Cardigan Welsh Corgi colours

UK Standard:
Any colour, with or without white markings, but white should not predominate

US Standard:
All shades of red, sable and brindle. Black with or without tan or brindle points. Blue merle (black and gray; marbled) with or without tan or brindle points. There is no color preference. White flashings are usual on the neck (either in part or as a collar), chest, legs, muzzle, underparts, tip of tail and as a blaze on head. White on the head should not predominate and should never surround the eyes. Any color other than specified and/or body color predominantly white are disqualifications.

Comments on colour:

In a working dog, colour is undoubtedly of secondary importance to construction, but the wide range of colours found in the Cardigan Corgi is one of the attractive features of the breed.

While the US standard is quite specific about the accepted colours, the UK standard simply says: any colour, with or without white markings, but white should not predominate. However, it remains a fact that only a certain range of colours are recognized and seen in the UK show ring. These are, without any colour preference: All shades of red, sable and brindle Black with tan or brindle points Blue merle (black and grey marbled) with tan or brindle points, all set off with white.

Liver and slate blue modifictions of the black in the coat are known, but these colours are not correct as they lead to brown and slate coloured nose and eye rims, and light eyes.

Both standards state that white should not predominate, but more extensive white markings are acceptable, albeit not enouraged, in the US and FCI countries than in the UK.

It should be noted that a Cardigan that does not comply with the accepted colours or white markings can be disqualified according to AKC and FCI standards whereas there is no such thing as a disqualifying fault in the UK Standard, but any departure from the standard points should be considered a fault, the seriousness of which should be in exact proportion to its degree which means that for instance a liver coloured or mismarked Cardigan - if it ever entered the show ring - would not be disqualified but most likely placed at the end of the class.

Link to separate page on white markings.

Colour Article   by Cathy Ochs Cline, Phi-Vestavia kennels, USA

Colour Article   by  Marieann + Steve Gladstone, Aragorn kennels,  USA

Blue Merles  by Sandra Tonkyn, Beckrow kennels, UK

Cardi Colour   by Jean Georgiou, Rhossili kennels, Australia

Unusual Colours   by Ken Linacre, UK

Colours by Patrick Ormos, Phi-Vestavia, USA

Inheritance of coat colours 1 by Ken Linacre  PDF-file

Inheritance of Coatcolour 2   by Ken Linacre  PDF-file
The 2 articles above by Ken Linacre are of yesteryear, and newer research has proven some of 
theories to be out of date. They should be read carefully, and compared to new research. 
We have chosen to keep them on the site, as they are considered to have historical interest. 

Recovery of the Blue Merles  by Thelma Gray

Inheritance of the Blue Merle by Charles  MacInnes (PDF)

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Red / White


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Tricolour with brindle points


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Tricolour with tan points

Blue Merle

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Two cryptic merles above. Dog to the left: notice the very small splash of blue in eye, and the  narrow gray stripe   where the white collar blends to the black coat on shoulder.  Dog to the right: notice blue splash on ear. These dogs are in genetic sense  blue merles.

The series of photos above shows a cryptic merle from newborn to adult. 

Cardis are wearing coats of many colours. Some of these are considered non-showable and undesirable. But no matter what colour the Cardi has, it is only cosmetics, and has no bearings to health issues.  Here are some examples of colours not acceptable for the showring.

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These cute puppies are  livercoloured. Notice the  

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brownish nose  and eye-rims and yellowish eyes.

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Liver merle

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Sable Merle

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Brindle Merle

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Liver Merle

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Brindle merle

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