menu icon

Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Home »  Dog Breeds »  Cardigan Welsh Corgi

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a medium sized purebred talented in several areas including herding, guarding, tracking and agility. There are two Welsh Corgis, this one and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, the Cardigan is the older of the two. It is a versatile and loyal dog, one of the oldest herding dog breeds around today also once referred to as a yard long dog because of its length.

Here is the Cardigan Welsh Corgi at a Glance
Name Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Other Names Welsh Corgi
Nicknames Cardigan, CWC and Cardi
Origin UK - Wales
Average size Medium
Average weight 25 to 38 pounds
Average height 11 to 13 inches
Life span 10 to 12 years
Coat type Dense, thick, medium, water-repellent, silky
Hypoallergenic No
Color Grey, black, tan, red, blue, brindle
Popularity Somewhat popular – ranked 76th by the AKC
Intelligence Very good to excellent
Tolerance to heat Good – can handle some warm to hot weather but nothing very hot or extreme
Tolerance to cold Very good – Better in cold weather than hot but not extreme cold
Shedding Constant shedding and seasonal
Drooling Low – not a breed prone to drool or slobber
Obesity Quite highly prone to obesity monitor its food and exercise
Grooming/brushing Daily brushing to reduce loose hair around the home
Barking Frequent – will need training to control it
Exercise needs Somewhat active – doesn't need a lot of exercise but enough to stay healthy
Trainability Somewhat easy to train though it is strong willed
Friendliness Very good – social and happy dog
Good first dog Very good – but be prepared it does have a mind of its own
Good family pet Excellent with socialization
Good with children Very good with socialization
Good with other dogs Good but needs socialization
Good with other pets Good but needs socialization as has high prey drive
Good with strangers Good but needs socialization
Good apartment dog Very good due to size but is vocal and that could be a problem with neighbors
Handles alone time well Good – can handle being left alone for short to moderate periods
Health issues A healthy breed but some health issues include back problems and eye problems
Medical expenses $460 a year for basic health care and pet insurance
Food expenses $150 a year for a good quality dry dog food and treats
Miscellaneous expenses $215 a year for toys, miscellaneous items, license and basic training
Average annual expense $825 a year as a starting figure
Cost to purchase $1000
Biting Statistics None reported

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi's Beginnings

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi comes from Wales and is thought to have been around for about 3000 years. Celtic tribes are believed to have brought the ancestors of the Corgis with them from Europe. Both Welsh Corgis were considered the same breed but of different sizes for many years and were interbred. In fact it was not until 1934 that they were divided into two breeds.

Corgis were bred to be working dogs as well as companions, they were used to drive cattle (its low size meant it could roll out of the way of cattle kicking at it) and it was also used to hunt vermin and to guard the farms. The name comes from the area of Wales they are from, Ceredigion. They were so valued and became so central to how farmers worked that laws were passed that made the punishment for stealing and harming Corgis very severe.

There is a Welsh fairy tale that says the fairies used the Corgi dog as mounts to ride in the wild hunt. The dog was discovered by a few lucky humans, or was a gift for two farm children from the fairies and so became a beloved companion and hard working dog on farms across Wales. Corgi comes from Welsh for dwarf dog. This dog is also related to the Basset Hound and the Dachshund.

New Lease on Life

It was 1925 when the two Corgis first appeared in a dog show together and that same year The Corgi Club was started. Because members seemed more drawn to the Pembroke Corgi, a new club for Cardigan fans was formed in 1926. In 1928 both were recognized together by the Kennel Club. In 1934 though they were separated and recognized as individual breeds.

In 1931 the first pair of Cardigans were brought to America by Mrs B Pole. In 1935 the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America was started and the breed was recognized by the AKC who also recognized the Pembroke and Cardigan as separate breeds. Due to the clubs work to avoid having the Cardigan over commercialized this breed is not as well known as the Pembroke Corgi. It is ranked 76th most popular recognized purebred by the AKC.

The Dog You See Today

The Cardigan is a medium sized dog weighing 25 to 38 pounds and standing 11 to 13 inches tall. It has a double coat that is dense, thick, harsh and water-repellent. Around the neck, the back of the legs and beneath the tail the fur is a bit longer. Occasionally some Cardigans are born with longer coats all over. Common colors are tan, brindle, red, black, blue and grey. It also often has white markings. A lot of Cardigans have a saddle marking on their backs, which is called a fairy saddle from the story of fairies riding them as mounts.

It is a low to the ground and long bodied dog. They may look like they are longer than regular dogs but in fact they are not, it is just that being short makes then look longer. It has a low set, long fox brush tail and a deep chest. In countries where it is still allowed the dewclaws are removed. Its feet are large and round. Its head is flat on top and broad, it has eyes that are set wide apart and are medium to large, oval and come in various brown colors or blue. It has a black nose and black eye rims. The ears are large and erect and round at the tips.


There are some clear differences between how the Cardigan Corgi appears and how the Pembroke appears. Often in countries where it is still allowed the Pembroke's tail is cropped or bobbed. The Pembroke has straighter legs, is usually not quite as long and has a head that is more wedge shaped. It also has smaller ears and is usually lighter. Cardigans are usually heavier and larger than the Pembroke Corgi.

The Inner Cardigan Welsh Corgi


The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a very spirited, loyal, smart and affectionate dog. It is also alert and can be a great watchdog who will bark to let you know if there is an intruder. It is also protective and brave so will act to defend you and its home. It is somewhat willful or stubborn sometimes, but generally is still a good dog for new owners.

It has a gentle nature, it is dependable and steady and is often eager to please. It is a reliable breed but while it is loving and dedicated to its owners it tends to be more wary of strangers. It likes to be a part of family activities. Some Cardigans bond more closely with one owner. Socialization is important. Be warned it still has strong herding instincts and will likely try to nip at people's heels to herd them, this is something you will have to teach them not to do.

It does tend to bark a lot so that will need to be trained for control. It is more territorial and less social than the Pembroke Corgi is. It is very important because it is prone to back problems that owners be prepared for what that means. Don't let it jump off furniture, make sure both ends are supported if you pick it up.

Living with a Cardigan Welsh Corgi

What will training look like?

This dog is mostly easy to train as it is intelligent, eager to please and inclined to listen most of the time. It does have its moments of stubbornness though that may need to be overcome. It often is attentive and can even sometimes need less repetition than many other dogs making things a bit quicker. It is important though that as its owner and trainer you are very firm, in control and consistent. Set the rules and always stick to them, or it will make its own decisions! Offer it praise, use treats, reward its successes and encourage it.

It is really important that along with at the minimum basic obedience training and house training you also ensure it starts socialization as early as possible. Dogs that are well socialized are happier, more confident and a lot easier to live with and take out.

How active is the Cardigan Welsh Corgi?

In general the Cardigan is somewhat active though some have dogs that are more so. It is certainly more active in most cases than the Pembroke Corgi. It can live fine in an apartment in terms of size as long as it gets out each day for a good long walk or a couple of moderate ones, and has opportunities to play. If given enough physical and mental stimulation it is quite a calm dog inside. It can live without a yard but it is nice to have one if possible. It would enjoy getting off leash and running at a dog park where it can also socialize.


Caring for the Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Grooming needs

This is a heavy shedding dog, it sheds all the time and then also has seasonal shedding that is even heavier. This means it needs to be brushed daily using a firm bristled brush and comb if you want to stay on top of some of that hair. There will be loose hair in the home and on clothing and you will need to vacuum daily too probably. Only bathe when it needs one though to avoid drying out its skin.

You should take good care of its teeth by brushing them at least two to three times a week. This will prevent tooth decay and gum disease as well as help with bad breath. Its nails need to be trimmed when they get too long, and that should be done with care as cutting too low can hurt the dog and cause bleeding. Have a groomer do it for you if you are not familiar with dog nails. Also check its ears once a week for signs of infection then give them a wipe clean. Use an ear cleanser and make sure you do not insert anything into the ears.

Feeding Time

It is estimated that a dog of medium size will need about 1 to 2 cups of a good quality dry dog food a day, split into two meals. How much it needs exactly will vary from one dog to another, depending on its metabolism, activity level, age, health and size. Take care with your Corgi as it does like to eat and will easily gain weight if allowed to. This is especially bad for a Corgi because it adds to its back problems.

How is the Cardigan Welsh Corgi with children and other animals?

The Cardi is very good with children, it is happy to play, can be energetic and is gentle and affectionate too. Keep in mind though that its herding instincts can mean sometimes it nips at their ankles to try and herd them. Also make sure the children are taught how to touch and play with them nicely but also not to sit on them or put pressure on their backs. As good as the Corgi is with children it could be a good idea to have it with older children who are less likely to injure it. Always supervise young children.

With other pets it is friendly with socialization and if raised with them. But it can see strange animals as prey to chase. With dogs it does not know it may feel the need to display its dominance if it has not been well socialized and trained. Again its instincts to nip at heels can occur with other pets in the home which training will need to address.

What Might Go Wrong?

Health Concerns

The Cardigan has a life span of about 10 to 12 years. It is a fairly healthy dog breed but there are a few issues that can be a problem. It is prone to gaining weight if its food and exercise are not monitored and that can lead to back problems. The back is prone to injury too so care needs to be taken with its jumping, picking it up and play time. Other common health problems are eye problems and Intervertebral Disk Disease.

Biting Statistics

When looking at reports of dog attacks against people causing bodily harm, over the last 34 years in Canada and the US the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is not mentioned. This does not mean it cannot snap or become aggressive but that with socialization and training this breed is not as likely, and does not do as much harm if it does snap.


Your Pup’s Price Tag

A Cardigan puppy is going to cost about $1000 for a good quality pet from a decent breeder. For something of top quality from a show breeder this is going to cost you a few thousand. If you manage to find one in a shelter or rescue and are happy to offer it a new home this will be cheaper at $50 to $400 but it is likely to be an adult not a puppy. The other options are to buy from advertisements, backyard breeders, pet stores and puppy mills. These are ones to avoid for many good ethical reasons.

Once you have found a puppy you are happy with you need to make sure you have certain things at home like a carrier, crate, leash, collar, bowls and such. These initial costs for items you need come to about $200. Medical needs like shots, a check up, deworming, spaying or neutering, micro chipping and blood tests will be another $300.

There are also medical, food and miscellaneous costs to cover. A good quality dry dog food plus treats is going to be at least $150 a year. Medical basics like pet insurance, check ups, tick and flea prevention and shots are another $460 a year. Miscellaneous items, basic training, license and toys are going to be at least another $215 a year. This gives an annual estimated cost that starts at $825.


Looking for a Cardigan Welsh Corgi Puppy Name? Let select one from our list!

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a spirited dog and needs a certain amount of mental and physical stimulation. It is heavy shedding too so this is not the dog for you if allergies are a concern or if you do not want hair everywhere and the need to brush and vacuum often. It can be strong willed so needs an owner ready to be firm and one who makes sure it is well trained and socialized. Watch the heel nipping though and also more care needs to taken with its back.

More to Explore

Dog Owner Reviews