We have found Cardigans to be a very charming and healthy breed. They are excellent with children and other animals. They typically adore cats. The average life span of the breed is 13 to 15 years but many thrive long past this point. If you are interested in owning a Cardigan, it’s best to do your research and make sure this intelligent breed will fit into your lifestyle. Then consult a reputable breeder. Also, be aware that Cardigans do shed but it’s nothing a good vacuum can’t handle!
Our philosophy of dog breeding comes from spending time with our mentor, Kim Shira of Coedwig Cardigans. We share the notion that one of the most important principles of dog breeding is to think how our breeding decisions will impact the future of the breed. Temperament and health are of utmost importance, as is breeding to the National club’s breed standard. Even though each of our breedings focuses on our next top winning show dog, the truth of the matter is that most of the litter will go to companion homes. We want all of our dogs to be good companions, no matter what their physical show attributes are. Good show dogs should also be great companions.
We have owned Cardigans since 2007. Our first breeding was in 2012 between Liam and Polly. Our second breeding was this year between our girl, Karis, and Honey Badger from Lock&Key Kennel in Alaska. Our mentor, Kim, has been breeding since 1974, usually breeds about two to four litters per year, and has over 120 AKC breed champions to her credit along with numerous performance stars. We generally know someone within the Cardigan community who is breeding at any given point throughout the year and are more than happy to refer a potential owner to a fellow breeder.
When planning a breeding, we have several top priorities: good health and genetic clearances, great temperament, and excellent structure and breed type. We want a Cardigan to look like a Cardigan (i.e., big rounded ears, a proper front structure, correct body proportions, correct large round feet, and so forth). We do genetic testing for Degenerative Myopathy (DM) and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). We also evaluate hip and elbow structure through x-rays. We only breed dogs that possess many strong breed virtues, strong enough to overcome any single glaring fault. We will not breed “mediocre” dogs simply because they finish their AKC title easily. We want the breed to move forward and breed according to the AKC and national club standards. We feel that all of the characteristics of breed quality and type are important, with overall balance very important. Needless to say, we want our Cardigans to have sound structure and to be attractive.
Our current Cardigan household consists of:
Kim Shira now has:
- Maya (9 years old)—AKC Champion with 17 group winner and/or specialty wins
- Rocky (5)—AKC Champion and herding star with advanced titles in AKC, ASCA, HTAD
- Flower (3)—AKC Champion
- Thimble (2)—working on her AKC championship
- Nala (18 months)—working on her AKC championship
- Jade (10 months)—working on her AKC championship
- Firefly (9 months)—working on his AKC championship
- Annie (9 months)—working on her AKC championship
- Poppy (13 weeks)—from the Karis/Honey Badger litter
I often tell people our Cardigans are like potato chips—you can never have just one. They do need to be socialized with other people and dogs. They adore obedience training and excel at agility and other sports. As a breed, Cardigans are devoted to their humans and a joy to be around. I do not remember what life was like before my dogs nor would I want to go back there. Every day with them is a blessing.
Summer tips for Cardigan owners
During hot summer months, Cardigans usually need a little help keeping cool. Most Cardigans will get into a wading pool, so we always have a few in the yard during the summer. Of course, keep the pool in the shade! In hot climates, we have used misting systems to keep our patio cool, and the dogs seem to love the mist! Pay attention in hot weather because—just like humans—dogs can get overheated. If your dog is displaying signs of being overheated—heavy panting, excessive thirst, weakness, increased pulse rate or heartbeat, glazed eyes, bright or dark red tongue and gums, excessive drooling or seizures—try to cool them off immediately by taking them indoors with air conditioning or putting them in shade and with cool (not cold) water. Seek immediate medical attention if symptoms continue. Be sure to have clean, cool water available at all times and do not allow your dog to drink large amounts in one sitting. Too much water at one time can cause vomiting. Remember dogs don’t sweat like humans, and they can only pant to cool off. A final important thing to remember in the summer months is dog paws on hot pavement. You wouldn’t walk barefoot on the hot pavement, so don’t let them do it either.
To contact Jason and Alta: firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact Kim: email@example.com