Cardigan Welsh Corgis are slightly bigger than Pembroke corgis. Among the two dog breeds, the Cardigan has an older ancestry; they are characterized by longer brushy tail with its front legs slightly bowed under the chest. This breed had been brought by early Celtic migrants to Cardiganshire, Wales. It comes from the Teckel dog breed, the same family that Dachshunds belong to.
Cardigan Welsh Corgis are bred to be big, sturdy dogs with short legs, excellent for herding sheep and cattle. The breed's short stature makes them safe from the cattle kicks that can easily miss them and go above their heads. They are bred as farm guard dogs, protecting cattle and other livestock from predators. They are good at herding and were known as "drovers", driving sheep and cattle from the farm to the English markets.
Driving is one of the three herding styles. In driving, the dog moves the livestock closer together and guiding them away from the shepherd. Another technique is called mustering, wherein the dog outruns the sheep and guides them back to the shepherd, commonly done by Border Collies. Then there's tending, usually done by German Shepherds, wherein the dog constantly moves around the group, keeping them together and following the shepherd's lead. These herding styles, however, are not exclusive to specific dog breeds. Until today, herding instincts can still be seen present among corgis, when outdoors; they may try to keep their family together by nipping at their legs or ankles.
Cardigan Welsh Corgis are considered as the perfect hunting companion, family member and watchdog for their children. They are best known for their herding abilities, obedience, agility, playfulness and loyalty. Among dog breeds, they are highly trainable and easy to live with; they get along well with other household pets. When it comes to strange animals and other peoples' pets they are not familiar with, they can be very territorial. The Cardigan Welsh Corgis' herding and protective instincts kick in, as they are used to chasing away stray animals that may have wandered through the farm. They are also great at protecting livestock. When trained, they do very well in obedience, agility, tracking and herding competitions.
If you are interested in having a Cardigan and competing at herding trials, make sure you go to a reputable breeder who specializes in breeding working dogs. If you are raising a Cardigan puppy that you picked from the pound or other local breeders, it will take intensive training and investment on your part and your dogs. Herding trials are considered the most difficult among dog sports, even experienced herding competitors agree. If you would like to compete in the sport, it is best to start right and get a Cardigan Welsh Corgi bred and raised specifically for the sport.
Cardigan Welsh Corgis may be small house dogs but it is important to give them space where they can run around, to let them exercise daily and to stimulate them to keep them healthy and happy.
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Camille Goldin tells about how small dogs like Cardigan Welsh Corgis can be good at herding. TrainPetDog.com provides information on Dog Breeds.