Cardigan Welsh Corgi
One of the oldest British Breeds, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi traces its ancestry back to an ancient Teckel breed brought to Wales around 3000 years ago by Celtic invaders from Central Europe. Living in the hills of Cardiganshire, they escaped the infusion of Spitz blood which came from the Scandinavian invaders' farm dogs further south 1000 years ago and produced the Pembrokeshire Corgi.
Cardigans were cattle working dogs, in the morning going before them to chase off trespassers from the chosen grazing site, and then following behind to urge them home in the evening.
There are still Cardigans working on farms in both England and Wales, though not in great numbers.
"Corgis" were recognised by the Kennel Club in 1925 - not as two separate breeds, but as one. For a few years there was some interbreeding of the Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire dogs. The KC finally separated the breeds in 1934.
The Cardigan is a "big dog with short legs". Males can weigh up to 18kg, bitches around 13kg.
Cardigans are very intelligent dogs and enjoy obedience, agility, herding and long walks. A "heeling" herding breed, they can have a tendency to nip at things which move and squeal (bicycles, poorly behaved children).
Highly intelligent, and with a great sense of humour, they are a joy to train, and need an owner who can keep control and teach them their proper place in the pack.
If not socialised as puppies, they have a tendency to be distrustful of strangers, be they human, canine or feline. Early socialisation is very important ... puppy training classes are strongly recommended.
They enjoy excercise and being part of your pack - even with those short legs, they can enjoy an afternoon hiking in the hills or playing on the beach. Left on their own for long periods, they can become bored and destructive.
Most Cardigans have a short to medium length hard outer coat, with a dense undercoat. The undercoat moults twice a year, but is easily combed out.. There are also long coated Cardigans, sometimes called 'fluffies'. While they may not be exhibited at breed shows, they tend to have extremely good construction and make super pets but require more regular combing.
The Cardigan's coat is very good at shedding the weather and they rarely need a bath.
Cardigans are a robust breed, with most living to be 12-15 years of age.
Generalised Progressive Retinal Atrophy (GPRA ... which causes blindness) was discovered in our breed. This proved to be caused by a simple recessive gene and a test was made available in 1998. Most of the UK breeders had their stock tested, and our breeding code of ethics was changed to discourage breeding from carriers. There has not been a carrier born in the UK since 2002. When buying a puppy, please make sure its parents are either hereditary clear or tested clear (it will be on your registration form).
As a long, low breed, it is important to discourage your puppy from jumping on or off furniture or taking part in agility training until its musculoskeletal system has developed (12-18 months).