16 Corgi Colors and Markings (With Pictures)

Different Corgi colors and markings

If you want to bring a Corgi home, one of the first things you should dive into is the topic of Corgi colors. While it’s true that coat color adds to your dog’s overall beauty, there are also other reasons why its coat color matters.

The coat color of your dog helps in identifying what breed it is. For instance, a Corgi sporting a rare color may be mistaken for another breed. Moreover, your Corgi’s coat color can also say a lot about its age.

If you want to learn more about Corgi’s coat color, keep scrolling down below. In this guide, you’ll find more about its coat colors, including the genes involved, color-related health issues, and more!

How Many Corgi Colors Are There?

Three Corgis sitting side by side

Before counting the recognized coat colors of the Corgi, it is important to note that this breed comes in two types, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi.

One of the things that set these two Corgis apart from one another is their coat colors. 

According to the standards of the major kennel groups, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi only has five available coat colors, while the Cardigan Welsh Corgi has more than five and can actually sport any color.

For a more detailed discussion, here’s a list of colors acceptable for the Pembroke Welsh Corgi breed according to major kennel clubs:

Kennel ClubRecognized Coat Colors
American Kennel Club (AKC)Black & tan, red, sable, and fawn
Canadian Kennel Club (CKC)Red, sable, and black & tan (red-headed or black-headed)
United Kennel Club (UKC)Red, sable, fawn, and black & tan
The Kennel ClubRed, sable, fawn, and black & tan
Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI)Red, sable, fawn, and black & tan

Meanwhile, the following is a list of recommended colors by various kennel associations for the Cardigan Welsh Corgi breed:

Kennel ClubRecognized Coat Colors
American Kennel Club (AKC)Black & white, blue merle & white, brindle & white, gray & white, liver & white, red & white, sable & white, sable merle & white, white merle, brindle merle & white, and red merle & white
Canadian Kennel Club (CKC)Any color
United Kennel Club (UKC)Black, black & tan, black & brindle, blue merle, blue merle & tan, blue merle & brindle, and all shades of red, sable, and brindle.
The Kennel ClubBlue merle, brindle, red, sable, tricolor with brindle points, and tricolor with red points
Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI)Blue merle, brindle, red, sable, tricolor with brindle points, and tricolor with red points

Having so many possibilities for coat colors means that there are a lot of Corgis to choose from. Remember, however, that the hue you choose does not generally affect the individual dog in any way.

5 Pembroke Welsh Corgi Colors 

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi only comes in five recognized coat colors. Compared to the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, these numbers are much more constrained. 

However, there’s a good reason behind the restriction of color, and that is to preserve the breed’s traditional form and prevent its extinction.

1. Red Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Red Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Of all the Pembroke Corgi breed colors, red Corgis are the most prevalent. This is because red is Pembrokes’ predominant color genetically. 

However, reds come in a variety of forms based on their genetic makeup. As a result, the exact color of red Pembroke Corgis remains unpredictable and varies widely. Some are very dark, while others are pale.

According to the breed standards, a true red Corgi should not have spots or black on its hair. However, white markings, typically found on dogs’ paws and bellies, are acceptable.

As a breeder of Pembroke Welsh Corgis for more than five years, red has truly been the most sought-after color for clients looking for this very lovable breed. Most of those who want to enter conformation shows also prefer this common yet very characteristic color of the Corgi.

2. Red-headed Tricolor Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Red headed tricolor Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The red-headed tricolor is a variant of the black and tan Pembroke Welsh Corgis. 

This dog is frequently mistaken for a sable Corgi due to its black hair that blends into its red or tan points. However, you can recognize a red-headed tricolor Corgi by looking at its head and ears

If the back and inside tips of its ears are red as well as its head, then it is definitely a red-headed tricolor Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

3. Black-headed Tricolor​​ Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Black headed tricolor​​ Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Another version of the black and tan Pembroke Welsh Corgis is the black-headed tricolor Corgi. 

This dog is similar to the red-headed Corgi, but instead of having its ears and head covered with red fur, the black-headed tricolor Corgi sports black coats in these areas. 

Moreover, the body of the black-headed tricolor Corgi is mostly black. Unlike the red-headed one, those black hairs do not blend into their red and white points.

4. Sable Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Sable Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Sable is regarded as one of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi’s most remarkable coat colors. 

However, this dog is actually just a variation of the red Corgi. It only has a partially visible tricolor second gene, which gives it additional colors. 

A Corgi with a sable coat usually appears in a combination of different shades, such as black, brown, and red. 

These colors can be seen anywhere on the Corgi’s body except near the chest, where a white marking is usually present. 

A sable Pembroke Welsh Corgi also has a feature on its forehead known as a “widow’s peak,” This is an area covered in dark hair that extends all the way to its eyes and down to its muzzle.

5. Fawn Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Fawn Pembroke Welsh Corgi

A fawn Pembroke Welsh Corgi is basically a Corgi with a pale red coat. Some kennels, such as the Canadian Kennel Club, do not recognize this separately from other red-colored Corgis. 

This dog has some white patches on its fur as well, which are typically visible on its paws and underbelly. White fur may also cover its muzzle and feet.

11 Cardigan Welsh Corgi Colors 

Similar to the Pembrokes, Cardigans also come in two basic colors: red and black. However, this dog frequently expresses one or more modifiers or dilutions, altering how it appears compared to the traditional Corgi.

To give you an idea, the succeeding part of this guide will provide you with an overview of some of the most prevalent coat colors seen in Cardigan Welsh Corgis.

1. Black Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Black Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Black is one of the official and exclusive coat colors of a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. For those unfamiliar with Cardigans, this dog might be mistaken for a cross between a Pembroke and another canine with a black coat. 

Despite its name, a black Cardigan Corgi is not completely black. This dog typically sports white markings all over its body, including a thin line running from its forehead to its muzzle.

2. Blue Merle Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Blue merle Cardigan Welsh Corgi

The blue merle is a popular color variety of the Cardigan Welsh Corgi breed because of its rarity and unique look.

A Cardigan Welsh Corgi with a blue merle coat appears gray with black marbling or gray with black patches in a piebald pattern. This coat variant may also sport an eye color other than brown, such as blue. 

3. Brindle Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Brindle Cardigan Welsh Corgi puppy

Another popular coat color variation of a Cardigan Welsh Corgi is brindle. This color is also commonly known as the “tiger coat” due to its dark brown or black stripes that lie on top of its brown base color.

A brindle Cardigan Corgi can also have white points, just like other Cardigans. These white points serve as a contrast which further emphasizes its brindle pattern.

4. Red Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Red Cardigan Welsh Corgi puppy

The red Cardigan Corgi is a mixture of red and white. Just like the Pembroke red, the red coat of this pup can range from dark red to light fawn. 

In addition, this dog may occasionally display sable markings as a puppy. However, as it ages, it will eventually turn completely red. 

5. Sable Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Sable Cardigan Welsh Corgi

As with the Pembroke sable, the Cardigan sable Corgi has a coat that consists of a combination of red, brown, and black. It may also have white markings as well as the so-called widow’s peak.

Overall, the difference between a sable Pembroke and a sable Cardigan Corgi lies mostly in their general appearance, not entirely in their coat color.

6. Red Merle Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Red merle Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Image credit: wilco_a_corgi_adventure / Instagram

The red merle Cardigan Welsh Corgi resembles a red Corgi. 

The main distinction is that its genetic makeup does not consist entirely of homozygous red. Instead, it is paired with the merle allele, producing a minor variation in this pup.

This Corgi’s red coat might show up on the liver and black shades with the concealing merle. Additionally, it can have blue eyes, which typically result from a mix of a merle dog.

7. Sable Merle Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Sable merle Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Image credit: harvey_the_cardi / Instagram

The sable merle Cardigan Welsh Corgi, also known as the cinnamon merle Corgi, has a coat that is mostly sable and white. On certain regions of its body, though, it may also exhibit red, merle, and darker patches. 

This dog typically possesses blue eyes, a telltale sign that one of its parents carried the merle gene.

8. Black Brindle Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Black brindle Cardigan Welsh Corgi

A black brindle Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a mixture of a black and a brindle Corgi. In most cases, this dog is typically perceived as black and white because the brindle pattern is barely noticeable. 

However, it is possible that this dog has an even distribution of black and brindle fur on its coat, with some white fur on its underbelly and paws. If this is the case, then the dog will be easily distinguishable as a black brindle.

9. Liver Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Liver Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Image credit: shakespeare_the_corg / Instagram

One of the rarest color variants of this breed is the liver or chocolate Cardigan Welsh Corgi. 

The liver Corgi has an unusually diluted color generated by the b gene, which creates a liver or chocolate-colored dog. 

To produce this coat variant of the Cardigan Corgi, the breeding stock must be carriers (Bb), as “b” is recessive. 

Aside from its coat, a liver Cardigan Welsh Corgi will have a brown nose, lips, and eye rims with light or yellowish eyes.

10. Brindle Merle Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Brindle merle Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Image credit: a.corgi.named.stewart / Instagram

The brindle merle Cardigan Corgi has a strong resemblance to the sable merle, making these dogs nearly indistinguishable. 

However, if you examine its coat closely, you may notice the tiger lines that are popular with brindle dogs. In addition, this dog usually has blue eyes, which are common in dogs with merle genes. 

Despite its lack of popularity, the brindle merle Cardigan Corgi is a recognized color by the AKC and other kennel clubs.

11. Black and Tan Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Black and tan Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Image credit: miinamaista / Instagram

Most Cardigan lovers consider the black and tan Cardigan Welsh Corgi to be the tricolor Cardigan Corgi. This is owing to its coats, which come in three colors: black, brown, and white.

These colors are typically spread unevenly across the Cardigan’s body, with the tan having the least quantity.

In spite of that, the UKC classified this dog as a black and brown Cardigan Corgi with white markings.

Corgi Markings 

It is not uncommon for a Corgi to be seen in more than one color. The dominant color we see on this dog is known as the base coat color, while the other color is referred to as markings.

Since we’ve already discussed the potential coat colors of the two Corgi varieties, we’ll now move on to the markings of Corgis in this section.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The AKC and other well-known kennels acknowledged only one marking for the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. It is said that this marking can be observed on the dog’s legs, chest, neck, forehead, muzzle, and underparts.

Below is the only acceptable marking in a Pembroke Welsh Corgi:

  • White Markings

According to some fanciers of the breed, the Pembroke Corgi did not always come in piebald or extreme white as some do today. 

It wasn’t until early breeders selected a breed with white Irish spotting to cross with the Pembroke that the white markings became more prevalent in Corgis.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Knowing that a Cardigan has a long list of coat colors, you should also anticipate this dog to have a lot of markings.

Below are acceptable markings in a Cardigan Welsh Corgi:

  • Ticked
  • Tan Points
  • Black Mask
  • Brindle Points
  • Black Mask & Ticked
  • Brindle Points & Ticked
  • Tan Points & Ticked

Compared to a Pembroke Corgi, the markings above are not a consequence of selective breeding; rather, it is a natural occurrence in the Cardigan Corgi’s more lenient gene pool.

Do Corgi Colors Affect Behavior and Health?

Two Corgis in different colors sitting on the snow

Generally, the coat color of your Corgi will not affect the behavior or health of your dog. 

Do note that the way your dog behaves is a reflection of how you’ve raised and trained it, and sometimes even its gender, and not what color it inherited from its dog parents.

Personally, I am fond of breeding red and tricolor Corgis, and there are definitely no distinct differences in the behavior between the two colors based on my experience. Some Corgis of the same color may even have their own behavioral differences, especially as they grow into adults.

Furthermore, no matter what coat color the puppy may have, if the Corgi’s parents are healthy dogs, the offspring will probably be healthy as well. 

However, despite being bred with health in mind, some colors are more susceptible to specific diseases. 

A pup with a double merle gene, for example, is more likely to experience defects at birth, like blindness and hearing impairments. 

Given this likelihood, it is not advised to breed two merle Corgis, regardless of how physically healthy they may seem.

Do Corgi Puppies Change Colors as They Grow?

The coat color of a Corgi may change considerably from its puppyhood until it is an adult. Occasionally, it can be quite confusing as to what color the dog will be as it grows old.

A good example of this transition is seen in red Corgis. These Corgis typically have reddish or brownish fur at birth. But, as they mature, they start to brighten and turn red or orange.

​​In addition to the natural aging process that causes a Corgi’s color to change, other factors, including stains, infections, grooming practices, artificial dyes, climate, and more, may also cause a dog’s color to change.

If you want to keep your dog’s hair bright and shiny, fish oil is a wonderful complement to its diet. Keep in mind that everything you feed your dog will affect its general health, including the color of its coat.

What Color Will My Corgi Puppy Be?

Corgi puppies in different colors

Before anything else, it is important to know whether your Corgi puppy is a Cardigan or a Pembroke. These two dogs are both Corgis, yet they have different genetics that dictates their coat colors.

Specifically, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi normally has a dominant E locus, which gives it any of the following colors: red, sable, black & tan, or fawn.

A Cardigan, on the other hand, is typically tested to carry a significant level of S locus, M locus, K locus, D locus, B locus, and E locus. 

Such results allow a Corgi puppy to be any color, including black, merle, brindle, sable, white, or more.

Compared to a Pembroke, it might be difficult to predict the color of your Corgi puppy. While the color of the Corgi parents can give insight into the color of their offspring, genetics can be very tricky at times.

So if you want to know what color your Corgi puppy is, genetic testing is your best bet. 

This test provides the most accurate approach to detecting a dog’s true genetic color and the coat color of the puppies it may produce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Two Corgis sitting on a grass field

What Is the Best Corgi Color?

The term “best” can be subjective; however, many Corgi fanciers believe that black is the breed’s best color. 

A black Corgi is very rare and may only appear in purebred Cardigans and Pembroke Corgi hybrids. This variant is primarily black, but white patches can also be all over Corgi’s body.

What Is the Rarest Corgi Color?

Each variety of Corgi will have a distinct, rare coat color. For Pembrokes, the sable is the rarest. This color is actually a blend of different colors, including black, brown, and red. 

As for Cardigans, white and brindle is the most uncommon color. This color may appear in a variety of base colors, such as white, yellow, black, or red, along with a brindle stripe outline or marking.

What Is the Most Common Corgi Color?

The most common color for Corgis is red and white. This color is considered Queen Elizabeth’s favorite, so you should not expect a low price tag on this color variant. 

The red and white color of a Corgi is self-explanatory. However, it may also come in very light and dark shades.

Final Thoughts

The two types of Corgi breed are endowed with a wide range of colors, and all of them are lovely on their own.

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is available in red, red-headed tri-color, black-headed tri-color, fawn, and sable. 

The Cardigan Welsh Corgi, on the other hand, can be any color, but the most common are blue, brindle, blue merle, red, and sable.

But aside from the gorgeous coat colors, the Corgi breed also has various markings that make each one unique. It may have white markings, a black mask, brindle points, ticking, tan points, or a mixture of these.

So, are you getting a Corgi soon? Let us know in the comments which Corgi colors are your favorite!

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