Complete Guide To The Cardigan Welsh Corgi: Health, Personality, Feeding and More

Pride of the British nobility, Cardigan Welsh Corgis were drivers by day and guardians by night. Today, they shepherd their families with the same love and loyalty. If you’re looking for the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, I have another breed profile detailing those dogs.

In my veterinary practice, Corgis in general are quite common. I’ve met many Cardigans in my 20+ years of practice and they are quite the characters. Read further to find all about this fun breed.

How Big Does A Cardigan Welsh Corgi Get?

Height Weight
Male10.5″ – 12.5″ at the shoulder30-38 lbs
Female10.5″ – 12.5″ at the shoulder25-34 lbs

What Can Cardigan Welsh Corgis Look Like?

Long but sturdy with a broad chest and powerful hindquarters, their thick neck, tapered muzzle, and tall ears are balanced by a bushy, fox-like tail.

Coat colors include:

• Red and White
• Sable and White
• Black and White
• Brindle and White
• Blue Merle and White

Black masks and brindle or ticked points are common.

Though the Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis are separate breeds, they share similar traits and can be tough to tell apart. The most obvious difference is that Cardigans have tails — Pembrokes are bobtailed or shown with docked tails.

What Is The Personality Of A Cardigan Welsh Corgi?

Once working dogs, Cardigans are well-adapted to family life — wherever you go, they’ll follow. Curious and playful, they enjoy both adventure and downtime. No matter your routine, they fit in.

Devoted but not demanding, Cardigans can be gentle with children and affable with other pets. But they thrive on routine and need early socialization to be comfortable in most social situations. Dogs accustomed to a wide range of people and places are friendly and well-mannered.

How Much Exercise Does A Cardigan Welsh Corgi Need?

Always on the job, the Cardigan’s herding instincts run deep. Walks are fun, but chases are a thrill, so always keep a ball in your pocket. Thirty minutes of daily exercise is enough to keep them fit, but the more of it spent playing Fetch, the better.

Short-legged and low to the ground, jumping and climbing are challenging activities for Cardigans, and they’ll struggle to keep pace as running partners. But with a fenced-in yard and toys to run after, they’ll entertain themselves for hours.

The more active and motivated of the Cardigans can compete in a wide variety of canine sports including agility, scent work, and more! For the driven Corgi, there are plenty of organized activities to do!

How Much Grooming Does A Cardigan Welsh Corgi Need?

Cardigans have sumptuous double coats — a short wooly layer for insulation topped with a thick outer coat. They shed year-round, blowing their coats seasonally. Regular grooming is a must to keep them looking their best.

Daily brushing with a slicker is the key to keep the house clean. But once every few weeks, a thorough combing with a rake helps thin the undercoat, discouraging mats where they begin.

Despite their thick hair, clipping isn’t necessary in the summer. In fact, their coat is ideal for thermoregulation. Bred in the cool British isles, dogs that are uncomfortable in warm and humid climates, however, may benefit from a trim.

Low-slung, the Cardigan’s coat tends to attract dirt and debris. Monthly baths should keep them fresh. Walking boots in the winter protect their pads from snow, ice and road salt.

Most Cardigan owners can care for their dogs at home, but seeing a groomer quarterly makes routine maintenance easier. A professional brushing, nail trim, and ear cleaning keeps them in top condition and minimizes shedding.

What Kind of Dog Food Is Good For A Cardigan Welsh Corgi?

Most small kibble dry dog foods will be suitable for a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Because of their small mouths, smaller kibble will be a better idea than one that may be larger and harder to chew. Canned food should only be used if there are little to no teeth or if your dog needs a way to get more fluids in (for example, a dog with kidney disease).

Grain-free diets are a myth. Please do not feed your Corgi a grain-free diet unless there are specific food allergies that would benefit from a grain-free diet. Always consult your veterinarian before you decide to make any major diet changes.

Some good brands that I recommend include:

I usually tend to go with the bigger dog food companies because of the amount of time and money they have to research and test their products. They also have a stronger history of safe foods (very rarely will they have recalls) over the newer, more boutique-style dog foods.

This dog is usually a chow hound and is easily prone to obesity. It is important always to give your dog high-quality dog food. Monitor the number of treats and “people food” you give your dog to keep him healthy and fit. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight is the best and easiest way to extend the life of your Corgi.

How Long Does A Cardigan Welsh Corgi Live?

12-15 years based on information from the AKC

What Health Problems Can Cardigan Welsh Corgis Have?

Corgis are generally pretty healthy dogs. While they can have any health disorder, the ones that are the most common that concern me are:

  • Obesity
  • Arthritis (especially in the elbows and knees)
  • IVDD

Having a very long back can make them prone to developing back issues such as IVDD. The biggest risk factors for this breed developing this issue is being overweight and jumping off of couches and beds regularly.

Where Can I Find Out More About The Cardigan Welsh Corgi?

Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America

AKC Breed Page

Where Can I Find A Cardigan Welsh Corgi?

Breeder Listings from the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America – check out their guide here to selecting the right breeder for you.

Looking for a Rescue Cardigan? Try the Cardigan Welsh Rescue Trust, who keep a list of regional coordinators to help you find a rescue Corgi near you.

Interesting Facts About the Cardigan Welsh Corgi

If you’re confused about the Corgi, you’re not the only one. Are they one breed or two? Why do they have such short legs? Here are a few fun facts to help sort out the details.

• Cardigans and Pembrokes Are Now Two Different Breeds

Cardigan Welsh Corgis and Pembroke Welsh Corgis were interbred for a limited time, considered to be variations of the same breed. Breeders, however, protested, pointing out the Cardigan’s Teckel origins. The Pembroke has a Spitz heritage. The two were permanently separated in 1934.

They’re Distinctly European

“Corgi,” originally spelled “kergie,” is the ancient Celtic term for “dog.” It’s believed they migrated to the Cardiganshire area of Wales from Central Europe more than 3,000 years ago. Though their history predates written records, and details about their lineage are vague, they’re known to have existed in Wales as early as the tenth century.

• And Valuable

Cardigans were kept mostly by peasants earning a meager living on feudal farms. So valued were their talents that they were considered economically essential. Stealing one was punishable by stiff fines.

About Those Short Legs

Cardigans are a tribute to breeders. With a specific role in mind, they carefully created a powerful herding dog short enough to nip at a cow’s heels without being kicked. Their tall ears play a part, too, helping them hear the movement of hooves so they can dodge a well-placed attempt.

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