Is a Cardigan Corgi the right breed for me?


Here are just some questions that you should be asking yourself before deciding that a Cardigan is the breed for you and your family. Some of these questions relate to getting any breed of dog.

What size dog am I looking for?

The Cardi is a medium sized dog. It may have short legs but it is still a substantial dog. Height is generally between 10 -12 inches at the withers with dogs weighing in at approximately 15-18kg and bitches 14-17kg.

Is my house big enough?

The answer is probably yes! A Cardi will do perfectly well in even a small home as long as it has a safe place to go to and call its own to be out of the way of any hustle & bustle that may go on during the day. A Cardi can even do well in an apartment, although this will of course mean a lot more work when it comes to house training and a young Cardi must not go up and down stairs until fully mature so you would need to take this into consideration if you live in an apartment.

How much exercise can I give a dog?

A Cardi, once mature will enjoy at least 1 hour of exercise a day but will happily take more if you can give it, remember what they were bred to do! They also thrive on mental stimulation and love interacting with their people, they also love a job to do so would be a great choice if you enjoy dog sports like Agility or Obedience.

How much grooming am I prepared to do?

A cardi is pretty much a brush and go breed. If they get muddy (which, being so low to the ground is inevitable!) once dry the mud just brushes out. The occasional bath to keep them smelling fresh and to help remove dead hair when they are shedding is helpful and boy do they shed!! If you want a low shedding breed, a Cardi is not for you. They will drop coat twice yearly and when mine start to shed I give them a good comb out, leave it a couple of days before doing it again. I will then give them a good bath and a blast with the dog dryer, a  dog groomer could do this for you. The only hair that should be trimmed is between the pads, a Cardi is a double coated breed and should never be shaved as if shaved the coat will lose its ability to regulate temperature. It is also vital to keep toe nails short.

Do I mind barking?

Again, you need to remember what the Cardigan was bred to do. Not only did they drive livestock but they would also guard it. It was their job to alert to any danger. In this day and age it may be a car pulling up, the postman or a pigeon outside the window!!! However, they are not in anyway a ‘yappy’ dog and do not generally bark without cause. They are also very talkative and will make lots of silly noises when they are happy to see you.

Do I have the time?

This is a question you should of course ask yourself when thinking about getting any breed of dog, however some breeds cope better with being left than others. I find Cardigans can be quite independent and although they really love their people they cope quite well with being left a few hours. A new puppy will require 4 meals a day and regular toilet breaks. You cannot leave a young pup for hours so some modifications to your lifestyle will be required to accommodate this. Youngsters can be destructive, they like to investigate everything but all of mine have grown out of this in time. Once an adult, house trained and had some exercise then most Cardis will cope with being left for a few hours, I work part time, I have too to be able to afford to keep my dogs and I do not discriminate people who work as long as they make provisions and the dog will not be left at home alone the whole day. You also need to have the time for training and including your dog with activities. Remember, the better the start you give your puppy, in regards to training and experiences, the more rounded and happy adult you will have.

Am I expecting any major life changes

Cardigans are generally a long lived breed and have a life expectancy of 12-15 years and I have known of some to reach 17. Of course no-one has a crystal ball and sadly life changes happen which no one can predict. However, if you are a young couple without children then you need to think about what will become of a dog if a baby came along, one of the biggest reasons for dogs being re-homed is because a baby is on the way. You need to think before getting a dog if starting a family would mean you would no longer have the time to care for one.

Is everyone in the household happy to a puppy?

It is very important that all members of the family are happy with a new puppy. If not it can very easily turn to arguments when puppy has an accident, jumps up or get hair on the sofa. It another  reason for dogs  ending up being re-homed.

Getting a puppy is always a big decision and should be thought about with a great deal of care. Never buy a puppy on impulse.

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