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Breed of the Month: Cardigan Welsh Corgi

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It is believed that a dog resembling the Cardigan came to the part of Wales (now known as Cardiganshire) when the Celts migrated there around 1000 BCE. The derivation of the name Corgi is attributed to the Celtic word for “dog” (corgi). These dogs were used to work cattle, and because of their size could nip at the livestock’s heels while avoiding being kicked. This trait became particularly valuable to the working Welsh crofters (farmers) when the British Crown decreed that they could own and work only a few acres that surrounded their farms. This land was fenced; the crofters were considered tenants, and all other land was considered common land, where cattle could be grazed. The Corgi’s style of working actually drove the cattle farther afield rather than keeping them herded together, which allowed for a larger grazing area. Competition among crofters for grazing land became fierce, and the Corgis helped define areas. Eventually, this practice by the Crown was abolished, and the crofters were able to own and farm their own land. This led them to use more traditional herding dogs, and the Corgi found himself more frequently by the hearth than in the fields.

Two closely related Welsh Corgis exist today: the Cardigan (long-tailed) and the Pembroke (tailless). They share a common history and were interbred and shown together until 1934, when the Kennel Club officially recognized them as separate breeds. Since the 1930s, fanciers of one type or another have emphasized the breed’s individualities—the Cardigan has a tail and is a bit heavier-boned and longer than the Pembroke. Also, the Cardigan’s ears are larger and set wider, and his coat comes in different colors.

Read more about the Cardigan Welsh Corgi.

Find a Nylabone chew, treat, or toy for your Cardigan Welsh Corgi or small dog!

Excerpted from World Atlas of Dog Breeds, 6th Edition. © 2009 T.F.H. Publications, Inc. Used by Permission.

World Atlas of Dog Breeds

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