WELSH CORGI CARDIGAN
Let’s Talk Breed Education!
CARDIGANWELSH CORGI THE
1. Where do you live? 2. What do you do “outside” of dogs?
Does the average person in the street recognize the breed? When I first got into Cardigans in 1995, I would definitely say that it was rare to meet someone on the street who knew what this breed was. Most of the time it’s an Australian Shepherd on short legs or a Collie mix, sometimes I get a Dachshund mix. Us breeders I think have done a great job of putting out more education opportunities and I think the general public will recognize more then the used too but we still get those odd conversations where the person inquiring is convinced our breed doesn’t exist. In placing puppies, you have to be really careful still. My other breed being Border Collies, most people know if they want a BC what they want it for. Cardigans you get a lot of people who have only seen the breed on the internet or took a quiz online and it said it would make the perfect apartment dog. Cardigans were bred to herd cattle, they can be difficult to train at times as they can be stubborn and are super great at outsmarting you. So I tend to do a lot of education still, my home is always open to a visit to meet the Cardigans and get to know them more for someone who has inquired about the breed. How has the breed adapted to civilian life? I would question the fact that few of these dogs really work anymore, they may not all be outside herding but they were bred to be a farm dog and they did other tasks as well around the house that we definitely see today. For instance, family companions, they love their family and want to be with their people. They excel at so many performance activities and have fun doing it. Some of the newer fields have really taken off in our breed and we have many dogs titles in barn hunt, lure coursing, and scentwork. All skills that you could trace back to their days on the farm. What about the breed makes them an ideal companion? Over the years I think we have improved temperaments. You no longer see a ton of extreme shyness or extreme aggression in our breed. But what I say we do see is owners not being the boss and Cardigans figuring out how to get their way. The most important part of them being a great companion is raising them to be a good canine good citizen and not letting them rule the roost too much. Does the breed’s energy level and active brain keep you on your toes? Most Cardigans come in the house, lay around and are happy to be next to you or at your feet. If you get up though and want to go outside they hop up and are ready to play and do fun things. As puppies you might have more activities to do with them to keep them out of trouble but they are definitely great at lounging around. What special challenges do breeders face in our current eco- nomic and social climate? I think our biggest struggle is educating the public on our breed and making it known how much effort we go too to make sure our puppies are healthy, live great lives, and how picky we are with choosing that next generation. It takes a lot of love, sweat, and tears to be a good breeder and financially never make a profit. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? Cardigans being a dwarf breed have a lot more challenges than long-legged breeds. I start evaluating at birth, usually my puppy evaluations last until ten weeks or so. Then we say a prayer that they will hold their potential and most of the time I don’t fully know that potential until my line is at least two years of age or sometimes longer. At birth though I can tell you which puppies I’ll be watching and which I can pretty much rule out as companion puppies. What is the most important thing about the breed for a novice to keep in mind when judging? Since I am part of the CWCCA judges education committee, I get asked this question a lot by aspiring
3. In popularity, these hard-working friends currently rank #68 out of all 192 AKC-recognized breeds. We think everyone on earth should be a fan, but does the average person in the street recognize him? Is this good or bad when it comes to placing puppies? 4. Few of these dogs really “work” anymore. How has he adapted to civilian life? What qualities in the field also come in handy around the house? 5. A strong Herding dog requires a special household to be a perfect fit. What about the breed makes him an ideal companion? Drawbacks? 6. We’ve seen him work in the field and he’s nothing short of fantastic. Does his energy level and active brain keep you on your toes? 7. What special challenges do breeders face in our current eco- nomic and social climate? 8. At what age do you start to see definite signs of show-worthi- ness (or lack thereof)? 9. What is the most important thing about the breed for a novice to keep in mind when judging? 10. What is your ultimate goal for the breed? 11. What is your favorite dog show memory? 12. Is there anything else you’ d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate. EMILY (FISH) BARNHART Emily grew up show-
ing and breeding dogs under the Pawcific prefix. Her breeds are Cardigan Welsh Corgis and Border Collies (which she co- breeds with her mother, Kathy Fish, and sister, Jennifer Fish). She has bred many group win- ning dogs, specialty win- ners, and also multiple dogs with top perfor-
mance titles. She is a parent club approved mentor in both breeds. Kathy Fish also breeds Papillons under the Joyvnture prefix and Emily has co-bred multiple Champions in that breed as well. She started judging in 2010 and enjoys being a younger mem- ber of the judging community. As a breeder judge, she has had the opportunity to judge multiple specialty shows across the USA and in 2019 judged at the Border Collie Nationals in Australia. Earlier in November she was granted permit status on the Balance of the Herding Group. She looks forward to being a lifetime student and learning more about each breed. She also the membership chair of Oregon Dog Judges. I live in Camas, Washington. I have my Masters in Music in vocal performance and have a private studio of voice students. Most of my outside time though is devoted to my blended family of five children ranging from 8-16 years of age. I’m also a 4-H dog project leader.
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Emily (Fish) Barnhart continued
Cardigan judges. My answer is silhouette. Until you can properly see the curves, go over a correct front assembly, and clearly know a Cardigan is a Cardigan, please spend more time with mentors. Our breed is a great one but easily not understood. As I always say, I am more then happy to sit down with someone wanting to learn about our breed and help them out. What is my ultimate goal for the breed? That’s a big question to answer—I think our breed has improved tremendously and it’s my hope that we continue learning, growing, and teaching the newer breeders. We have an awesome community of breeders and I am honored to be a part of this wonderful breed. My favorite dog show memory? Definitely this past May when King, MBIS MBISS GRCHG Int/Am/Can CH Pawcific I Walk With The King PT JHD BCAT CAA CGC TKN, won the CWC- CA National Specialty under breeder judge Jonathon Breckenridge- Mitchell with a record entry of Cardigans. King has a tremendous story and I’m always thankful to his entire Team for believing in him, especially to his handler Kelly Shane and his co-owner Marian Mizelle. DAVID L. & DEBORAH L. ANTHONY A friend once commented that dogs were not our hobby, but our lifestyle. Deborah and I truly believe that is true as well. Our life centers around what show, seminar, specialty, match, numer- ous kennel club meetings, judges education or other dog related event that is coming up on our calendar. Luckily the family has succumbed to the idea that dogs are a priority in our lives and that we thoroughly enjoy all aspects of the sport. As long time dog lovers and admirers of purebred dogs, we made the leap into showing dogs in 1984. This is when we purchased and showed our first herding dog; a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. We won’t go into the details of that very first show dog as many of you can attest to, it has its ups and downs! It has been passed about that if a person stays in dogs for five years, then they will probably be in the hobby for their life. Again, we believe this is true as well when you look about the shows and the faces that you see appear on a regular basis. It really is an extended family. We have owned and shown a few different breeds including Bri- ards, Dachshunds, Australian Terriers, and Skye Terriers. We have imported several outstanding dogs from New Zealand and Holland and have bred numerous top ten Cardigans both here and abroad. Our dogs have competed successfully in some of the top shows in the Country. Our love has always been for the herding breeds and when we decided to make the move into judging in 2003, but now we have added a new passion to our judging by including the Non- Sporting group to our list of assignments. We have judges numerous regional and national specialities and David had the honor of judg- ing the Cardigan National Speciality in 2018. We both belong to the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America (CWCCA). David is the chairman of the Judges Education Com- mittee and Deborah has served on the Board of Directors for many years. We are truly dedicated to the breed.
Deborah and I live near Erie, Pennsylvania, in the land “Lake Effect Snow”. Luckily, Cardigans LOVE snow. We both work for local government, David is the manager for Washington Township in Erie County, Pennsylvania and Deborah in charge of Community Development. We get the comment quite often that nearly everything we do revolves around our dogs. Dogs are pretty much our life and we are quite happy with that. Although we only have pups when we are ready to add to our own family of show dogs, we are not concerned about the popular- ity of the breed as much as the quality of homes we place puppies in. We have an extensive network of owners that are dedicated to seeing that those that become part of our Dragonpatch Cardigan family are prepared to offer the best conditions possible for their Cardigan. It is a lifetime commitment. Our four-legged kids have us quite well trained. Demanding a serious game of cross-country, full-contact ball at least three times a day. They have to release energy somehow. A romp in the back- yard with the crew is essential in stress relief as well. Being able to let the local wildlife know who is in charge of the neighborhood commands a lot of their attention too. Their keen sense of hearing and quick reactions are perfect for letting us know if the neighbors are out and about and who is walking on the road out front with- out checking with them first. These are typical characteristics of the breed. The devotion to our family is amazing. They do not warm up quickly to strangers. They seem to wait and see if we are accept- ing of them first then suddenly the green light comes on and they are okay with them. They are very competitive amongst themselves too. It is of utmost importance to be the first one out the door and the one that gets the ball to us. Without proper leadership, this dominance can cause problems. You must be firm but fair in your corrections and requirements of them. We seem to see two sides of the breed. First is the “we have a job to do and we are not stopping until that’s done” and second is the “game over time for naps don’t bother me”. Although a very adapt- able breed, the best home has varying activities to keep the mind and body sharp. Because we have been long established in the breed, over 36 years, we have an excellent reputation and always have a lengthy waiting list for potential puppy owners. Some have waited years for a dog from us. We are extremely cautious about with whom we place a puppy and follow up on a regular basis. We hear almost daily from one or more of our owners. We maintain a private list- serve that is only for those people who own our dogs. This allows us to monitor the fun times and also the difficult situations that always arise. We, along with the other members, praise, support and mentor each other to ensure that the dogs are getting the very best options and guidance needed to ensure a happy long life. From simple things like how to housebreak to supporting a top therapy dog that’s displaying wonderful breed characteristics while helping elderly and children alike. Not to mention the agility and confor- mation participants amongst the many well-loved pets. At ten weeks things get very serious when determining who is of show potential or not. Without obvious faults, it is at this time that we closely look at front assemblies and rear drive. The amount
“THEY DO NOT WARM UP QUICKLY TO STRANGERS. THEY SEEM TO WAIT AND SEE IF WE ARE ACCEPTING OF THEM FIRST THEN SUDDENLY THE GREEN LIGHT COMES ON AND THEY ARE OKAY WITH THEM.”
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CardiganWelsh Corgi Q& A
“One analogy between the Cardigans and the Pembrokes is, ‘the Pembrokes are the party goers and the Cardigans are the Butler.’”
David L. & Deborah L. Anthony continued
evaluation about nine weeks old and then start making choices of where puppies will go. I have bred dogs with a huge amount of herding instinct and so I need to place dogs accordingly. My proud- est moments are watching the Glasshouse pups grow up and be out winning with their people. Bringing people into the breed and watching them catch the passion of being with their dog, no matter the venue, is what makes me happy. ELIZABETHHILLEBRAND I have been exhibiting
of bone. angles, tailset/carriage and very importantly the tempera- ment of the dog is watched very closely. A new judge should be focused on the overall dog. Don’t fixate on one particular characteristic and base your decisions on that. Many come away from multiple breed seminars and remember only one or two key points of the breed and tend to think that if they find or eliminate those couple of things, they will have understood the breed. That is not the case. Our ultimate goal for the breed is to produce a dog that matches the breed standard as closely as possible. We hope that by continu- ing a successful breeding program, we can ensure the longevity of this breed. Our favorite dog show memory? At the very first show we attended on our own, we traveled to the Polo Grounds outside of Cleveland, Ohio. That show was large at that time and we had a good entry. As a complete novice exhibitor, David placed the dog on the table backwards and stood back just as proud as can be of our little boy. The judge was kind and did the examination that way and gave me my blue ribbon. We did hear a few snickers from outside. The observers were mortified and quickly informed us as such outside of the ring once completed. I laughed and said “oh well it was fun” and have kept that idea of fun in our heads for more than 36 years. If it isn’t fun, my and wife and I won’t be doing it. LORI FROST I currently live in Ventura, California with my Cardigan Welsh Corgis. I own my own company where I operate and maintain water districts and do specialized plumbing. It allows me a bit of a flexible schedule to work with the dogs. Cardigans are a breed who are incredibly versatile, and I believe this is one reason they are becoming more popular. Many people can recognize the “Corgi” (a Welsh word that means dwarf dog) by the short legs, but the different look and having a tail throws them off and they start thinking they are mixes. It gives a chance to describe the differences between a Pembroke and a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. We do notice over the past year or two, more people so rec- ognize them as a Cardigan. I fell in love with the breed as my first was such a great all-around dog and superb with my children. This breed was a farm dog; they played with kids, watched the homestead, did vermin eradication, drove stock to market, and kept strange stock away. They are smart, active clowns who love being with their people. Had my first litter in 2007; and since that time, there have been numerous dogs with the Glasshouse prefix who have titled in conformation, herding, agility, barn hunt, lure coursing and nosework. Several are therapy and support dogs and one is a hearing service dog. The breed is one who is very owner/family oriented. They are smart and can be a bit overwhelming for a first-time dog owner. One analogy between the Cardigans and the Pembrokes is, “the Pembrokes are the party goers and the Cardigans are the Butler.” A breeder needs to know their dogs and figure out the appropriate home for the puppies. A high drive working dog shouldn’t be placed in a home where the people are sedentary. I can see structure on a puppy at birth, and then I let them grow up and check on temperament and activity level. I do a final
since 1996 and breeding Cardigans since 1998. I currently breed Cardigan Welsh Corgis under the pre- fix Cadnoclun in conjunc- tion with my best friend and professional handler Marian McShane. Marian is a lifelong breeder of Best in Show and Specialty win- ning St Bernards, Rottwei- lers and and German Wire- Hair Pointers. Together we
© Taylor Elizabeth Photography
have bred one litter of Beagles as well. I am a Registered Nurse and I am active in my my local kennel club, where I currently hold the office of President, and I am a former Board member of the Cardi- gan Welsh Corgi Club of America. I love the sport of purebred dogs! Photo credit for the photo goes to Taylor Elizabeth Photogra- phy, INC, https://www.taylorelizabethphotographync.com/. I live in Mocksville, North Carolina. Outside of dogs I am a certified Critical Care Registered Nurse specializing in surgical patients. Does the average person in the street recognize the breed? The generic term “Corgi” is highly recognized by the general public, mostly due to fascination with the British Royal family and Queen Elizabeth’s participating in breeding and owning Pembroke Welsh Corgis for most of her life. Our Cardigans are much fewer in num- ber, and as breeders of Cardigan Welsh Corgis, we face some chal- lenges in educating folks on the differences and similarities in the two breeds. Cardigans and Pembrokes are not interchangeable, nor varieties of the same breed. That has to be boiled down into an “elevator length” sound byte. I don’t think it impacts placing puppies, though. How has the breed adapted to civilian life? The Cardigan was developed to be an all-around farm dog. The Welsh farmers who developed our breed valued their independent thinking skills that balance with their need to be part of their family and their family’s daily routine. This makes them great dogs for all sorts of families, including ones with children or childless couples of all ages. They don’t need a ton of space, but do require regular exercise of their minds and bodies. Our breed has retained very much of its original working ability and can still do its original job, but has great adapt- ability for other situations. What about the breed makes him an ideal companion? They love to be part of their family’s daily routine. They are
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Elizabeth Hillebrand continued
lazing around the house with a walk around the neighborhood. Then there are the Cardigans that must be busy and will find any- thing to keep themselves occupied, if the owner doesn’t give them to do. Matching the correct temperaments with the new owner is essential to ensure everyone is happy with their puppy. A puppy born with breed standard faults, you will know right way. At eight weeks I can usually rule out any undesirable traits I do not want in my breeding program. As far as trying to determine the best show puppy, this breed changes so much between eight weeks and a year, it is difficult. By six months, I will see how they are doing. Sometimes you get that one special puppy that is “it”, but most of the time it is keep the puppy for a while to see how they do. I’m actually seeing improvement in people willing to pay for a well bred Cardigan, as compared to ten years ago or so. When the economy is poor, breeders don’t breed because there are so few buyers. What is the most important thing about the breed for a novice to keep in mind when judging? Be very familiar with our breed standard. There is a reason our fronts look like they do. Movement. I’m a huge movement person, so make sure the dog has reach and drive, and the front single tracks. My ultimate goal for the breed is staying power, I want to see the dogs at 10 and 11, that are still structurally sound. It says a lot when there is a veteran that can still move. As a breeder, it is important for me to know that the veteran’s offspring will be able to perform and be sound as they get older. My favorite dog show memory is my first regular group place- ment with my first Cardigan, when he was only a year and a half old. REBECCAWINKLER I live in Ashburn, Virginia. I work full time as well as make jewelry from stones I mine as a side business and “outside” of dogs. I also enjoy traveling especially going on cruises. Does the average person in the street recognize the breed? No the average person doesn’t recognize the breed. When they hear Welsh Corgi they think of Pembroke. I don’t know about good or bad for placing puppies since I am not a breeder. Also people think this is a mixed breed. How has the breed adapted to civilian life? My three Cardis have adapted to civilian life by becoming guard dogs when people come to the house, they also bark at trucks and people walking by the house as well as herding workers around the house. What about the breed makes him an ideal companion? Their understanding of what you say to them make them an ideal fit. My oldest Cardigan is the perfect companion since he taught himself to recognize my illness three weeks before I have a relapse and has fig- ured out when my mother’s blood sugar level is too high or too low. He was never trained and is now training the youngest dog to take over for him. The only drawback I see if the need to bark at things and people and not be quiet at appropriate times. Does the breed’s energy level and active brain keep you on your toes? Yes, but I give them games to work their brain to stay sharp. What is your favorite dog show memory? I don’t have any since I use a professional dandler to show my dogs in the breed ring. At ten years of age, my oldest dog became the eighth Cardi- gan to become a Herding Champion in AHBA (American Herd- ing Breeders Association). My oldest boy also has his conformation Championship and he earned that when he was three. My youngest girl who is now four loves to strut her stuff in the show ring and she is working on her Bronze Grand Championship.
extremely people-oriented, while retaining independent think- ing skills that make them endearing and exasperating at the same time. They can train their owners faster sometimes than their own- ers can train them. They need as much mental exercise as they do physical exercise. Does the breed’s energy level and active brain keep you on your toes? Yes! I laugh, curse, and cry every day over my dogs’ antics. But then, at night, when I have a bed full of peacefully snoring dogs, I remember what attracted me to this breed. I couldn’t imagine my life without a Cardigan in it. What special challenges do breeders face in our current eco- nomic and social climate? We are fighting the popularity and public awareness of the doodle fad and the adopt-don’t shop mentality. There can be a kind of public shaming for wanting a purebred dog. We need to do a better job of getting our message out there. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? Well, at birth you can see cosmetic things like faulty markings. Then at about three weeks coat length starts declaring itself, but that, in and of itself, doesn’t automatically eliminate a puppy from consideration as my keeper. I watch the puppies as they get up on their feet, judging balance and personalty. We generally make our final decisions about who to keep at around 12 weeks. We tend to keep more girls, and a male has to be completely superior in almost all aspects to be considered a keeper. I will forgive a bit on bitches, because I have found I can improve good bitches with great stud dogs. The reverse has not been as successful for me. What is the most important thing about the breed for a novice to keep in mind when judging? A judge that is new to this breed should realize that consider the outline from the side—we are a silhouette breed, but if a judge is having trouble deciding between two dogs in a class, move them again! They have to be more than pretty statues. We have a unique front and that takes some getting used to, but a correct front should never look unsound coming at you. Reach and drive on the side is great, but a clean, pleasing down and back are just as important. Overall, judge the whole dog, and don’t get lost in the details. What is my ultimate goal for the breed? To breed healthy, correctly structured dogs who epitomize what a Cardigan is sup- posed to be and for them to be in families that love them and their quirkiness. My favorite dog show memory? Gosh, there are so many! From my very first dog show with my first Cardigan back in 1996 to all the fun things that are happening with our current home-bred Spe- cial, MBISS GrChS Cadnoclun’s Trippy Little Hippie, currently the number one Cardigan Bitch All Systems, it has been a fun ride and I wouldn’t change anything! I think they are the greatest breed in the whole world! DARCI LANG I live in Tucson, Arizona. Outside of dogs I still work full time, love to read and take vacations without the dogs. Does the average person recognize the breed? Most people rec- ognize it is a Corgi, but do not know the difference between a Pem- broke and a Cardigan. I did have someone ask if my blue merle was an Australian Shepherd/Dachshund cross. When I have a new puppy inquiry, I always make sure the person understands which breed I have, especially if they state they want a Corgi. The cardigan’s willingness to please makes the breed very adapt- able to any type of “work”, in the form of performance events. Herding events, at least in my area, are becoming more popular so even the city dogs can have a chance to herd. As with all breeds there are variations in temperament and activity level. There are Cardigans who are extremely happy just
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The CardiganWelsh Corgi BY VIVIAN MORAN, CWCCA Judges Education 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
silhouette: a deep chest with a distinct tuck-up at the belly; a level top line that slopes into a long fox-like bushy tail at the croup. Soft curves. The Cardigan’s double coat 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 permis- sible trimming is to tidy up the feet. Well scissored grooming may attempt to disguise a long coat but it cannot alter 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 surround the eyes. The dog should appear to have a colored coat with white spots 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 Car- digan is no different, whether in the show ring or competing in companion or performance events. The standard clearly describes this attribute: Gait: Free and smooth. E ff ortless. Viewed from the side, fore- legs should reach well forward when moving at a trot...Hind legs 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. 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 dis- like the table examination. They tolerate 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. The only disqualifications in the Cardigan standard are: 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. For further study of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, see the parent club web site, Cardigancorgis.com. Numerous articles and videos may be found in ‘resources’ under Education in the menu bar.
that wrap around the chest. A breed that is more than 3000 years old evolves over time, but the Welsh farmers who depended on these smart, agile lit- tle dogs required characteristics that remain important in dogs we see today: correct conformation, effortless movement, 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.” Though the standard devotes a lengthy paragraph to the head, we are not a ‘head’ breed. Important features are parallel head planes, the 3:5 muzzle to back-skull ratio, and large, erect ears. The ears are set so that the tips are slightly wider than a line drawn from the tip of the nose through the center of the eye. Cardigans must have a black nose, except in blue merles where a butterfly nose is acceptable. They should have a strong under-jaw and, pref- erably, a scissor bite. The wrap-around front is the hallmark of the breed. This functional front allowed the Welsh farmer’s working 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 imagi- nary plumb line dropped directly from the withers to the floor. The feet may turn out slightly, 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 differen- tiates the Cardigan from the Pembroke, along with an outline that is a series of curves. In contrast, the Pembroke has oval bone and a more angular silhouette. Again, think of the Cardigan’s
“A correctly built Cardigan could work all day, as he once did on the Welsh farms. To do that he must have a smooth, flawless gait with balanced reach and drive.”
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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.”
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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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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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hose of us that have been in the breed for many years, remember when the long and low dog with the funny
looking turned out feet waited at the end of the working group line up, only to be typically ignored by the judging community. Mind you, the Cardigan was first registered with the AKC in 1936 and patiently awaited our turn to shine. With the advent of the group realignment and the creation of the herding group in 1983, many Cardigan aficionados thought they stood a better chance of recognition amongst all of the flash and flare that the other herd- ing breeds exhibited. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Yes, there were exceptions and every once in a while a great Cardigan made its way to the group line up. One cannot place all the blame on the judges though. Our favorite breed has gone though some evolutionary changes over the years. Sadly, in years past it was not unusual for judges to view the final line up of Cardigans and shake their head in disbelief at the poor quality that was regularly being exhib- ited. Yes, there were exceptions, but the dedicated breeders met the chal- lenge head-on and worked very hard to make improvements to their breed- ing programs. They strived for consis- tency in the conformation of the breed and made some tough decisions about which pup from the litter made the final cut to continue in the show ring. Fast forward to the 21st Century and suddenly the Cardigan has become a force to be reckoned with. The Car- digan makes its way to the Westmin- ster Kennel Club show and suddenly it obtains a group four. OK, well now at least someone recognizes us and then along comes a much appreci- ated group two placement and we are gaining some much-loved momentum. Finally, we hit pay dirt when a gorgeous 268 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A UGUST 2018
Cardigan by the name of Grand Cham- pion Riverside Telltail Coco Posh, who was shown beautifully by professional handler Lois DeMers at the 2014 West- minster show. Internationally known herding judge Walter Sommerfelt, found Coco to be an exquisite example of the breed and awarded her a herding group one, the first time in the history of the breed. Since that historic event, the Car- digan scored another group two place- ment in 2018, with Grand Champion Aubrey’s Tails of Mystery continuing the Westminster tradition. As guardians of the breed, we are excited to finally see Cardigans regular- ly placing in groups and even coveted Best in Shows all over the country now. Professional handlers are seeing the competiveness of the breed and judges are seeing that correct wrap around front with great reach and drive that we have been striving for now for years. It makes for a memorable occasion when a proper moving example captivates the show ring. So let’s dissect the Cardigan and see just what makes a great one. They have some unique features that require the utmost attention from those graced with the honor of adjudicating our favorite breed. Of course, there is no substi- tute for attending a CWCCA (Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America) judges’ education program along with the some quality ringside mentoring from skilled Cardigan mentors, but we can certainly focus on a few of those characteristics that make this 3,000 year old breed one worthy of a closer look by the judg- ing experts. It is that history and the needs of those who depended on the breed to do its job that we have devel- oped the outstanding examples that we see today. The breed standard is the gospel when it comes to judging any breed. We are going to pick and choose some key portions and expound on those beginning with, “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. Gener- al Impression: A handsome, powerful, small dog, capable of both speed and endurance, intelligent, sturdily built but not coarse.” This statement alone sepa- rates the Cardigan from a vast majority of other breeds. The section entitled (Head) is the longest paragraph in the AKC standard, but we do not consider ourselves a head breed in the sense that many others do. In general, the impor- tant features are the three parts to five parts muzzle to skull ratio, eyes in har- mony with the coat color, blue or partial blue in merle dogs only, those wonder- ful erect ears with heavy leather set so
that a line drawn from the center of the nose through the eye reaching the rounded tip. The nose must be black unless it is a blue merle, which in that case can be a butterfly type. Finally, we prefer a clean scissors bite to compli- ment the headpiece. We do want a nice level topline without a high tail set or tail carriage. It should never be carried over the back. Remember our famous deep keel and that slight tuck up with length in the well-sprung ribs and not in the loin. One of our most unique features and one that is commonly misunderstood, is the wrap around front assembly that allows for a slight turnout of the feet to carry that low slung sturdy body. It is extremely important to remember that “This outward point is not to be more than 30 degrees from center line when viewed from above.” Please remember to look at those feet to see that they are large and round but not splayed. Lastly, “The correct Cardigan front is neither straight nor so crooked as to appear unsound.” Please learn what a correct front should look like and reward accordingly. When looking down on the exhibit you will notice a nice hourglass type shape and the rear is strong to propel this dog all day long. Those rear feet will not and should not, turn out like the front. As with any Alsatian-type dog, you will find only flowing curves and never any sharp angles when taking in the overall silhouette. From a hun- dred yards there should be no doubt it is a Cardigan. “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.” There is no color pref- erence in Cardigans, but remember it should not be a white dog with color and therefore white cannot dominate the body color. As for the headpiece, white should not be the predominate color and should never surround the eyes. A recent press release to the AKC from the National Club explains this particular undesirable trait in detail. Those who merely take their dog for a casual walk around the show ring are missing an important part of the Cardigan’s features. The standard reads very clearly, 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 neither in nor out and in one continuous motion drive powerfully behind, well beyond the set of the tail.” The JEC has created a wonderful video that examines in close up slow-motion-detail the movement of the Cardigan. You are strongly encour-
aged to view that at the CWCCA web- site and learn what move- ment is truly all about. Lastly, we must discuss temperament
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