If you are set on getting a corgi, you’ll definitely want to learn about the Cardigan and Pembroke varieties.

Each of these dogs have their own unique personalities and traits. The more you learn about them, the easier it will be to make a final decision.

Physical Traits

There is a fairly stark contrast between the appearance of the Cardigan and Pembroke corgis. One of the most noteworthy differences is the Pembroke’s lack of a tail (sometimes it is just really short).

The Cardigan corgi has rounded, oval-shaped ears, whereas the Pembroke’s ears are much pointier. Both of these dogs are around the same size, measuring anywhere from 10.5 to 12.5 inches high. 

Cardigan corgis tend to be a little taller and weigh a bit more than their Welsh counterparts. Females can weigh anywhere from 25 to 34 pounds, whereas males can weigh up to 38 pounds. Pembroke Welsh’s weigh up to 31 for males, and up to 29 pounds for females.

Pembroke Welsh corgis tend to have a lighter blond and white coat, whereas Cardigans tend to be a bit dark brown or even black with some white. The Cardigan comes in a wider range of colors, including red, sable, and white.

Cardigans have a double coat with a medium length, whereas Pembroke corgis have a thinner but longer coat. This means that Pembrokes tend to require more frequent brushing and grooming, which can be a bit of a pain. It also means that you’ll be vacuuming your carpeting and furniture for at least the next 10 years or so.

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welsh corgi pembroke

Both the Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh corgis were used to herd cattle to grazing pastures. They do not, however, have the exact same origin.

The Cardigan Corgi has been around for an estimated 2,000 years. The dogs that modern Cardigans come from were introduced to Wales around 1200 B.C.

The Pembroke Corgi dates back to approximately 1000 A.D. Unlike their Pembroke cousin, these dogs were not interbred.


The Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh corgis both have a very friendly and affable demeanor to say the least. These dogs make excellent companions, and they are great with kids. 


These dogs are also both very smart and fairly easy to train. It doesn’t take long for these dogs to pick up new tricks, especially if you begin while they are still young.

One of the big differences here is that Cardigans can pose a slightly bigger challenge for training if you have never owned one before. They are generally a bit more stubborn and require a little more patience than their Pembroke pals. If you are planing on training one of these corgis, you should hire an expert to help.

If you are going to train a Pembroke corgi, it is important that you avoid using negative reinforcement, even a little bit. These dogs respond best to positive reinforcement, such as verbal praise, treats, and other methods.

welsh corgi cardigan

Energy Levels and Exercise

A garden variety Pembroke Corgi is bursting with energy and needs a lot of exercise each day. They are very expressive in their affection, constantly jumping on and licking their owners. Anyone who owns one of these dogs knows just how frustratingly loveable they can be. These dogs love to play fetch and will thrive in any dog park.

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You will find that Cardigans are a bit more low-key in their overall temperament and behavior. These dogs aren’t quite as hyperactive as the Pembroke. They prefer to lie at their owner’s feet and relax most of the time. While they still require a decent amount of exercise on a regular basis, they don’t have nearly as much energy that needs to be burned up.

If you are looking for a dog that is easier to handle in general, the Cardigan is the clear choice. If you want a dog that will always be up for some raucous playtime, the Pembroke is probably the better option.


One of the great things about the Cardigan’s personality is that it is so adaptable. These corgis are able to really roll with the punches, so to speak. They are great for traveling with and don’t typically have problems adjusting to new environments. 

Pembroke corgis are a bit more high-maintenance in this regard. They crave a sense of consistency, which can be a problem for some owners.

welsh corgi pembroke puppies

Common Health Problems

If you are going to own any dog, it is important to know about which conditions and medical problems they are prone to.

The Cardigan Corgi sometimes develops a condition known as Intervertebral Disc Disease or IVDD. If the condition progresses far enough, it can lead to incontinence and other issues. If your dog develops this condition, it may require surgery. 

These dogs also tend to have problems with hip dysplasia as they get older. Cardigans are also prone to progressive retinal atrophy, which can cause complete blindness if it becomes severe.

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Pembroke corgis often develop the same types of joint issues that affect Cardigans. They also sometimes develop Willebrand disease, which is a genetic disorder that is characterized by excessive bleeding. While there is no cure for this condition, there are treatments that can be effective.


A pembroke welsh corgi typically costs anywhere from ,000 to ,220. A Cardigan Corgi can cost up to $1,800. The age and overall health of the dog are two major deciding factors when it comes to price.

Final Thoughts

While the Cardigan and Pembroke corgis do share a number of things in common, there are also quite a few differences. Cardigans are a better choice for those who want a mellow dog that isn’t quite so hyperactive. Pembroke corgis are appropriate for people who want a lively and playful dog. Both of these dogs have a very friendly and loyal personality. They are also both impressively smart. If you want a dog that is easy to train, the Pembroke is the better choice. There is honestly a lot to love with both of these dogs.

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Hi! I'm Anna and I´m a certified cynologist (KAU, ACW). Expert, blue cross volunteer, owner of Chinese crested kennel "Salvador Dali" and breedless friend called Fenya. "I can't imagine my life without dogs and I totally support the idea #AdoptDontShop".