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Honest FAQ for Cardigan Welsh Corgis

By Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Behavioral Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books

Cardigan Welsh Corgi

There are two Corgi breeds. People who recognize the word Corgi are almost certainly picturing a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, not a Cardigan. The Pembroke is more popular by far.

What kind of temperament and personality does the Cardigan Welsh Corgi have?

The most descriptive words that come to my mind regarding Cardigan Welsh Corgi temperament and behavior are:

big-dog personality with short legs, hardy, athletic, steady-tempered, intensely loyal, vocal watchdog, often reserved with strangers (but not aggressive), bright but independent thinker, territorial toward animals outside his own family, strong chasing instincts... and did I mention the barking?

I give you my honest opinions about Cardigan Welsh Corgi temperament and personality traits and characteristics – positives AND negatives – in my dog breed review, Cardigan Welsh Corgi Temperament and Personality Traits (What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em).

Where did the name Cardigan Welsh Corgi come from?

The breed was developed in Wales, primarily in the county of Cardiganshire. Cor  is Welsh word for dog and gi  means dwarf. So we have "the dwarf dog from Cardiganshire, Wales".

When enthusiasts chat about the breed, its name is frequently shortened to Cardie or just plain Corgi.

What were Cardigan Welsh Corgis used for?

Using their voices to bark and their teeth to nip, Corgis drove their master's cattle onto the common land to graze. There the Corgi kept his eyes peeled for trespassing cattle and other animals.

Corgis also served as farm watchdogs, and moonlighted by ridding barns and other outbuildings of vermin.

What traits would help Corgis accomplish their work? That's right... high energy, endurance, boldness, strong chasing instincts, territorial instincts, quickness to bark, independent thinking but also trainability, and loyalty to their owner.

How big are Cardigan Welsh Corgis? Height and weight?

Most folks who first see a Corgi are surprised by the heavy bone packed onto his short legs. Cardigan Welsh Corgis are about 11-13 inches at the shoulder, at least 3 feet long from nose to tail tip, and 25-40 pounds, which puts them in the MID-SIZE category.

What colors do Cardigan Welsh Corgis come in?

Brindle, black, blue merle, red (fawn to golden), and sable. Those colors usually have white markings. Blacks and blue merles may also have tan or brindle "trim."

What's the difference between the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and Pembroke Welsh Corgi?

There are two distinct Corgi breeds. But they're not equal in popularity. No, people who hear the word Corgi are usually picturing the popular Pembroke Welsh Corgi, not the less common Cardigan.

Why is the Pembroke more popular than the Cardigan?

  • Temperamentally   the Pembroke tends to be more playful and agile, more outgoing, and more trainable.
  • Physically   the Pembroke is a little smaller than the Cardigan, the Pembroke has a shorter back (which looks even shorter with his docked tail), and the Pembroke looks more alert with his straighter legs, foxier face, and ears pricked up straighter than the Cardigan's.

How much exercise do Cardigan Welsh Corgis need?

Just brisk walks, plus a decent-sized yard for a vigorous romp. Play games of fetch. Many Corgis become obsessed with retrieving small balls and toys.

Also teach tricks and set up a miniature obstacle course and run around it with your dog, coaxing, encouraging, and rewarding.

Do Cardigan Welsh Corgis need a fenced yard?

Yes. Why a fenced yard? and best and worst fences.

Are Cardigan Welsh Corgis easy to train?

Yes and no. Cardies have a stubborn/resistant streak, but generally they do want to please. If you are a confident person who can establish a healthy leader-follower relationship, a Cardigan Welsh Corgi learns readily. However, if you're a really easygoing, non-confrontational person, a Corgi is not for you.

Are Cardigan Welsh Corgis easy to housebreak?

They're fine.

Are Cardigan Welsh Corgis friendly with people?

Some Cardies are outgoing with everyone! But most individuals are very faithful to their own family, and a bit standoffish (although still polite) with strangers. This watchful breed is an excellent watchdog but can go overboard with the barking.

Are Cardigan Welsh Corgis good with children?

Depends on the kids. Corgis seem to have an innate sense of pride and fairness and may not put up with toddlers or pushy children who step over the line. I much prefer to see a Corgi in a home with kids who are at least about age 8 and can be relied upon to treat a dog with respect.

Are Cardigan Welsh Corgis good with other dogs?

Most Corgis are fine with other dogs in their own family. Toward strange dogs, much depends on where you are when you encounter the strange dog   Corgis are more territorial on their own property. Off property, a Corgi is often content to live and let live.

Are Cardigan Welsh Corgis good with cats?

They're usually fine with cats in their own family. They'll chase cats trespassing in their yard.

How much do Cardigan Welsh Corgis shed?

Well above average. Corgis are pretty heavy shedders in the spring and fall, plus you'll find loose hair the rest of the year, as well.

Are Cardigan Welsh Corgis hypoallergenic? Good for people with allergies?

Absolutely not!

How much grooming do Cardigan Welsh Corgis need?

Just moderate brushing once a week... except daily during the seasonal shedding periods.

What's a good training schedule for training Cardigan Welsh Corgi puppies?

Here's the puppy training schedule I use for Cardigan Welsh Corgis: Puppy Training Schedule.

What behavior problems do Cardigan Welsh Corgis tend to have?

Cardigan Welsh Corgis do have an obstinate/resistant streak, especially during their adolescent period (roughly 6 to 18 months old). This critical adolescent period is when you must establish the right leader/follower relationship and respond properly to behavior problems.

Barking and chasing things are the most common issues, which can be challenging to control because they are inherited traits. I've also seen excitability and jumping on people, mostly in young Corgis. These behaviors are both very easy to stop. Here's how to handle typical behavior problems.

What health problems might Cardigan Welsh Corgis have?

Most concerning are epilepsy, and several different eye diseases that cause blindness. Intervertebral disk disease (because of the long back) can cause pain or paralysis. Loose knee and hip joints can cause lameness and crippling arthritic pain.

What breeds are similar to the Cardigan Welsh Corgi?

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is more popular than the Cardigan, for both physical and temperamental reasons.

The Pembroke tends to be more playful, more outgoing, and more trainable. He is also a little smaller, has a shorter back (which looks even shorter with his docked tail), and looks more alert with his straighter legs, foxier face, and ears pricked up straighter than the Cardigan's. Barking? Oh yes!

The Swedish Vallhund hails from (surprise!) Sweden and is harder to find in the United States. But he's similar to the Welsh Corgis in size, shape, shedding, temperament and behavior, and skills as a herding dog. Barking? Oh yes!

Where can I buy a Cardigan Welsh Corgi puppy?

From a show breeder is best. Read my article.

From a show breeder is best. But that breeder MUST be able to show me the proper health certifications on both parents. Read my article to learn what those are.

Where can I adopt an older Cardigan Welsh Corgi?

Rescue group or humane society/shelter? Read my article.

I just got a new Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Which pages should I read first?

  • Cardigan Welsh Corgi Health, which includes my advice on feeding, vaccinations, and daily health care. These pages are very important, because if you start your Cardigan Welsh Corgi puppy off on the wrong foot, he will probably experience health problems later on. Starting off right is essential.
  • Training Cardigan Welsh Corgis, which includes my advice on respect training, housebreaking, and socialization. Again, you must start your Cardigan Welsh Corgi puppy off on the right foot by teaching him what he needs to know, and you must avoid doing the wrong things with him so that he doesn't develop bad habits that will be much harder to fix later on.

Do male dogs or female dogs make better pets?

Ah, let the debate begin! Honestly, male Cardigan Welsh Corgis have pros and cons, and female Cardigan Welsh Corgis have pros and cons. Visit Male Dogs versus Female Dogs

There's an adorable Cardigan Welsh Corgi puppy at the pet shop. The store manager assures me they only buy from responsible breeders. Could this be true?

No responsible Cardigan Welsh Corgi breeder would ever place one of their Cardigan Welsh Corgi puppies in a pet shop for resale. To find out more about pet shop puppies, visit Pet Shop Puppies: Buying a Puppy From a Pet Store.

How do I pick the best Cardigan Welsh Corgi puppy from a litter?

You can do puppy personality tests. Visit How To Choose a Good Puppy.

What's the best dog food for Cardigan Welsh Corgis?

3 Best Ways To Feed Your Dog Healthy Food.

I have to take my Cardigan Welsh Corgi to the vet soon for shots. Which vaccinations does he really need?

The schedule of vaccinations that dogs really need has changed dramatically – but unfortunately most vets are not telling you this, because a good chunk of their income depends on frequent vaccinations. Please don't get any more shots for your Cardigan Welsh Corgi until you've read my article on Puppy Shots and Dog Vaccinations.

What are the pros and cons of spaying and neutering my Cardigan Welsh Corgi, and when should it be done?

Spaying and neutering are often recommended too early, which can lead to health problems later in life. Visit Spaying Your Female Dog or Neutering Your Male Dog for the straight scoop on the safest (and riskiest) times to spay or neuter.

I have a question about Cardigan Welsh Corgis that I don't see answered on your web site.

It's probably answered in one of my free online books.

Michele Welton with BuffyAbout the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.

My best-selling books – now available  FREE  on my website

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