Cardigan Welsh Corgis, which get their name from Cardiganshire, Wales, where they may have originated, are one of two breeds of herding dogs called corgis. The two breeds are distinctly different though they certainly share relationship and some similarity in appearance. Both originate from Wales and may have been related to the family of dogs that produced dachshunds. About 1000 years ago, it’s believed that Viking invasions in Wales introduced Spitz genetics to the Cardigan Corgi, and as a result, a new breed of dog developed.
The appearance of Cardigan Welsh Corgis is certainly striking. Though short, usually not taller than a foot (30.48 cm) at the shoulder, these dogs are sturdy and heavy. Males can easily weigh 30-35 lbs (13.61-15.88 kg), and females may weigh slightly less. These are heavily muscled and athletic dogs with perked up ears that make them look slightly like a fox. Colorations of this breed can vary but they usually have white chests and some white on the face, feet and tail, with other colors present like black, brown or red.
Perhaps the main distinction, or the easiest way to tell Cardigan Welsh Corgis apart from their cousin the Pembroke, is the tail. Cardigans posses them. Pembrokes, the other corgi type, have either a docked tail or virtually no tail.
Both types of corgis were herding dogs and they may continue to be used in this respect in some parts of the world. This natural affinity for a lot of activity is put to good use today in agility trials. Corgis can excel at these, and their high intelligence and fleet-footedness are exhibited well. Though heavy, these dogs have a natural grace when running.
Many note that part of the attractiveness of Cardigan Welsh Corgis is their extremely loyal behavior. They may fixate on one member of a family, though there are many families who possess these dogs and say they can be terrific with children when trained properly. They will tend to exhibit natural herding instincts when they are not properly trained or given adequate exercise daily.
Though the size of Cardigan Welsh Corgis would seem ideal for apartment living, this could actually be a disservice to the animal. Unless a pet owner can commit to regular and daily exercise of the dog, it may get bored, gain weight or misbehave. Both types of corgis are best suited to a rugged life that involves lots of running time outside.
One of the advantages of this type of dog is lifespan. Many Cardigans can easily live 12-15 years. They do have some health problems, which may emerge, including possibility of spinal troubles, hip dysplasia, degeneration of the retina, and cataracts. The breed is also prone to obesity without adequate exercise, which can shorten lifespan. To help minimize chances of encountering these problems, people wanting to acquire Cardigan Welsh Corgis should purchase or adopt them only from a reputable breeder, and not from a backyard breeder or puppy mill.