Traits, Personality and Behavior
This is an active, good-natured dog with an affectionate personality. Be prepared to keep the Cardigan busy. Athletic and tireless, he excels in dog sports, especially agility, herding, flyball, obedience, rally and tracking. He also enjoys going for long walks or hikes.
Because of his herding background, he has a watchful nature and will bark to ward off critters or alert you to the presence of someone approaching the house. That's a plus, but he can become a nuisance barker if you don't teach him when to turn the sound on and off.
Begin training as soon as you bring your Cardigan puppy home. Use positive reinforcement training techniques such as praise, play and food rewards. He learns quickly and will respond to kind, firm, consistent training.
The Cardigan has a medium-length double coat. Double-coated dogs shed, so expect to find hair on your clothing and furniture. Brush the coat once a week to remove dead hair and reduce the amount of loose hair floating around your house. Other grooming needs are regular nail trims, ear cleaning and tooth brushing.
While you might think of him as an outdoor dog, nothing could be farther from the truth. A Cardigan Welsh Corgi should certainly have access to a securely fenced yard, but when the family is home, he should be in the house with them.
Health Issues Common to Cardigan Welsh Corgis
All purebred dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don't walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines.
That said, Cardigan Welsh Corgis are a pretty healthy breed in general. Some health conditions that have been seen in the breed are hip dysplasia, intervertebral disc disease and eye problems such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America, which is the American Kennel Club parent organization for the breed in the United States, participates in the Canine Health Information Center Program. For a Cardigan to achieve CHIC certification, he must have an OFA or PennHIP clearance for hips, an eye clearance from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation and a DNA test for PRA. Breeders must agree to have all test results, positive or negative, published in the CHIC database. You can check CHIC's website to see if a breeder's dogs have these certifications.
Do not purchase a puppy from a breeder who cannot provide you with written documentation that the parents were cleared of health problems that affect the breed. Having the dogs "vet checked" is not a substitute for genetic health testing.
5 Tips to Bring Home a Healthy Cardigan Welsh Corgi Puppy
Finding a good breeder is more important than finding the right puppy. A good breeder will match you with the right puppy, and will without question have done all the health certifications necessary to screen out health problems as much as possible. A list of breeders can be found on the website of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America.
Consider an adult dog from a shelter or a rescue group. Many of the health problems in Cardigan Welsh Corgis aren't apparent in puppyhood, but by adopting an older dog, most of them can be ruled out. Since a Cardigan Welsh Corgi can live to be 10 to 12 years old, even an adult dog will be with your family for a long time.
Puppy or adult, take your Cardigan Welsh Corgi to your veterinarian soon after adoption. Your veterinarian will be able to spot visible problems, and will work with you to set up a preventive regimen that will help you avoid many health issues.
Don't ever, ever, ever buy a puppy from a pet store or Internet site that offers many breeds and popular mixes, or that ships with no questions asked. If you buy a puppy from these sources, you'll be more likely to get an unhealthy, unsocialized and difficult to house-train puppy and will be supporting the cruelty of high-volume puppy mills.
Make sure you have a good contract with the seller, shelter or rescue group that spells out responsibilities on both sides. In states with "puppy lemon laws," be sure you and the person you get the dog from both understand your rights and recourses.
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Pet Insurance for Cardigan Welsh Corgis
Pet insurance for Cardigan Welsh Corgis costs more than for mixed breed dogs. This is because Cardigan Welsh Corgis are more likely than mixed breed dogs to make claims for hereditary conditions that are expensive to treat.
Embrace dog insurance plans offer full coverage for all breed-specific conditions (excluding those that are pre-existing) to which Cardigan Welsh Corgis are susceptible. The best time to get pet insurance for your Cardigan Welsh Corgi is when he's a healthy puppy. You can't predict what will happen in the future and pet insurance is the one thing you can't get when you need it the most.