The Welsh Corgi (Cardigan)
|Weight||12 - 15 Kg (approx)|
|Life Span||15 Years (approx)|
Sturdy, tough, mobile, capable of endurance. Long in proportion to height, terminating in fox-like brush, set in line with body.
He has short legs but with the body well clear of the ground. His front legs (forearms) are slightly bowed to mould round the chest. His front feet turned slightly outwards.
His chest is deep with a prominent chest bone.
He has a long ribcage, short loin & a level but not board level, backline with a tail set to continue the flow of the back line
His hind quarters are strong with strong well muscled thighs & comparatively short hocks.
The whole effect is of a long low dog with smoothly flowing curves from the slight crest of his neck to the tip of his lovely tail.
His coat is short or medium of hard texture. It is weatherproof, with good undercoat & preferably straight.
His colour can be any colour, with or without white markings, but white should not predominate – black with red (tan) or brindle points, brindle, red, sable or merle, all with varying amounts of white from just a few white hairs to full white collars, white blazes or white slashes on the body.
Our standard states that his nose must be black; this rules out the chocolates & chocolate merles as show dogs, but not from the breed itself.
So we have a dog that is unique among dogs. He is a herding dog, about 11 to 12 in tall, nearly twice as long as he is tall & comes in many colours.
He suits most situations - beloved family pet, therapy dog, competition dog, whether it be breed show, obedience, agility, herding, tracking.
There is much controversy over the origins of the Cardigan Corgi and, I guess, there always will be. The archaeologists are making great strides in increasing our knowledge of the past, and now the geneticists are getting in on the act, so maybe soon we will have more definite answers.
Archaeological evidence points to two things;
1 - Neotholic man owned sheep & cattle and small, low, long bodied dogs (the old breeds of cattle in particular were rather small)
2 - The Celts brought with them to Britain a similar dog.
By the 9th century AD, the Vikings were ravaging and sometimes settling the coastline of Wales. One reason for the Viking raiding was that they were outgrowing their native lands and food supplies, so many of those who did settle were farmers, who presumably brought with them their dogs.
The centre of Wales is a high plateau; a land of deep gorges, steep escarpments, barren hilltops and fertile valleys. The dogs in these areas escaped the infusion of Spitz blood from the Viking dogs, but it meant that those in areas under Viking influence bred with the Spitz dogs and acquired a shortened to bobbed tail, sharp pointed muzzle, very foxy face and sharp pointed tips to their ears.
In the early 11th century the Flemish weavers were invited by Henry1 to settle in Pembrokeshire. Presumably these people brought with them their dogs.
In his work a 15th century monk by the name of Weneslas refers to a small black schipperke like dog that was common in the Flemish province of Belgium, by calling it a "little black devil".
Black wolflike shepherd dogs were very widespread in the province of Brabant during the 17th century. Over the years, these dogs had been selected for a variety of uses including the shepherd dogs from which the four modern varieties of Belgian shepherds are descended.
Alert, intelligent, steady, not shy or aggressive.
He can be gentle with those who are frail or with kids; he can be boisterous with rowdy teenagers; he can be sympathetic & supportive when things go wrong; he can be stubborn when he thinks his way is better & he will most certainly attempt to replace you as leader of the pack if you let him. He loves to run, play & watch TV from the most comfortable lounge chair.
Care / Grooming
The short weatherproof coat of a Cardigan is easy care. A good brushing once a week & a bath once a month or when he gets dirty will keep him clean & shiny. He sheds his coat about twice a year & then needs extra brushing until all the dead coat is gone. Then a bath & all is as it should be. Occasionally a Cardigan is born with a longer coat - a fluffy. This coat will need more care to prevent it matting - brush every day, taking special care behind ears & elbows.
The Cardigan Corgi is a strong, robust breed so has very few health problems. Normal care, a good diet, exercise appropriate for his age & lots of love will result in a long lived happy companion.
PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) exists in the breed. As there is now a DNA test that identifies carriers, we can ensure that all breeding stock & thus all puppies we produce are free of the disease.
Because he is a chondrodysplastic dog (has a comparatively normal sized body on rather short legs)
· He is perhaps more prone to back injury than some other breeds.
· His hip sockets are a little shallower than many other breeds, making interpretation of hip x-rays a little difficult. He rarely seems to suffer from clinical hip dysplasia.
· He is rather heavy for his size, so, while his bones are still growing, his front must be protected from injury - don’t allow him to jump off the lounge, run down stairs etc, don’t teach him the jumping exercises for obedience or agility before about 18 months of age.
· Most dogs, as do most humans, suffer from some form of arthritis as they become senior citizens. If a Cardigan is too short in body, too long in loin, too short in ribcage, shoulders incorrect (too straight &/or upper arm too short), has too much turn in his front legs or lacks strength/muscling in hindquarters, ie does not conform to our standard very well, he may suffer from arthritis at a far earlier age or far more severely than is normal.
If he is allowed to become overweight he will suffer from arthritis or other ‘old age health problems’ at a far earlier age than is normal.