The Cardigan Head

Cardigan-head.jpg (16550 bytes)

UK  and FCI - standard:

Head foxy in shape and appearance, skull wide and flat between ears tapering towards eyes above which it is slightly domed. Moderate stop. Length of foreface in proportion to head 3 to 5, muzzle tapering moderately towards nose which projects slightly and is no sense blunt. Underjaw clean cut. Strong but without prominence. Nose black.

Medium size, clear, giving kindly, alert but watchful expression. Rather widely set with comers clearly defined. Preferably dark, or to blend with coat, rims dark. One or both eyes pale blue, blue or blue flecked, permissible only in blue merles.

Erect, proportionately rather large to size of dog. Tips slightly rounded, moderately wide at base and set about 9 cms (3 1/2 ins) apart. Carried so that tips are slightly wide of straight line drawn from tip of nose through centre of eyes, and set well back so that they can be laid flat along neck.

Teeth strong, with scissor bite i.e. Upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

American - standard:

The head should be refined in accordance with the sex and substance of the dog. It should never appear so large and heavy nor so small and fine as to be out of balance with the rest of the dog. Expression- alert and gentle, watchful, yet friendly.

Eyes - medium to large, not bulging, with dark rims and distinct corners. Widely set. Clear and dark in harmony with coat color. Blue eyes (including partially blue eyes), or one dark and one blue eye permissible in blue merles, and in any other coat color than blue merle are a disqualification.  Ears - large and prominent in proportion to size of dog. Slightly rounded at the tip, and of good strong leather. Moderately wide at the base, carried erect and sloping slightly forward when alert. When erect, tips are slightly wide of a straight line drawn from the tip of the nose through the center of the eye. Small and/or pointed ears are serious faults. Drop ears are a disqualification. Skull -Top moderately wide and flat between the ears, showing no prominence of occiput, tapering towards the eyes. Slight depression between the eyes. Cheeks -f lat with some chiseling where the cheek meets the foreface and under the eye. There should be no prominence of cheekbone. Muzzle - from the tip of the nose to the base of the stop should be shorter than the length of the skull from the base of the stop to the high point of the occiput, the proportion being about three parts muzzle to five parts skull; rounded but not blunt; tapered but not pointed. In profile the plane of the muzzle should parallel that of the skull, but on a lower level due to a definite but moderate stop. Nose - black, except in blue merles where black noses are preferred but butterfly noses are tolerated. A nose other than solid black in any other color is a disqualification. Lips - fit cleanly and evenly together all around. Jaws - strong and clean. Underjaw moderately deep and well formed, reaching to the base of the nose and rounded at the chin. Teeth strong and regular. Scissors bite preferred; i.e., inner side of upper incisors fitting closely over outer side of lower incisors. Overshot, undershot, or wry bite are serious faults.

link to  The Breed Standard in Detail - an elaboration

Cardigan-head.gif (31361 bytes)

Click on part of head, you are seeking information on:

Ears - Eyes - Nose - Bite

Cardigan-head.jpg (13814 bytes)

Cardigan-head.jpg (27697 bytes)


Comparison between Pembroke and Cardigan:

Spencer & Zoe.jpg (5553 bytes)

Cardigan-versus-pembroke.jpg (20294 bytes)

Two pups of identical age (6 months). Cardigan, brindle(L) and Pembroke, red/white(R)with notable, contrasting breed differences even at this early and undeveloped age.
1) The brindle Cardigan pup is a much heavier, more solid pup all over. The stronger, more rounded bone of the Cardigan is evident in its much larger, rounded and well padded feet.
2) The Cardigan pup is much stronger in head, muzzle and nose. Although difficult to see in this photo, the eye shape is also slightly smaller and less rounded than the Pembroke's.
3) The inconsistency in this photo is that the Cardigan's ears are too upright and the Pembrokes appear too wide set! The reason being, that allowances must be made for developing pups. In this instance the Cardigan with very strong ears, required time for the skull to widen out with maturity and flatten between the ears to give the correct slightly wider earset. In contrast, the Pembroke with soft ears during the teething process required maturity to firm up to the correct equilateral triangle of adult Pembroke earset.

Below a  comparison between a Pem head and a Cardi head. Note the obvious differences.

Pembrokehead.jpg (7515 bytes)
Excellent and typical Pembroke head

Gorgeous Cardigan head.jpg (14911 bytes)
Excellent and typical Cardi head

Charliefox8.jpg (24282 bytes)

Foxy Cardigan Head JD.jpg (18076 bytes)

A comparison between a foxhead and a very early Cardi head. The standard calls for foxy head, but maybe this point is somewhat outdated, as  the more modern headtypes no longer show foxiness in this degree.

Below good typical Cardiheads:

lovely Cardigan head.jpg (8578 bytes)

Feminine head of lovely Cardi type and expression.  Great earshape and placement with nice flat skull between ears; good stop and eyebrow ridge giving the correct slight doming of the skull over the eyes; nice full muzzle.

Gorgeous Cardigan head.jpg (14911 bytes)

     Beautifully balanced female head, full of quality and with excellent expression, alert and watchful, yet friendly. Lovely full and rounded muzzle; ears are large and prominent, slightly rounded at the tip, moderately wide at the base and set correctly.

Cardigan Magic-HeadStudy.jpg (7842 bytes)     

Lovely male head, slightly different style than the two bitches, head overall is slightly leaner in shape, lovely ear shape, set and size, good flat skull showing nice rounding off at the sides, good eye shape and placement, nice stop, full muzzle, slightly more lippy than the two bitches left.


Page showing good typical heads with minor faults
  Page showing untypical and faulty heads