Cardigan Welsh Corgi Q & A
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. REBECCA WINKLER 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
292 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , D ECEMBER 2019
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