by Patrick Ormos, Phi-Vestavia Cardigans, USA

Where is the tail set supposed to be in our breed? Does anyone know? The AKC standard suggests that the tail set should be "fairly low on body line ..." The  KC standard  suggests, " Like a fox’s brush, set in line with the body   ..." I would suggest that those two statements are contradictory!

A breeder-judge whom I respect suggested at a breed seminar that the tail set should be just below the topline. He showed us how to hold the tail out in line with the topline and to put your thumb where the croup goes into the tail set. Was he right? According to the KC standard I think he is, but not according to the AKC standard.

Look back at the photos of so many of the greats in the breed. We seem to be a little uncertain about the whole rear assembly. Some have tail sets which are quite high, giving an almost squared off look to the rear. Some have low tail sets, giving a steep very rounded off look to the rear. And some have tail sets which are in between, giving a gentle rounded look to the rear. Which is right? How does the tail set affect movement or type?

The tail set defines the croup. A flat, steep or moderate croup can be seen according to where the tail set is. As I've written elsewhere, the croup is an imaginary  characteristic, it gives us an indication of the angle of the pelvis. It is the pelvis which is important to movement. A flat pelvis will restrict the under-reach of the hind legs, and increase the kick-up and follow through (at a trot). A steep pelvis will increase the under-reach and restrict the follow through. A moderate pelvis will allow for reasonable under-reach and reasonable follow through. Trotting dogs require a moderate pelvis.  Coursing, racing dogs require a steeper pelvis for power at the gallop. What kind of a dog is a Cardigan Welsh Corgi? What is its normal gait when out working? This  normal gait should be reflected in the standard, at least that's my understanding of what a standard is all about.

The tail carriage, which influenced but not determined by the tail set, affects rear movement more than the tail set itself. A tail which is carried up (gay, ring, tea pot) will result in restricted, sometimes stilted movement in the rear. Is that what we want? A tucked tail will result in movement which never achieves a decent follow through.



The current standards are confusing about the correct Cardigan tail set. Is the standard wrong? I'm not sure ... certainly it would seem ambiguous. What do you think?



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