The Cardigan Welsh Corgi


The Cardigan Welsh Corgi has never had the same popularity as his cousin - the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Yet, by all accounts he was probably the earlier of the two breeds. Cardigans were brought from central Europe into Wales centuries ago but their origins are uncertain. In Cardiganshire they were used to drive cattle: nipping at the herd’s heels and ducking out of the way when an errant kick was sent in their direction.

Industrialization and changes in land ownership soon left Cardigans jobless and they came very close to elimination. They were saved only after being crossed with other larger herding dogs, creating the Cardigan as we know it today.

Until 1934 the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi were grouped together by the American Kennel Club. If not for Mrs. Robert Bole of Boston, who imported Cardigans during the 1930s, the Cardigan might simply have faded into obscurity. 

Sizing up:

  • Weight: 25 to 38 lbs.
  • Height: 10.5 to 12.5 inches
  • Coat: Medium length, double coat
  • Color: Black and tan, fawn, red, sable, black and white, and blue
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

What’s the Cardigan Welsh Corgi like?

Cardigans are built for speed, you might not think so by looking at their legs but they are agile and aerodynamic. Realize that they had to dodge cattle kicks in their native land. Cardigans are excellent at dog sports and eager to please their people. They could accompany you on bike rides, camping trips, or hiking trails. 

The Cardigan should be relatively easy to train because they’re intelligent and only want to make you happy. Use positive reinforcement and encourage Cardigans when they do something right. They’d love to play with the kids just don’t let them bite any ankles. They need to know such behavior won’t be tolerated.

Cardigans are suspicious of strangers; they’ll consider them a threat to the herd. Early socialization will be pivotal for this breed. 

Cardigans don’t want to be left outside. They need to be near the family. Failing that could result in a stressed out and miserable dog who chews digs and barks.

A well cared for and fully included Cardigan will be a loyal and devoted friend. You can trust them to always be there for you, and they’ll add untold quality to your life. It’s possible that the Cardigan will pick one member of the family with whom to associate more than the rest.


Cardigan Welsh Corgis are normally healthy but the following conditions have been known to occur:

  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Cataracts
  • Progressive retinal atrophy

Takeaway Points:

  • Cardigans are people pleasing dogs.
  • Cardigans should do well in an apartment.
  • Cardigans are fast and agile.
  • Cardigans are excellent guard dogs.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.