Pembroke vs. Cardigan Corgis: Things You Should Know Before Buying a Corgi

Love Pet, Pet Type


November 28, 2023

Welsh Corgis, usually called just Corgis, were originally bred in Wales as herding dogs. Since then, they’ve become one of the most popular dog breeds in the world, due mostly to the number of celebrities and royalty that have them as pets.

If you’re considering buying a Corgi, it’s good to know the differences between the two types of Corgis: Pembroke and Cardigan Corgis.

The two dog types have both similarities and differences, and this article is here to help you learn about them so you can decide which one is right for you.

Pembroke vs. Cardigan Welsh Corgis: Some Basic Comparisons

People assume that Pembrokes and Cardigans are the exact same when they hear the word “Corgi,” but the two breeds are from different parts of Wales and come from two different centuries.

Both types were bred to help herd sheep and cattle, but the Pembrokes were found in flat terrain in southern Wales near Pembrokeshire, while the Cardigans were found in the rockier terrain of Cardiganshire in southwest Wales.

The Cardigan Corgis have also been around for roughly two-thousand years longer than the Pembrokes. The breeds are not interbred today, although they were for a short time during the 1930s.

The Pembroke Corgis came about around 1,000 AD, while the Cardigan Corgis have been around since 1,200 BC. In 2006, the American Kennel Club (AKC) started officially using the names Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Cardigan Welsh Corgi.

As you can see, the two Corgi breeds have completely different beginnings, but they still look a lot alike and have many similarities as well as differences.

Fortunately, they are both adorable, energetic, and smart, and they make great pets for people with or without kids. Now let’s take a look at those similarities and differences a little closer so you can decide which Corgi is right for you.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi vs. Pembroke Welsh Corgi: Similarities and Differences

As far as physical characteristics, both Cardigans and Pembrokes have long bodies, short legs, and ears that perk up and demand attention.

The main difference is that Cardigan Corgis have ears that are rounder and larger. Their tails are also quite different, with Pembrokes having short docked tails—which means they were cut off shortly after birth—and Cardigans having tails that are long and fluffy.

Size-wise, you should expect Cardigan Corgis to be a little larger and heavier. The Cardigan males weigh around 38 pounds, as compared to the Pembroke males, who weigh around 30 pounds.

When looking at them from a distance, you’ll notice that Pembroke Corgis have a more rectangular and linear look, while Cardigan Corgis look a little curvier because of the shape of their bones. It’s their bone shapes that are different.

You can also expect their coat colors to be different. As a general rule, the colors in a Cardigan Corgi have a lot more variety, as they can come in colors such as blue merle, brindle, red and sable with white markings, or black and white with points of either tan or brindle.

On the other hand, Pembroke Corgis are either sable, red, or tricolor with markings of white.

What Are Their Personalities Like?

Pembroke and Cardigan Corgis have personalities that are more alike than different. Both breeds are loyal, very smart, energetic, and love being part of a family.

Both require one or two hours of exercise per day and the right training and socialization while they are still puppies. They sometimes bark because they have excellent hearing and will bark when they hear something unfamiliar to them, but they usually calm down quickly.

Of course, Pembroke Corgis tend to be more outgoing, while Cardigans can be reserved and quiet at times. Still, Cardigan Corgis open up quickly once they warm up to someone.

Both breeds have a lot of energy, but a Cardigan Corgi is as happy with a short romp in the yard as it is with a long hike. The Pembrokes can handle as much exercise as you throw their way.

In addition to being more outgoing, Pembroke Corgis have a daring attitude and are content being with their owners 24/7. Cardigan Corgis are like that, as well, although not to the extent that Pembrokes are.

Both breeds love to travel and experience new things, but Cardigans are also happy lying on the sofa next to their owners and relaxing a bit after a long day.

Training Is Important

Due to their intelligence and their occasional stubbornness, both types of Corgis need to be trained early. You also might have to let the dog know who’s boss because of this stubborn streak, especially with the Cardigan Corgis, who tend to be even more headstrong than the Pembroke Corgis.

Nevertheless, if you show them your dominance early and have patience, training is not hard and should work well.

When you do train your Corgis, you should always use positive reinforcement such as treats and rewards, and know that you can also use these recommendations with different types of training, including potty-training, training them to learn certain commands, and even training them to use a leash.

Training is also much easier if you realize there will be occasional setbacks, but these can easily be overcome.

In fact, training a Corgi is much like training most other dogs. Patience, consistency, positive reinforcement, and remembering never to use punishment or any type of negative reinforcement are all highly recommended.

Both Pembroke and Cardigan Corgis can be trained properly if you keep these things in mind.


Pembroke Corgis and Cardigan Corgis are both tiny cute dogs with a lot of energy and a lot of intelligence. Their background and even their shape are a little different, but they can both have stubborn streaks yet are easy to please.

You can train them both easily if you start early enough, but always remember to use consistency and patience so the job can be done right.

One of the main differences between the two is their tails. Pembrokes have short tails that have been docked, whereas Cardigans have long, fluffy tails.