Welsh Corgi Cardigan Dog Breed Information and Personality Traits

Laid back and reserved with strangers, the Cardigan Welsh corgi, also called the Cardi, is fun-loving once it opens up. Daily exercise is needed and a firm but patient hand is often needed in training.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi At a glance
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi Dog Breed

Developed as a farm dog, Cardis are low-slung on short legs so that they can nip stubborn cattle on the heels and then duck out of the way.


Weight Range:

Male: 30-38 lbs.
Female: 25-34 lbs.

Height at Withers:

Male: 10-13 in.

Female: 10-13 in.


Long back, short bowed legs, upright ears (naturally)


Exercise Requirements: 20-40 minutes/day
Energy Level: Average
Longevity Range: 10-12 yrs.
Tendency to Drool: Low Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: High
Tendency to Dig: Low Social/Attention Needs: High

Bred For:

Cattle drover


Length: Medium
Characteristics: Double coat
Colors: Red, sable, brindle, blue merle, black, with or without tan points, white flashings common
Overall Grooming Needs: Low

Club Recognition:

AKC Classification: Herding
UKC Classification: Herding-Dog
Prevalence: So-so

The Cardigan Welsh corgi is slightly larger than the Pembroke Welsh corgi, both in height and length.

The Cardi is about 12 inches in height and between 25 to 38 pounds (11 to 17 kilograms) in weight. The legs appear more bowed and the body is definitely longer (even without considering the tail).

The tail is an obvious difference between the two corgis — the Cardigan has a long, thick tail. The coats are similar — medium length to short, dense double coat with the Cardigan being a little harsher in texture. Pembroke ears are more pointed and the faces are foxier, while Cardigan ears are rounded and larger.

Cardigan Welsh corgis come in a variety of colors. The red and white so commonly seen in the Pembrokes is seen but also sable, brindle, blue merle, black and tricolor. Most of these dogs have some white such as a blaze, white legs or a white ruff, but too much white is not the standard.


While the popular Pembroke Welsh corgi may be considered a socialite, the Cardigan Welsh corgi is a bit more laid back and less outgoing. Cardigans are often a little reserved with strangers, but they are fun-loving once they open up. Alarm barking can be expected, but Cardigans are not known as nuisance barkers.

As with all the herding breeds, Cardigan Welsh corgis are intelligent, moderately high-energy dogs that like having something to do. They do well with children, other dogs, and other pets if raised with them, but beware of a tendency to occasionally herd others. Having been bred to work animals much larger than themselves, Cardis can be a little strong-willed and independent.

Living With:

Cardigan Welsh corgis are actually large dogs with short legs but tend to be easy-keepers just the same. Watch their diet and make sure they get exercise or they can become overweight, which is a real health hazard in a dog with the long back.

Cardigan Welsh corgis need daily exercise and do best if they are trained and have jobs to do, even if that is just fetching a ball. Intelligent dogs left to their own devices can become destructive. A firm but patient hand is often needed in training, and a sense of humor can be invaluable. Cardigans compete successfully in almost all performance events including herding and agility.

Cardis will guard the family and home, and many retain at least some of their ancestral herding instincts. Socialize them early and well. They are generally good with children, but they need to be taught that running children are not livestock to be rounded up by a nip on the heels. Early exposure to other dogs helps with their occasionally tough attitude.


The Cardigan Welsh corgi is the older of the two corgi breeds, which came to Wales with the Celts around 1200 BC. Some feel that the Swedish valhund (of similar build) may be in the background, since they were brought to the British Isles by the Vikings. The word corgi has multiple possible origins. Some think that it is Celtic for dog, while others think that the name comes from "cor" for dwarf or "to gather"and "gi" for dog. Certainly both derivations fit.

The Cardi, as the breed is commonly called, was developed as an all-around farm dog in Wales. These dogs are low-slung on short legs so that they can nip stubborn cattle on the heels and then duck out of the way. They also undoubtedly protected the homestead and hunted vermin when not working livestock. Cardis are equally adept at handling sheep and ducks as they are with cattle. The Cardigan and the Pembroke Welsh corgis were separated officially into different breeds in the early 1930s. AKC recognition came in 1935.

The personable Edward starring in the movie "The Accidental Tourist" is a lovely tricolor Cardigan Welsh Corgi.

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