Types Of Corgis – Two Lovely Charmers From Wales

Types Of Corgis – Two Lovely Charmers From Wales

Almost tail-free Pembroke Welsh Corgi became famous thanks to Queen Elizabeth II, but it is not the only Corgi that originated in Wales. Long-tailed Cardigan Welsh Corgi is another entirely different, lovely breed from the same state.

Yet, these fantastic creatures have something in common. Both are loyal, dedicated, and affectionate family pets. So, Cardigan vs. Pembroke Corgi? Let’s see the primary differences.

Cardigan Vs. Pembroke Corgi

1. History

Cardigan vs. Pembroke that is the question! Believe it or not, Cardigan and Pembroke Corgi don’t share common ancestors and actually originated in different regions of Wales. While Cardigan lives in the rough, rocky Cardiganshire terrain on the southwest, Pembroke comes from the flatter, easier Pembrokeshire terrain on the south.

Cardigan is among the oldest British breeds living on the island for more than two thousand years. It is believed that this dog’s ancestors came to Wales from the German Teckel lineage in central Europe, probably with the Celtic tribes in 1200 BC.

Pembroke descended from the Nordic Spitz breed. Some believe that Vikings brought this breed to Wales, but it is more likely that the first dogs came with Belgium weavers in 1107 AD at the invitation of King Henry I.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi history

On the other hand, these two have similar working heritage. Mostly, they guarded farms and stables and alerted owners to danger or someone’s unwanted presence.

The first Corgi Club was founded in 1925 in Carmarthenshire, but a club for Cardigans appeared the following year because the first club favored the Pembroke breed. Initially, the Kennel Club categorized Welsh Corgis in 1928 as the same breed but officially recognized separate two breeds in 1934.

Except for some sporadic attempts in the 1930s, there were no ideas to interbreed two dog breeds in modern history. The AKC officially recognized two separate breeds in 2006 because of the apparent difference between Cardigan and Pembroke Corgi.

2. Personality

Cardigan Welsh Corgi vs. Pembroke Welsh Corgi personalities are slightly different even though they have many similarities, as well. Both are delightful companions, love their families, and are happiest to spend time with them.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi personality

However, Pembroke is friendly, affectionate, outgoing, happy, and immediately ready for a party, while Cardigan needs time to show affection. It tends to be quieter and more careful, so you can expect this dog to assess a situation before deciding to take part in a new activity.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi personality

Both love traveling, don’t mind changing life circumstances, and enjoy adventure and new experiences, but Cardigan will adapt quickly. Interestingly, they also won’t mind lying on the sofa next to you for hours. The only thing they want is to be a part of your activities, whatever they are.

While Pembroke enjoys sticking to you and doesn’t have any tendency to get lost or wander astray, Cardigan will quicker accept your absence during working hours. However, both will enjoy your company, but in a slightly different way.

3. Temperament

Cardigan and Pembroke are different kinds of Corgis, but both adore kids and enjoy playing together. These fantastic pets are always loyal and affectionate, with endless tolerance for children’s mischief. Moreover, they can behave like nannies and always keep an eye on your offspring.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi temperament

These excellent watchdogs will warn you to strangers by barking loudly. Pembroke will accept new people quicker with less barking, while Cardigan won’t stop until you come to check what is going on.

Luckily, both Corgis will like other pets’ company, and they usually get along with cats and other dogs, particularly when growing up together. Early and adequate socialization will be a big advantage.

4. Size And Look

The height of an average Cardigan Welsh Corgi is about 10 to 12.5 inches (25.5 – 32 cm). It weighs from 20 to 38 pounds (9 – 17 kg), depending on its age, gender, and physical activity.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi aspects
Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Height10.5 to 12.5 inches (27 – 32 cm)10 to 12 inches (25.5 – 30.5 cm)
Weight25 and 38 pounds (11.5 – 17 kg)20 and 35 pounds (9 – 16 kg)

An average Pembroke Welsh Corgi weighs approximately 25 to 30 pounds (11.5 – 13.5 kg). Its usual high is 10 to 12 inches (25.5 – 30.5 cm).

Pembroke Welsh Corgi size and look
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Height10 and 12 inches (25.5 – 30.5 cm)10 inches (25.5)
Weight28 or 30 pounds (13 – 13.5 kg)25 to 30 pounds (11.5 – 13.5 kg)

According to AKC breed standards, Cardigan Welsh Corgi’s coat can be:

  • Red
  • Red with white markings
  • Sable
  • Sable with white markings
  • Blue merle
  • Brindle
  • Black
  • Black and tan
  • Black with white markings
Cardigan Welsh Corgi with blue eyes

On the other hand, Pembroke Welsh Corgi standard includes only five coat colors, such as:

  • Sable (with white markings)
  • Red (with white markings)
  • Fawn (with white markings)
  • Redhead tricolor
  • Blackhead tricolor

The most noticeable difference between these two Corgis is in their tails. While Cardigans have a pretty long tail, Pembroke Corgi has a short one and keeps it docked.

5. Grooming

Cardigan and Pembroke are different types of Corgi, but they have many similar characteristics. Their coats are water-resistant, so there is no need to bathe them too often. It will be enough to brush your low-maintenance buddy once a week.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi grooming

However, you will notice a significant difference between Pembroke and Cardigan Corgi when the shedding season comes. Pembroke sheds throughout the year, but things become much worse in late spring when you need to brush it daily.

6. Exercising

These working dogs are energetic and lively, so you should choose one of them if you enjoy exercising yourself or have a large backyard. Your furry friend will enjoy walking at least an hour a day regardless of Corgi differences. Avoid too much running since these breeds are not fast.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi exercising

Pembroke is more energetic and requires a bit more playing, while Cardigan prefers hiking. Keep in mind that such short and long dogs often have problems with their back, and regular exercise will help them stays strong and without excess weight.

7. Training

There are no many differences between Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgi when it comes to training. These working dogs are easily trainable, but you need to be persistent and consistent. Positive reinforcement training and treats are keys to success in both cases.

Corgi training

Both Corgis are stubborn and independent, and you shouldn’t allow your furry friend to take place as an alpha male. It is your position as an owner. The secret is to give it time and make training fun and challenging.

8. Diet And Nutrition

Two types of Corgis have the same diet and require 1 to 1.5 cups of quality dog food daily. The best option is to divide that amount into two equal portions. When your Corgi lives like a lapdog, it will need only one cup per day. On the other hand, you should add an extra 0.5 cups of food if your dog is overactive. Keep in mind that this breed quickly puts on weight, so you need to be careful and keep its diet under control.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi diet

9. Possible Health Problems

Both Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgis are prone to a few health issues, including some hereditary health conditions. They often face spinal problems due to their long backs and short legs.

They can also suffer from eye infections, cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, retinal dysplasia, and heart disorders. The most severe health conditions include:

General Predisposition

Hip and elbow dysplasia – It occurs because one or both joints haven’t developed correctly.

Intervertebral disc disease – This degenerative process is age-related. It affects dogs’ spinal cord and causes absorbing discs hardening.

Cystinuria – A health condition when the dog has high protein cystine levels in urine that often lead to stone formation.

Obesity – Both Corgi Pembroke and Cardigan are prone to this problem, so you need to monitor their diet.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi health

Genetic Predispositions

Degenerative myelopathy – This hereditary condition is probably the worst and often fatal health issue affecting Corgis spine once they turn eight.

Von Willebrand’s disease – This blood-clotting hereditary disease can jeopardize Corgi’s life due to excessive bleeding. Pembroke Corgi more often develops this bleeding disorder than Cardigan Corgi.

Necessary Tests

The Cardigan National Breed Club and Pembroke National Breed Club recommend to breeders that parents undergo an Ophthalmologist evaluation and get Health clearance from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation.

You should also ask for tests that guarantee that puppy’s parents are tested for:

  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Hip dysplasia and elbow (Health clearance from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals)
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Thrombophilia (Health clearance from Auburn University)

The best option to check these health clearances is at the OFA website.

Expecting Lifespan

There is also a difference between Corgi breeds’ expected lifespan. Most Cardigans live approximately 12 to 15 years, while Pembroke usually reaches 12 to 13 years.


Pembroke Corgi vs. Cardigan Corgis is a false dilemma. Both dogs are lovely, affectionate, and happy family pets that get along well with adults, kids, and other pets, including cats and other dogs.

Cardigan is more suspicious of strangers and barks more, while Pembroke is a courageous but goofball little dog. You should always check their primary characteristics, including personality and temperament, before deciding which one fits you better.