Cardigan Welsh Corgi
SWEET, FUNNY, LOYAL
History & Origin
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi has a long history and is one of the first dog breeds brought to Britain by the Celts over three thousand years ago, most particularly to Cardigan in the South of Wales, from where the breed’s name originates. The forefathers of the breed were thought to be a combination of the Teckel and Spitz breeds and originated in the central parts of Europe.
Interestingly, it is believed that their appearance was influenced by the forerunners of the breed having been used to turn the spits over fires in English kitchens. What is a fact, however, is that these small dogs were predominantly used as cattle herders and drovers, as they would drive cattle from Welsh farms to English marketplaces where they would be sold.
During the Viking invasion that took place approximately a thousand years ago, Spitz dogs were introduced into the bloodlines, and the product of the inbreeding resulted in the Cardigan Welsh Corgi almost as we know it today.
During the 1800’s, the time of the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain, mechanization caused many dog breeds to lose their purpose. Many working breeds, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi included, would probably have become extinct had it not been for the efforts of those few who were passionate about the breed. Dog shows came to the rescue, where their agility and intelligence were shown, thereby ensuring their survival.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Cardigan Welsh Corgi are two breeds that share a common history and used to be considered the same breed by the Kennel Club of Great Britain before 1934. There are, however, some marked differences between them, and they have subsequently received individual breed status.
The first Cardigan Welsh Corgis arrived on American soil during the course of 1931. They were recognized as a breed five years later, in 1935, and their popularity has taken off. They are now a much-loved breed in the United Kingdom, the U.S.A., and in many other countries the world over.
PERSONALITY AND CHARACTER
Although considered a small dog, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi can best be described as being a large dog that is on short legs! Although initially used as a herding dog, the breed excels at such diverse sports as obedience training, agility activities, and has a strong desire to work.
Your new puppy will become an extremely laid back individual. They tend not to take to strangers to easily, but become very friendly once they get to know you. Cardigan Welsh Corgis also make great little watchdogs and do not bark unnecessarily. If they do, however, you can be sure they are trying to alert you to something.
This is a breed that loves being with its people and taking part in their family’s activities. Although it is a working dog and needs enough exercise, it loves nothing more than just chilling out with you.
Your new puppy gets along with children and other pets but has a tendency to be quite territorial and may end up chasing away other dogs or cats that enter its territory. You might also find that he will end up herding his family and perhaps nip at your heels. This is not because he is really biting, but rather a part of his genetic makeup.
Being shorter than other herding breeds, the Cardigan would nip at the heels of the cattle he was herding in order to keep them on track. Proper socialization and teaching him what is and is not acceptable (firmly but kindly) should put an end to this possible problem.
It is important to keep in mind that your new puppy is exceedingly intelligent and learns very quickly, and this includes both good and bad behavior patterns. If you keep this in mind, however, his quirky nature and love of play will make him a pleasure to be with.
cardigan welsh corgi
NUTRITION AND FEEDING
Your new puppy, if adequately cared for, will be with you for quite some time, as their average lifespan stretches anything from eleven to thirteen years! Quite a feat for a ‘big dog on short legs’!
What a dog needs in order to thrive with regards to food is in its genes, and as such, you need to take into consideration what your puppy’s forefathers ate when deciding on what to feed him. Because of this, it is always recommended that a dog, no matter its age, is fed appropriately. Puppies have different nutritional needs from, for example, dogs that are advanced in years and that lead a much more sedentary lifestyle.
Feeding your puppy the wrong diet could result in all kinds of health complications as it gets older. This includes anything from dry, flaky skin to kidney problems, as an example. Correct nutrition thus goes a long way in guaranteeing your new family member’s health!
The best diet for any dog or puppy is always one that is made at home. Ingredients to include in its diet are red meat, fish, poultry, and fruit and vegetables. Carrots, sweet potatoes, and brown rice are great! Please remember, however, to stay away from food that is harmful to dogs, such as avocados, raw onion and garlic, and chocolate, which is actually poison to dogs.
While a puppy, eggs and cottage cheese could also be added, as they are gentle on a growing puppy’s tummy.
If deciding on commercial dog food, try to substitute some meals with a fresh diet to ensure that all your puppy’s nutritional requirements are met. Dry commercial dog food should also be of excellent quality and not full of ‘fillers’ that only serve to keep your new family addition’s tummy full while providing no nutritional value whatsoever.
Free feeding whereby food is constantly available is not recommended at any stage of your puppy’s development. A puppy usually needs to ‘use the bathroom’ approximately fifteen minutes after eating, and a proper feeding schedule is thus essential, especially while still housetraining him.
Up until the age of six months, three to four smaller meals a day is thus recommended. After this time, two meals a day should be the norm.
Plenty of fresh water should be available at all times. This not only keeps your new puppy hydrated, but is essential for the functioning of its gastric system and kidneys as well.
COAT AND GROOMING
There is not much difference with regards to size between male and female Cardigan Welsh Corgis. A male could reach twelve inches in height and a female about ten inches when measured from the withers to the ground. Their weight range is also similar, with males typically weighing in between 26 pounds and 28 pounds while females weigh in at between 24 pounds and 26 pounds.
Your new puppy has a thick, double coat with the undercoat being soft and serving as protection against the elements. The outer coat tends to be coarser and longer. Their coats also come in various shades, including brindle, sable, tan and brindle, with white markings present on their chests, tip of the tail, legs, neck, belly and muzzle.
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi tends to be a breed that sheds quite a lot, with heavier shedding occurring approximately twice a year, usually when the seasons change. In order to keep their shedding habits under control, daily brushing is recommended as well as a regular bath regime which tends to remove most loose hair.
While bathing, it is a good idea to check your puppy’s ears as any discharge or redness are possible signs of an ear infection which is extremely painful. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, a visit to your veterinarian is recommended as soon as is possible. To clean them, a damp cotton wool ball works wonders, although you can also dampen it with an ear cleaning product specially designed for this purpose.
Most working or active dogs’ nails tend to get trimmed naturally. This does not mean you should stop checking them, however, and if you notice that they click on the floor while your dog is walking, it is probably a sign that his nails need a trim. This can easily be done at home, but many pet owners prefer taking their pets to either the veterinarian or the doggy parlor for this. It is relatively inexpensive. Torn nails can be very painful, so a regular check is essential.
EXERCISE AND TRAINING
With regards to exercise, your puppy, as he grows older, will need to be walked regularly, but his extreme intelligence and agility make him excellent at sports, such as, for example, agility and obedience training. Regular exercise is also important for this breed, as Cardigan Welsh Corgis tend towards obesity if they lead a sedentary lifestyle, and this leads to many health problems including heart problems and diabetes.
Although puppies should never be exercised too rigorously due to their growing bones, muscles and ligaments, adult Cardigan Welsh Corgi needs quite a lot of exercise. Activities to consider are jogging, brisk walks and walking a few miles per day.
Having said this, your new puppy’s training needs to start the moment you bring it home. You need to take him around your home so that he can familiarize himself with his eating area, sleeping area, and of course, his potty area as well. Added to this, he would also need to get acquainted with his new family members and other pets, if you have any.
Besides socialization, the next thing on the agenda would be his potty training. Please keep in mind that a puppy’s tummy needs to go approximately fifteen minutes after a meal, and by taking him to his designated potty area around that time, he will soon learn where he needs to go when it is ‘that time’. These little dogs are exceedingly intelligence and learn very quickly! Training them is a breeze!
While still small, your new ball of fur will probably sleep quite a lot – up to sixteen hours a day is not uncommon, so do not worry about that. As he grows older, his sleeping requirements will change and he will become more active. He does, however, need a ‘safe’ spot that is out of the way of the daily household traffic to which he can retreat when he wants to sleep or just chill for a while.
Although the majority of dogs of this breed tend to be quite healthy, there are, however, some health problems that may crop up.
It is, therefore, always recommended that you purchase your new puppy from a reputable breeder that has the breed’s best interests at heart. Not only will this person be able to clue you in on all your puppy’s needs, but they will be able to supply you with adequate, relevant information with regards to the health concerns (if there are any) in the puppy’s immediate bloodline.
The two major health concerns associated with the Cardigan Welsh Corgi are canine hip dysplasia (CHD) and intervertebral disc disease. The intervertebral disease is most often found in dogs with long backs and is a condition whereby the discs between vertebrae either bulge or burst. The result is nerve damage, severe pain, and possible paralysis. CHD is usually a combination of inheritance and environment. To this end, it is thus never recommended that a corgi gets too much exercise while still young, as this could facilitate the onslaught of the problem.
Other health concerns that have been noted with the breed include von WIllebrand’s disease (which can be likened to hemophilia in humans), urinary stones, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).
Generally speaking, though, your new Cardigan Welsh Corgi puppy is going to grow into a strapping, healthy little dog that is active, adores attention, and which loves nothing more than being with his family. His ability to acclimatize himself to situations makes him a great pet for those living in apartments although he needs his daily dose of exercise.
He is not suitable for those living a sedentary lifestyle. If treated correctly and given the attention he deserves, your new puppy is going to make a wonderful addition to your family.
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CARDIGAN WELSH CORGI