The Cardigan Standard


UK Standard, prior to the separation of the two breeds  1928  -  1933
UK Standard 1949 - 1987
The UK standard 1949 in detail   (PDF)
The changes in the USA standard over the years, click HERE      (external site)
The British Standard The American Standard
General Appearance

Sturdy, tough, mobile, capable of endurance. Long in proportion to height, terminating in a fox-like brush, set in line with body.

Characteristics
Alert, active and intelligent

General Appearance

Low set with moderately heavy bone and deep chest. Overall silhouette long in proportion to height, culminating in a low tail set and fox-like brush. General Impression-A handsome, powerful, small dog, capable of both speed and endurance, intelligent, sturdily built but not coarse.

SIZE
Height: ideal 30 cms (12 ins) at shoulder. Weight in proportion to size with overall balance the prime consideration.
Size, Proportion, Substance
Overall balance is more important than absolute size. Dogs and bitches should be from 10.5 to 12.5 inches at the withers when standing naturally. The ideal length/height ratio is 1.8:1 when measuring from the point of the breast bone (prosternum) to the rear of the hip (ischial tuberosity) and measuring from the ground to the point of the withers. Ideally, dogs should be from 30 to 38 pounds; bitches from 25 to 34 pounds. Lack of overall balance, oversized or undersized are serious faults.
HEAD AND SKULL
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.
Head
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 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.
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
Erect, proportionately rather large to size of dog. Tips slightly rounded, moderately wide at base and set about 8 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.
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
flat with some chiseling where the cheek meets the foreface and under the eye. There should be no prominence of cheekbone.
MOUTH
Teeth strong, with scissor bite i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping  lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
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.
NECK
Muscular, well developed, in proportion to dog's build, fitting into well sloping shoulders.
Neck, Topline, Body
Neck- moderately long and muscular without throatiness. Well developed, especially in males, and in proportion to the dog's build. Neck well set on; fits into strong, well shaped shoulders.

Topline   level.

 

BODY
Chest moderately broad with prominent breastbone. Body fairly long and strong, with deep brisket, well sprung ribs. Clearly defined waist. Top line level.
Body  long and strong.
Chest  moderately broad with prominent breastbone. Deep brisket, with well sprung ribs to allow for good lungs. Ribs extending well back. Loin- short, strong, moderately tucked up. Waist well defined. Croup-Slight downward slope to the tail set.
TAIL
Like a fox's brush set in line with the body and moderately long (to touch or nearly touch ground). Carried low when standing but may be lifted a little above body when moving, not curled over back.
Tail set fairly low on body line and reaching well below hock. Carried low when standing or moving slowly, streaming out parallel to ground when at a dead run, lifted when excited, but never curled over the back. High tail set is a serious fault.
FOREQUARTERS
Shoulders well laid, angulated at approximately 90 degrees to upper arm, muscular, elbows close to sides. Strong bone carried down to feet. Legs short but body well clear of the ground, forearms slightly bowed to mould round the chest. Feet turned slightly outwards.
Forequarters
The moderately broad chest tapers to a deep brisket, well let down between the forelegs. Shoulders -slope downward and outward from the withers sufficiently to accommodate desired rib-spring. Shoulder blade (scapula) long and well laid back, meeting upper arm (humerus) at close to a right angle. Humerus nearly as long as scapula. Elbows -should fit close, being neither loose nor tied. The forearms- (ulna and radius) should be curved to fit spring of ribs. The curve in the forearm makes the wrists (carpal joints) somewhat closer together than the elbows. The pasterns- are strong and flexible. Dewclaws -removed. The feet- are relatively large and rounded, with well filled pads. They point slightly outward from a straight-ahead position to balance the width of the shoulders. This outward point is not to be more than 30 degrees from center line when viewed from above. The toes should not be splayed. The correct Cardigan front- is neither straight nor so crooked as to appear unsound. Overall, the bone should be heavy for a dog of this size, but not so heavy as to appear coarse or reduce agility. Knuckling over, straight front, fiddle front are serious faults.
HINDQUARTERS
Strong, well-angulated and aligned with muscular thighs and second thighs, strong bone carried down to feet, legs short; when standing hocks vertical, viewed from side and rear.
Hindquarters
Well muscled and strong, but slightly less wide than shoulders. Hipbone (pelvis) slopes downward with the croup, forming a right angle with the femur at the hip socket. There should be moderate angulation at stifle and hock. Hocks well let down. Metatarsi perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. Dewclaws removed. Feet- point straight ahead and are slightly smaller and more oval than front. Toes arched. Pads well filled. Overall, the hindquarters must denote sufficient power to propel this low, relatively heavy herding dog efficiently over rough terrain.
FEET
Round, tight rather large and well padded. All dewclaws to be removed
COAT
Short or medium of hard texture. Weatherproof, with good undercoat. Preferably straight.
Coat
Medium length but dense as it is double. Outer hairs slightly harsh in texture; never wiry, curly or silky. Lies relatively smooth and is weather resistant. The insulating undercoat is short, soft and thick. A correct coat has short hair on ears, head, the legs; medium hair on body; and slightly longer, thicker hair in ruff, on the backs of the thighs to form "pants," and on the underside of the tail. The coat should not be so exaggerated as to appear fluffy. This breed has a shedding coat, and seasonal lack of undercoat should not be too severely penalized, providing the hair is healthy. Trimming is not allowed except to tidy feet and, if desired, remove whiskers. Soft guard hairs, uniform length, wiry, curly, silky, overly short and/or flat coats are not desired. A distinctly long or fluffy coat is an extremely serious fault.
COLOUR
Any colour, with or without white markings, but white should not predominate
Color
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.
GAIT/MOVEMENT
Free and active, elbows fitting close to sides, neither loose nor tied. Forelegs reaching well forward without too much lift, in unison with thrusting action of hind legs.
Gait
Free and smooth. Effortless. Viewed from the side, forelegs should reach well forward when moving at a trot, without much lift, in unison with driving action of hind legs. The correct shoulder assembly and well fitted elbows allow for a long free stride in front. Viewed from the front, legs do not move in exact parallel planes, but incline slightly inward to compensate for shortness of leg and width of chest. Hind legs, when trotting, should reach well under body, move on a line with the forelegs, with the hocks turning neither in nor out, and in one continuous motion drive powerfully behind, well beyond the set of the tail. Feet must travel parallel to the line of motion with no tendency to swing out, cross over, or interfere with each other. Short choppy movement, rolling or high-stepping gait, close or overly wide coming or going, are incorrect. This is a herding dog which must have the agility, freedom of movement, and endurance to do the work for which he was developed.
TEMPERAMENT
Alert, intelligent, steady not shy or aggressive.
Temperament
Even-tempered, loyal, affectionate, and adaptable. Never shy nor vicious.
FAULTS
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
Disqualifications
Blue eyes, or partially blue eyes, in any coat color other than blue merle. Drop ears. Nose other than solid black except in blue merles. Any color other than specified. Body color predominantly white.
NOTE
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

March 1994 Published with kind permission of The Kennel Club

The Kennel Club

Approved December 13, 1994 Effective January 31, 1995

Published with the permission of the AKC

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