The Cardigan Welsh 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.”
294 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , D ECEMBER 2019
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