FCI BREEDSTANDARD The articles on this site
are intended to provide
additional information about
the Cardigan Welsh Corgi.


Federation Cynologique Internationale

Nr. 38

May 12. 2010

English breed

In the frames you find Rachel's comments on the breedstandard, these comments are her opinion and please feel free to discuss these with us.
ORIGIN: Great Britain
CLASSIFICATION FCI: Group   1   Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs)
                                           Section 1   Sheepdogs
                                                              Without working trial
GENERAL APPEARANCE: Sturdy, tough, mobile, capable of endurance. Long in
proportion to height, terminating in fox like brush, set in line with body.
IMPORTANT PROPORTION: Length of foreface in proportion to head 3 to 5.
Please reward the correct proportions of 3:5 (foreface-head), we measure the two parts as    
follows: tip of the nose to the dividing point between the inner corners of the eyes (this
should be 3) and dividing point between the inner corners of the eyes to te occiput (this
should be 5). The correct proportions that are called important proportions in this new
standard are so distinctive for this breed and sadly hardly seen nowadays. Most of the time
we see proportions 1:1.
BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT: Alert, active and intelligent.  Steady, not shy or aggressive.
In this new sstandard the FCI emphasised the importance of behaviour in dogs as
aggressive or overly shy dogs should be disqualified. This phrase has been included in
all new standards. Aggressive or overly shy dogs are not often seen in Cardis and therefore
it's wise to penalise this trait as it doesn't belong with the breed.
HEAD: Foxy in shape and appearance.
Skull: Wide and flat between ears; tapering towards eyes above which it is sleghtly domed.
Stop: Moderate
So the back skull should be flat but the occiput can be felt and seen. The width between the
ears is of great importance, it gives the cardigan it's distictive look as the ears should be
wider set than the pem's ears, see undere "ears". Above the eyes you should be able to see
and feel the skull as it's slightly domed above the eyes
Nose: Black, projects slightly and in no sense blunt.
Muzzle: Tappering moderately towards nose.
Jaws/Teeth: Teeth strong with scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely
overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Underjaw clean
cut. Strong but without prominence.
Eyes: Medium size, clear, giving kindly, alert but watchful expression.
Rather widely set with corners clearly defined. Preferably dark, or to
blend with coat, rims dark. One or both eyes pale blue, blue orq blue
flecked permissible only in blue merles.
Ears: Erect, proportionately rather large to size of dog. Tips slightly
rounded, moderately wide at base and set about 8 cm. (3,5 ins) apart.
Carried so that tips are slightly wide of straight line drawn from tip of
nose through centre of eyes, and set well back so that they can be laid
flat along neck.
The cardis eyes should have the corners well defined which means that they are not round.
The pem has round eyes, please note the difference.
The cardis ears are bigger and rounder at the top then the pems ears. A big difference is
also the placement of the ears, there's more width in between the ears of the cardi, therefore
the ears are slightly wide of the straight line drawn from the tip of nose through the center of
the eyes. When we do this with a pems ears, the line will pass its ears in the middle of the
top of the ears. A lot of pems have their ears set on too low, which gives them a cardi-look!
The ears should be set well back so that they can be laid flat along the neck. Most cardis
work with their ears, if you want to see the dog use his ears, ask him to do that on the ground
and not on the table. Most cardis carry their ears back while moving. I want you to take
notice of a term called: "hooded ears". These ears are set too far forward and most of the
time hang  a bit over to the front, these ears should be penalized as they are incorrect and
take away the correct type.
The nose should be black and this restricts the possible colours in cardis. A lot of young 
blue merles show partly pink noses, the filling in takes a while, it can go on until they are
about 3 years of age. I would forgive young dogs and if the blue merle dog at the age of 3
years still shows a bit of pink, I will not penalise it. The phrase "nose black" is put in here to
restrict certain colours, in the older standards blue merles were excuses for not having fully
black coloured noses.
The underjaw should be clean cut and strong but we also want to see a nose that projects
slightly and is in no sence blunt. So be careful in saying the nose is sticking out too far or 
the underjaw should be stronger. By the way the standard asks for a scissor bite, not for
complete dentition, now what should we do with missing elements? The standard does not
say anything about penalising it.
NECK: Muscular, well developed, in proportion to dog’s build, fitting into well sloping
BODY: Fairly long and strong.
Topline: Level.
Loin: Waist clearly defined.
Chest: Moderately broad with prominent breast bone. Brisket deep. Well sprung ribs.
The waist of the cardi should be clearly defined, the standard of the pem does not require
this! The brisket should be deep and ribs wel sprung. When you see a few cardis play
together you will see them roll over the ground while they are speeding and grabbing each
other. This rolling over would be much harder if their ribs are not well sprung.
TAIL: Like a fox's brush set in line with the body and moderately long (to touch or nearly touch
ground). Carried low when standing but may be lifted above body when moving, not curled
over back.
Some more dominant dogs will raise their tail while moving, especially with other dogs in the
ring. It is important to see whether they will lower their tail once they stopped moving. If you
would have two equal dogs to choose from, you will choose for the one with the correct
tailcarriage while moving. If the dog who carries the tail too high, but not curled, has great
type and conformation, please don't put another dog who lacks type or has less
conformation in front of it. I rather have a well constructed dog that carries his tail too high
than a less typy or steep fronted dog.
What about kinks? Can a judge say that a dog has a kink in it's tail? X-rays sometimes
show that a tail has been broken. Some judges lower their qualification because of an
abnormality in the tail. Still there is no scientific evidence for kinks or abnormalities to cause
other major problems. Ofcourse, I'd rather stay away from it but again, if the dog has great
type and great overall construction, I might go for that dog despite the abnormality in the tail.
A dog with a normal tail but lacking type and poor construction will not be a happier dog. 
LIMBS: Strong bone. Legs short but body well clear of the ground.
The body should be well clear of the ground. This is another difference with the pem's 
standard that only asks for a low set dog. In pem's we like to see that the height of one hand
that rests on its side fits under the dog. The cardi usually shows a bit more daylight under
his body but should at least show the same amount of daylight as the pem does.


Shoulders:  Well laid, angulated at approximately 90 degrees to
upperarm, muscular.
Elbows: Close to sides.
Forearm: Slightly bowed to mould round the chest.
Forefeet: Round, tight, rather large and well padded. Turned slightly
HINDQUARTERS: strong, well angulated and aligned with muscular thighs and lower thighs;
strong bone carried down to feet. Legs short.
Metatarsus: Vertical when standing, viewed from side and rear.
Hind-feet: Round, tight, rather large and well padded
Please reward the proper wrap around front which is so specific for this breed and comes
with the correct ribcage. A lot of Cardis do not show the proper wrap. The feet should
not turn out too much, ideally we look for a turn out that shows a clock at 5 minutes to one.
The inner lines of the pasterns should be almost parallel to each other and if we would
drop a line from the elbow to the ground, it should only just touch the outer margin of the
front feet. Please remind that Corgis are genetically dwarf dogs. Their leg bones have
not lengthened normally. The bow (or “crook”) of the forearm which causes the wrap
around is the result of the radius growing longer than the ulna. If this is overdone, the
elbow and or the pastern joints can be damaged, and the whole front is deformed.
Overknuckling in the front should be penalised as it takes away the soundness of the
dogs front. The turn out of the feet is a major difference in comparison with the Pembroke,
the pem should not turn out it's feet.

FEET: round, tight, rather large and well padded. All dewclaws to be removed.

The cardi should have strong bone, carried down to the feet, as the feet should be round, so should the bone. This is one of the differences in comparison with the pembroke. The Pem should have oval feet and therefore oval bone. His feet should be rather large, this combines well with the round shape and strong bone. It's important to know that the cardi's feet are biggeer (and rounder) than a pem's foot.

GAIT/MOVEMENT: Free and active, elbows fitting close to sides, neither loose nor tied.

Forelegs reaching well forward without too much lift, in unison with thrusting action of hindlegs.



Hair: short or medium, of hard texture. Weather-proof, with good undercoat.
Preferably straight.
The breedstandard says coat: short to medium, now what is medium? There are as many opinions as there are judges, I think the structure or texture of the coat is of a bigger importance than the exact length that is not well explaned in this standard. Just take in consideration that soft coat textures create more problems than longer coats with an harder texture. Please note that this breedstandard doesn't include any eliminating faults or disqualifications. A fluffy (longhaired corgi, please see our article about fluffies) or a colour that doesn't come with a black coloured nose can be disqualified though based on "Regulations for FCI Dogshows", stating: DISQUALIFIED: must be awarded to a dog which does not correspond to the type required by the breed standard; which shows a behaviour clearly not in line with its standard or which behaves aggressively; which has testicular abnormalities; which has dental flaw or a jaw anomaly; which shows a colour and/or coat imperfection or clearly shows signs of albinism. This qualification shall also be awarded to dogs that correspond so little to a single feature of the breed that their health is threatened. It should furthermore be awarded to dogs that show eliminating faults in regard to the breed standard.
COLOUR: any colour, with or without white markings, but white should not predominate.

Please note: Not all colours are accepted as a cardigans nose should be black, see under "head and skull" therefore liver or blue coloured (and so on) dogs are not accepted. Unlike many other breedstandards that include the Blue Merle colour, there is no description of the merle colour. This means that merles with big black or diluted patches or only small merle markings are accepted as well. A lot of white on the head and body is permitted but white should never predominate. Also remember that white around the eyes is permitted as long as the eyerims are black.

Ideal height at withers: 30 cm.

Weight in proportion to size with overall balance the prime consideration.

A healthy weight for a dog is around 17-18 kg. A dog can have great

bone and good depth, without being too heavy. The dog pictured here
(CH Dragonpatch Big Papa Foster WW'09 WW'10) weighs 17,5 kg.
Bitches weigh around 15-16 kg. Nowadays we see young dogs who
weigh 22kg at the age of 6 months! I think we need to watch the sizes
and weights of our dogs, they should not look like Bassethounds.
Always take in account that Cardigans belong to the herdingbreeds,
 they should be able to work all day and therefore be able to roll over,
twist and turn while speeding.

FAULTS: any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the

seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its

degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on its ability to perform its

traditional work.



  Aggressive or overly shy dogs.

  Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.

NB:  Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the