Breed Profile: Cardigan Welsh Corgi

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a long, stocky dog with a fox-like appearance. Its history dates back to the 1200s. Read more in our breed profile.


Cardigan Welsh Corgi


Herding Group

Physical Description

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a long, stocky little dog. It is fox-like in appearance with a long, low-to-the-ground tail. The cardigan can be any color as long as it is not predominantly white.


Its ears are larger and wider-set than those of its cousin, the Pembroke Corgi. The eyes are often brown, but blue eyes are not uncommon.


An old breed, this dog has a history that dates back to the 1200s. It was brought from Central Europe to Cardiganshire, Wales.

Cardigan Welsh Corgis made a name for themselves as cattle herding dogs and became invaluable during a time when all the land was owned by the Crown — but the more land a farmer used, the better off were his cattle. Thus, a dog that could drive cattle far and wide became an essential part of economic success, and corgis became a household dog.

They come from the same line that produced the Dachshund. Interestingly enough, in recent years, breeders have been experimenting with crossing Dachshunds and corgis to create the “dorgi.”

Until 1934, the Pembroke and the Cardigan were thought of as the same breed, despite having different origins. As a result, the two were interbred and now have more in common than not.

Fun Fact: The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is often referred to as Yard dog. Not because it likes to hang out in the yard, but because from the tip of its tail to the tip of its nose is the same length as a Welsh yard — just a little longer than the English yard. The length of its body is 1.8 times the length of its tail.


This dog responds well to training exercises. It is alert and intelligent with a very high level of agility — most likely from being bred to herd cattle. A slow dog would not be able to avoid potentially deadly kicks from cattle.


The Cardigan is an excellent family dog, adapting well to either country or city life, although it has been known to herd the family children! For some busy parents, this could be seen as a plus.

Exercise Needs

Ideally, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi will have a regular opportunity to use its herding instincts. However, an hour of exercise a day in a yard, dog run or other open space will be enough to satisfy this dog.

Sometimes an individual dog of this breed will need more than just exercise. Be prepared to meet your dog’s needs in this area. Dogs who are bored can be destructive to the home. Corgis were bred to be working dogs, and yours might need work. If you don’t live on a farm, canine agility training can serve the same purpose as farm work.

You can find agility clubs in most cities and if your dog really takes to them, there are plenty of competitions, both local and national. Corgis, both Pembroke and Cardigan, are often in the top ranks of successful agility dogs.

Grooming Requirements

TheCardigan Welsh Corgi should be brushed at least once per week. This dog has a thick coat and will shed if not groomed regularly.

Common Health Problems

The primary health concerns of a corgi are genetic in nature, so choose a responsible breeder. Problems can include hip dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy and progressive retinal atrophy. Having genetic defects is not unique to corgis — all purebred dogs will have some issues they can inherit.

Is the Cardigan Welsh Corgi the Right Dog for You?

These dogs are good companion dogs for a single person who has time to play with them, or for families. They are social dogs who require moderate amounts of exercise and adapt well to all sorts of living conditions. They do have a thick coat, so a tropical or desert environment may not be best for them.

Adopt, Don’t Buy

Those interested in adopting a Cardigan Welsh Corgi can contact the Cardigan Welsh Corgi National Rescue Trust, or do a search on Petful’s adoptable pets feature.


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