The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is descended from the Teckel family of dogs which also produced the Dachshund. The breed is believed to have been in existence in Wales for over 3,000 years. It was brought in aboriginal form by the Celtic tribes who migrated to Wales from central Europe. This early dog was a transitional form between the Teckel and the Spitz families.
The Cardigan’s original work was to go before his master’s cattle herd and clear the way by chasing off potential predators as well as trespassing herds, providing an area for grazing. Later, the Cardi began to act as a herder, working behind the master’s cattle and as a “drover”, driving cattle from the Welsh farms to the English markets. It is at this time the original Corgi may have been crossed with local sheepdogs to obtain a more versatile working dog. The faithful Corgi was put to good use in his heyday, acting as a cattle dog, family guardian and pet, as well as vermin exterminator.
During the Viking invasion of 1,000 years ago, and subsequent influx of Flemish weavers, a Spitz-type of dog was introduced into some areas of Wales. These Spitz were crossed with the original Corgi to produce what is known today as the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Those Corgis who resided in areas untouched by such influences, however, retained their basic original blood and were the descendants of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi.
Mon – the last of the original Cardiganshire Corgis
In the late 1800’s the beginnings of what we know today as dog shows began to take shape. At this period of time, many breeds’ usefulness in their historical roles began to wane with the advent of machines. If not for dog shows, many of these breeds would have died out. The Corgi was slow to take the public’s fancy. Near the turn of the century, classes were held at some livestock shows for “heelers” or “curs” but it was not until the 1920’s that the term “Corgi” was used regularly and any appreciable breed history can be documented.
Beginning in 1925, the Corgi was exhibited under Kennel Club (Great Britain) jurisdiction. Unfortunately, the Kennel Club did not consider Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgis as two different breeds and registered them as a single breed. This allowed for the two breeds to be crossed. At this time there was considerable strife for the fanciers of both breeds as judges were known to either prefer one breed or the other, causing considerable dissatisfaction at the dog shows. Finally, the Kennel Club corrected the error and separated the two breeds in 1934.
Bob Llwyd (1917)
A red and white dog named Bob Llwyd (out of unregistered parents) was the most influential stud dog in the mid and late ’20’s and the first breed standard is said to have been based on him. He sired the breed’s first champion in his red and white son, Ch. Golden Arrow, who was born in 1928 and finished his championship in 1931. It was shortly after this time that the Pembroke was selected by the British Royal Family as their pet which brought great fame to that breed. The Cardigan remained in the shadows of his cousin and only recently has his popularity begun to rise.
CH Withybrook Brock – an early progenitor of Cardigan type
Golden Arrow (1928)
The Cardigan Comes to America
In June of 1932 the first two Cardigan Welsh Corgis were imported into the United States. The first bitch to arrive in this country was the famous Cassie who was already a well established producer of high quality Cardigans in England. She was, in fact, mismarked being white with brindle patches, but her ability to produce excellent stock superseded her unfavorable coloration.
The first champion of the breed was a red and white bitch, Ch. Megan whelped in 1933. Today, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America, Inc. holds an annual contest for champions only, named the Megan Competition.
CH Megan (1933)
Cardigan Welsh Corgis Just like the Pembroke and American Corgis are very affectionate, love to be involved in the family, and tend to follow wherever their owners go.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a masterpiece of the breeder’s art: Every aspect of its makeup is perfectly suited to moving cattle, and yet it is so congenial and sweet-faced that it would be a cherished companion even if it never did a day’s work.
Long, low-set dogs with sturdy bone, short legs, and a deep chest, Cardigans are powerful workers of deceptive speed and grace. Cardis can weigh anywhere from 25 to 34 pounds, with females at the lower end of the scale. They come in several coat colors, from red to the popular blue-merle pattern. The quickest way to distinguish Cardis from their cousins, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, is to check out the hindquarters: Cardigans have tails; Pembrokes do not.
Cardis are trainable, faithful, and vigilant guardians with a “big dog” bark. Well-socialized Cardis are especially fond of kids and agreeable with other pets. These athletic, rugged herders have a love for the outdoors, and they thrive on mental stimulation and physical activity.
They have a great desire to please their owners, thus making them eager to learn and train. The dogs are easy to train and are ranked as the twenty sixth smartest dog in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs.
Besides herding, they also function as watchdogs due to their alertness and tendency to bark only as needed. Most Cardigans will seek the attention of everyone they meet and behave well around children and other pets.
It is important to socialize this breed with other animals, adults, and children when they are very young to avoid any anti-social behavior or aggression later in life. Due to their herding instinct, they love to chase anything that moves, so it is best to keep them inside fenced areas. The herding instinct will also cause some younger Pembrokes to nip at their owners' ankles.
Blue Merle With Brindle Points
Temperament: Courageous, Friendly, Outgoing, Playful, Whimsical and Silly, Protective, Determined, Smart and alert, affectionate, tend to be bossy and sassy.
Lifespan: 12 – 16 years on average
Average Weight: 25 pounds but no minimum stated in the breed standard
Females: 18 – 28 pounds
Males: 22 - 30 pounds
Height: 10 inches – 12 inches
Black Brindle Fluffy
Black With Brindle Points
Blue Merle Fluffy
If your looking to add a corgi to your lifestyle as a family pet or best friend, maybe you have plans to show in conformation,agility or herding events. Or you just need some herding help on your farm or ranch; I've got you covered.
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