Cardigans are thought to originate from the Teckel family of dogs, which likewise produced Dachshunds. They’re among the earliest of all herding breeds, and are believed to have been in existence in Wales for over 3,000 years. The name “cor gi” is often translated into “dwarf dog” in Welsh. In older times the dog was often referred to as “yard- long dogs. However, todays name originates from the area of origin of the dogs: Ceredigion in Wales.
The Cardigan is a long, low dog with a fox brush tail along with erect ears. Its tail is long, unlike the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Cardigans come in a variety of colors including any shade of red, sable, or brindle. Also they can be black, with or without tan, brindle or blue merle, with or without tan or brindle points. Other unofficial colours can appear, such as red merle, however these colors will not be considered adequate per the Cardigan standard. Usually they will have white on their neck chest and legs, as well as the muzzle, underneath, on the tip of its tail, and will appear as a blaze on the head known as the “Irish pattern”. Other markings on this breed will include ticking on the legs and muzzle, smutty muzzles and monk’s hoods, notably on sables (a pattern of darker tipped hairs over a fundamental red coat colour). An average Cardigan is around 10.5 to 13 inches (270 to 330 mm) tall at the withers and can weigh anywhere from 30 to 38 pounds (14 to 17 kg) for the male and 25 to 34 pounds (11 to 15 kg) for the female.
Cardigans are exceptionally active, intelligent, and athletic dogs. They have proven themselves to be great companion animals as they are tender, faithful comrades that will also be responsible and attentive guardians. If socialized at a young age, they may be nice with house pets and other dogs. Some Cardigan corgis are ‘one-man dogs’ however. Cardigans are typically very good watchdogs, as they are very alert when strangers approach their territory. In this case of approaching strangers, they will be very vocal until either their owners or they are assured the stranger poses no threat. While they tend to be aloof of strangers, they tend to withhold their affection for a few with whom they are familiar.
The Kennel Club survey places the typical life span of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi at 11.7 years. The most typical causes of death for the strain were due to cancer (28.3%), old age (24.6%), and neurological disorders (15.2%).