Cardigan Welsh Corgi Temperament: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em
Cardigan Welsh Corgi Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2018
Spirited and athletic, steady and dependable, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a big dog on short legs.
By that I mean his body is more heavily-boned and stronger than you might think, and also his temperament is that of a larger dog.
Corgis were developed as herding dogs, darting beneath the kicks of unruly cattle and biting at their heels to move them along. So they are tough working dogs! If you don't have cattle, you can substitute ball-playing games as an enjoyable outlet for their enthusiasm and desire to work.
If his days include such moderate exercise, along with the companionship of his family, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is adaptable and easy to live with.
He is polite with guests, reserved with strangers, and makes a sensible watchdog. Corgis do bark, be forewarned. Often too much!
Most are fine with other family pets, including livestock and horses. But he tends to be territorial with strange dogs and cats. One of his responsibilities as a farm dog was to chase strays away from his own farm.
This bright breed learns quickly. But he has the independent mindset of a true herding breed, so you must have the confidence to establish and consistently enforce rules, else he will make up his own. His close cousin, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is generally considered easier to train than the Cardigan.
Like most herding breeds, Corgis prefer their flock (family members and other pets) to be gathered together and may try to accomplish this by circling and nipping.
If you want a dog who...
- Is a "big dog" with short legs, i.e. built long and low to the ground, but with a robust body, heavy bone, and a working dog temperament
- Is spirited and athletic, but needs only moderate exercise to maintain his muscle tone
- Has a short easy-care coat in a variety of colors
- Is steady and dependable
- Is polite with guests and makes a sensible watchdog
- Is usually fine with other family pets, and especially good with livestock
A Cardigan Welsh Corgi may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with...
- Providing mental stimulation that fulfills his desire to work and gives him something productive to do
- Destructiveness when bored or left alone too much
- Territorial aggression toward dogs and cats he doesn't know
- Strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge
- Chasing and nipping at things that move: children, joggers, other animals, bikes
- Heavy shedding
A Cardigan Welsh Corgi may not be right for you.
Keep in mind that the inheritance of temperament is less predictable than the inheritance of physical traits such as size or shedding. Temperament and behavior are also shaped by raising and training.
- You can avoid some negative traits by choosing an ADULT dog from an animal shelter or rescue group. With an adult dog, you can easily see what you're getting, and plenty of adult Cardigan Welsh Corgis have already proven themselves not to have negative characteristics.
- If you want a puppy, you can avoid some negative traits by choosing the right breeder and the right puppy. Unfortunately, you usually can't tell whether a puppy has inherited temperament or health problems until he grows up.
- Finally, you can avoid some negative traits by training your Cardigan Welsh Corgi to respect you and by following the 11-step care program in my book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy.
More traits and characteristics of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi
If I was considering a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, I would be most concerned about...
- Providing enough physical – and mental – exercise. With their short legs and long body, Cardigan Welsh Corgis don't need or want miles of running exercise. But they must have several daily walks and a fenced yard in which to stretch their legs and romp. Just as important as physical exercise is mental exercise, which means interesting activities to do. Cardies are intelligent herding dogs who like to keep busy.
I recommend that you get your Cardigan Welsh Corgi involved in regular obedience classes (beyond the beginners level – join a dog club and go every week). Also consider agility classes (an obstacle course for dogs) or even herding, if there is a herding club in your area. Also consider my book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words, because teaching your dog words and games stimulates his brain and keeps him happy!
- Chasing other animals. As a farm dog, one of a Corgi's responsibilities was to drive away strange dogs from his own farm and flock. Accordingly, many Cardigan Welsh Corgis can be a bit pushy toward dogs and cats they don't know.
- Mind of their own. Cardigan Welsh Corgis are smart, but they do have an independent mind of their own (as do most herding breeds) and are not pushovers to raise and train. They can be manipulative or willful. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say. To teach your Corgi to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. Read more about Cardigan Welsh Corgi Training.
- Barking. Corgis drove large cattle by barking, darting in beneath their kicks, and nipping them on the heels. So it's no surprise that barking is an inherited trait. If you have close neighbors, you mustn't leave a Corgi outside, unsupervised. He will drive your neighbors crazy. To make matters worse, some Corgis have an intense, high-pitched bark that can set your teeth on edge.
- Heavy shedding. Cardigan Welsh Corgis shed a lot. You'll find hair all over your clothing and furnishings. Be sure you don't mind vacuuming!
To help you train and care for your dog
Dog training videos. Sometimes it's easier to train your puppy (or adult dog) when you can see the correct training techniques in action.
The problem is that most dog training videos on the internet are worthless, because they use the wrong training method. I recommend these dog training videos that are based on respect and leadership.
To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.
My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.