Welsh Corgi Cardigan
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a compact but strong and agile dog with exceptionally loyal personality. Native to the British Isles it served as a livestock guardian and drover for several thousand years and earned the reputation of relentless and dependable worker. Its stamina, sharp intellect and outgoing nature make it a very successful participant of canine competitions as well as a terrific family pet.
However this Welsh Corgi variety is more calm, rational, wary, but also much less popular than its “brother” Pembroke.
The immediate forefathers of present-day Cardigan Welsh Corgi is thought to have been imported to Wales over than 3000 years by Celtic folk who moved to this region from central Europe. These dogs were scent hounds, presumably the Basset Hound or Dachshund, and their crossing with pre-exiting Welsh canine varieties led to appearance of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Actually the word «corgi» is translated from Celtic language as «dog». This early dog had characteristics of both the Dachshund and Spitz families.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi soon gained general acceptance as a hardy and efficient working dog. It was trusted with herding and guarding task and was especially proficient at driving the farmer’s cattle to the pastures and to the marketplace. Vermin extermination fell in the responsibility of this dog in the house. In fact it was so essential to the financial survival to local cattle-breeder that an old Welsh law charged with heavy fines any person who would injure or steal one of these dogs.
The breeders of first Cardigan Welsh Corgis stuck to very stringent breeding principles so their dogs stood out for exceptional robustness and pleasant temperament. As the crown lands were handed over to individual farmers and tall fences were built around private premises, the necessity for this breed as a cattle-drover greatly reduced. Although some of these dogs kept on playing the role of the property guardians and companions, the overall population of the Corgi shrank to dangerously low level. Moreover its outcrossing with brindle and red herding dogs became a common practice. The modern-day Cardigan Welsh Corgi appeared from this initial cross with a bit of infusion of the Collie’s blood.
In England the Cardigan Welsh Corgi wasn’t considered as a unique breed until 1927 when it was finally separated from its close kindred, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Mrs. Robert Bole, of Boston, Massachusetts brought the first breed’s member to the United States in June 1931. It attained recognition of the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1935. The majority of today’s Cardigans are obtained as companions although this dog didn’t lose its working qualities and can be trained into a wonderful sheepherder and guardian.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a small dog with a big attitude. Originally bred for work this nimble and independent dog enjoys living in a large and active family. Its personal traits vary considerably from specimen to specimen from a cheerful and outgoing extrovert to a meditative introvert. It’s commonly gentle and careful with children. However its playtime with small kids should be closely supervised as it may attempt to herd them by nipping of their heels.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is naturally distrustful of unknown people especially if it hasn’t been correctly socialised in its puppyhood. The dog will unfailingly alarm its masters if it scents or hears that some unwelcome guest is approaching their house. That’s why it makes a very trustworthy watcher. Be mindful though that it must be trained at a young age in order to keep its habit to unreasonable barking under control. Although this dog is more than ready to apply to necessary force to drive away the intruder it shouldn’t be charged with guarding duties because of its moderate size.
As a rule the Cardigan Welsh Corgi likes playing with familiar dogs. Nonetheless it has distinct dominative streak, which can sometimes lead to conflicts with strange dogs. This means it would be wise to watch over the first meeting of two dogs in order to prevent any possible problems. The properly socialised breed member is quite alright with other pets in the house although it’s very hard to break this dog of the habit of herding every moving object.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· degenerative myelopathy;
· interverterbral disc disease;
· eye problems;
· canine hip dysplasia.
The grooming of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi doesn’t require much time or efforts. It coat of a medium length should be brushed once a week to withdraw old and loose hair. The dog loses much of its fur during shedding seasons which occur twice a year. More thorough and frequent brushing will help to make the amount of dead hair settling on your clothes, furniture and carpets more manageable.
The specimen of this breed needs only a rare bath, usually once every three to six months. In order to prevent some nasty infection from developing the owner should regularly examine the ears of his pet and clean them as needed. Other essential care routines include weekly teeth brushing and monthly nail clipping.
The training of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is usually a daunting task because of its self-willed and independent nature. This dog surely doesn’t live to please and prefers to rely on its own decisions rather than to follow someone’s orders. Infinite patience, good sense of humour and indulgence are the key ingredients of its successful training.
It’s also essential to earn the respect and trust of this dog since the very first lesson, otherwise it will totally ignore your biddings. This goal can be easily achieved if you use plentiful of tasty treats and verbal praise to encourage the efforts of your pet.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi needs average amount of exercise in order to remain content with its life. Take your pet for a daily long walk and release it off leash in a securely enclosed area at least once a week. This dog can adapt to any living situation and will be equally glad to reside on a farm, in an apartment or a large suburban house.
Being bred as a highly responsible worker for centuries the Cardigan Welsh Corgi requires regular mental exercise, preferably in the form of some advance training course. Without necessary minimum of physical and mental stimulation this dog gradually develop such unwelcome behavioural habits as continuous barking, chewing and hyper activity.