EVALUATING QUALITY IN A CARDIGAN WELSH CORGI
(A CONTINUING SERIES....)

I. FRONTS

The following diagram was distributed to AKC Judges from the Secretary of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America. Below is the excerpt for the official AKC Cardigan Welsh Corgi Standard, approved on December 13, 1983.

Left: Correct Cardigan Bowed Front, with acceptable 30 turnout.
(30 turnout = hands of a clock pointing to 11 and 1 o'clock)
Right: Incorrect Straight Wide Front, lacking the support of a bowed front assembly.

We see too many incorrect fronts being shown and winning points over dogs with correct front assemblies. The feature of the bowed front is as essential to breed specific type and breed essence as is being a long and low dog. The FOREARMS MUST CURVE NATURALLY AROUND A WELL-DEVELOPED DEEP CHEST with wrists SET closer under the chest. UNNATUREL CURVES OR TWISTS DO NOT make a bowed front!!! Straight fronts and incorrectly twisted fronts are hurting our breed and judges and breeders must strive for the correctly bowed front assembly. Remember, this is a herding dog, and a Cardigan with the incorrect front assembly would not be able to do the task at hand.

Excerpt from the official Cardigan Welsh Corgi standard, approved by the AKC Dec. 13, 1983:

"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."

Click here to read a copy of the letter sent to Judges from the CWCCA National Club in 1993 concerning evaluating the correct Cardigan front assembly with respect to the above diagrams. This letter is as important today as it was the day it was sent, Feb. 13, 1993.

This is NOT a correct Cardigan front.

It is too wide, straight, and over bowed with a short upper arm giving a poor shoulder layback. There is some tendency to knuckle-over here as well. Please do not reward this in the ring or consider keeping this in a breeding program.

Dog was neutered and became a family pet for a happy little boy.

 

Correct Cardigan Fronts - Front View

Correct front assembly
 is essential to Cardigan breed type!

Designed by Nature for a purpose

Forelegs curved:

a)  to support and fit around a well-sprung deep chest

b)  allowing for large heart and lung capacity to drive cattle in the Welsh hillside

c)  Evidence from our Dachshund ancestry

     

Front with prominent prosternum, wrapping around  deep well  sprung chest and rib cage, correct turn out (not more than 30 ).

The forearms (ulna and radius) curved to fit spring of ribs.

At left, 4 month pup.  At right, 14 year male.

 

INCORRECT FRONTS BELOW:

     Straight legged, lacking proper wrap around bow, lacks prominent prosternum or brisket, straight shoulders.  Should be able to fit the brisket in the palm of your hands. 

 

 

Below: Both 6 mos. pups

Puppies should show appearance of prosternum, with age it will develop and be more prominent.  The skeletal structure is either there or it isn't and develops with time, muscling and maturity.

Left:  Incorrect straight front,
lacking wrap around

Right:  Correct Front
with wrap around

 

Judging the Front Assembly

Evaluating the front end is a two part feature:  

                    a) front view and b) side view.  

Some dogs will possess a lovely wrap around in a front view, but may have short upper arms from a side view, lacking proper shoulder layback.

Evaluate the front end from a side view in looking at your silhouette or outline,

 

as well as in the head shot view. 

This Cardigan has a correct front assembly.

 

 

 

Left:  Bitch with a correct prosternum and front end.

 

Right:  Notice the prominent prosternum on this skeleton.  


The Prosternum should only be slightly lower than a point mid-way between the throat and the lower part of the brisket.

Continue on to:  Outline 
Below left, good outline, but straight in shoulders.
Below right, correct outline, good front end and shoulders.       

 

 

 

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