Welsh Corgi (Cardigan)
Reverence: the spiritual attitude of a man to a god and a dog to a man. – Ambrose Bierce
Originating in western Wales in the hill country of Cardiganshire, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is believed to have come to Wales with Nordic settlers perhaps as long ago as a thousand years. The breed was originally a general-purpose farm dog, frequently used for driving cattle. These dogs are known as “heelers”. While on the job they will nip at the heels of the cattle to keep them moving. The dog’s low slung, close to the ground body keeps him safe from kicking hoofs.
Once in Wales, the Corgi interbred with the local herding dogs, and became an efficient herder of cattle and other livestock.
Photos displayed courtesy of Shelley Camm, Yasashiikuma Perm Reg’d, Ontario
Although ‘corgi’ is Welsh for tiny dog, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi stands 12 inches (30 cm) tall at the shoulder and is a sturdy, solid dog who may weigh as much as 50 lbs. His short or medium-long coat is tough, weatherproof, and comes in all colours with or without white markings. The easiest way to tell the difference between the Cardigan and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is the tail. Cardigans have them, Pembrokes don’t.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is loyal, affectionate and good with children. He makes a good watch dog as he is alert to strangers and protective of his owner’s property. The Corgi should have room to run around and should be exercised at least twice a day. This will help protect him against a tendency to become obese and lazy!
He is intelligent and a quick learner which makes him easy to train. However, he can be stubborn particularly about housebreaking. Training should begin early to discourage a tendency to bark. This dog is a natural herder, and unless taken firmly in hand, he may try to herd other family pets or people (including children) by nipping at their heels.