Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Temperament: Affectionate, Loyal, Smart

  • Height: 10.5-12.5 inches
  • Weight: 30-38 pounds (male), 25-34 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Group: Herding Group 

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a masterpiece of the breeder’s art: Every aspect of its makeup is perfectly suited to moving cattle, and yet it is so congenial and sweet-faced that it would be a cherished companion even if it never did a day’s work.


Low set with moderately heavy bone and deep chest. Overall silhouette long in proportion to height, culminating in a low tail set and fox-like brush. General Impression–A handsome, powerful, small dog, capable of both speed and endurance, intelligent, sturdily built but not coarse.

About the Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Long, low-set dogs with sturdy bone, short legs, and a deep chest, Cardigans are powerful workers of deceptive speed and grace. Cardis can weigh anywhere from 25 to 34 pounds, with females at the lower end of the scale. They come in several coat colors, from red to the popular blue-merle pattern. The quickest way to distinguish Cardis from their cousins, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, is to check out the hindquarters: Cardigans have tails; Pembrokes do not.

Cardis are trainable, faithful, and vigilant guardians with a “big dog” bark. Well-socialised Cardis are especially fond of kids and agreeable with other pets. These athletic, rugged herders have a love for the outdoors, and they thrive on mental stimulation and physical activity.

NUTRITION Cardigans are known to become overweight very easily. Careful monitoring of their weight is essential. It is vital that one feeds a high-quality dog food based on the Cardigan’s activity level and nutritional needs. Two smaller meals a day rather than one large one will make for a better digestive process. In addition, don’t overdo giving treats. Yes, Cardigans can hear a cheese wrapper from 50 yards—but that doesn’t mean you give them an entire piece. Feel the ribs, and if you can’t feel them easily with your fingertips, then your dog in most likely overweight.

GROOMING A good brushing at least once a week should keep the Cardigan’s coat healthy and looking its best. Keeping the hair trimmed on the bottom of the feet helps to reduce the amount of dirt that an animal can bring into the house every day. The nails should be kept trimmed as well. Some pet owners mistakenly feel they should have their dog trimmed short for the summer. When the coat of the Cardigan is correct for the breed, this isn’t necessary. The correct coat has the essential characteristics to maintain proper body temperature, as long as conditions are normal. It should be noted, however, that a black dog will absorb more heat on a sunny day, and care should be taken to avoid overexposure during hot weather.

EXERCISE The Cardigan is noted for being a very adaptable dog. If you want to hike and go on adventures, they are all for that. Or if you want to watch TV and eat popcorn, no problem—the Cardigan is there for you. Cardigans thrive on regular socialisation, so going for walks in the neighbourhood is important for many reasons. It provides fun for both you and the dog, as well as much-needed exercise. When your Cardigan unexpectedly starts to do “power runs” through the house and over the couch, it is his way of saying, “Hey, mom, I really need to burn off some fun—let’s go play ball!” And, yes, most Cardigans are “ball-o-holics.” Use that to your advantage. Remember to avoid jumping and stairs, which can cause back injury.

TRAINING It cannot be stressed enough that early and regular socialisation is of the utmost importance in the developing a happy, healthy Cardigan. Gently expose the pup to a wide range of people, places, and situations. This process goes on for a lifetime, but the rewards of a well-socialised dog are wonderful. Go to training classes, and let all members of the family participate. Don’t tolerate inappropriate behaviour, and don’t hesitate to seek the help of a qualified trainer or behaviourist if there’s a problem you can’t correct. A little effort early on will reward you with a dog whom you and all who meet him will love.

HEALTH The Cardigan is in general a very healthy breed, and responsible breeders will screen their stock for health conditions such as hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and degenerative myelopathy. And as with any “long and low” canine, one must be cognisant of potential back issues. Avoid letting the Cardigan jump down off the bed or couch, and stairs can also be a hazard. At the first sign of any distress or discomfort, see the vet right away. The sooner a problem is caught, the quicker the recovery.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Degenerative Myelopathy DNA Test
  • PRA Genetic Test or Clearance Via Parentage (see CWCCA website)

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