What’s the difference between my breed, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, and the Queen’s Corgi?
The two breeds of Corgis of course have their similarities – both originated in Wales, the name literally means “dwarf dog” in Welsh! Both were bred to be cattle drovers, and so they are built low to the ground to avoid kicks from cattle, and heavy and solid (believe me, they’re bigger than you think!) to help absorb any impact if they’re unable to dodge. Both breeds have the ability to use the kinetic energy of a well aimed kick to literally “roll with the punches” and shake it off! You can still see this “tuck and roll” today when Corgis play!
However, the two breeds do have their differences too. Pembrokes (the breed that the Queen adored) are shorter, stockier and more spitzy (spicy!) to deal with cattle up close and in tight quarters within their pens, they are built to have quick and explosive energy to out-manoeuvre cows, and were originally docked to avoid the unfortunate event of having their tails violently amputated with a well timed stamp from angry bulls.
Cardigans (my breed!) however, were the drovers out in the field. Pushing cattle across country from Wales to London – they would sleep when the cows slept, and moved when they moved. They are much more laid back, independent, and still have the attitude required to say “no” to livestock weighing upwards of 1000 kilos. Because they had a lot more room to move out of the way out in pastures, the Cardigan was never docked, and always had a tail. They use their size, perseverance and proximity to the herd to intimidate and move the cows. Whereas Border Collies and Australian Shepherds “kick out” and herd from a distance which is a much more suitable style for sheep. They also, come in a wider variety of colours to the Pembroke, including brindle, and blue merle – both featured below on the right!
If you’d like to see more, here’s a video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoVlrkLYuwk