgis have a high risk of suffer from spinal anomalies and diseases. They have a great propensity for hard work, running long distances over difficult terrain. This makes the Corgi is more susceptible to develop a spinal or tail injury than a dog with a less athletic lifestyle. Unfortunately, there have been numerous cases of spinal strain, injury, and diseases for Cardigan Welsh Corgis. The breed has been known to fight anything from degenerative or ruptured disks, tail kinks, transitional vertebra, extra vertebra, paralysis, weak limbs, muscle spasms, arching back posture, or limited mobility due to spinal strain.
The intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) is hereditary, and occurs when the intervertebral discs swell or rupture. The level of damaged is determined by the location of the disc, as well as the level of force and duration of the pressure which caused the strain. Some dogs suffer minor spinal cord damaging or bruising, amounting only to an off-balance stride. Other dogs experience severe injury, losing movement in their legs.
IVDD may manifest through the following symptoms: evident neck or back pain, reluctance to move around or advance quickly uphill, hind limb movement loss, crossing of hind legs as the dog walks, difficulty urinating, and wobbly posture.
Treatments for IVDD: Failing to treat this disease can cause a dog to lose mobility and feeling in their legs, and should not be taken lightly. Cardigan Welsh Corgis who potentially have IVDD will be subjected to a health screening, or blood test, x-rays, myelograms (ink injection to the spine to emphasize compressed areas), an MIR or spinal tap to ascertain the damage. The problem can then be treated with cage rest and confinement accompanied by pain medication. Depending on the severity of the disease, the IVDD can also be treated with by surgical procedures to help with spinal decompression.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
This hereditary disease occurs when as a result of rod cells in the eyes ceasing to work. The process progresses gradually and equally in both eyes, and generally occurs when the dog is between the ages of 2-3 years old. This illness is unfortunately a disease of increasingly severe stages, beginning with minor eye strain, and in less than a year can render a dog completely blind. Fortunately running a DNA test on the Corgi will reveal whether or not the dog has progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), whether he is a carrier, or if he is entirely free from it.
Note: The Cardigan Welsh Corgi battles more than just the PRA in his eyes, but also commonly suffers from other visual impairments as well, such as lens luxation, glaucoma, and cataracts.
The symptoms of PRA are evident when dogs repeatedly bump into objects or obstructing furniture, or sometimes in highly dilated pupils. Many dog owners do not realize their pet has lost sight for a while, since dogs seem to transition into blindness without much indication.
Treatments for PRA: Unfortunately, there are no known treatments for the Progressive Retinal Atrophy. Once the process of deterioration has begun, there is no way to reverse it. However, the Corgis experience no pain, and the disease is never life threatening.
Hips & Elbow Diseases
Like many dog breeds, Cardigan Welsh Corgis can suffer from hip dysplasia. In a recent test done on 1000 Cardigan Welsh Corgis, the Orthopedic Foundation of America analyzed the hips of the animals, and found nearly 20% of the creatures to be dysplastic. Unfortunately, the results of this test proved unsatisfactory, as many of the x-ray images were not officially evaluated, due to poor picture quality. The implication is that potentially an even higher percentage of Cardigan Welsh Corgis struggle with hip dysplasia. As it currently stands, they rank as the 32nd most likely dog breed to struggle with this disease. Hip and elbow dysplasia are hereditary diseases that can also be caused by poor nutrition, and obesity, excessive exercise in the early stages of life, lack of muscle building balanced exercise in adult life, or weight loss/gain which increase strain on joints.
Symptoms of hip and elbow disease might include: joint soreness, joint looseness, swelling and sensitivity, limping, slowed or reluctant movement, difficulty running, swaying gait, loss of muscle around the thighs and elbow.
Treatments: Hip and joint pain for Cardigan Welsh Corgis can be treated through diet correction and portion control and moderate regular exercise. It can also be treated through massage, heat, physical therapy and rest. Additionally, there are also a number of surgical procedures which can cure the diseases.
Unfortunately lymphoma is known for being the most common type of cancer that canines succumb to. If not discovered in the earliest stages, lymphoma often proves to be fatal; however regular blood work and check-ups will help increase the likelihood of full recovery.
Symptoms of lymphoma include weight loss, swollen lymph nodes, lethargy, and digestive difficulties (such as vomiting, diarrhea, etc.)
Treatments: Chemotherapy has proven the most effective method of treating this form of cancer. If the disease is detected early on, the dog may be able to live many years after receiving chemotherapy treatments.
This progressive neurological disease of the spine tragically can lead to paralysis and death in senior dogs. Degenerative Myelopathy arises when the white matter degenerates on the spinal cord, limiting communications between the limbs and the brain. The cause of this disease is largely unknown, but it usually occurs when the dog is between the ages of 8-14 years old. However, most Cardigan Welsh Corgis seem to contract the disease later in life, around 12-15 years of age. Once the disease has taken hold, within 6-12 months a dog can become entirely paraplegic. Though this is a difficult illness to watch a dog suffer through, it is a mostly painless process, and those that lose mobility in their back legs can opt for a wheel-chair designed specifically for Corgis.
Symptoms are first noticeable in the way the dog moves, with limbs buckling, and weakening joints.
Treatments: Currently there are no effective treatments for Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), but Cardigan Welsh Corgis can take DNA tests to determine the likelihood of contracting this disease later in life. Fortunately, recent studies conducted by the OFA reveal that of the tested Cardigan Welsh Corgis, 50% were clear of the DM gene, while 36% were carriers and a only moderate 13% were at risk.
Healthy Cardigan Welsh Corgis typically weigh between 25-30 pounds lbs (male) and 11-15 lbs (female). The herding breed was designed for intense cardiovascular exercising, and can easily suffer from weight gain if not given the proper amount of rigorous physical exertion. Dogs that are fed excessive food portions and treats without being given sufficient opportunities to burn the calories they consume, can easily put on the pounds. Because of their frame, Cardigan Welsh Corgis are highly to weight gain.
Symptoms of canine obesity are evident through an increasing weight gain, sluggishness, fatigue, slowed and waddling gaits, and thicker skin around the ribs. Dogs may also show difficulty in breathing, and a lack of motivation to take long walks or engage in strenuous exercise.
Treatments: Fortunately, obesity can be corrected through portion control, increased exercise and an actively balanced lifestyle. Unfortunately, often the side effects and other diseases cause by obesity (such as pet diabetes) are much more difficult to treat, and are often irreversible.
Epilepsy & Seizures
Cardigan Welsh Corgis have unfortunately been known to suffer from epilepsy and seizures usually between the ages of 6 months to 5 years old. When a Cardigan Welsh Corgi experiences an attack after the age of 5, it may be an indication for thyroid diseases or a tumor. Cardigan Welsh Corgis can experience seizures not only when they have epilepsy, but when they have experienced trauma, food allergies, poison, distemper, rabies, diabetes, hypothyroidism, heat stroke, fever, dehydration, brain tumors and infections. A dog is not diagnosed as epileptic until all other possible ailments (such as those listed above) have been ruled out. If the dog is found to be epileptic, it is typically one of two kinds: the Primary/Idiopathic Epilepsy and Genetic (Symptomatic) Epilepsy.
Symptoms for epilepsy most often correlate to the occurrence of seizures. These may be difficult to detect, depending on how minor the attack was. For example, some dogs might act in a sudden wave of hysteria, disorientation, or might simply stare off in the distance, freeze up or become rigid for a few moments. In cases of severe seizures, dogs can lose control of their bladders, become unconscious, and have intense muscle spasms where the limbs thrash violently. If a series of seizures take place, this is known as a “cluster,” and would require immediate medical attention.
Treatments: If the seizures are occurring because the Corgi has been diagnosed with epilepsy, there is no long term cure for the disease. However, dogs can be prescribed helpful medications which provide some relief to the seizures, by controlling/lessening the severity and frequency of the attacks.
While your dog is having a seizure, attempt to move objects far from him, and situate a cushion or towel under his head to protect him from knocking his skull on the ground. Turn the lights down in the room, and use an ice pack to cool him down as dogs can become overheated during seizures. When the convulsions pass, be careful not to move or excite the Corgi, so that he can fully recover. If the attack lasts more than 1-2 minutes, contact your veterinarian right away.
This illness, also known as von Willebrand’s Disease, assails both Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis and is usually diagnosed when the dog is around 3-5 years old. The evidence of the illness can first be detected when the puppies are born, based on how small they are and how much energy they have in relation to the other pups. Cardigan Welsh Corgis that have von Willebrand’s Disease can suffer from heavy blood loss and lethargy, and will require intervention from the veterinarian if any injury should occur.
Symptoms for blood-clotting diseases include excessive bleeding and lack of blood coagulation, shortness of breath, lowered stamina and energy, coughing and weight loss, and spontaneous bouts of bleeding from areas such as the nose and gums.
Treatments: While there is no cure for blood clotting disease, pet owners can take special precautions to protect their pet from any injury that would lead to blood loss. Other preventative measures might include suturing and cauterizing wounds, or arranging for pre-surgery blood transfusions (to combat inevitable blood loss in the procedure). Certain medicines should also be avoided based on whether or not they have a propensity to thin out the blood.
Cardigan Welsh Corgis usually contract hypothyroidism or “low thyroid” between the ages of 2-7 years old. Other thyroid diseases include idiopathic thyroid gland atrophy, autoimmune thyroiditis, and lymphocytic thyroiditis.
Symptoms for thyroid diseases are generally not as easy to detect as others, since it can most easily be seen in lowered hormone levels. Both T3 and T4 hormones will be low, and the dog will show signs of exhaustion, weight gain, alopecia, sensitivity to temperatures, and swollen red skin/blistering (dermatitis).
Treatments: Veterinarians can prescribe replacement hormones to maintain balance, which may need to be taken on a daily basis for the remainder of the Corgi’s life.
This disease is a disorder of the hind limbs, which occurs when there is bone and ligament misalignment, causing the patella (kneecap) to shift from its normal position and remain loose. Corgis typically suffer from patellar luxation while they are still puppies, as early as 3-4 weeks up to one year old. Thus far there are no known DNA tests to detect patellar luxaton available; diagnosis is determined solely through physical patellae palpation.
Not only is this disease uncomfortable for the dog, but it incurs lameness, joint deformity, osteoarthritis, and increases susceptibility for injury. Cardigan Welsh Corgis are athletic dogs that enjoy running, which can give further strain to weakened joints. Below is the grade of severity in patellar luxation that Corgis can struggle with.
- Grade 1- The kneecap can be moved slightly out of his place, but eventually returns back to position unaided.
- Grade 2- The patella can sometimes shift out of the position, but may be moved back into place with minor manipulation.
- Grade 3- The kneecap is seldom in its correct groove, but can be pushed into it with manipulation.
- Grade 4- The patella is never in the proper position, and cannot be moved or manipulated into it.
Symptoms of patella manifest as unusual gait, running patterns, or skipping/favoring one side over the other. The dog might limp, avoiding use of the afflicted leg or by frequently lifting it. When the patella has been dislocated (or pops out of the proper place) while the Corgi was running, he might shake or stretch out the leg in hopes of it settling back into its correct position.
Treatments: Both the primary and secondary grades of patella deformity can be dealt with when handled with caution and care, avoiding excessive and strenuous exercise which could damage the chrondromalacia and the ligaments. The third and fourth grades of patellar luxation require correction via surgery and physical therapy to avoid complete loss of joint function.
Though the Cardigan Welsh Corgi breed suffers from their own slew of illnesses and ailments, they are unfortunately not exempt from the variety of other common canine ailments. Cardigan Welsh Corgis are also at risk for the rare by severe immunoglobulin disease, urinary tract stones, skin allergies and bacteria skin infections, vision loss, rabies, distemper, parvovirus, food and seasonal allergies, fleas, ticks, infectious diseases, dental disease, worms, arthritis, digestive discomfort, breaks, sprains and other accidents which often accompany active canines.
Some of the best ways to help your Cardigan Welsh Corgi maintain a healthy lifestyle and guard against disease, is to ensure that he is getting a balanced amount of exercise and the correct serving sizes of quality nutrition.
Diet and Nutritional Care
Corgis need varying portions of food throughout their life as they grow and develop. Review the below chart for a breakdown of the ideal portion progression:
- 8-12 weeks (when weaned from their mother): Cardigan Welsh Corgis require 4 meals a day
- 3-6 months: Corgis require 3 meals a day
- 6 months-1 year: Corgis should eat 2 meals a day
- 1 year- Adulthood: Cardigan Welsh Corgis should be given one bowl of food for every 24 hour period, or two half-sized bowls in the same span of time.
Like other dog breeds, Corgis thrive best when they are fed a variety of high-quality dog foods. For a maximally healthy lifestyle, they should consume organic pet food in dry form, canned foods, raw food, coupled with vitamins and supplements. Many dogs benefit from starch-free, raw, or hypoallergenic diets that satiate their archetypal nutritional needs. These should be laden with a variety of protein rich meats such as chicken, beer, rabbit, duck, salmon, turkey, liver, etc. There should also be micro and macro nutrients, pro-biotics, nutraceuticals, enzymes, omega-3’s, fruits, vegetables, herbs and other natural products that will fortify your dog’s health. The greatest way to prevent disease is to reinforce your dog’s immune system, and strengthen his body with varied and superior pet food.
Physical and Mental Exercise
Exercising your dog is another important aspect of canine health care. Cardigan Welsh Corgis rely upon regular workouts, walks, jogs, and outings to get their blood pumping and to keep their muscles and joints fit. Most Cardigan Welsh Corgis require two outings a day, one of which should be a high-intensity aerobic activity. Though every Corgi was bred to be a runner and herder, the physical ability of each dog will vary based on the age and condition of his body.
Note: If the Corgi has any injury or physical weakness, it is advisable to consult with your veterinarian to determine what kinds of exercise your dog should avoid, and what kinds of movements are safe to practice regularly.
Typically Corgis that are between the ages of 6 months to 1 ½ years old will require more exercise, whether it is running, hiking, racing up to 45-60 minutes daily. For those with limited yard space or in seasons of bad weather, playing fetch or running on a puppy treadmill are both good exercise options, and dogs that have severe joint issues can exchange running for swimming as an exercise option. Puppies aged 6 months old and younger should not be required to do any vigorous exercise beyond that of spirited playing with their owner. As their bodies are still developing, Cardigan Welsh Corgis need to adjust to a higher level of exercise gradually.
If you notice your Corgi struggling to summon the energy for a thorough workout, or you note he is favoring one side of his body over another, take caution not to push him. Exercise can often exacerbate an injury if one is developing; and if your dog is out of shape or weak, he will need to increase stamina slowly.
Games, challenges, tasks and spoken commands play a supportive role in stimulating a Corgi’s mind. They are working dogs that can lapse into destructive behavior when bored or without a task to accomplish. Regularly work on obedience training, new tricks, and honing skills. Write a list of what goals you are going to help the dog achieve, and how often you are going to practice with him. Give him food dispensing toys that will keep him engaged and occupied as he plays in pursuit of the treat. Helping your pet stay psychologically active will improve his overall health.
The OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) offers health tests for the following common ailments of Cardigan Welsh Corgis.
- Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
- BAER Hearing Test
- Spinal Screenings
*NB: For further Genetic Disease Testing can be accomplished through the National Human Genetic Research Institute (NHGRI) Dog Genome Project. Blood samples of the dog will be taken to analyze whether or not a dog has Addison’s Disease or others dangerous illnesses.
Canine Health Information Center (CHIC)
To avoid breeding dogs that have a history of hereditary diseases, certain institutions have regulated a way for breeders to register their dogs after having completed a series of test records reflecting the status of their health. The goal in doing so is to help breed the strongest stock of the breed sample, in an effort to avoid passing down weaker disease-prone traits to future litters. All test results will be published and accessible on the main database for breeders to access in the future.
The requirement for Cardigan Welsh Corgis to receive a clean bill of health from CHIC must include official test results for the following diseases:
Hip Dysplasia: This must be conducted through the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) Evaluation, OVC Evaluation, or PennHip Evaluation system.
Eye Examination: This must be conducted by a boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist, registering the results with the OFA or with CERF (Canine Eye Registration Foundation).
Progressive Retinal Atrophy DNA Test: Cardigan Welsh Corgis must have an approved laboratory conduct an OFA evaluation.
Once the testing is completed, Cardigan Welsh Corgis are required to carry a microchip or tattoo of permanent identification in order to be issued a CHIC number.
Taking action: Treating the diseases/ailments
Diagnoses and treatments for Cardigan Welsh Corgis can be expensive:
For Example: Hip Dysplasia can incur diagnoses and treatments costing from $1,500-6,000
IVDD is a medium risk disease whose treatments can cost anywhere from $2,500-7,000.
Some pet owners opt to guard against hereditary diseases by purchasing health insurance for their dogs. Because Cardigan Welsh Corgis are purebred dogs, their health coverage will be more costly than mutts/mixed breeds, since purebreds have a greatly likelihood of developing a hereditary condition.
Cardigan Welsh Corgis are considered difficult to train, due to their intelligence and independent natures. They can be stubborn, and try to “out think” their master if they are not properly managed. However, when Corgis respect the authority of their handlers, they can excel in multiple aspects of training, from the most basic house training to complex commands, and difficult agility or herding competitions.
House breaking and potty training
Well-trained dogs are a useful asset to any pet owner. However, when a pup has not received proper training on how to behave while in smaller spaces or around people, it can be very disconcerting for visitors. Learn the below training methods which prove most effective for Cardigan Welsh Corgis in particular.
Potty Training: As possibly one of the most important initial lessons a canine can acquire, teaching a dog to be potty-trained is a more complicated procedure than one might guess. Whatever age your dog is, here are some ways to help him practice good habits:
- Corgi Puppies: Start potty training your Corgi by helping his body to regulate a healthy schedule. Give him plenty of exercise and balanced food, always making sure that he is properly supervised. After every nap, walk, outing, and meal, take him to the space where he is allowed to eliminate, (whether it is an indoor grass patch or a specific corner of the yard). Stay with your puppy until he does his business; repeat this process routinely every day for several weeks to train the little guy on what he needs to do. Young Corgis need to go often, so instead of setting them up for failure, try to take them to the “waste zone” as often as possible. Cardigan puppies are hardworking and eager to learn, however they do not fully gain mastery of bladder control until they are between 4-5 months old. While it might seem discouraging to watch your little Corgi have an accident after hours of dedicated training, don’t lose heart. The dog is in the process of learning, and will require patience from you in order to establish these good habits.
- Adult Corgis: No matter what level of training your dog has or hasn’t received, it is important to remember that older dogs require just as much patience as the young ones. Some canines find it hard to familiarize themselves with new environments, schedules, and rules, which makes house training quite a challenge. Begin by observing the dog’s natural inclinations. If he wanders sniffing the floor and pawing at the ground, it could be that he needs to go outside to relieve himself. Try to work with his natural schedule, amending it slightly based on your own rules and convenience. Whatever routine you choose, stick with it. This will help your dog not only learn that he can rely on you for consistency, but will help his bodily functions to become more routine and easy to manage.
Teaching your Cardigan Welsh Corgi to be obedient is an exciting opportunity not only to bond with your dog, but to help him practice the best behavior to become the pet you have always wanted. Here are some basic ground rules for obedience training:
- Be consistent. Decide your rules, and stick to them. If your puppies aren’t allowed in the living room, maintain the rules and refrain from being lenient. Make sure everyone you live with will legislate the same rules when you are not there.
- DON’T punish. DO interrupt. Don’t confuse your Corgi by condemning an action you were not there to witness. If he spilled a box of toys over, or left a little puddle on the floor, that’s ok. Simply tidy up and keep a better eye on him. If your dog starts to look suspicious, or looks like he is about to squat, be quick to interrupt him before he can eliminate, and take him outside right away.
- Reward good work. Encouraging positive and obedient behavior is most strongly communicated when and an owner 1) affirms verbally (with plenty of praises like “good dog”) and 2) presents the pooch with treats. Nothing says “Well done” like a savory morsel of meat! Treats seem to get the point across in a very effective way, but bear in mind, the Corgi will need to learn the importance of obeying whether or not he gets a reward each time.
- Get creative: When your Corgi’s response time is improving, raise the stakes by changing the environment where you practice. By implementing proof training techniques, you will be able to strengthen your dog’s ability to focus and execute tasks no matter how distracting his surroundings might be.
If you feel that your Cardigan Welsh Corgi is up to the challenge, you can enroll him in obedience training competitions, where this breed tends to excel.
Make sure your Corgi regards you as the pack leader. They are a dynamic dog breed that can be stubborn and independent when the authority of the handler is contested.
One of the best ways to earn the respect of the Corgi is to implement leash training when he first comes into the home. Begin this process by allowing the dog to walk wherever he pleases, so as to gain comfort and familiarity in the leash. Thereafter, gently begin directing the dog, walking him on both the right and left side, making him stop and wait patiently from time to time before continuing. This is help solidify your status as the leader, and will reiterate that your Corgi is dependent on you.
Barking & Noise Training: One problematic element of raising Corgis, is that they are persistently vocal creatures that have difficulty learning how to curb their barking. This can be frustrating both for the dog’s family, as well as any neighbors in the area, small children, and other pets. However, there are ways of training your Corgi to lower the sound decibels whenever he feels compelled to call out. Pet owners have found ultrasonic pet training devices to be a helpful way to stop the barking, by setting up the device in their home. The built-in sensor will detect when the dog is barking, and emit an unpleasant corrective noise each time. Though this is inaudible to humans, it is a highly effective way to teach the Corgi not to bark.
Corgis can also be trained to learn skills beyond those of just obedience and spoken commands. They are intelligent dog breeds, who can learn many unique practical tricks to add to their repertoire of abilities. Such training will also engage their minds and keep them mentally stimulated.
When training for skill competitions, balance the schedule so that your dog’s body has time to adapt to the challenges. Be careful to avoid training on wet surfaces, to protect your Corgi from slipping and disrupting discs. Their bones can be brittle and susceptible to sprains, breaks and fractures, so if your dog is hesitant to make a certain jump or do a task in practice, it may be because he is injured. After daily training, end the session with a massage or a minor chiropractic adjustment to help your Corgi’s alignment and relieve any spinal pain.
Agility Training: Cardigan Welsh Corgis can be taught to accomplish obstacle courses, relays, and agility courses. With dedication, clear instructions and proper incentives, Cardigan Welsh Corgis have been known to rank well in agility competitions. Though they are not as speedy as other dog breeds, the Cardigan general stability, physical stamina and strength enable them to engage in intense competition.
Agility training must be completed with an experienced dog trainer, who will know the pace at which training should progress. Corgis should hold off on jumping and heavy contact sections until they are older than 18-24 months. Their spinal structures need ample time to develop, so be sure to protect young dogs from over-training. A dog’s growth plates typically close when they are between 9-14 months old, meaning that training should not commence until the dog’s dwarfish anatomy can sustain it. Likewise, monitoring diet is an important aspect of skill training, since Corgis have a tendency to put on weight. It can be detrimental to the joint, spinal, and alignment of a dog if his body proportions are out of balance, or if he is straining under too heavy a load.
Cardigan Welsh Corgis excel in skill training, since they are dauntless creatures who do not hesitate in the face of an unknown. Beyond agility training, Cardigan Welsh Corgis have also proven themselves in countless events, having successfully competed in: obedience training competitions, showmanship, fly ball, tracking, and herding.
Herding: Though most Cardigan Welsh Corgis are no longer kept as herding pets, but as more commonly owned as family pets, they seldom have the occasion to practice their hereditary skills. Fortunately because of herding events and competitions, Cardigan Welsh Corgis can train, practice and showcase their instinctive herding talent, their speed and other useful functions of a high-performing herding dog. Tracking competitions also provide the opportunity for a Corgi to demonstrate his abilities as a tracker, by finding and following human scent through a variety of different obstacles. Though this is a less competitive sport, it is an excellent way for Cardigan Welsh Corgis to stay sharp and be prepared should these skills ever be called upon.
Guard dogs: Like many protective and loyal pups, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi has proven to be a reliable guard dog. This breed can be loyal to fault, ready to turn on any intruder or threat on the property. Corgi’s large ears are able to detect minute sounds across great distances, and determine whether or not there is cause to be concerned. They have acute hearing abilities and do not shrink from sounding the alarm when there is any unusual noise or scent. Though they need to be trained not to nip at the feet of the young people in their home, their herding instincts are beneficial to have in a guard dog.
Therapy Dogs: Cardigan Welsh Corgis have also served as therapeutic companion dogs; many Corgi owners testifying to their dog’s persistent company when they were unwell or suffering from depression. There large bodies provide a stability and comfort, and their stubby legs make them a very accessible size for those in wheelchairs. Though some companies will not train Cardigan Welsh Corgis as therapy pets, since they can display stubbornness and have a tendency to bark, a Corgi with sufficient training and the right disposition can prove to be a superior therapy dog.
Showing and Competing
Dog shows are becoming increasingly popular in the United States; there are upwards of 2,000 event annually. When selecting the right dog to work toward training competitions, there are several characteristics that seasoned breeders and handlers look for in a young pup. Competition temperaments require a bold and active personality, which is usually easy to spot at an early age. An ideal show dog will generally be the first to exit the whelping box; he should neither display signs of too much independence or stubbornness, and he should not be too attached to the owner, as this would make proximity to the owner difficult for performance. When the breeder selects the dog, obedience training for the puppy can begin right away, while agility, herding, and tracking should commence at a later age when the dog’s body is stronger.
To begin competing a dog, the animal must possess certain physical breed requires (such as those listed in the Cardigan Welsh Corgi anatomy section.) When a Corgi is above 6 months old, and has not been physically altered, he may begin the process of competing, by starting with a conformation event.
Before a dog can compete in any regional or national breed shows, he must attend a conformation trial event hosted by the American Kennel Club. This will determine if the dog is show-worthy, and if he is physically and temperamentally up to breed standards.
National Dog Shows typically separate dogs into the following groups: terrier, toy, working, sporting, hound, non-sporting, and herding breeds. Cardigan Welsh Corgis are classified at dog shows under the “herding dog” category. According to the American Kennel Club, once the preliminary conformation event is complete, a Corgi can compete in the following events:
- Parent Specialty
- AKC Rally
- Tracking Dog (Urban)
- Tracking Excellent
- Variable Surface Tracking
*For updates on all current events and dog shows, refer to the AKC Events Calendar and Events List; or the official Cardigan Welsh Corgis Club of American Upcoming Shows and Events List.
One of the more famous National Dog Shows, is the Westminster Kennel Club competition which takes place in Madison Square Gardens. This traditional show dates back to 1877, when the competition hosted over 1,200 dogs the opening year. The club continues to thrive on, presenting their biggest event in New York City during the winter season.
At the Westminster Kennel Club, the Cardigan Welsh Corgis’ cousins the Pembroke Welsh Corgis have ranked as the most consecutive group wins. Cardigan Welsh Corgis themselves entered the competition at 1936, but have never won the Best In Show at this competition, nor ranked in the first three group skill placements. However, a Cardigan Welsh Corgi did place in the 4th group skill level in 2007.
There are numerous other notable dog shows, such as the open-breed international competition hosted by the International All Breed Canine Association (IABCA), and the popular National Dog Show in Philadelphia, which is televised annually on NBC during the month of November.
Though Cardigan Welsh Corgis may not often beat herding superstars such as the German Shepherd or Shetland Shepherd, they certainly can hold their own in competition. Cardigan Welsh Corgi show results reflect how hard this breed will work to succeed with new challenges. Cardigans have ranked as the Best in Show at several all-breed dog shows in America, and have won Cardigans numerous other awards including:
- 2005 National Specialty Grand Champion
- Stud Dogs of the Year: 1999, 2001, 2003, 2011
- High in Trail – All Breeds AKC San Diego Classic Competition: Cattle herding
- 2012 – Best of Breed – Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
Popularity and Recognition
Though Cardigans are closely related to the Pembroke Welsh Corgis, they have never share the same level of popularity. Since the British Monarchy has been devoted to Pembroke Welsh Corgis for over half a century, these little dogs have long been celebrated in the United Kingdom. Queen Elizabeth herself has been a proud Corgi owner since the early 1930’s, owning her first Corgi named Dookie in 1933. In the course of her nearly 65 year reign, the Queen has owned a total of 30 Corgis, owning up to 8 dogs at one time. In 2015 she announced that her dog ownership days will soon be in the past, as she is becoming too elderly. Queen Elizabeth currently owns two Corgis named Holly and Willow, as well as two Corgi-Dachshund mixes named Vulcan and Candy, but she does not plan to replace her dogs when they pass away.
Though Pembroke Welsh Corgis have enjoyed royal-dog status for many years, Cardigan Welsh Corgis still prove to be beloved pets. The American Kennel Club ranks Cardigan Welsh Corgi at #78th in popularity out of all the dog breeds. That is quite impressive considering that AKC recognizes over 178 breeds, and that there are a total of over 400 unofficial dog breeds that exist.
Famous Cardigan Welsh Corgis
Cardigan Welsh Corgis have also celebrated their fair share of fame in Hollywood. A Cardigan Welsh Corgi played the role of Edward in the film The Accidental Tourist with Geena Davis; and another Cardigan became a series regular on the hit sitcom Dharma and Greg as the charming pet named Nunzio. Cardigans were also featured at the American President’s dogs in the Kevin Kline film Dave.
In a 1960’s Coca-Cola ad, a Cardigan Welsh Corgi was highlighted by riding a horse in several still prints. Recently, a Cardigan named George was the second-place honors winner of the 2008 Westminster Kennel Club Show. The same pup is now the official school mascot of Bethlehem’s Thomas Jefferson Elementary School. Corgis have also been the pet of choice to celebrities such as Ava Gardner, Jennifer Aniston, Kirstie Alley, Selma Blair, Kristen Bell, Hilary Swank and Kiefer Sutherland.