The Welsh Corgi is a type of small herding dog that originated in Wales. Welsh Corgis are generally recognized as two distinct breeds: the Cardigan and the Pembroke. Beginning in 1934, the American Kennel Club recognized them as separate breeds.
The Cardigan is the larger of the two, with larger rounded ears and a foxy, flowing tail. The Pembroke features pointed ears and is somewhat smaller in stature. Historically, the Pembroke was a breed with a natural bob tail (a very short tail). Due to the advent of docking, the trait was not aggressively pursued, with breeders focusing instead on other characteristics, and the tail artificially shortened if need be. Given that some countries are now banning docking, breeders are again attempting to select for dogs with the genes for natural bob tails.
The coats of both breeds come in a variety of colors, although there are some differences between the breeds. Both the Cardigan and Pembroke Welsh Corgi are among the healthiest and longest-lived dogs in the Herding Group. The Cardigan tends to be a little hardier and has fewer documented hereditary health issues; among them are canine hip dysplasia, canine degenerative myelopathy and progressive retinal atrophy. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are susceptible to intervertebral disc disease, canine hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy and epilepsy. Cardigan Welsh Corgis have a typical life expectancy between 12 and 14 years, and Pembroke Welsh Corgis typically live between 11 and 13 years.