The Cardigan Welsh corgi // is one of two separate dog breeds known as Welsh corgis that originated in Wales, the other being the Pembroke Welsh corgi. It is one of the oldest herding breeds.
Cardigan Welsh corgis can be extremely loyal family dogs. They are able to live in a variety of settings, from apartments to farms. For their size, however, they need a surprising amount of daily physical and mental stimulation. Cardigans are a very versatile breed and a wonderful family companion.
Pembrokes and Cardigans first appeared together in dog shows in 1925 when they were shown under the rules of The Kennel Club in Britain. The Corgi Club was founded in December, 1925 in Carmarthen in South Wales. It is reported that the local members favored the Pembroke breed, so a club for Cardigan enthusiasts was founded a year later (1926). Both groups have worked hard to ensure the appearance and type of breed are standardized through careful selective breeding. Pembrokes and Cardigans were officially recognized by the Kennel Club in 1928 and were lumped together under the heading Welsh Corgis. In 1934, the two breeds were recognized individually and shown separately.
Cardigans are said to originate from the Teckel family of dogs, which also produced Dachshunds. They are among the oldest of all herding breeds, believed to have been in existence in Wales for over 3,000 years.
There is an old folktale that says that Queen Victoria was traveling down a country road one day until her carriage came up on a fallen tree branch. While wondering how she would get across, a fairy came out of nowhere and, in order to assist the queen, produced two corgis out of thin air. One was the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the other the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. The two Corgis moved the tree for the queen, and they say that is why the breed is currently prized by the Queen of England.
Another old folktale features a Cardigan Welsh Corgi battling an ancient dragon.
Cardigans have never had the same popularity as Pembrokes, probably due to the influence of the Royal family. However they have found their own place in many parts of the world. Cardigan Welsh corgis can compete in dog sports also known as dog agility trials, obedience, showmanship, flyball, tracking, and herding events.
The phrase "cor gi" is sometimes translated as "dwarf dog" in Welsh. The breed was often called "yard-long dogs" in older times. Today's name comes from their area of origin: Ceredigion in Wales.
Originally used only as a farm guardian, they eventually took on the traits of a cattle drover, herder, and many more. They are still highly valued for their herding, working, and guarding skills, as well as their companionship.
UK Kennel Club survey puts the average life span of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi at 11.7 years. The most common causes of death for the breed were cancer (28.3%), old age (24.6%), and neurological disorders (15.2%).