About Cardigans
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi “in a nutshell”
for a more complete & detailed description, check
out the Illustrated Standard of the Cardigan Welsh
Corgi on the CWCCA site at this link:
Cardigan Illustrated Standard
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a long, low, fox-like
dog with large upright ears, a brushy tail, moderate
bone, and front legs slightly bowed around a deep
chest.  The average size ranges from 10 ½ to 12 ½
inches at the shoulder, with females ideally ranging
from 25-34 lbs and males from 30-38 lbs.  The
Cardigan’s coat is medium length and double, with
a variety of colors, shades, & patterns: brindle, red
(brown or golden), sable (red with black hair tips),
blue merle (black & gray “marbled”), and black.  
Blues & blacks can have “points” (markings on
their cheeks & legs) in either tan or brindle.  White
flashes are usual on the neck, chest, legs, muzzle,
stomach, tip of tail, & blaze.  Black masks are
acceptable, as is ticking (flecks of black or red).
With responsible care, the average lifespan of a Cardigan is around 12-15
years, with 16 or 17 not unheard of.  The Cardigan is generally an active dog, but
in adulthood he doesn’t get carried away with it.  He has stamina and loves
walks & romps, but doesn’t necessarily require more exercise than he can get
around the yard.  One should be careful about allowing puppies, with their very
distinctive front assembly, to jump down from furniture.  The Cardigan is a
double-coated breed that does shed, including “blowing” coat roughly twice a
year.  The Cardigan’s coat is all-weather and generally clean & odorless.  It is
best if brushed once a week or at least every couple of weeks to remove dead
Health Problems
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) – use this link to the CWCCA site’s PRA
status list -
PRA status list
Hip Dysplasia – use this link to reach the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for
Animals) page on Hip Dysplasia – you can use the menu at the left of the page to
do a search of OFA records -
Hip Info from OFA
One of the best features of the Cardigan is his personality.  A big dog in a small
package, his temperament is based upon his original life as a companion and valuable
farm helper and guardian, all of which make him an adaptable and outstanding house
pet.  The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a dog who wants to be truly involved with his family; &
his family should want to be involved with him too.  He is full of fun & will shower that
family with devotion & sensible affection, although some Cardigans withhold their
favors from strangers until they get to know them better.  Caring for his people
(including children) comes naturally to this intelligent, alert, & responsible dog.
viewed/compared side-by-side, there are many physical
differences – there are also personality differences.
differences – there are also personality differences.

Cardigans:  have a tail, of course; are larger & longer with
more substantial bone; have a harsher outer coat; have bigger
ears that are more rounded; are built similar to Dachshunds &
Bassetts, in that they have a bowed front to fit around their
deep chest, with toes that point outward; come in more colors
– red, sable, brindle, black & white/tri-color, & blue merle; can
be reserved with strangers; are more laid back.

Pembrokes:  tail is docked (although some are born without
tails); are smaller, with a shorter back; have a softer, fuller
coat; ears are smaller & more triangular; fronts are straighter,
with toes pointing forward; colors are red/sable & tri-color;
tend to be more active & outgoing with strangers.

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 the cattle herd & clear the way by chasing away 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, & as a drover, driving cattle from the Welsh farms to the English

During the Viking invasion of 1000 years ago, along with the influx of Flemish weavers that followed, a Spitz-
type of dog was introduced into some areas of Wales.  These Spitz were crossed with the original Corgi to
produce what is know today as the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.  The Corgis who lived in areas untouched by such
influences retained their basic original blood & were the descendents of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi.  

The Cardigan Comes to America
In June of 1931 the first 2 Cardigan Welsh Corgis were imported into the U.S. by Mrs. Roberta Bole.  Mrs. Bole
was well-versed in genetics & was determined that the breed not be commercialized & in consequence
inferior specimens be bred.  She was also adamant that no dogs with poor disposition be used for breeding
or exhibited.  They were first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1934 – the Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Club of America (CWCCA) was founded in 1935.  In 2006, the official name became Cardigan Welsh Corgi
rather than Welsh Corgi (Cardigan)