Initially, the Corgis were very cobby, golden or blue merle in colour, often with drooping ears. The short legs of the corgis are the result of centuries of breeding work. A low strong dog is especially suitable for herding grazing cows on uneven pastures. The short legs give the dog speed and prevent the cows from being hit when it, barking and biting, chases the herd.
The Pembrokes have also been tried as herding dogs in Estonia, but currently collies are preferred as shepherds.
Despite the differences, the Corgis were bred as a single breed until the beginning of the 20th century. “Officially” the Cardigan was first exhibited in England in 1919. In 1926, the English Cardigan Welsh Corgi Association was founded. In 1934 the breed was divided: Cardigan Welsh Corgi and Pembroke Welsh Corgi were confirmed by the English Kennel Club.
It is known that the first Pembrokes were brought to Estonia in 1993 and the Cardigans – in 1997.
So far there have been the first litters. Here, the Corgis are more of a companion and hobby dog. Energetic, cheerful, resilient, and intelligent – they make trustworthy, confident, and vigilant friends. They are nimble but not hysterical. They are constantly evolving and want the owners to develop with them. Despite their small size, they need to be brought up and taught at home. The sofa dog story is not theirs. Corgi is a big dog of a small stature.
The Corgis are very energetic dogs. They need a lot of action. If you don’t bother to walk and deal with them, they can find activities for themselves, and that may not benefit the household. It is highly recommended to go for training, for example, go to agility.
The intelligence of the Corgis is well known. They are often easier to train than service dogs, they are happy to learn everything new, and happy to take part in family hobbies. Their natural contact and willingness to cooperate is a very pleasant feature. The Corgis can be seen in agility and obedience competitions, in flyball and as a track dog.
Because Corgi is bred as a universal dog, it is also a good house guard, reporting on those moving in the yard or behind the door. At the same time, it can watch children. Each Corgi has its own personality, which makes it a fascinating companion.
The Corgis also have small character differences. Pembroke is more lively and more kindled while Cardigan is calmer and more careful. The looks also vary a little. Pembroke is smaller, its hair is denser and more effective. Cardigan is more massive and a bit more cobby. One of the biggest differences is in the forepaws: Cardigan has them slightly turned outwards, the Pembroke’s legs are straight. The Cardigan’s ears are much larger and rounder. Pembroke weighs 9 – 15 kg, Cardigan – 10 – 20 kg. Male and female dogs are clearly distinguishable.
The Pembrokes have had their tails cut for years, but given the voices of animal rights activists, long-tailed Pembrokes have also been seen in recent years. A small proportion of the Pembrokes are born without a tail. However, the Cardigans have always had a tail.
The Corgis have a warm undercoat and dense topcoat. The coat never gets wet and provides good frost protection. Hair change is a couple of times a year. Maintenance is easy, weekly brushing and washing if necessary is enough. Standards allow for all kinds of colours. The Pembrokes are usually red (brown to gold) in various shades, also with sable marks, or tricolour (three-coloured). The Cardigans can be brindle (tiger stripe, reminiscent of a wood pattern), tricolour with red (tan) or brindle marks, blue merle (black and grey marble), or in different red colour, including sable marks. All colours may have white markings on the head, paws, neck and tip of the tail.
The Corgis are relatively healthy breeds, hereditary eye diseases and dysplasia are quite rare. The usual lifespan is 12-15 years, but 16- and 17-year-old dogs are also not uncommon. This requires proper energy-rich food, training and exercise, veterinary supervision, vaccinations, dental and nail care and, of course, love. You must have enough time, money and love. Among dry foods, growers recommend using Eukanuba Premium, Purina Pro Plan Perfomance Formula, Pedigree Advance Formula Energy. The protein and fat content could be 30% and 20% respectively. However, the general condition of the dog should be monitored, and food changed if necessary. Normally, the Corgis have a good appetite, but you should never let your dog eat to getting fat. A dog with limited mobility should be given leaner food.
In Estonia, Corgi owners are united by the Estonian Society of British Sheepdogs, which also includes a Long-Haired and Short-Haired Collies, Border Collie, Bearded Collie, Shetland Sheepdog, and Old English Sheepdog.