Developed in Wales, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi was bred to help Welsh farmers herd and guard livestock. Although sharing similar appearances, some believe that the Cardigan came from a completely different lineage than their Pembroke counterpart. The exact origin of the Welsh Corgi is uncertain, but it is believed that they may be in the same family as the Dachshund, while other theorists believe they descended from Swedish Vallhunds that were brought to Wales by Vikings in the early 1100s, making them one of the oldest breeds in the United Kingdom. The name Corgi is believed to be derived from the Welsh words cor meaning "dwarf" and gi meaning "dog," fitting for the small, short frame of the breed, while Cardigan comes from the county of Cardiganshire, presently known as Ceredigion, where the breed was commonly associated with being developed. It is thought that the Cardigan is the original Welsh Corgi, with the Pembroke being more recently refined.
Cardigan Welsh Corgis have a fox-like appearance with a long, low body with upright ears, similar in appearance to the Pembroke. However, the Cardigan is slightly larger, more heavy boned, and gets to keep their fluffy tail that is commonly docked or bobbed on the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. The coat of the breed has a curly or silky topcoat and a short, soft, and thick undercoat that comes in many beautiful colors. Their medium-to-large eyes with dark rims give these dogs that adorable puppy-dog face even at an older age. The ears of the Welsh Corgi, one of their most distinctive features, are large and slightly rounded at the tip. They have a rounded muzzle with a solid black nose, although butterfly noses are accepted in blue merles, and a bushy, low-set tail.
Cardigans are known for being a large dog in a small package and have proven themselves as an excellent herder. Due to their herding background, they can make a great watchdog who will bark to ward off strangers and unfamiliar animals that approach their home. Training the Welsh Corgi can be both a pleasure but also a test of your leadership skills but like many herding breeds, these dogs are highly intelligent, fairly easy to train, and love to please their owners. Cardigans are generally very friendly and proper socialization throughout their lives can prevent them from becoming reserved around strangers. Even though they are a small-to-medium sized breed, Corgis are quite active for their size, requiring daily exercise and a large area to play in but can be adaptable to living in apartments or condos if they receive enough playtime. In addition to herding, these hard-working dogs excel in agility, obedience, and tracking sports. The moderate size, activity level, sturdiness, and tolerant nature of the breed makes them an ideal playmate for children, dogs, and even cats. Affectionate and even-tempered, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi has the ability to act as both a herder and a great family pet for any type of household.