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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Cardigan Welsh Corgi Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

Cardigan Welsh Corgi Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

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You may have heard that Corgis are the Queen’s dog of choice. In fact, it’s estimated that she has owned over 30 Pembroke Welsh Corgis throughout her reign, which practically makes these dogs royals. But it was their cousin, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, that first came to the British Isles around 1,200 B.C.

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is known for their long, low-set bodies, their short, strong legs, and their long tail, which sets them apart from Pembroke Welsh Corgis. They are intelligent and affectionate dogs who are suitable for many different types of homes, including households with children and other pets.

Breed Overview


10.5 – 12.5 inches


25 – 38 pounds


12 – 15 years


White, red, sable, tan, black, blue merle (black/gray marble)

Suitable for:

Active families, multi-pet households, experienced dog owners


Smart, loyal, intelligent, affectionate, active

However, Cardis aren’t for everyone. Corgis have a reputation for being lapdogs, but this reputation is not necessarily accurate. Though short, these are high-energy dogs who need plenty of exercise each day. Since these dogs like to eat, they are prone to obesity, which makes it even more critical that they have lots of opportunities for activity. You should ask yourself whether you have the time or yard space to adequately exercise these dogs.

Want to learn more? Keep reading to find out whether these dogs are a good fit for you and your family.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Cardigan Welsh Corgi Puppies

Corgi puppy
Image By: autopilotkodyma, Pixabay

Corgis are one of the most popular types of dogs out there, and for good reason. They receive fairly high marks across the board for energy, trainability, health, lifespan, and sociability. However, there are some caveats you should be aware of. This guide will go more in-depth into each area so that you can make a well-informed decision before buying a Cardi.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi_Shutterstock_Welshea
Image By: Welshea, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of Cardigan Welsh Corgis

Generally speaking, Cardigan Welsh Corgis are very intelligent and affectionate dogs. They are quick to learn new behaviors, which means they are easy to train. You should be aware that they can be quick to learn bad behaviors, too, so you’ll need to keep an eye out for unwanted behaviors and correct them accordingly. Cardis are also spirited and surprisingly athletic. They love to run around in the yard playing fetch. In addition to physical exercise, these dogs will also benefit greatly from mental stimulation.

Although they are generally friendly, Cardis can be a bit more standoffish toward strangers than Pembrokes because of their history as herding dogs. They are watchdogs at heart and are likely to bark if they suspect anything is amiss.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Cardis receive a high rating for sociability because they tend to do well with families that have children. You should also be aware that chasing and nipping at people, other animals, and moving objects are common Cardi behaviors, again due to their breeding as herding dogs. These are behaviors you should be aware of if you have small children.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

In general, well-socialized Cardigan Welsh Corgis will get along well with other animals in your household, including other dogs. However, you should be aware that they may be less friendly with dogs they don’t know.

Image By: Anne Richard, shutterstock


Things to Know When Owning a Cardigan Welsh Corgi:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Just like humans, Cardigan Welsh Corgis need a well-rounded diet plan that will provide them with the basic nutrients they need. About 18% of their overall diet should come from protein, which will help them build muscle and tissue, supporting their active lifestyle. Cardis also need fats to help them maintain a nice, healthy coat; about 5% of their diet should come from fats, depending on how active they are. Finally, you shouldn’t forget about carbohydrates, as they help give your dog the energy he needs.

The best way to ensure that your Cardi gets the nutrients he needs is to give him kibble formulated for small breeds. You should portion out how much kibble he needs based on his age and size and only feed him at specific times of the day. Free eating is not recommended because Cardis are prone to overeating. You can, however, give your Cardi small amounts of treats throughout the day.

Exercise 🐕

Cardis are relatively high-energy dogs that need regular exercise. Ideally, your Corgi should get at least 60 minutes of exercise a day. This can be broken up into multiple walks throughout the day if that works best for your schedule. In addition to walking, however, your Cardi also needs vigorous physical activity. That might look like hiking, swimming, playing fetch, or taking your dog on runs. Keep in mind that Corgis are prone to injury and do have some limitations regarding how far they can run. If you run with your Corgi, you should keep the distance to about 2-3 miles to avoid injury.

Training 🎾

Though loyal, Cardis are independent thinkers who can be stubborn when it comes to obedience training. They might understand what it is you want them to do, but that doesn’t mean they will necessarily do it. You must be consistent and strict with training if you want your Cardi to obey you. For this reason, Cardis may not be well-suited dogs for first-time dog owners.

Cardigan Welsh Corgis
Image By: Rosewait, Pixabay

Grooming ✂️

The first thing you should know about your Corgi’s coat of fur is that it will shed continuously. If you are going to adopt or purchase one of these dogs, you should be prepared to deal with dog fur during all seasons of the year. It’s a good idea to brush or comb your Corgi’s fur daily to remove any excess hair and, hopefully, prevent him from shedding it around your house.

Other than brushing, you should keep the hair on the bottom of your Cardi’s feet trimmed so that he doesn’t track dirt into your house.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Cardigan Welsh Corgis are generally healthy dogs. Although they are prone to certain health conditions, they are easy to manage for the most part. As discussed, if your breeders are responsible, they will screen your dog for genetic disorders such as degenerative myelopathy. Because of their body type, all Corgis are more susceptible to back issues than dogs that don’t have their signature long and low bodies. You need to keep a watchful eye over these dogs to make sure they don’t jump off of furniture, which can lead to back injuries.

Minor Conditions
  • Canine cataracts
  • Retinal dysplasia
  • Obesity
  • Cutaneous asthenia
  • Cystinuria
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • IVDD (intervertebral disc disease), or slipped disc


Male vs Female

Your pet’s sex may have an influence over certain traits, but keep in mind that these are just generalizations. At the end of the day, every dog is an individual and biological sex does not entirely predetermine a dog’s characteristics. That being said, there are some differences between males and females that have been noted by Corgi owners.

The most obvious difference between a male or female dog is size. It probably isn’t a surprise that male Cardigan Welsh Corgis tend to be larger than their female counterparts, weighing in between 30-38 pounds. Females, on the other hand, are usually between 25-34 pounds. Since even the biggest Corgis are small dogs, the size difference between males and females shouldn’t have too much of an impact.

You should note that either sex can be aggressive if not properly socialized, but some Cardi owners have observed differences in aggression between males and females. Males appear to be more cuddly than females and tend to be better lap dogs. In contrast, females can be a bit more standoffish than males.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Cardigan Welsh Corgi

1. The Name “Corgi” Literally Translates to “Dwarf Dog”

“Cor” is thought to come from a Welsh word meaning “dwarf,” while “gi” is Welsh for “dog.” When you put it together, it translates to “dwarf dog.” Makes sense, doesn’t it? Meanwhile, “Cardigan Welsh” refers to their homeland. Cardiganshire was a medieval kingdom in Wales; today, it is known as Ceredigion.

2. Cardigan Welsh Corgis Were Protected Under Ancient Welsh Law

In Ancient Wales, Cardigan Welsh Corgis were economic assets to families because of their ability to excel at herding livestock. They had such an impact on the economic status that anyone who harmed or stole them faced penalty under the law.

3. According To Legend, Corgis Are Enchanted

Ancient Welsh tradition says that fairies and elves used these dogs to pull their carriages and go to battle. Apparently, the markings on the coats of these “fairy dogs” were thought to look like a harness and saddle.


Final Thoughts

Cardigan Welsh Corgis are affectionate dogs that often make wonderful pets. Though they are less outgoing than their Pembroke cousins, they are just as lovable once they get used to the humans and other pets in their family. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time and energy training and exercising these dogs (or cleaning up their fur), they may not be the dog for you. However, if you’re looking for an intelligent and loyal companion, look no further than the Cardigan Welsh Corgi.

Featured Image Credit: Rosewait, Pixabay

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