Cardigan Welsh Corgi vs Pembroke Welsh Corgi: What’s the Difference?

Written by August Buck
Updated: November 2, 2022
Image Credit Romashin Iurii/Shutterstock.com
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Did you know that there are two different types of Welsh Corgis: the Cardigan Welsh Corgi vs Pembroke Welsh Corgi? While those of these dogs appear similar upon first glance, there are a great deal of differences between them. But what might some of those differences be, and how can you learn how to tell these two dog breeds apart upon first glance? 

In this article, we will compare and contrast everything you need to know about the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and a Pembroke Welsh Corgi so that you can understand all of the differences between them. We will also address their behavioral differences as well as how they differ in appearance. Let’s get started and talk about these 2 amazing dogs now! 

Comparing Cardigan Welsh Corgi vs Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Cardigan Welsh Corgi vs Pembroke Welsh Corgi
While both of these dogs were originally bred in the countryside of Wales, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is far more popular than the Cardigan Welsh Corgi.

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Cardigan Welsh CorgiPembroke Welsh Corgi
Size10.5-12.5 inches tall; 25-38 pounds10-12 inches tall; 22-30 pounds
AppearanceHas a long, sloping body and a fox-like tail, curving over their backs; comes in brindle, blue, red, sable, and white color combinations. Large, rounded ears.Has a long, rectangular body and short, cropped tail; only comes in select colorings, including white, tricolor, sable, and red. Ears are smaller and less round.
AncestryAn old breed, likely from the year 1000 AD; bred originally in the countryside of WalesAn old breed, likely from the year 1000 AD; bred originally in the countryside of Wales
BehaviorMore reserved and relaxed than the Pembroke. Still a herder at heart, but prefers to assess everything before springing into actionSociable and lovable, as well as talkative. Eager to please and be where their owners are, as well as potentially aggressive in their desire to herd other animals or children
Lifespan12-15 years12-15 years

Key Differences Between Cardigan Welsh Corgi vs Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Cardigan Welsh Corgi vs Pembroke Welsh Corgi
You can easily tell the difference between a Pembroke and a Cardigan based on the presence of a tail, as the Cardigan Corgi has a tail, and the Pembroke Corgi does not. 

Kseniia Grigoreva/Shutterstock.com

There are many key differences between a Cardigan Welsh Corgi and a Pembroke Welsh Corgi. While both of these dogs were originally bred in the countryside of Wales, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is far more popular than the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. You can easily tell the difference between a Pembroke and a Cardigan based on the presence of a tail, as the Cardigan Corgi has a tail, and the Pembroke Corgi does not. 

Let’s talk about all of their differences in more detail now. 

Cardigan Welsh Corgi vs Pembroke Corgi: Size

Cardigan Welsh Corgi vs Pembroke Welsh Corgi
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is larger in both height, length, and weight compared to the average Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

Lyntree/Shutterstock.com

While you probably can’t tell the difference just by looking at them, there are some size differences between the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and a Pembroke Corgi. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is larger in both height, length, and weight compared to the average Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Let’s talk about these figures in more detail.

While you may not notice at first, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi averages 10 to 12 inches tall, while the Cardigan Welsh Corgi averages 10.5 to 12.5 inches tall. The primary size difference between these two breeds is in their weights. The Cardigan Welsh Corgi weighs an average of 25 to 38 pounds, while the Pembroke weighs 22 to 30 pounds depending on gender. This is likely due to the fact that the Cardigan Welsh Corgi has a slightly larger bone structure than the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. 

Cardigan Welsh Corgi vs Pembroke Welsh Corgi: Appearance

Cardigan Welsh Corgi vs Pembroke Welsh Corgi
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has smaller and more narrow ears compared to the large and round ears of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi.

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You can always pick out a corgi in a crowd of dogs based on their long bodies and short, thick legs. However, are there physical differences between the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and a Pembroke Welsh Corgi? The good news is, yes, there are a few physical differences! Let’s go over them now. 

Looking at the silhouette of a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, they appear more sloping and rounded compared to the rectangular body of the Pembroke Corgi. Additionally, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi has smaller and more narrow ears compared to the large and round ears of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Finally, the Cardigan Corgi has a fox-like tail, while the Pembroke Corgi has a tail that is docked very close to the body. 

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi also has more coat colors compared to the strict colors of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. For example, the Cardigan comes in brindle, blue, red, sable, and white color combinations, while the Pembroke only comes in select colorings, including white, tricolor, sable, and red.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi vs Pembroke Welsh Corgi: Ancestry and Breeding

Cardigan Welsh Corgi vs Pembroke Welsh Corgi
The Cardigan comes in brindle, blue, red, sable, and white color combinations, while the Pembroke only comes in select colorings, including white, tricolor, sable, and red.

Lenkadan/Shutterstock.com

Both the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi have the same ancestry and breeding. They both originated in the countryside of Wales, likely as early as 1000 AD. They were bred for their herding abilities and usefulness on farmlands, and this is something that the two breeds share. 

Cardigan Welsh Corgi vs Pembroke Welsh Corgi: Behavior

Cardigan Welsh Corgi vs Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Many experts say that the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is more sociable and talkative compared to the more reserved Cardigan Welsh Corgi.

Vera Reva/Shutterstock.com

While you may not expect it, there are some behavioral differences between the Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Many experts say that the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is more sociable and talkative compared to the more reserved Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Both of these dog breeds can exhibit herding behavior toward children or other animals, so this should be something to keep an eye on. 

Cardigan Welsh Corgi vs Pembroke Welsh Corgi: Lifespan

Cardigan Welsh Corgi vs Pembroke Welsh Corgi
The Cardigan Corgi has a fox-like tail, while the Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a tail that is docked very close to the body. 

Natalia Fedosova/Shutterstock.com

There aren’t any differences between the lifespan of a Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the lifespan of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Both of these breeds live anywhere from 12-15 years, depending on level of care. However, it all depends on the individual dog and the care that they receive!

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Oldest Dog Alive Today - Pembroke Welsh Corgi Running
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About the Author

I am a non-binary freelance writer working full-time in Oregon. Graduating Southern Oregon University with a BFA in Theatre and a specialization in creative writing, I have an invested interest in a variety of topics, particularly Pacific Northwest history. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping along the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my home kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast iron skillet.

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