Cardigan Welsh Corgi: Pet Breed Info and Pictures

About the Breed

This isn’t just the corgi with the tail. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi are very different corgis, and more than just a tail separates them.

The Cardigan is one of the oldest herding breeds originating in Wales and is a true dwarf dog. He is descended from the same lineage of dogs, Teckel dogs, that also ultimately produced dachshunds.

He was designed to be a general-purpose farm dog working in whatever capacity was necessary, including alert/watchdog, farmhand and companion, and ultimately to move livestock like cattle.

The Cardigan is one of the oldest herding breeds originating in Wales and is a true dwarf dog

Physical Characteristics

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a short-legged dog, a true dwarf, long on the body. Though small in stature, he is of a heavy build and weighs a good deal more than one might recognize at first glance.

Although only about a foot tall, he is likely to weigh closer to 30-38 pounds. The Cardigan was designed to be a short dog for a reason: to avoid being kicked in the head or body by a cow.

Corgis are natural driving herding dogs and will use nipping to control the movement of a stubborn animal. The dog had to be able to move in, nip at the heels of the cow, but also avoid being kicked in return.

The breed is double-coated with a bushy tail and comes in a variety of colorations. You may easily see the breed in the following colors: brindle, red, sable, blue merle, and black.

Additionally, he may have tan points, white markings, or black masking on the face.


The Cardigan is a very happy, fun-loving dog but is much more active than one might think by his body build.

He loves to learn and is a quick study for commands making him a fun partner for obedience, agility, herding, and other performance sports. He may not always be the fastest dog, but he is an eager worker.

He is a real family companion and loves the affections of those around him, including children. He may be more challenging with toddlers and small children as he does have a natural desire to herd, including small, running children.

He will use nipping as a tactic to slow them down! Otherwise, he can be clownish, fun, and love to play games with those around him.

Generally, quite fine with strangers, the Cardigan may run from being outgoing and friendly, eager to make friends to more reserved until he knows someone better.

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi can make a very natural watchdog and will easily alert his family to the presence of intruders. As with other herding breeds, he can like to bark because of this, so this should be considered in apartment-type settings.

He can match with just about any living environment so long as he is provided daily exercise. He loves the companionship of other dogs and does well in a group. He can also do very well with cats if raised with them.   


The Cardigan is an easy-to-train dog and does enjoy working alongside his person. Positive reinforcement and consistent training work best.  With these techniques, he can be easily trained for performance events of just about any kind and tricks.

According to the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America, the temperament of a Cardigan is closer to a collie or some German Shepherd.

The Cardigan needs to be given an outlet for his herding energy. Many enjoy playing with oversized balls that they can bite and chase.

 Shedding & Grooming

The breed is double-coated and has a lot of hair. Weekly brushing is highly recommended to keep shedding to a minimum.

There will also be a heavier shedding period twice a year as the dog blows his undercoat out. A de-shedding tool will be beneficial in this process.

The occasional bath when the dog is dirty, regular nail trims, and tooth brushing are the other grooming things that need to be done.

Health & Life Expectancy

The average life span of the Cardigan is approximately 12-15 years of age.  There are a few health issues that may be encountered in the breed:

  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Other eye disorders like cataracts and glaucoma
  • Obesity (easily can happen!)
  • Neurological issues like degenerative myelopathy
  • Heart issues like patent ductus ateriosus
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus
  • Deafness (if improper breeding of merle to merle)
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Luxating patella
  • Epilepsy
  • Allergies

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