HOW TO RECOGNIZE TYPE IN A CARDIGAN
by Genevieve Andersen
(As published in Dog World, June, 1953)
Cardigan fanciers are not too well pleased in general with the judging of our breed. There is a failure to recognize type and the pertinent points of the breed. For the Cardigan has some peculiar features which are called faults in other breeds, but absolutely essential to Corgis. These characteristics, when absent mean loss of type in the Cardigan. To breed them out is to destroy our breed. No dog, no matter how sound he is, how well he moves or behaves should be put up if he lacks his breed type. Type must come first! We cannot urge our judges too earnestly to give cognizance to this. How can we recognize type? Here are a few pointers:
In general: Profile outline, a Dachshund-like form of body, very long, low, keel-shaped bow front in chest, legs well set under and short and thick - a well defined waistline. In addition to this body, he has a foxy head and tail. Many call the Cardigan fox-like, (and he is) but actually it is a sort of combination of fox and dachshund characteristics.
Cardigans are tending to lose their Dachshund features, becoming too shallow in chest and high on leg. When these are lost they tend toward the old-time Pembroke type. Dachshund features are essential for true type and are shown by:
(b) Length of body
(c) Deep full brisket, well let-down between legs
(d) Keel-shaped front of chest
(e) Front legs similar to Dachshund
(f) Good spring of rib
(g) Definite waist line
If a Cardigan does not have these points it can not be a typey Cardigan. It may be foxy, it may resemble a short-legged Collie, but it is not typey! This is not to say that a Cardigan could possibly be confused with a Dachshund - it couldn't. They are quite different, though possess some similar features. It must be remembered that both breeds are believed to have been evolved form the same root stock. The correct Cardigan must carry the above features in common to have the essential silhouette. This silhouette is the very first thing a judge should look for, and immediately pass over any Cardigan which does not possess it. It can be seen at one glance.
The above listed features represent the consensus from all the best-known authorities, from researchers, from descriptions of the breed by old Welsh crafters.
The fox idea has probably been overdone to the elimination of other points. If the Pembroke had a long tail it would be a bit more fox-like than the Cardigan.
A true Cardigan with the typical low body, has when it walks, a gait like no other breed. It has peculiar dancing or wriggling movement of its rear quarters. In some it is less pronounced than in others, but these generally have shorter bodies. It is not so noticeable at the usual show pace, but when the dog walks slowly. This gait must not be penalized, for it is as true to the Cardigan as the Welsh hills.
The low deep brisket is one of the most important points for a judge to look for. We can not have good type without it as a lack destroys the characteristic underline. The waist, clearly defined, accents the depth of brisket, giving the correct silhouette. This deep chest was an essential to the Cardigan as it gave great heart and lung capacity necessary in working cattle in mountains of high altitude. A deterioration in chest and brisket is a deterioration in the breed.
The above features are the ones most necessary to recognize type quickly. There are minor points, such as shape of head, ears, eyes, expression, and tail carriage. But the ones listed can be ascertained at first glance by any judge in the ring. They will do well to hold them in mind and make their first tentative selections by them. The individual separate parts of the body should be subject to type.