Corgi (Cardigan and Pembroke)

These two breeds of Corgi worked on the farms of West Wales for hundreds of generations. They were cattle dogs, moving the cattle by nipping their heels, as well as general workers, keeping the land and people's homes free from vermin.


Nothing much is known of their early history, as they lived on remote mountain farms and were virtually unknown outside these areas. The Welsh canine bibliographer Clifford Hubbard theorized that both breeds had the same origins but evolved differently. The Cardigan Corgi is the original Welsh cattle dog which remained in the relative obscurity of central Wales. The Pembroke Corgi began as the original Welsh Cattle dog but was crossed with the Spitz-type Swedish Vallhund introduced by the Vikings. In the eleventh century, Flemish weavers settled around Haverford West and brought their tailless Schipperkes which interbred with the native breeds. It is not easy to trace early dog shows scheduling Corgwn (Corgis); they were classified as Cwn Sodli (Heeler dogs). They were exhibited as Corgwn in 1925, and in 1934 The Kennel Club registered them as two breeds. A few are still worked but most are show dogs and pets now.

Corgis are busy little dogs, which need to be occupied. Bright and alert, they are good companions. This is the Pembroke Corgi.


Both breeds have similar temperaments: they are busy dogs, always looking for something to do. They are good guard dogs, faithful, affectionate, intelligent and good with children.

must know

Breeders report no known problems. PRA has been eradicated in Cardigans but a Kennel Club DNA test is available.


Low on the leg and long in the body, both the Corgi breeds have pricked ears but set slightly differently. The Pembroke has the foxier expression with a short tail; the Cardigan is slightly longer in body with a full tail. Any coat colour is permissible in the Cardigan, but Pembrokes are self coloured red, sable, fawn or black and tan, with some white markings permitted. In height, Cardigans are 30cm (12in) high at the shoulder; Pembrokes are 25.5-30cm (10-12in).

Strangers 4/5

Both breeds are good guard dogs

Temperament 5/5

Cardigan: laid back Pembroke: mischievous Both good with children but must be socialized

Exercise 4/5

Walks at least twice daily, garden games

Grooming 1/5

Once a week, more when moulting

Other dogs 2/5

Cardigan: friendly but dislikes being hustled Pembroke: anxious to be friendly


Both breeds are loyal, affectionate family pets

General care

These hardy, inquisitive little dogs are good feeders but they need plenty of exercise and things to do. They often excel at Obedience, Agility and Flyball. They need to be groomed at least once a week.

Gallery of Corgi