Fun Facts About Different Types of Corgis

Fun Facts About Different Types of Corgis

Author WDF Staff


Corgis are among the most popular dog breeds in the world. These small friendly dogs captured owners’ attention and hearts across the globe with their outgoing and mild temperaments. Corgis might be small, but they are energetic and love to be a part of the family. These dogs have a working lineage, so many owners are fairly surprised with how much energy Corgis have.

There are two different types of Corgis - the Pembroke and Cardigan. They might look very similar, but these two breeds are not actually related. The more famous line is the Pembroke. They became a household name because of their popularity with the British Royal family, especially Queen Elizabeth II. If you love Corgis, here are some things you should know about these two breeds.

1. Origin

A person who is not that familiar with either of the breeds might confuse the two breeds as varieties of the same breed. At first sight, the only difference between Cardigan and Pembroke Corgis is their looks, so it is easy to understand how people often confuse the two. However, the two types of Corgis have different origins, and they are actually not related!

pembroke corgiPembroke Corgi

Cardigan Corgis are the older breed, and the difference is rather stunning. Cardigan Corgis are about 2.000 years older than the Pembroke. Cardigans arrived in Wales around 1.200 BC. They come from the German “Teckel” lineage, the same lineage that produced modern-day Dachshunds. Pembroke Welsh Corgis came to British isles with Vikings, and they are descendants of the old Nordic Viking dogs. The earliest description and depictions of Pembrokes were found in 1.000 AD, about 2.200 years after the Cardigans.

2. Working heritage

These dogs might have different origins, but they have very similar working heritage. Both types of Corgis were used for herding and guarding British stables and farms. Mind you, they were not guard dogs; they merely alerted their owners if something weird was going on in their surroundings.

cardigan corgi in the parkCardigan Corgi

Pembroke Corgis herded sheep and other farm animals in the historical region of Pembrokeshire in southern Wales. The terrain in which Pembrokes worked was a lot easier than the terrain Cardigan Corgis worked. Cardigan type of Corgi was primarily found in Cardiganshire in the southwest of Wales. The terrain was harsh, rocky, and rugged, so Cardigans had to become more resilient.

Do you want to know more about Pembroke Corgis? Check out the full Pembroke Welsh Corgi breed profile.

3. Different appearance

These two types of Corgis share many similarities. They are both heavy dwarf breeds with unproportionally large heads compared to the rest of their bodies. In fact, they are so similar; it is a miracle they are not related. Both breeds have thick, double coats that, despite their thickness, are easy to maintain. Their ears are upright, although Pembrokes’ ears are smaller and less rounded. These dogs will require regular brushing and bathing, especially if they live inside with their families.

Despite having many similarities, these two types of Corgis are entirely different breeds. Their DNA is as different as Chihuahuas and Huskies. It is not a surprise there are some physical differences. Cardigan Corgis are slightly heavier and have larger bones. Pembroke Corgis have oval bone and “squared rear,” which gives them a more “rectangular” shape. Cardigans have a more rounded appearance due to their bone structure and ears.

pembroke corgis in the woodsPembroke Corgis

Their tails were different; Cardigans had long, fox-like tails, and Pembrokes had docked, short tails. The most significant difference between the breeds is their coat color. Pembroke Corgis can be sable, red, and tricolor with white markings. Cardigans have larger available color options, and some of them are brindle, tan, sable, and blue merle.

If you want to know more about Cardigans, check out the full Cardigan Welsh Corgi breed profile.

4. Personalities

Both types of Corgis have similar personalities with subtle differences. Suppose you are not familiar with these two breeds. In that case, it could be challenging to spot the differences, so let’s start with defining their similarities.


Both types of Corgis are friendly, outgoing, active dogs that love spending time with their families. They are the happiest when they are included. They absolutely hate not being a part of whatever their families are doing. Their personalities make these dogs great with kids. Both breeds have a working heritage, so it isn’t surprising they are pretty intelligent. Cardigan and Pembroke Corgis need to be trained and socialized from a young age.


Both types of Corgis are friendly and outgoing, but Pembrokes are slightly more outgoing than Cardigans. Pembrokes are described as “always ready to party,” while Cardigans take their time to assess the situation before deciding to engage or become a part of it. Cardigan Corgis are slightly more reserved and careful. They are also a bit more laid-back and a lot quieter than Pembroke Corgis. Pembroke Corgis are a lot more active, but Cardigans are more adaptive. They will love staying at home with you, but they will also love traveling and new experiences.

cardigan corgi portraitCardigan Corgi

5. Health

While both Corgi types are generally considered reasonably healthy, every breed has different predispositions to specific health issues. There are some health issues both breeds are prone to, but they also have specific issues that were noticed a lot more in one breed than the other. Health issues both breeds are prone to are spinal problems (because of their small stature and relatively long backs), hip dysplasia, eye infections, and degenerative myelopathy. Make sure you limit your Corgis jumps and walking up and down the stairs.

The Pembroke Corgis are prone to some health issues Cardigans are not. These conditions are von Willebrand’s disease and cardiac issues. Cardigan Welsh Corgis are prone to progressive retinal atrophy and intervertebral disk disease. Plus, Cardigans can live up to 15 years, and Pembrokes’ average lifespan is 12 - 13 years.

In conclusion

Both types of Corgis are great family pets. Whichever you pick will make a great addition to you and your family. However, you can choose the best Corgi type that will suit you and your family’s lifestyle ideally due to the slight differences.

Now you know how similar yet different these two Corgi breeds are and can appreciate them a tiny bit more.

World Dog Finder team

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