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Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Pet Road Tests > Dogs

Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Breed: Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Temperament: active, friendly, loyal
Lifespan: about 12 years
Recommended for: families
Maintenance: medium
Dumpage rate: medium


Corgis are low set, sturdily built, medium-sized dogs with short legs. Standing around 27 to 32 cm (10.5 -12.5") in height and weighing between 11 to 17 kg (25-38lb), the Cardigan Welsh Corgi has a long body in relation to height. The Cardigan is distinguishable from the Pembroke Welsh Corgi by its long, fox-like brush tail. The Cardigan's ears are also larger and more widely spaced, and the feet tend to have a more rounded appearance. Colours are red, sable, red-brindle, black-brindle, black, tricolour, or blue merle. The coat often has white flashings on the chest, neck, face, feet or tail.


Owners say Cardigans are loyal, even tempered and have a friendly nature. They are affectionate and good with children but can be suspicious of strangers. They are quite active and make excellent companions, rather than lap dogs. Although both breeds of Corgi have lots of energy, breeders claim the Cardigan is more reserved than the excitable Pembroke. Corgis fit into a household well and are good watch dogs.

Health and lifespan

Corgis are generally hardy and healthy dogs. They can suffer from eye diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy and glaucoma so make sure you have your dog thoroughly checked by a veterinarian soon after purchase. Choose a compact animal if possible, as longer dogs can be prone to slipped discs in the middle of the back (for this reason, Corgis would not suit a house with a lot of stairs). Back problems can occur in older dogs, particularly if they are overweight and poorly exercised. Corgis have an average lifespan of 10 to 13 years.


Corgis generally have few whelping problems, although smaller bitches may need caesareans. The average litter would be 6 to 8 pups (although there have been litters of up to 11 pups).


The breeders we spoke to say their Corgis require about 50 - 100 grams of meat (eg mince) plus fresh vegetables (eg cooked cabbage) per day. They can also be fed on a good quality dried food.

Housepet potential

Corgis make excellent house dogs and are said to be at home in either an apartment or on acreage.

Space and exercise

As Corgis were originally working dogs, they need a yard in which to run around. They also need regular exercise (particularly if they are kept in a smaller yard) of about 30 minutes per day.

Ideal owner

The ideal owner for a corgi is a family, although they make excellent companions for older, retired people who are still active. They are good with children.


The coat is easy to care for but needs occasional brushing to remove dead hair and dirt. As they have a short coat, about five minutes of brushing per day or one hour per week is all that is necessary. Corgis drop their hair twice per year in spring and autumn so might need a little more grooming at these times to prevent hair dropping all over the house. They also need their nails trimmed about once per month.


The Corgi is traditionally a droving dog, its short legs enabling it to dodge in between the legs of the cattle and drive them on. Corgis are intelligent, and as they are working dogs they are often participate in obedience trials. They enjoy learning and performing tricks and are useful watchdogs without being yappy or aggressive.


The Welsh Cardigan Corgi does not seem to be as popular as the Welsh Pembroke Corgi, probably due in part to the international fame given to the Pembroke by the Royal Family.


Corgis are easy to train and mature early, becoming well mannered and amenable. As a working dog they have been bred to work with people and are quick, alert and very responsive. They can also be used for tracking.


The Corgi is said be a descendant of dogs which were brought over to Wales from Holland by Flemish weavers who settled in west Wales. The Cardigan Corgi stems from the Welsh region of Cardiganshire. It is claimed that up until the 1850s, the Corgi was the only dog of any kind to be kept in some Welsh communities. Originally bred together with the Welsh Pembroke Corgi, the Cardigan Corgi is similar in looks but the two are today considered to be separate breeds.

National contacts

To find up-to-date contacts for breeders, contact the following organisations.
The Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC)

Dogs NSW
Phone: 1300 728 022 (NSW only) or (02) 9834 3022
Fax: (02) 9834 3872

Dogs Victoria
Phone: (03) 9788 2500
Fax: (03) 9788 2599

Dogs ACT
Phone: (02) 6241 4404 - Fax: (02) 6241 1129.

Dogs West
Phone: (08) 9455 1188
Fax: (08) 9455 1190

Dogs SA
Phone: (08) 8349 4797

Canine Control Council of Queensland
Phone: (07) 3252 2661
Fax: (07) 3252 3864

Tasmanian Canine Association
Phone: (03) 6272 9443
Fax: (03) 6273 0844

Dogs NT
Phone: (08) 8984 3570
Fax: (08) 8984 3409
The Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC)

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