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by Patrick Ormos, Phi-Vestavia Cardigans, USA

Temperament - Even-tempered, loyal, affectionate, and adaptable. Never shy nor vicious. (AKC standard)
Temperament: Alert, intelligent, steady, not shy or aggressive  (KC standard)

It would seem that the standard is quite clear about what the Cardigan Welsh Corgi's correct temperament should be like. Yet, there are certain people who are trying to argue that Cardigans are shy and standoffish by nature. Some judges have been heard to say that one has to forgive shyness in Cardigans since that just what they're like. Where does it say that in the standard? Where does it say that about the nature of this breed anywhere in our history?

Certainly Cardigans can have problem temperaments. For some reason they seem to be very susceptible to improper socialization. A Cardigan who is not given all the appropriate kinds of early puppy socialization, and then continued until they are over a year can very easily turn into a problem temperament. That is one of the major reasons why I do not believe in kenneling Cardigans. I don't feel that they respond well. But, to tell the truth, very few of the Herding breeds respond well to kenneling. They are for the most part people oriented breeds, which need
proper socialization.

Why do we try so hard to excuse temperament problems by either re-writing the standard to suit what is in our kennel, or by passing them off as temporary. "Oh, he's just arrived and isn't used to us yet." "She's in season, she's never like this at any other time." "It's the color of your dress. He doesn't like red." (This when we're talking about dogs who are color-blind!) I've heard all kinds of excuses, and I must admit that I've made some myself. When I was breeding German Shepherds I never would have thought to make excuses for bad temperament. It was just too dangerous to have a dog that big who was unsound mentally. Somehow with a smaller breed we're just not as worried as with a big breed. This ostrich-like form of denial does not help our breed at all.

What kinds of temperament problems exist in the breed? I see dogs who are shy and end up as fear-biters, some dogs who are dog-aggressive, and many who just do not adapt well to new situations. Some of this is inherited, and some is the way the dogs are raised. Look around you in the ring. Do some stud dogs or some bitches seem to consistently produce bad temperaments? Is it just the way they are raised, or perhaps it is inherited. Do they all come from the same kennel, or out of different situations? The AKC standard asks that our dogs be adaptable. Many of them are not. They are situation secure. As long as they know where they are, and whom they are with, then they feel secure and act secure. But, put them in a new situation or with new people and they are all over the place.

Such temperaments are just plain wrong...or else the standard is wrong.
Which is it? Give us your opinion.





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