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Cardigan Welsh Corgi standing outdoors.
©Mary Bloom

When you hear “Corgi,” do you think of the dogs that always trailed behind Queen Elizabeth II? Did you know that the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is actually only one of two different breeds of Corgi? The second breed is the Cardigan Welsh Corgi.

Check out these fun Cardigan Welsh Corgi facts you may not have known.

1. They Have a Tail

Often called the “Corgi with a tail,” this breed’s tail is an easy way to distinguish the Cardigan from their Pembroke cousins.

2. They Have Been Known in Wales for More Than 3,000 Years

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi came to Cardiganshire, Wales, with the Celts from Central Europe in around 1200 B.C. This makes them the older of the two Corgi breeds and also one of the earliest breeds in the British Isles.

©lenkadan -

3. They Were Originally Trained to Drive Away Cattle

Hundreds of years ago, the royal family owned practically all land in Wales, and farmers were allowed to fence off only a few acres surrounding their property. They could, however, let their cattle graze on the remaining common land. With the competition for pasture between farmers, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi was trained not to herd, but to nip at the heels of the cattle and drive them far across the land.

4. Their Name Means “Dwarf Dog”

The Corgi was named “cor” for dwarf (or perhaps “cur” for working dog) and “gi” for dog. Cardigan Welsh refers to their homeland.

5. Ancient Welsh Law Protected Them

Ancient Welsh law called for severe penalties to anyone who harmed or stole the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, because their talents could help determine their family’s economic status.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi herding a flock of sheep in a field.
Antanina Gabrus/Shutterstock

6. Their Ears Are Amazing

Not only are the Cardigan’s big ears adorable, but they are also extremely useful. Cardigan Welsh Corgis have incredibly acute hearing that can distinguish between familiar sounds and strange noises, making the breed a great watchdog. They also have used their hearing to roll out of the way from an approaching kick from a cow.

7. They Have Had Three Different Group Designations

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi, recognized by the AKC in 1935, was originally in the Non-Sporting Group. They were later moved to the Working Group, and then the Herding Group, where they now reside.

8. They Can Do a Lot With Those Little Legs

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi may be short in stature but not in energy or ability. They are great companion dogs, and they love to be with people. And since they are natural herding dogs, Cardigan Welsh Corgis also excel in dog sports, including agility.

Related article: Meet Two Similar Yet Different Breeds: The Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi
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