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Cardigan Welsh Corgi Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Facts, Traits & History

Written by: Chris Dinesen Rogers

Last Updated on May 19, 2024 by Dogster Team

Cardigan Welsh Corgi in Road

Cardigan Welsh Corgi Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Facts, Traits & History

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi’s history goes back thousands of years. It is an ancient breed that originated in Wales. According to the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America, the Celts brought the dog from Central Europe. It is related to the German Teckel or Dachshund. You might have also heard of their cousin, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

Breed Overview


10.5–12.5 inches


25–38 pounds


12–15 years


White merle, blue merle, black, brindle, sable, red, liver, gray

Suitable for:

Active families looking for a loyal and playful watchdog


Loyal, intelligent, affectionate

This dog’s original job was as a herder. However, genetic research has placed the Cardigan Welsh Corgi in the herding dogs and sighthounds cluster. Undoubtedly, the skills of the former came in handy when the Corgi fended off predators trying to attack their herds. More interestingly, the breed’s short stature is the result of a wolf gene that made a reappearance sometime in the animal’s evolution.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Cardigan Welsh Corgi Puppies

cardigan welsh corgi puppy
Image by: Liliya Kulianionak, Shutterstock

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi isn’t as popular as their cousin, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Nevertheless, this intelligent and endearing pup is worth the effort to find. The differences between the two breeds stem from the environment in which they worked. The former herded livestock in rough terrain, and they are stockier with a small tail versus the tailless Pembroke.

Understanding your financial commitment to owning a dog is imperative. Your first year will likely be the most expensive since you must get supplies for your new pet. Average annual costs run about $1,200.1 However, this can vary from dog to dog. Regardless, if you’re going to buy one of these dogs, ensure you purchase from a reputable breeder and get a health guarantee.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi 🧠

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a highly intelligent animal. The breed’s original work demands a dog that can act independently and that knows their job well. Early training and socialization are imperative to direct the dog’s intelligence toward appropriate behavior. This pooch is eager to please and makes a delightful pet for families willing to do their part.

This breed has a tendency to bark, which isn’t unusual given their history and size. Herding livestock bigger than them encouraged this behavior, after all. These dogs also have a high prey drive, which comes from chasing off predators. Awareness of these traits can help with training and cultivating good canine manners.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a gentle pet with children. It’s almost as if they understand them. You may even find your pet trying to herd the kids, but we strongly urge you to train them not to do this. Also, teach your children not to try to pick up your dog, as their stature makes them vulnerable to back injuries.

This dog has watchdog qualities and may be protective over household members and less open to strangers. That makes early socialization critical. You should introduce your Corgi to new people and experiences while young. This training will ensure your pet stays adaptable and doesn’t become fearful.

welsh corgi cardigan dog and his owner
Image by: Krichevtseva, Shutterstock

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Perhaps you’ve read between the lines in our earlier discussion to know the answer to the above question. This dog will likely chase a cat or another pet fleeing the scene. It’s instinctive behavior for this breed. However, introducing your puppy to other household members early can reduce the chances of conflict. Nevertheless, we recommend supervising any contact between your Corgi and other animals.

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Things to Know When Owning a Cardigan Welsh Corgi

We’ve touched on one of the most critical aspects of owning a Corgi: back issues. Caution is necessary if you allow your dog to jump up on furniture or if you have multiple levels in your home reached by stairs. This pup is an excellent choice if you are new to pet ownership. However, you must take your role seriously and provide them with all the basic necessities, as seen below.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Offering your Corgi a diet appropriate for their weight and life stage is essential for optimal growth and development. This dog’s size makes them a medium-sized breed. You should feed a puppy three or four times daily, as it will help fuel this breed’s moderate energy levels. We don’t recommend free-feeding your pet, though. It’s difficult to monitor your Corgi’s eating, so it’s better to have set mealtimes.

Once your dog reaches sexual maturity, you can reduce the meals to twice daily. Ensure your pet has fresh water every day. Treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s total caloric intake. It’s not that they’re bad; they’re simply not nutritionally complete like their regular diet. We suggest reserving them as training aids to optimize their use.

Hungry Welsh corgi Pembroke eats from ceramic bowl standing on fleecy carpet
Image by: Masarik, Shutterstock

Exercise 🐕

Corgis are moderately active, making them prone to weight gain. Therefore, you exercise your pet daily, shooting for an hour of activity. A rousing game of fetch can make up some of this time. This pup is playful, so reaching this target should be easy. Walks in the neighborhood provide excellent socialization opportunities and introduce your dog to novel experiences as well.

Training 🎾

This dog’s high intelligence gives you an edge with training. It helps that this breed is eager to please. This Corgi is moderately sensitive, so you should focus on positive reinforcement instead of punishment. Don’t forget to lavish on the praise for a job well done. We also suggest challenging your pet with interactive games to satisfy their need for mental stimulation.

Corgis aren’t as sensitive to being alone as other breeds. Nevertheless, they do best in active households to keep their attention. Remember that a bored pet is a destructive one.

black and white cardigan welsh corgi dog running agility course
Image Credit: Lisjatina, Shutterstock

Grooming ✂️

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi has a thick double coat. We recommend weekly brushings. Make sure to look for mats and signs of external parasites. You should also check your pet’s nails and trim them and the hair around their paws occasionally. This breed sheds, but brushing can keep it under control.

Health and Conditions 🏥

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a healthy breed, but The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) recommends health screenings for hip dysplasia, an ACVO eye exam, and a PRA-rod cone dysplasia 3 DNA test. Reputable breeders will register the results with the OFA so that they can verify them.

Merle dogs may have a higher propensity for health problems, particularly if two pups with this trait are bred. Responsible sellers won’t engage in this practice of producing double-merle Corgis. This situation can increase the offspring’s chances of several hereditary and congenital conditions, including deafness and blindness. We suggest asking the breeder about a DNA test for this gene.

Minor Conditions
  • Ear infections
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Back issues

Male vs. Female

A male Cardigan Welsh Corgi is heftier than female dogs. However, it’s a moot point, given the animal’s size. Either sex will make a delightful pet. Diligent training and socialization are essential. It’s worth noting that some breeders may require buyers to neuter or spay their pups. Others only sell animals with the procedure already done.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Cardigan Welsh Corgi

1. The Two Corgi Breeds Were Once Considered a Single One

We’re fortunate to have the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. The American Kennel Club (AKC) considered the Pembroke and Cardigan to be one breed. Interbreeding was permitted for a while. It wasn’t until 1934 that each dog received their own status.

2. The Corgi Is Appropriately Named

The word “Corgi” comes from the Welsh words “cor” and “ci,” which means “dwarf dog.”

3. Being Short Comes in Handy for the Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Being short would seem to be a disadvantage. However, the Corgi’s size is an asset when it comes to being kicked. Cattle may lash out as the heel-nipping herding method this pup uses to control the livestock. A Corgi can avoid getting struck and incurring a cow’s wrath.

Blue Merle Cardigan Welsh Corgi Dog Playing In Green Summer Grass
Image Credit: Grisha Bruev, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

The history of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is just as fascinating as the dog. This ancient breed is a survivor, staying in the public eye despite losing its historic job as a herding animal. These pups have retained the traits that made them successful in the field: loyalty, hardiness, and a big bark. It’s easy to see why many enthusiasts have fallen in love with this little charmer.

Featured Image Credit: Serova_Ekaterina, Shutterstock

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