Cardigan Welsh corgi, breed of short, long-bodied working dog believed to have been introduced into Wales from Central Europe c.1200 B.C. It stands about 12 in. (30.5 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs from 15 to 25 lb (6.8–11.3 kg). Its dense, medium-length, straight coat is of harsh texture and may be red, brindle, sable, black and tan, black, or blue-merle in color, often with white markings on the face, chest, neck, feet, and tip of tail. Originally used as a guardian and hunter, the Cardigan later came to be raised as a drover of cattle. Working to the whistled commands of its master, it would nip at the heels of the livestock and then avoid their lethal kicks by dropping to the ground. With the sale and division of the common pastureland and the increasing use of fences, the usefulness of the Cardigans as drovers was eliminated and the breed became scarce. Revived by the diligence of modern breeders, the Cardigan today is raised for show competition and as a family companion. See dog.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.