There are two completely different
breeds of Welsh Corgi - the Cardigan and the Pembroke. The average
person is understandably confused with the two breeds. Both have
distinct and different backgrounds. They do not have the same ancestors,
nor do they have the same history. Confusion probably lies in the
name "Corgi" which merely means dwarf dog.
Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire
are two neighbouring counties in Wales and these two breeds are
the only cattle dogs to come out of Wales. Both have a special place
in the pastoral economy of the Welsh Counties where every farm had
a Corgi occupying the role of house dog, watch dog, herder or driver
of cattle to and from pasture or market.
The Pembroke Corgi tended to have
a higher and shorter body than the Cardigan, straight light-boned
forelegs, straight sided tipped ears, perky restless easily excited
disposition and finely textured coat compared to the Cardigan's
"double" weatherproof coat, spooned ears, low build, heavy bone
and long muscular body ending with a fox brush tail. Over time the
Pembroke has grown lower to the ground, more stocky and stronger
headed and the Cardigan has become more refined in appearance, and
lost something of its former size and weight while acquiring erect
ears and the two breeds have tended to assume a striking degree
of similarity in appearance, though not to the same extent in character.
It is believed that the Cardigan
Welsh Corgi is the original Welsh herding dog probably having been
brought to the British Isles from Central Europe between 3,000 and
4,000 years ago by Neolithic Man and is of the Teckel canine family.
It is likely that either the Vikings or the Flemish weavers, who
settled in south west Wales in 1107, brought to the British Isles
the Pembroke Welsh Corgi which is of the Spitz family and exhibits
little or nothing of the Teckel characteristics.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi had to
be tough, strong, courageous and tenacious as well as agile to be
capable of endurance and of bursts of speed and by instinct, selection
and training he is a heeler of cattle and the dog being low of stature,
is able to duck under the kicks aimed at it. The required strength
and agility necessitates a medium sized strong well proportioned
dog, long in relation to height (traditionally a yard long from
nose to tip of tail), deep in body and strong in back and hindquarters
but in no sense course. With its full bushy tail the Cardigan resembles
a fox in outline though of heavier build.
Regardless of breed history it
is generally agreed that the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a very old
breed of dog which makes an outstanding farm worker, house pet,
apartment companion, child's playmate and friend and show-off in
the show ring. And doubtless all will agree that there is nothing
so beautiful as a Cardigan in full run in the field or yard, turning
and twisting at lightning speed and returning to stand at his starting
place as though he had never moved. This mighty little dog with
a big heart and a tremendous devotion to his family is really being
noticed today in both the breed and obedience rings.
The Corgi of either variety has
a strong desire to please his master whether by performing in the
show ring, as a cattle herder or as a household pet. They are truly
noted for their wit, their humor and their devotion to those who
love them. The Corgi is a little dog with a mighty character. Welsh
people can be proud of the two breeds of Corgi they have produced.
From Wales they have spread around the world finding a home wherever
a sturdy, reliable, intelligent dog is appreciated. Corgis give
the impression that their most important (and difficult) job in
life is looking after their rather scatter-brained owners. May they
never be disillusioned!
males drop coat once a year and female twice. During these times
extra brushing is needed other wise their medium length coat only
requires a brush once a week and a wash when needed.
they love to run around and play with you, regular walking is also
needed to keep them fit and happy.
This breed can be prone to back problems due to their short legs
and long backs.
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