As mentioned many times elsewhere, all dogs were bred for a purpose. Today's society is more technologically advanced than the society in which many dog breeds came into being, and many things have changed; quite a number of the old canine job opportunities are no longer available. Furthermore, more and more people own dogs, choosing breeds not based directly on the type of work they do, but based on their looks and their temperament. This has led to many dogs finding themselves in situations which they were not bred for and with no natural outlet for their inbred instincts. The answer to this is a canine competitive event.
Canine events have been around for quite some time, even before the shift in importance from working dog to companion dog. Canine events offered dog handlers the opportunity to show off their dog's abilities, assess their dog's skills and choose the right dog for the jobs that needed to be done. As time went by, canine events also helped dog handlers make some money; the owners of the dogs that won certain events could ask quite a substantial amount of money for puppies of their champions or to have their champions bred with other dogs. The monetary benefit is still there today, as competitive champions demand hefty sums, but nowadays canine events are mainly to show off the natural abilities of a given breed, and to allow dogs the opportunity to do what they were bred for.
Cardigan Welsh Corgis were bred for herding, guarding and hunting. They are active, intelligent dogs who become easily bored if they are not given proper outlets for their energy. This boredom will translate into destructive behavior. Many Cardigan owners report very happy dogs when their Cardigans participate in competitive events that not only give them a good amount of exercise, but also stimulate their brains and fulfill their need to follow their strong instincts. Cardigans perform exceptionally well in two of the numerous canine competitive events available: sheepdog trials and agility trials.
The first, the sheepdog trial, is an event that tests a dog's herding ability and so is particularly suited for the Cardigan, which is one of the oldest herding breeds recorded. The goal of the trial is for a dog to move sheep around a field that is scattered with items such as gates, fences, etc.; the dog must follow directions from his handler in order to know how to move the sheep around the objects. There can be many different types of sheepdog trial, with the dog required to perform any number of activities that would simulate real herding situations. While Cardigans historically mainly dealt with cattle, you will see many dogs of this breed participating in the sheepdog trial and doing quite well. An agility trial, instead, is essentially an obstacle course for dogs. Dogs who participate in agility must come from an active breed that has a great amount of speed, endurance and intelligence; they must be easily trained, for competing the obstacle course takes a great amount of precision that must be taught by the dog handler. Like most other herding breeds, Cardigans are very intelligent and have a very strong desire to please their owners; for this reason, these little dogs excel in the field of agility.