Cardigans in the UK (1991)

by Teresa Maddox (Salvenik)

Once in a while breeds go through a bad patch. In 1992 there has been much disillusionment within the breed, and many long-standing breeders feel that the overall quality of the Cardigan Corgi has deteriorated. Movement, both back and front, has been a big issue, and excessive markings have caused some discussion.

One aspect about which I feel strongly is temperament, a concern shared by many who care about the breed. Having Pembrokes as well as Cardis, I automatically assume that the Cardigan's temperament also should be bold and outgoing, and show no signs of extreme nerves or nastiness. Unfortunately the temperament of some in the UK leaves much to be desired. Surely breeders should not continue to overlook this most important aspect? Yet, it seems that as long as the exhibit looks like a good Cardigan, temperament is ignored.

It seems to me that there are several ways to tackle this issue. One, all give up and not exhibit any more, two, ignore the issue and hope it goes away, or three, push on and try to better the breed by more careful, selective breeding.

Could it be that in the UK, where Cardigans are a numerically small breed, we do not have a large enough gene pool, or maybe we do not have enough serious and dedicated breeders? If so, then how does that affect our ability to produce really top quality stock?

Ideally, the Cardigan should be blessed with good temperament, good conformation, and move correctly - such perfection is a hard goal for which to aim, but we must surely strive to get as near to it as we can. I have always found it disturbing to see a good quality Cardigan, and we still have some, cower, pull away or growl at a judge. Surely this should be taken into account when judging the dog. After all, it is a dog show where the exhibit should show off all its virtues, including showmanship.

Having spoken about the negative side of things, there are some good quality youngsters making their mark in the breed, and it is to be hoped that the many virtues that these possess will not be overlooked. It is an old adage that all dogs have their faults, but the sign of a good judge is one who can appreciate a dog's virtues, and be kind to its faults.

Published in the CWCCA 1992 Handbook and reproduced with the kind permission of the author.

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