The Separation of the Breeds - Breed notes in AKC Gazette

It is possible that some of the readers of the Gazette, who have been attracted to the very popular Welsh corgi, may not be in possession of the following facts: Prior to September 4, 1934, both types - Cardigans and Pembrokes - were shown in England, in the same classes. There are many points of difference between the two breeds, but probably the most obvious one to the uninitiated, is that of the tail. Pembrokes have bobbed tails, while the Cardigans have long natural tails, like the brush of a fox. Pembrokes are supposed to be born with bobbed tails, but such is not always the case. To add to the complications, prior to 1934 the English Kennel Club prohibited docking. As interbreeding was permitted at that time, long tails in the Pembrokes was not uncommon, so that long-tailed Pembrokes appeared in the ring with the Cardigans, thereby adding greatly to the confusion of the judges.

On October 10 and 11, 1934, at the Crystal Palace show, separate classes were given for Cardigans and Pembrokes. The September, 1934, issue of the English Kennel Gazette called the attention of the breeders to the fact that a cross between Pembrokes and Cardigans was no longer recognized, and another decision then made was that the Pembroke's tails could thereafter be docked. A further ruling of this date was that a Corgi born before October 16, 1934, having the two breeds as sire and dam, could be registered provided the parents were registered as either Cardigan or Pembroke. Shortly after these decisions were made by the English Kennel Club, the same requirements were made by the American Kennel Club.

With the situation as described, the following ideas of a well-known English judge should be helpful. He says:

"I hope the preference for straighter fronts in the Cardigan Corgi will not be persisted in. The standard of points of the Welsh Corgi Association (Cardigan) lays it down clearly that the front should be slightly bowed, and to my mind it is important that characteristics that distinguish the Cardigan from the Pembroke should be carefully preserved. The Cardigan should be a larger, heavier, longer bodied dog than the Pembroke with larger ears and a somewhat bigger head, and a slightly bowed front, a long tail which resembles the brush of a fox.

"There is a tendency of some of the judges to go for straight fronts, and backs almost as short as those of the Pembroke, and also to give preference to those of a red color. I am sure if these tendencies are persisted in, they will ultimately be to the detriment of the Cardigan.

"The almost uniformly red color of the Pembroke, suits that variety, but surely the Cardigan will retain its individuality better if shown in a variety of colors. The most usual colors in the Cardigan are various shades of tan - some quite golden-brown, sable, brindled and tri-color, otherwise known as black and tan.

"Most essential and characteristic in the Cardigan are the white markings: collar, blase and tips to the feet and tail.

"As regards the length of body, even the Pembroke should be a moderately long dog; but the Cardigan should be definitely long-bodied, strong and flexible, with a deep brisket, well sprung ribs and a clearly defined waist.

"In reference to ears, the Cardigan Standard states:
"The ears should be rather large proportionately to the size of the dog and prominent, moderately wide at the base, carried erect and set about 3½ inches apart, and well back so that they can be laid flat along the neck. The Cardigan ear tallies in every respect but one with the Pembroke ear. The one respect in which it differs is that the Cardigan should have an ear that is definitely but not excessively large, as against the Pembroke's medium-sized ear. Whether the dog is a Cardigan or a Pembroke the ears should have rounded tops. A sharply pointed ear is undesirable."

Harriet L. Price, Robinscroft, Riverside, Conn.
AKC Kennel Gazette, October 1936