About Welsh Corgis
Types of Corgis
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Cardigan Welsh Corgi
The Welsh Corgi is a small type of herding dog that originated in Wales. Two distinct breeds are recognized: the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, each being named for the specific county where it originated.
Pembrokes are somewhat smaller in stature and have pointy ears. Coat color can be red, sable or fawn, typically with white markings, or tri-color. As opposed to the Cardigan, Pembroke tails are short, which can be accomplished through breeding or docking.
Cardigans are the larger of the two breeds, with large rounded ears and a foxy, flowing tail. Their coats are a bit rougher, and can come in a variety of colors, including red, sable, fawn, brindle, black and brindle, blue merle, or black and tan. There are often white markings on the legs, chest, neck and parts of the muzzle.
The general appearance of a Corgi is low set, sturdy, and of strong stature. His expression shows intelligence and interest in his surroundings. Proportions are moderately long and low.
The Cardigan stands about 12 inches at the shoulder and weighs about 30 pounds. Pembrokes stand from 10 to 12 inches and weigh approximately 28 pounds. We do see quite a variance in our rescue dogs, both to the larger and smaller side of the standard.
Head should be foxy in shape and appearance. Eyes are oval, medium in size. Variation in eye color can be from light to dark brown. Ears are erect, firm and larger in size.
- big dog in a little package
- outgoing, friendly, loyal
- great family dog; good with kids
- intelligent, highly trainable
- active and curious; can be
mischievous and destructive
without proper stimulation
- love to be around their humans
and participate in daily activities
- undesirable herding instincts
must be controlled with training
A Welsh Corgi is often called "a big dog in a little package, " and oh how accurate that description can be.
Corgis are by nature outgoing, friendly, curious and sometimes courageous to the point of courting danger. They make excellent companion dogs, and their gentle and easy-to-care-for personality make them a perfect pet for folks of almost any age. Loyal, alert, fun-loving, even-tempered and confident, Corgis have all the qualities of a good family dog. Their tough, sturdy build can take on lots of child's play. The Corgis' alertness and protective instincts also make them fine guardians of the home.
Corgis are highly intelligent and generally able and willing to please their owners, making them excellent show and obedience dogs. From a very early age, the Corgis' intense curiosity expresses itself, and this trait quickly becomes a valuable asset as it develops their hunger to learn and please. They are reliable, dedicated and loving, but can be wary of strangers. Corgis typically socialize well, especially when exposed to other dogs at an early age.
Extremely active and devoted little dogs, Corgis are remarkably "adaptable" and seem to do as well with apartment living as they do out on the farm. However, a bored Corgi can be a most mischievous and destructive corgi, so daily moderate mental and physical excercise is a must. They do well to have little jobs or learn tricks to help their minds stay active. A structured routine in the home and a solid set of rules will bring the most success.
Corgis are generally a happy-go-lucky breed that enjoys doing anything that includes their humans. There are times however that the corgi may not have had good socialization, exposure to other dogs or children, and received no training. This dog will often present more of a challenge but they generally come around just fine with love, patience, training and rules. Many adore watching TV in their human's lap, assisting with garden work, riding in the car and going for long walks. Many are up for a game of ball or Frisbee at any given time.
Remember that Corgis are herding dogs and have been bred to be bold and hard-working. They sometimes attempt to herd people by nipping at their heels, and should be taught not to do this.
Corgis are generally robust and healthy dogs with an average life span of about 14 years.
Cardigans tend to be a little hardier and have fewer documented hereditary health problems; among them are canine hip dysplasia, canine degenerative myelopathy and progressive retinal atrophy.
Most health problems seen in Corgis are directly related to obesity. They gain weight very easily, so one must be very vigilant to closely monitor their food intake and not overfeed. The extra weight can cause problems in their joints, back, respiratory system, skin and energy levels.
Other health problems can occur but most are not specific to the Corgi breed.
"Do Corgis shed?"
“Yes, twice a year. From January to June and then from June to December.”
In a nutshell, YES. Corgis do shed. End of story.
Being double-coated, some shed copious amounts of undercoat twice a year; others shed at a slow steady rate all year long. Generally they shed some daily. Frequent grooming and a good diet help keep this to a minimum. Frequent bathing is not necessary if groomed 2 to 3 times weekly. Please do not shave your corgi. This takes away the coat's natural defenses of protection from the sun.
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
The name of the breed is as difficult to nail down as is its origin. One school combines the Welsh word "cor" which means "to watch over or gather" with "gi," a form of the Welsh word for dog. Another ascribes the word corgi as the Celtic word for dog and that the Norman invaders thereafter referred to any local dog as a "cur" or mongrel. Finally, legend pops up again with the interpretation that the word "cor" means "dwarf." Combine that with the Welsh form for dog "gi" and you have "dog of the dwarfs" or "dwarf dog."
TWO DISTINCT BREEDS
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is older than the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, with the Pembroke being bred out of the Cardigan. Both Corgi varieties may be a descendant of the Keeshond, Pomeranian, Schipperkes and the Swedish Vallhund.
For years the two breeds, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, were shown as two varieties of a single breed. Since the two Corgi breeds developed in the Welsh hill country, likely in areas only a few miles apart, there is evidence of crossbreeding between the two that accounts for the similarities.
This changed in 1934 when a show judge thought they were too different and separated them into two different breeds. The Pembroke was actually recognized by the AKC a year before the Cardigan. The Cardigan was recognized in 1935 and the Pembroke in 1934. After they were separated the Pembroke gained in popularity and is to this day more popular than the Cardigan.
BRED TO HERD
Corgis of both varieties are herding dogs and forever associated with Welsh farmers who used them to drive their livestock. They perform their duties by barking and nipping at the heels; the dog's low stature allows it to avoid being kicked in the process.
As herding dogs, Corgis work livestock differently than other breeds. Instead of gathering the cattle the way a Collie would, by running around the livestock, Corgis drive the herd forward by nipping at their heels and working them from behind in semicircles. Seldom giving ground, if an animal should turn and charge, the Corgi will bite its nose, causing it to turn and rejoin the herd. Although they specialize in herding cattle, Corgis are also used to herd sheep and Welsh ponies. They are also one of the few breeds able to herd geese.
An old Welsh legend calls the Corgi an enchanted dog. They say that fairies and elves in Wales use Corgis to pull their coaches, work fairy cattle, and serve as steeds for fairy warriors.
There is also a folk legend that says Corgis were a gift from the woodland fairies, and that the breed's markings were left on its coat by fairy harnesses and saddles. What's commonly called the "fairy saddle" today is recognized by changes in the thickness, length and direction of hair growth over the shoulders. Corgis also often have a distinct marking, a white stripe that runs from the nose through the eyes and up into the forehead. This marking is referred to as their blaze.
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