The Other Corgi
You see them everywhere now: they have cute, fluffy, butts; big ears; and wear lots and lots of costumes. Corgis—they have become the unofficial dog of the internet. They were already the royal dog of England, but that’s just one country; I’m talking about the World. Wide. Web. They’re adorable, frisky, smiley, funny dogs with medium-sized bodies and short little legs.
Yup, that’s the one. Source.
You know what’s sad though? All those corgi fans are missing out, because there are TWO types of corgi. That’s right, twice the corgi goodness. How do I know all about this rarer and equally as awesome “other” corgi? Simple, I own one.
That’s my girl . . . and she has a TAIL.
The corgi most people are used to seeing is the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, named after its town of origin, Pembrokeshire, Wales. The “other” corgi is a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, named after, you guessed it, its town of origin, Cardiganshire, Wales (apparently the origin of sweaters as well). Though these two towns of the Welsh hill country were only a few miles apart, the two types of corgi show marked differences in physical appearance and personality.
Let’s just go ahead and get it out of the way, Cardigans have tails—lovely, long, swinging, foxy tails. And as an FYI, if your Cardi has more swing in her tail than usual, you might want to check and see what she either is up to or has been up to. Pembrokes, on the other hand, have cute little numbs that often require them to wag their entire bottoms as there is just not enough tail to properly convey their enthusiasm. Interesting Fact: before docking became a common practice, Pemmie breeders focused on breeding dogs with naturally occurring bob tails, but became less concerned once they realized docking was an option. Now, several European countries have banned docking—considering it a type of animal cruelty—so breeders are once again having to search for Pemmies with the gene for a natural bob tail.
Was I born this way, or was I docked? Do you really care? LOOK AT MY FLUFFY BUTT. Source.
Cardis are bigger than Pemmies. The average Pembroke is a few inches shorter and a few pounds lighter than the average Cardigan. While their smaller stature can allow Pembrokes to be faster and slightly more agile, Cardigans are often sturdier and, physically, a little tougher. (I have a toddler, I need all the “sturdy” I can get in a dog.)
Pictured: My sturdy dog and the reason I need a sturdy dog
What really won me over was the Cardi’s personality. Though both breeds are spirited herding dogs that do require regular exercise, Cardis are generally calmer and a little more low-key. If you want a corgi to go with your super active, always on the go lifestyle, a Cardi—while one would be sufficient—may not be the best way to go. Again, that’s not to say you don’t need to exercise a Cardi, but they’re more likely to deal with down time better than a Pemmie.
Along with the general laid-back Cardi style, I also fell for their humor. While all corgis are naturally born hams, I’ve heard Cardi’s described as the court jesters of the dog world; I can’t think of a more appropriate description.
Though a few words involving a lack of sanity come to mind . . .
Since Cardigans aren’t as popular as Pembrokes, breeders— especially the good, responsible breeders that you want to support—can be a little difficult to find. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America is a useful place to start. Of course, before you start hunting down a breeder for any dog, especially a Cardi, make sure you’ve done as much research on the breed as possible and that you and the pup will fit each other’s lifestyles. Again, the CWCCA is a nice resource for all things Cardigan, and all different breeds have their own clubs well worth looking into for information.
But if you’ve realized a corgi is the right dog for you, why not give a Cardigan a chance? You never know; she might become your best friend and one of your favorite photography subjects.
Amanda Johnson is a corgi-mom, freelance writer, wife, and toddler mom. You can keep up with her random musings and commentary about various facets of life at her blog The Humble Narcissist and follow her on Twitter.