The Coat of the Cardigan Welsh CorgiFirst, I find the coat must have a thick soft undercoat and harsh outer coat to repel water, burrs, cold, etc. Length, to me, does not matter as much as the texture of the coat. Most of my dogs have had the correct outer coat that does a great job of repelling water, but is pretty time-consuming when bathing for that very same reason. I also had a bitch with a beautiful coat of the correct length, but soft. When the dogs would come in from the rain, the others could give a hearty shake, get a light rub with a towel, and then they were almost dry. Not so with little Miss Soft Coat who was soaked to the skin.
I have known many coated dogs in the past. In fact, my old line produced one coated puppy in each litter. The coated puppies that had a proper harsh outer coat were also weather-resistant and, like a cat, they would lay and clean their pads of snow balls, but the snow would not cling to the body coat.
While the close fitting coat of harsh texture may be water repellent, I feel the thick undercoat which comes with slightly longer guard hairs to be more insulating in the cold.
An open, fluffy coat of any length is incorrect and would not suit the dog for work in the elements. And, though most of us do not work our dogs, I like to think that we have not made pansies of them.
Finally, my late sister Norma Chandler (Chandler Cardigans) and I have discussed the subject of glamour coats many times over the years. To us, when we used the word "glamorous" for a coat, back in the sixties and seventies, it was a proper coat, but very thick, luxurious, with thick "pants" and ruff. It seems the term has progressed to becoming a word for a fluffy, but barely passing, coat that has been fluffed and puffed. Norma's early sables, Tilly and Jimbo had harsh coats with thick undercoats and beautiful, dense "pants" and ruff. They looked more "glamorous" when compared to other dogs in the show ring with wispy furnishings and flat coats, but they definitely were neither long nor soft.
Sandi Hutchins, Sandwynne Cardigans, USA
Reprinted with permission.
ACEO Studies by ©Sandi Hutchins
May not be used without permission
P.S. Cardigan puppies have a softer puppy coat that will shed out to a proper double coat.