WITH DAVID & DEBBIE ANTHONY, LEAH JAMES, JON KIMES, TEDDY MCDOWELL, VIVIAN MORAN, CINDY SAVIOLI & DR. JEFFREY WELCH
some poor specimens. I think Cardigans are better now than when I first started. We have many breeders who have been breeding for over 20 years. They are the pillars of our breed and with diligence our new breeders will look to them to continue to breed to the standard and keep our Cardigan beautiful. VM: I am not sure I have seen too much change over the past six years, but the breed is certainly better than it was 30 years, ago. Quality is more consistent: round bone is more prevalent and heads are prettier. CS: The breed has improved so much since we first became involved in Corgis. It was common back in the 80s to see tall, fine boned Cardigans with bad temperaments. Now because of the dramatic improvement in the breed, they are competitive in the group and BIS. We have had some amazing breeder pioneers and dogs that have given this breed the respect it desired. Look at the dogs of recent years that have been at the top of the Herding Group and BIS—Maggie, Harry Potter, Libby, Coco, Powell, Harvey, Freddie Mac, Mae Mae and Rory. JW: Yes. More attention is being paid to the shoulder assem- bly and front movement. The breed exhibits are more consistent in type than in the past, although the fluidity of movement still needs improvement. 5. What are the most important traits that distinguish a Cardigan from a Pembroke? JK: If one remembers the Pembroke has Spitz heritage and the Cardigan does not, this will inherently put you on a good path. Pembroke bone has a more oval shape, the ribbing is more oval, the underline is straighter, the tail set is usually higher, the front has less pronounced crook and the forefeet point straight ahead. From a specialty perspective, if you can’t find really top class Pem head type you are useless. The Cardigan is not as advanced today as the Pem, it is a much harder breed to perfect, but it doesn’t help that a large percentage of judges do a terrible job with them. You must have a vision, you must understand what we are working to achieve and identify and reward those attributes. The Cardigan ideally is a very beautiful animal and if you can’t get anything else right, going for balance (not dwarfiness) and knowing proportions and basic construction will at least put your
decisions in a defensible light. I know many judges hate judging the breed, but serving up bad decisions certainly doesn’t further the cause. True Cardigan temperament is not Pembroke temperament. The Cardigan should be a calm, relaxed dog, not a baiting maniac. That might be a show dog but it’s not really breed type temperament and rewarding it over true breed virtues does a disservice to the breed. If they are best presented stack, let them be stacked. If you saw the ears up when you wanted to examine expression don’t look for the dog to be baiting every time you look down the line. VM: Living in horse county, I’d be rich if I had a nickel for every time I had to explain, “No, this is not a Corgi cross.” When people comment on the tail and that they are a different color than most Pembrokes, it gives me the opportunity to explain their different origins, which allows for a difference in coat texture, allowable colors and generally a difference in temperament. The Pem- broke is smaller than the Cardigan. The top line squares off at the croup and the underline is flat. The Cardigan top line slopes slightly at the croup and the body has a definite tuck at the waist. A Pembroke temperament is more obviously happy-go-lucky. They will engage you on the table when being examined as well as on the floor. Cardigans appear more serious. They tolerate the table exam but their sometimes clown-like personality is better judged when they have their feet on the ground. 6. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? JL: I’m afraid that they don’t understand moderate, balanced and round boned. One of the other things that enters into this equation is the Cardigan should have smooth, balanced and flowing movement. Recently, a very lovely bitch was being clobbered for her tail carriage. Yes, it was definitely flying but table examination would reveal a good croup. Tails are the last thing I look at! If the rest of the dog meets the standard why penalize them for something that many others have had fixed. TM: I think new judges make it harder than it is to judge the Cardigan front. Actually, to make it easier I just tell new judges the front is an inverted egg sitting in an egg cup. The feet may turn out to support the cup.
“THE CARDIGAN SHOULD BE A CALM, RELAXED DOG...”
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