Cardigan Welsh Corgi Breed Magazine features information, expert articles, and stunning photos from AKC judges, breeders, and owners.
WELSH CORGI CARDIGAN
Let’s Talk Breed Education!
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Official Standard of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi General Appearance: Low set with moderately heavy bone and deep chest. Overall silhouette long in proportion to height, culminating in a low tail set and fox-like brush. General Impression - A handsome, powerful, small dog, capable of both speed and endurance, intelligent, sturdily built but not coarse. Size, Proportion, Substance: Overall balance is more important than absolute size. Dogs and bitches should be from 10½ to 12½ inches at the withers when standing naturally. The ideal length/height ratio is 1.8:1 when measuring from the point of the breast bone (prosternum) to the rear of the hip (ischial tuberosity) and measuring from the ground to the point of the withers. Ideally, dogs should be from 30 to 38 pounds; bitches from 25 to 34 pounds. Lack of overall balance, oversized or undersized are serious faults . Head: The head should be refined in accordance with the sex and substance of the dog. It should never appear so large and heavy nor so small and fine as to be out of balance with the rest of the dog. Expression alert and gentle, watchful, yet friendly. Eyes medium to large, not bulging, with dark rims and distinct corners. Widely set. Clear and dark in harmony with coat color. Blue eyes (including partially blue eyes), or one dark and one blue eye permissible in blue merles, and in any other coat color than blue merle are a disqualification . Ears large and prominent in proportion to size of dog. Slightly rounded at the tip, and of good strong leather. Moderately wide at the base, carried erect and sloping slightly forward when alert. When erect, tips are slightly wide of a straight line drawn from the tip of the nose through the center of the eye. Small and/or pointed ears are serious faults . Drop ears are a disqualification . Skull - Top moderately wide and flat between the ears, showing no prominence of occiput, tapering towards the eyes. Slight depression between the eyes. Cheeks flat with some chiseling where the cheek meets the foreface and under the eye. There should be no prominence of cheekbone. Muzzle from the tip of the nose to the base of the stop should be shorter than the length of the skull from the base of the stop to the high point of the occiput, the proportion being about three parts muzzle to five parts skull; rounded but not blunt; tapered but not pointed. In profile the plane of the muzzle should parallel that of the skull, but on a lower level due to a definite but moderate stop. Nose black, except in blue merles where black noses are preferred but butterfly noses are tolerated. A nose other than solid black in any other color is a disqualification . Lips fit cleanly and evenly together all around. Jaws strong and clean. Underjaw moderately deep and well formed, reaching to the base of the nose and rounded at the chin. Teeth strong and regular. Scissors bite preferred; i.e., inner side of upper incisors fitting closely over outer side of lower incisors. Overshot, undershot, or wry bite are serious faults . Neck, Topline, Body : Neck moderately long and muscular without throatiness. Well developed, especially in males, and in proportion to the dog's build. Neck well set on; fits into strong, well shaped shoulders. Topline level. Body long and strong. Chest moderately broad with prominent breastbone. Deep brisket, with well sprung ribs to allow for good lungs. Ribs extending well back. Loin - short, strong, moderately tucked up. Waist well defined. Croup - Slight downward slope to the tail set. Tail - set fairly low on body line and reaching well below hock. Carried low when standing or moving slowly, streaming out parallel to ground when at a dead run, lifted when excited, but never curled over the back. High tail set is a serious fault . Forequarters : The moderately broad chest tapers to a deep brisket, well let down between the forelegs. Shoulders slope downward and outward from the withers sufficiently to accommodate
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desired rib-spring. Shoulder blade (scapula) long and well laid back, meeting upper arm (humerus) at close to a right angle. Humerus nearly as long as scapula. Elbows should fit close, being neither loose nor tied. The forearms (ulna and radius) should be curved to fit spring of ribs. The curve in the forearm makes the wrists (carpal joints) somewhat closer together than the elbows. The pasterns are strong and flexible. Dewclaws removed. The feet are relatively large and rounded, with well filled pads. They point slightly outward from a straight-ahead position to balance the width of the shoulders. This outward point is not to be more than 30 degrees from center line when viewed from above. The toes should not be splayed. The correct Cardigan front is neither straight nor so crooked as to appear unsound. Overall, the bone should be heavy for a dog of this size, but not so heavy as to appear coarse or reduce agility. Knuckling over, straight front, fiddle front are serious faults. Hindquarters : Well muscled and strong, but slightly less wide than shoulders. Hipbone (pelvis) slopes downward with the croup, forming a right angle with the femur at the hip socket. There should be moderate angulation at stifle and hock. Hocks well let down. Metatarsi perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. Dewclaws removed. Feet point straight ahead and are slightly smaller and more oval than front. Toes arched. Pads well filled. Overall, the hindquarters must denote sufficient power to propel this low, relatively heavy herding dog efficiently over rough terrain. Coat: Medium length but dense as it is double. Outer hairs slightly harsh in texture; never wiry, curly or silky. Lies relatively smooth and is weather resistant. The insulating undercoat is short, soft and thick. A correct coat has short hair on ears, head, the legs; medium hair on body; and slightly longer, thicker hair in ruff, on the backs of the thighs to form "pants," and on the underside of the tail. The coat should not be so exaggerated as to appear fluffy. This breed has a shedding coat, and seasonal lack of undercoat should not be too severely penalized, providing the hair is healthy. Trimming is not allowed except to tidy feet and, if desired, remove whiskers. Soft guard hairs, uniform length, wiry, curly, silky, overly short and/or flat coats are not desired. A distinctly long or fluffy coat is an extremely serious fault . Color : All shades of red, sable and brindle. Black with or without tan or brindle points. Blue merle (black and gray; marbled) with or without tan or brindle points. There is no color preference. White flashings are usual on the neck (either in part or as a collar), chest, legs, muzzle, underparts, tip of tail and as a blaze on head. White on the head should not predominate and should never surround the eyes. Any color other than specified and/or body color predominantly white are disqualifications . Gait : Free and smooth. Effortless. Viewed from the side, forelegs should reach well forward when moving at a trot, without much lift, in unison with driving action of hind legs. The correct shoulder assembly and well fitted elbows allow for a long free stride in front. Viewed from the front, legs do not move in exact parallel planes, but incline slightly inward to compensate for shortness of leg and width of chest. Hind legs, when trotting, should reach well under body, move on a line with the forelegs, with the hocks turning neither in nor out, and in one continuous motion drive powerfully behind, well beyond the set of the tail. Feet must travel parallel to the line of motion with no tendency to swing out, cross over, or interfere with each other. Short choppy movement, rolling or high-stepping gait, close or overly wide coming or going, are incorrect. This is a herding dog which must have the agility, freedom of movement, and endurance to do the work for which he was developed.
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Temperament: Even-tempered, loyal, affectionate, and adaptable. Never shy nor vicious. Disqualifications: Blue eyes, or partially blue eyes, in any coat color other than blue merle. Drop ears. Nose other than solid black except in blue merles. Any color other than specified. Body color predominantly white.
Approved December 13, 1994 Effective January 31, 1995
Origin & History: THE CARDIGAN WELSH CORGI By Kathy Schwabe Breeder-Judge & Member of the CWCCA JEC Origin & History T he origins of the Car- digan Welsh Corgi are somewhat hidden in the mist of the Welsh hills. We know that dogs of the same essential body He often had dropped ears and was found in brindle and merle colors, as well as red and sable.
Th e American Kennel Club granted the CWCCA Member Club status in 1935, and we subsequently help our first Nation- al Specialty in conjunction with the Morris & Essex Dog Show in 1936. Best of Breed winner was Ch. Megan! Th e Cardigan was moved from the Non-Sporting Group, to the Working Group and finally to the Herding Group in 1983. In 2006, the breed name was o ffi cially changed from Welsh Corgi, Cardigan to Cardigan Welsh Corgi—further identifying the breed as separate from the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Th e Cardigan was slow to gain popu- larity and recognition both in and out of the show ring. It took 40 years to go from our first AKC Champion to our first AKC Best in Show—that honor being awarded to Ch. Springdale Droednoeth in 1973! History was made again this year, as we celebrated Ch. Riverside TellTail Coco Posh being awarded Herding Group I at Westminster Kennel Club! Undoubtedly the Pembroke Welsh Corgi’s rise to popularity was fueled by the Royal Family’s sponsorship since the 1950s. Th e Cardigan’s increase in popular- ity has been slow, but steady. Th e breed has many devoted breeders and enthusiastic owners. Th e Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America is committed to protecting the future of the breed, supporting its mem- bers and educating Judges. Th e Cardigan Welsh Corgi is enjoying success and recog- nition in every venue; their humble begin- nings as an all-purpose farm dog serve them well for owners who truly want a dog than can do it all, and do it well!
Winds of Change By the late 1800s, the winds of change had blown across Wales. Th ere were far fewer cattle and farmers were raising more sheep. Fences were built and com- mon pasture land was disappearing. Th e Cardigan, that excelled at driving cattle to market, now had to learn new skills such as fetching and penning stock. To meet this need, farmers bred their Cardi- ganshire Corgwyn to the Brindle Herd- er, or Welsh Collie and, eventually, to the Pembrokeshire Corgi. Development of both Corgis contin- ued—the two breeds were interbred into the 1920s. In 1925, the first meeting of Th e Welsh Corgi Club was held, and the breeds were established as two varieties of the same breed. In 1934, Th e Ken- nel Club of Great Britain separated the breeds into Welsh Corgi, Pembroke and Welsh Corgi, Cardigan. Coming to America In 1931, Roberta Bole became cap- tivated by the Cardigan Welsh Corgi while visiting friends in England. Upon her return to her home in Boston, MA, she welcomed the first Cardigans to the US; a female named Cassie and a male named Cadno. In 1933, we had our first AKC Champion, “Megan”, and we cel- ebrate this event at the CWCCA National Specialty with the “Megan Competition.”
structure were recorded as early as 2500 B.C. It is believed by some that the Neo- lithic Man, who arrived in the area we now know as Great Britain in the post-glacial age, brought with him long-bodied, low- to-ground droving dogs. Th e Cardigan is descended from the Teckel group of dogs, and so most closely related to breeds such as the Dachshund and the Basset Hound. By comparison, the Pembroke Welsh Cor- gi is descended from the Spitz group. Th e di ff erences between the breeds in structure and temperament are easier to understand when you keep this basic fact in mind. The Cardigan in Early Wales Th e Cardigan, in his homeland, was a multi-purpose dog. He helped the farm- er move the small, hardy Welsh Cattle on unfenced pasture; he acted as nanny to watch the children while the parents worked the fields; he kept the grain stores free from vermin, and he guarded his fam- ily from intruders at night. Th e Cardigan was called Ci Llathaid , which translates to “by the yard,” referring to their measure- ment of an average of 101.5 cm (40") long from their nose to the end of their bushy tails. Th e Cardigan Welsh Corgi was a larger, longer, heavier-boned dog than the neighboring Corgwyn, the Pembroke.
“Undoubtedly the Pembroke Welsh Corgi’s rise to popularity was fueled by THE ROYAL FAMILY’S SPONSORSHIP SINCE THE 1950s.”
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CONFORMATION JUDGING OF THE CARDIGAN WELSH CORGI
By Edweena “Teddy” McDowell Breeder-Judge & JEC for the CWCCA
udging the Cardigan Welsh Corgi makes some judges apprehensive. Often times I hear judges say, “ I just don’t get it.” I like to compare Corgis
“The ears are carried erect; LARGE EARS ARE A KEY POINT OF THE BREED.”
to human dwarfs. Th ey are both achon- droplastic. Th is simply means a normal size torso but no long bones (short arms and legs). Th e definition of achondropla- sia (taken from Webster’s Dictionary ) is: “a genetic disorder disturbing normal growth of cartilage, resulting in a form of dwarf- ism characterized by a usually normal torso and shortened limbs, and usually inherited as an autosomal dominant trait.” Assessment of the Cardigan Should Start with the Head Th e Cardigan head has a 3:5 ratio (muzzle to skull) with a moderately wide top skull and flat between the ear. Th e muzzle is rounded but not blunt with a well formed jaw. His eyes are widely set, medium to large with distinct cor- ners and dark rims. Th e Cardigan has large ears that are rounded at the top, wide at the base and with strong leather. Th e ears are carried erect; large ears are
a key point of the breed. Th e planes of the skull and muzzle are parallel, with a definite but moderate stop. A scissor bite is preferred. Th e Cardigan standard states ”low set with moderately heavy bone and deep chest.” Th e chest is “moderately broad with prominent breastbone and deep bris- ket.” Th e Cardigan front is the hallmark of the breed. Th e forearms HAVE to be curved to fit the spring of rib. “ Th e curve in the forearm makes the wrist somewhat closer than the elbows.” Th is is what we call the WRAP. Its makes a cup for the heavy brisket to rest in and forces the large rounded feet to slightly turn out from the center. Th e wrap is the major di ff erence between straight legged dogs and the Cardigan.
Remember the three L’s: LONG— LOW—LEVEL. Th e length is measured from the point of the breast to rear of the hip (1.8 : 1) . Th e top line is level; the dog is low to the ground. Th e Cardigan measures 10.5" to 12 ½ " at the shoulder. Th e Cardigan has many curves and no sharp angles. When viewed from the top you should see an hourglass; the hind- quarters appear slightly narrower than the shoulder. Th ere is a slight downward slope of the croup into a slightly lower tail set. Th e rear is then finished with short, let down hocks. Th is will allow the Cardigan free and e ff ortless movement. I think if Rubens had been into paint- ing curvy, voluptuous dogs, he would most definitely have chosen the Cardigan as his model.
“The Cardigan front is the hallmark of the breed. THE FOREARMS HAVE TO BE CURVED TO FIT THE SPRING OF RIB. ‘The curve in the forearm makes the wrist somewhat closer than the elbows.’ THIS IS WHAT WE CALL THE WRAP.”
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CARDIGAN JUDGING 101 by DAVID L. ANTHONY
Photo by: Kurtis Photography
W ith so much controversy over the AKC judging approval process and the ongoing need to be “on your game” when evaluating a breed, perhaps it is time to go back to the basics and relook at what and how you’re performing your duties. Discus- sions with regular exhibitors and judg- es, both new and old, have revealed some trends that do not bode well with the proper examination and adjudica- tion of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. So let us look at some of the items that you should and should not be doing when it is time to give a fair and honest assess- ment of Cardigan Welsh Corgi, who, by design, have some unusual charac- teristics. Hopefully this will allow dog show judges to change a few bad hab- its and also help exhibitors determine which judges are properly performing their duties. It is no secret that word of
mouth among exhibitors spreads very fast and can be detrimental to future entries. Show Chairmen, in particu- lar, get their ears inundated with com- plaints of poor procedure resulting in less than adequate choices and quickly place a judge on the DNH (do not hire) list. Judges who really care should take heed. Let us start right from the begin- ning. We are all aware that you have a limited amount of time to make your decisions and we also know that exhibi- tors are entitled to equal and fair time in the ring. On most occasions, the first dog in the ring will be a young- ster. Please send them around the ring and let both the handler and the dog ease into the situation first. Do not ask the dogs to be placed immediately on the table and do not face the table directly into the on looking crowd. Both of these practices only help to increase
the nervousness of both participants and really serve no purpose other than to skim 30 seconds or so off your time. Hint: this isn’t impressing anyone and only discourages exhibitors. Next in the process, is the very disturbing practice of standing at, or very near, the table as the animal is being stacked upon it. Stop that! This doesn’t help anyone and if you can’t stand back and admire the silhouette of the Cardigan, or for that fact any table breed, because you don’t want to walk any more than you have to at the expense of the exhibitor, then perhaps it is time you look in the mir- ror and ask if this judge is really capable of doing 175 dogs in a day. The Cardi- gan’s unique outline must be evalu- ated from a slight distance in order to take in all the distinctions that a good example displays. You can quickly see the topline, croup, turn of stifle, length of neck, that most important depth of
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chest and many other features so your hands-on examination will solidify what your eyes have shown you. Step back fifteen or so feet, drink it in, look at the substance and then approach from a wide berth to the front with a pleas- ant “hello” so that both dog and handler feel welcomed. As you approach, you evaluate for a proper front assembly (a hallmark of this breed) and begin the hands-on exam. We are not going to get into the exact hands-on procedure but a cou- ple of points need to be discussed in order to refresh and educate some. When examining the bite, please think about what the Cardigan standard says: Teeth strong and regular. Scissors bite preferred; i.e., inner side of upper inci- sors fitting closely over outer side of low- er incisors. Overshot, undershot or wry bite are serious faults. Nowhere does it state full dentition and therefore asking exhibitors to crank open the mouth so you can impress someone with your lack of knowledge of the breed serves no purpose. Some judges with back- grounds of some kind in dentistry etc., have stated that to look for a true wry bite, you need to see all the back teeth as well. This would be a very rare occa- sion and a seemly unnecessary tactic,
for the most part. We won’t debate that here but if you suspect a problem as you perform the bite exam and want to see the side teeth by lifting the gums, feel free to do so. Obviously, the AKC and exhibitors are wanting to have handlers show the bite and not the judge, so take that into consideration. Be aware that the dog may not be accustom to such an activity and may react accordingly (move about), this should not be held against the dog. The action of opening the mouth, as done with breeds like the German Shepherd, is unacceptable in Cardigans. So now, you are prepared to see the dog on the ground. Obviously the best place to evaluate the expression of the dog once they have completed a down back to access those characteristics. When a judge immediately asks for a small circle, Cardigan exhibitors gen- erally feel the judge isn’t giving proper credence to the movement of the breed. Yes, Cardigans can move with nice reach and drive and no, a small circle doesn’t allow for the breed to open up and truly show you what it can do. And while on that note, let’s mention the judge that insists you only walk with your dog. Now winning the race around the ring in a sprint isn’t correct for the
breed, but merely going for a walk, most assuredly, will not allow for the dog to display the following as described in the standard. “Gait: Free and smooth. Effortless. Viewed from the side, fore- legs should reach well forward when moving at a trot, without much lift, in unison with driving action of hind legs. The correct shoulder assembly and well fitted elbows allow for a long free stride in front. Viewed from the front, legs do not move in exact parallel planes but incline slightly inward to compensate for shortness of leg and width of chest. Hind legs, when trotting, should reach well under body, move on a line with the forelegs, with the hocks turning nei- ther in nor out and in one continuous motion drive powerfully behind, well beyond the set of the tail. Feet must travel parallel to the line of motion with no tendency to swing out, cross over or interfere with each other. Short chop- py movement, rolling or high-stepping gait, close or overly wide coming or going, are incorrect. This is a herding dog which must have the agility, free- dom of movement and endurance to do the work for which he was devel- oped.” That last sentence is extremely important to remember. Write it down a hundred times, tattoo it on your wrist, C ONT ’ D ON PAGE 259
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Official Stan dard for th e CA RDIGA N WELSH CORGI con tin ued COURTESY THE AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB
Color: All shades of red, sable and brindle. Black with or without tan or brindle points. Blue merle (black and gray; marbled) with or without tan or brindle points. There is no color preference. White flashings are usual on the neck (either in part or as a col- lar), chest, legs, muzzle, underparts, tip of tail and as a blaze on head. White on the head should not predominate and should never surround the eyes. Any color other than specified and/or body color predominantly white are disqualifications. Gait: Free and smooth. Effortless. Viewed from the side, forelegs should reach well forward when moving at a trot, without much lift, in unison with driving action of hind legs. The correct shoul- der assembly and well fitted elbows allow for a long free stride in front. Viewed from the front, legs do not move in exact parallel planes, but incline slightly inward to compensate for shortness of leg and width of chest. Hind legs, when trotting, should reach well under body, move on a line with the forelegs, with the hocks
turning neither in nor out, and in one continuous motion drive powerfully behind, well beyond the set of the tail. Feet must trav- el parallel to the line of motion with no tendency to swing out, cross over, or interfere with each other. Short choppy movement, rolling or high-stepping gait, close or overly wide coming or going, are incorrect. This is a herding dog which must have the agility, freedom of movement, and endurance to do the work for which he was developed. Temperament: Even-tempered, loyal, affectionate, and adapt- able. Never shy nor vicious. Disqualifications: Blue eyes, or partially blue eyes, in any coat color other than blue merle. Drop ears. Nose other than solid black except in blue merles. Any color other than specified. Body color predominantly white. Approved December 13, 1994
“PLEASE LET THE EXHIBITOR SHOW THE DOG AT A PROPER SPEED TO DISPLAY THESE ENDEARING QUALITIES.”
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whatever you need to do to engrain that in your mind as you judge the Cardigan. Please let the exhibitor show the dog at a proper speed to display these endear- ing qualities. Watching a Cardigan with reach and drive is a pure pleasure to revel in, not doing so sends a very clear message that you as the judge do not think they have that ability and there- fore do not care to see if they do.
A final last bug-a-boo that needs to be addressed. Once you have examined the dog on the table, do not reach down on an exhibit on the ground at any time. This is getting more and more common to see and is not in good practice with judging. These dogs are low and hav- ing someone reaching down, particu- larly from behind, can be very unnerv- ing to them. Exhibitors encourage and respectfully request that you merely ask them to put the dog back on the table. It is greatly appreciated. This practice is requested in a number of other breeds and Cardigans deserve the same respect and process as those breeds do. Now, this lesson could continue on in more detail but if you want to do the breed justice, consider a refresh- er course by attending the National Specialty Judges Education Program.
However, refraining from what is called poor Cardigan judging procedures and changing a few of your “all arounder” habits, you will be better respected and performing your duties to the best of your ability. A final word, please refer to the approved Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America standard for clarification of any point of the breed and if that still leaves you confused, then reach out to the Judging Education Commitee mem- bers and allow them to assist in your concerns. No question is silly and if they can help even one judge to better understand this wonderful breed, then they have done their job as well. We want and deserve fair and consistent judging by anyone who steps into the middle of that ring and says, “Take them around please.”
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BY MARIEANN GLADSTONE, ARAGORN CARDIGANS
A VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED IN THE DECEMBER 1999 AKC GAZETTE BREED COLUMN SUPPLIED BY THE CWCCA JEC LIBRARY OF EDUCATION ARTICLES
F rom its origin and purpose, the Cardigan was bold, fear- less, and determined to stand ground when working cattle. They were quick-thinking and intelligent, with a willing-to-please attitude. A shy, scared, or spooked dog would not be selected either for work, as a companion, or for further breeding . This was the foundation of our breed. In old Wales, the Cardigan was valuable to the farmer and was brought inside the home as a family companion, watchdog, and guardian. They are naturally reserved with strangers. With keen eye and astute hearing, they held their own against any bovine. The Cardigan's large ears were sensitive to the “swoosh” of a cow's kick. They reacted swiftly to sudden noises when work- ing. Survival depended upon this quick, defensive response. This should never be faulted. It is an instinctive part of their tempera- ment and we see this behavior in many ways: CARDIGANS ARE SIGHT AND SOUND SENSITIVE • Moving past a door, a Corgi may refuse to go near that strange, dark, rectangular opening. He may curve away, never losing a step, or he may stop, growl, and bark at the door.
Producing a Cardigan with both sound temperament and sound conformation should be the critical goal to guarantee a sound companion dog.
THOSE LARGE EARS ARE AT WORK AND THE INSTINCTIVE CARDIGAN RESPONDS NATURALLY In the breed ring, judges have had to excuse more and more poorly-tempered Cardigans. Some Cardis are pulling back, fearful of being examined. Shy temperament is just as faulty as a roached topline, straight front or shoulders; no, it is worse! Producing a Cardigan with both sound temperament and sound conforma- tion should be the critical goal to guarantee a sound companion dog. Our foundation breeders never would have bred a dog of shy or spooked temperament; nor should it be bred today. Socialization and obedience are of utmost importance. As the litter begins to become aware of its surroundings, reputable breed- ers introduce puppies to the oddities of life. Early household and community activities are necessary to learn new sounds, smells, and sights. Socialization familiarizes the strange occurrences in life and encourages self-confidence. Eventually, the oddity is no longer the intruder, but an accepted novelty. Cardigans display a sense of humor with their comic, clownish antics. These devoted family members bond in loyal companion- ship. They are happiest at your feet, in your lap, in your bed—or swimming pool! This is a breed that mixes well with other dogs, making them quite habit-forming. A single Cardigan household is a delight; the multi-Cardi home has a ball!
CARDIGANS ARE PROTECTIVE AND AWARE OF SUSPICIOUS SITUATIONS
• At a specialty held in a hotel ballroom, the Cardigan is doing the recall exercise. When called, he moves out purposely, but stops halfway under the ballroom chandelier, looking up at the pretty, shiny lights. Another breed of dog might just stop there and flunk the exercise. This Corgi lowers his head and purposely moves to complete the task at hand; going to his master. CARDIGANS ARE CURIOUS, PURPOSEFUL, INTELLI- GENT, AND WILLING-TO-PLEASE (AND ENTERTAIN) • At an indoor show, Cardigans hop over the wide electrical tape securing mats to the floor. On a rug, they might avoid strange paisley patterning in the carpet. CARDIGANS HAD TO BE AWARE OF THEIR FOOTING OVER UNSURE TERRAIN WHILE WORKING STOCK • As a class circles the ring, a crate is dropped with a sudden crash while the Cardigans are being shown. One Cardi spins to the ruckus, but then returns to the task of showing.
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Cardigan, “Is That Your Final Answer?”
BY DAVID L. ANTHONY, BREEDER-JUDGE AND CHAIRMAN OF THE CWCCA JUDGES EDUCATION COMMITTEE
N o, this isn’t a lost episode of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” with Regis Philbin. But getting the answer to the title’s ques- tion will add a cache of information with rewards, just like the hit TV show. The question, “These characteristics best describe what breed of dog?” may not win you a million dollars, but under- standing the intricacies of this breed may allow you to be won over by the dedicated breeders and owners of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. We are not going to quote directly from the Cardigan standard in this article. Instead, we will assume that you have already read it and are pre- pared to apply that knowledge and understanding to the observation of examples in the show ring. So, let’s start out with some basics. If you placed a Cardigan and a Skye Terrier, which has some very similar characteristics, at the end of a football field, you should be able to determine which one is which, merely by the sil- houette. This unique outline is the starting position for anyone’s evaluation of the breed. After all, one very basic requirement of an example has to have breed type and must clearly exude those characteristics. The colloquialism, “if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck” certainly comes into play here. A Cardigan has flowing lines and no sharp angles. Besides, there is the effect of the Skye’s longer coat and body on the silhouette; this alone should allow you to easily choose the Cardigan from that distance. As much as we breeders would like to think that ours is a very unique breed in its own right, there are a few points of interest that truly are the hallmarks of the breed. Starting at one end and moving to the other, the first thing that stand out about the Cardigan are the ears; those big, beauti- ful appendages that adorn the headpiece like a crown. Be it a judge or an exhibitor, the features do not change depending on where one is doing their scrutiny. A simple rule that applies to most breeds is that expression should be accessed on the ground and not on the table. So, getting those ears up and alert for the judge to see is ever so important for that first feature when returning from the down and back portion of your examination in the ring. Remember, when erect, the tips of the ears are slightly wide of a straight line drawn from the tip of the nose through the center of the eye—a little trick of the trade. The erect ears are large and somewhat rounded at the top, and with heavy leather. For those of you who have an example that gaits around the ring with the ears up, you get a little extra credit for flash, but it’s that expression while standing that gets the most points with the judges. Now we move on to that deep keel that provides the breed with lung capacity for a long day’s work in the rough terrain of Cardiganshire in Wales. An example that doesn’t display this key feature is lacking in breed type. Where the point of the brisket sets is important as well, but the lack of a deep keel that fills your cupped hand upon examination just means this entry shouldn’t be considered. The only exception would be in the puppy classes. However, even at six months of age, evidence of the development of the deep chest should be discernable. This somewhat egg-shaped feature should be wrapped around with the front leg assembly.
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CARDIGAN, “IS THAT YOUR FINAL ANSWER?”
This leads us nicely to the next hallmark of the breed. We are an achondroplastic breed, meaning we have dwarf characteristics. The short, heavy, round-boned legs cradle the brisket in a close- fitting manner. Some judges have been observed slipping two fin- gers between the upper leg and chest to see if it is a tight fit. As you run your hand down the leg, you should feel the round bone leading down to a rounded foot. A well-known breeder-judge once commented, “Round bone, round feet. Oval bone, oval feet.” So, when you look down and see those hare-shaped feet, you should know that not only are the feet incorrect, but so is the shape of the leg bone. Please don’t reward incorrect feet and bone. Speaking of the front assembly, the next crucial feature that makes the Cardigan we all know and love is the unique turnout of the feet. It can’t be stressed enough that the turnout should not be any more than 30 degrees. Less than that is perfectly fine as long as the wrap is still correct as previously described. More than 30 degrees produces an exhibit that is called eastie/westie. The proper turnout requires the correct shoulder placement and wraparound of the chest. If you see too much turnout, chances are very good that other portions of the front assembly are incorrect as well, and that the exhibit would break down after a long day of working in the field. As we now work our way back, remember that the length of body is mostly in the rib, not the loin. With this, we have reached the end of the dog and the last important feature; that flowing tail that never curls over the back. Envision that perfect silhouette in your mind, the flowing lines from head to tail. How that tail is set and how it’s carried can be two different things. The set at the base should flow off the back slightly, to blend with the croup. An abrupt, lifted tail certainly takes away from the picture of the flowing tail carriage on the gait around the ring. Now it should be clearly understood that the proper Cardi- gan will most certainly have other characteristics that should be accessed during the judging process. Attendance at one of the judge’s education programs reveals 90 minutes of review, involv- ing a detailed breakdown of the breed. Combine this with some quality ringside mentoring with an experienced breed expert, and a well-rounded entry, and you will have a solid understanding of what makes a good Cardigan. In review, we have focused on what many would determine to be a combination of special features of the breed that provide you with the picture of a unique Welsh dog that was bred specifically for its duties; herding in the rough terrain of Wales. As the crowd cheers, and Regis belts out that familiar phrase to provide a climactic end: “Is that your final answer?” you can confidently say—CARDIGAN! No need to phone a friend. You’ve done your homework and you know the hallmarks of this wonderful breed.
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CARDIGAN WELSH CORGI
by THE CARDIGAN WELSH CORGI CLUB OF AMERICA
T he Cardigan Welsh Corgi, one of the oldest breeds in the British Isles, descends, as does the Dachshund, from the old teckel breeds of Germany. Think long and low with prominent prosternum and front legs that wrap around the chest. A breed that is more than 3,000 years old evolves over time, but farm- ers who depended on these smart, agile little dogs required characteristics that remain important in dogs we see today: correct conformation, effortless move- ment and solid temperament. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi breed standard states: General Appearance: Low set with moderately heavy bone and deep chest. Overall silhouette long in proportion to height... General Impression: A handsome, powerful, small dog, capable of both speed and
endurance, intelligent, sturdily built but not coarse. Whether you view a Cardigan from across the ring or out in a field, the dog’s outline must unmistakably say “Cardigan.” Although the standard devotes a lengthy paragraph to the “head”, that paragraph should not dictate a major portion of your decision when you eval- uate a Cardigan. The important features are parallel head planes, the 3:5 muzzle to back-skull ratio and large, erect ears, set so that the tips are slightly wider than a line drawn from the tip of the nose through the center of the eye. Car- digans should also have a black nose (except the acceptable butterfly nose in a blue merle), a strong under-jaw and, preferably, a scissor bite. The wrap-around front is the hall- mark of the breed. The functional front allowed the Welsh farmer’s working
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dog to drop quickly, thus missing a blow from the hoof of a kicking cow. The upper arm wraps around the deep chest; the strong pasterns and feet that support the chest should not be set forward of an imaginary plumb line dropped directly from the withers to the floor. The feet may turn out slight- ly, think no more than eleven and one on a clock face; they should be large and round. The Cardigan should be penalized if it does not have round bone. Round bone is one of the distinct features that differentiates the Cardigan from the Pembroke, along with an outline that is a series of curves. In contrast, the Pem- broke has oval bone and a more angular silhouette. Again, think of the Cardi- gan’s silhouette: a deep chest with a dis- tinct tuck-up at the belly; a level top line that slopes into a long fox-line bushy tail at the croup. Soft curves. The Cardigan’s double coast is harsh, medium length and dense. A soft, long and/or silky coat, even if trimmed, is a working fault and should be penalized. The only permissible trimming is to tidy up the feet. Well scissored grooming may attempt to disguise a long coat but it cannot after a soft or silky texture. Cardigans exhibit a variety of coat colors with white markings on the
head and body, however white should not predominate and should never sur- round the eyes. The dog should appear to have a colored coat with white sports or markings rather than a white coat with colored spots or markings. The Welsh farmer’s Cardigan was a working dog and as such required an easy, effortless gait to do a day’s work. Today’s Cardigan is no different, wheth- er in the show ring or competing in companion or performance events. The standard clearly describes this attribute: Gait: Free and smooth. Effortless. Viewed from the side, forelegs should reach well forward when moving at a trot... Hind legs should reach well under the body, move on a line with the forelegs, with the hocks turn- ing neither in nor out and in one continuous motion drive power- fully behind, well beyond the set of the tail. Last, but definitely not least, is temperament. The standard says: “Even-tempered, loyal, affectionate and adaptable. Never shy nor vicious.” Adaptability is key. A loud noise may cause a reaction, but a well-tempered Cardigan will recover. Some Cardigans dislike the table examination. They tol- erate it, but you can clearly see a return to a confident personality after all four
paws are on the ground, which is where expression should be judged. Although the Cardigan’s popularity has not changed position significantly in AKC ranking, the breed’s successes in the show ring have significantly increased. For many years, the Cardi- gan struggled to gain recognition at the group level. Today, however, Cardigans are placing and winning every weekend in the herding group and BISs are not out of reach for any of these excellent representatives of the breed. The CWCCA invited all those inter- ested in learning about the Cardigan Welsh Corgi to join the club and to attend our National Specialty. Meet our dedicated mentors and club mem- bers who are always available to share information about the breed. First-time attendees are even afforded a special ringside viewing section. The parent club website, CWCCA club , which has recently been rede- signed, is a valuable resource for own- ers, breeders and judges. Click on the drop-down menu under “Education” to access the “Resources” page to view the new movement video, the Judge Edu- cation Committee’s (JEC) article/posi- tion statement on white markings and a number of articles about the Cardigan in general and judging in particular.
“THE WELSH FARMER’S CARDIGAN WAS A WORKING DOG AND AS SUCH REQUIRED AN EASY, EFFORTLESS GAIT TO DO A DAY’S WORK.”
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A Colorful Corgi Character MARY ELIZABETH GOODNEIGHBOR WAS TRULY DISTINCTIVE
BY DAVID L. ANTHONY
M any of us thoroughly enjoy listening to the veterans in the family reminisce about those unique dog show world charac- ters from the past. One particular Corgi exhibitor, who comes to mind as being truly distinctive, made a lasting impression on those who were fortunate enough to make her acquaintance. The lady belonged to the North Jersey Sector Dog Club and the Pem- broke Welsh Corgi Club of New York. She was from Paterson, New Jersey, and embellished the show ring of Madison Square Garden in the mid-1960s with both Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgis. She learned early on to dress cautiously when presenting her dogs, because she did not want to com- pete against them. She recalled that a dog she was showing once placed sec- ond because her sweater was a bit too tight and the judge’s wife was watching very closely from ringside! Now that we have you burning your brain about this vixen of the Corgi world, we will reveal her name. Mary Elizabeth Goodneighbor absolutely adored her dogs and was regularly photographed with her many canine com- panions. One of the few pieces of jewelry she would wear on the street was a button with a picture of a dog on it. Common street attire was actually quite unusual for this well-known performer, as most of the time she wouldn’t have had much clothing on to pin a button to! How is that you ask? Well, Ms. Goodneighbor was better-known in the entertainment world as Irma the Body. “Irma” was adamant about keeping her dog show acquaintances separate from the much different world in which she worked. Performing paid the bills (and quite nicely at four figures a week), but in reality, she led a very respectable life off the burlesque stage. We know that Ms. Goodneighbor had several Pembrokes and a blue merle Cardigan that she exhibited on a regular basis. She also had ties to the Cana- dian Corgi world. It seems that the well-known Cardigan fancier Charles MacInnes, from up north, was desperately searching for other Cardigan fan- ciers to find a dog for breeding. Rumors spread about this woman from the US who’d showed in southern Ontario several years before. Mary Nelms, of the historic Brymore Kennels, sold two Cardigans to Ms. Goodneighbor who loved showing them herself. Irma made numerous jaunts to Canada to exhibit her dogs, and she was obviously not an individual whom one would easily forget. She was even quoted as saying that she chose a Corgi for the show ring because she didn’t want a dog that looked better than she did. In 1965, Sports Illustrated magazine reported that Champion Crago's Red San of Cote de Neige, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, had won Best of Breed
at dog shows from New Hampshire to the Lehigh Val- ley, and was entered in that year's Westminster Kennel Club dog show. Mary Elizabeth Goodneighbor, Crago's owner, had also won some titles of her own, among them “Miss Guaranteed All Woman” and “Miss Heavy Armored Maintenance.” Celebrities have long been attracted to the supposed pomp and circumstance of the dog show world, and it has certainly had its share of memorable participants. The great thing is that no matter your occupation or family tree, the love of your favorite breed and the desire to continue its strengths via the sport of purebred dogs will permit each of us to “go down and back” in the ring with equal opportunity. Though just remember what Irma said, “When you’re at the dog show, you can watch my dogs… if you want to watch me, you have to buy a ticket.”
ABOUT THE AUTHORS As a young boy, if you were to have asked David what he wanted to be when he grew up, he would have said a “Dragonpatch.” Not knowing exactly what that meant, it seemed to be destiny that our kennel name would be based on the Welsh dragon and growing a patch. It was 1983 when Deborah pointed out a blue merle Cardigan while strolling through a flea market in NW Pennsylvania. A year later, David and Deborah found a male pup across the state line in New York. The breeders offered to show the boy at an upcoming dog show, and they were instantly hooked. The couple learned from many great mentors who offered advice and direction on
how to be successful as well as on good sportsmen. Their natural progression to judge came when they started with one breed and could only move along at a snail’s pace; something they are proud of. Now they judge the Herding and Non-Sporting Groups, Juniors, Bassett Hounds, and Best in Show. They have judged all over the United States and have enjoyed the sport for nearly forty years now. They still exhibit and are involved with the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America, as David is the Judges Education Chairman, and Deborah is a past Board Member. As was once told to the couple, “Dogs are not your hobby, they are a lifestyle.”
THAT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE MY DOG
BY DAVID L. ANTHONY
A s one peruses the sundry of vendors set up at our favor- ite dog show, it is not uncommon to encounter a mixed bag of items for sale that display our beloved breed. This can range from towels, figurines, handbags, key chains, and the list goes on and on. When it comes to purchasing one of these treasures, dog show junkies are particularly fastidious about how their breed looks in the chosen procurement. Both con- sumers and manufacturers seem to agree on this point. A respected artist, whose chosen medium was chainsaw art, will actually refuse a request to do any breed of dog. He reasoned that people were far too caught up in the exact detail of carving and insisted that it be done very breed-specific with infinitesimal detail. So where are we going with this exercise? While judging in California recently, the opportunity arose to provide some educa- tional experience to a group of Cardigan aficionados after the breed judging had ended. A long-time breeder was milling about proudly displaying his favorite Corgi T-shirt. Pointing to the dog on the artwork allowed a unique opportunity to discuss some finer breed characteristics. A small crowd formed and the unique outline of the dog displayed on the shirt was deliberated. The approved breed education program teaches judges that for most breeds, you should be able to discern it via its silhouette from as far away as the other side of a football field. This provided the opportunity to digress into a lengthy dissertation about the outline of our breed, just as important the tail set and carriage that definitely adds to the proper silhouette. This has been a cause of disagreement amongst exhibi- tors for a number of years and one that you won’t see going away any time soon. Just to break this down a little further, there are many who argue over the way a Cardigan carries its tail in motion or for that mat- ter how it holds it while standing. As always encouraged by good breed educators, let’s take a look at what the official standard says about this feature. “Tail—set fairly low on body line and reaching well below the hock. Carried low when standing or moving slowly, streaming out parallel to ground when at a dead run, lifted when excited, but never curled over the back. High tail set is a serious fault” More often than not, you will find that most who argue this
“The approved breed education program teaches judges
that for most breeds, you should be able to discern it via its silhouette from as far away as the other side of a football field.”
S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , D ECEMBER 2019 • 295
That Doesn’t Look Like My Dog
BY DAVID L. ANTHONY continued
“If you truly want to be competitive then you have to present an exhibit that has a high majority of correct features according to the standard. You cannot continue to make excuses for your dog based on your on loose interpretation.”
point have an exhibit that lifts its tail more than typically desirable, almost constantly and defend it bitterly. This is human nature one would surmise. The standard is very specific that it should be LOW when stand- ing or moving slowly. “Oh he’s just a happy boy or that’s not curled over the back so it is acceptable.” Yes, it may be acceptable or tol- erable in certain judge’s eyes but obviously, it detracts from the lovely silhouette that we desire to see in our breed. Is that really what you want the judges to see and appreciate about our breed, or is it more likely you just desire the points towards the dog’s champi- onship because it has many other so-called redeeming qualities in your opinion? That is a discussion that many exhibitors need to have with themselves and has been the focus of more than one heated confab. Please take a look at the photos in this article of two items that are sold specifi- cally as Cardigan memorabilia. You will notice immediately that one has the beau- tiful flowing tail streaming parallel to the ground as our standard calls for while the other item has an upright tail that begs for your attention. Clearly one could eas- ily mistake it for another breed. Remem- ber the football field exercise. Can you say for 100% certainty that this other photo is absolutely a Cardigan? Now let’s go back to the T-shirt dis- cussion. This particular shirt had a lovely
outline of Cardigan on it and truly was a reasonable representation of the breed in general. I pointed this situation out and discussed how this is what judges want to see, as it is exactly as the official standard describes. As I searched for more examples of poorly represented Cardigan items, I was pleasantly surprise to find very few. The les- son here is clear in my opinion. If the major- ity of breed item manufacturers know what a good Cardigan tail set and carriage should look like, then why is it so hard for some of our exhibitors to recognize these correct features. Yes a bitch in season will cause a boy’s tail to go up, yes two Cardigans in verbal disagreement will cause this and so may some other factors, but the bottom line is the handler will have to get this under control, remove the dog from the affecting environment or risk losing that day because of the situation. I think we have all been there at one time or another. Those are dif- ferent situations versus the consistently high tail carriage while in motion or even worse while standing. If you truly want to be com- petitive then you have to present an exhibit that has a high majority of correct features according to the standard. You cannot con- tinue to make excuses for your dog based on your loose interpretation. Our judges need to remember what the standard says and remember a high tail set is a serious fault, not a DQ, but certainly
should play well into one’s decision mak- ing that day. Therefore, if your dog has the proper tail set can it have a high tail carriage too? Most likely not if no outside distrac- tions like those listed previously come into play. Remember it says that the tail is set fairly low on the body line. The keyword here is LOW, not right off the back nor above that line. A simple way to check is to lift the tail above the topline slightly and place your bent thumb right where it leaves the back into the tail. It should fit nicely into a slight dip at that juncture. I would like to credit AKC board member and long- time Cardigan breeder/judge Steve Glad- stone, God rest his soul, for teaching that little trick years ago. If your thumb won’t fit easily into that slightly curved pocket, there is cause for closer inspection. In conclusion, I would ask that some of you stop defending the outline of your dog and start realizing that perhaps it is not as correct as you would like to convince yourself it is. The next time you buy a Car- digan T-shirt, look closely at the outline and ask yourself if your dogs have a simi- lar look. You may find yourself improving your breeding program or perhaps shopping for a new T-shirt in the “irregular bin” at your favorite vendor booth that more closely matches the highflying tail your Cardigan has.
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