I thought it would be fun to learn a little more about Darby's breeder, Leda Thompson, who is the Arkansas side of Coedwig Cardigan Welsh Corgis and I thought you might be interested, too.
So, here is my interview with Leda.
MJ: Who was/is your first Cardi?
LT: After watching the Westminster Kennel Club show year after year, and saying "got to check out those Cardigan Corgis", in the March of 1999, I decided to do a search for Cardigan breeders. I assumed they would be far and few between, and especially far. Imagine my surprise, when I located a breeder only 40 minutes away. I went out to visit and learn about Cardigans and met who is now my kennel partner, Kim Shira. I also met Glacier (Ch. Coedwig's Blue Glacier, RN), who was only 3 months old at the time and fell in love with him. Kim and I became friends and she was my mentor for the show ring and breeding. We would go to shows together and I learned the ins and outs of showing. In December of 2000, after he completed his championship, Glacier came to live with me and Kim gave me a brindle bitch puppy, Fancy (now Ch. Spectrum Cerea "So Fancy") who was my first "official" Cardigan.
MJ: How and why did you get started breeding Cardigan Welsh Corgis?
LT: The How: Working with Kim, my first breeding was my girl Fancy, who produced Princess (Ch. Coedwig's Ice Princess) my first champion, and in turn she and Glacier produced the lovely Lilac (Ch. Coedwig's Moonlit Lilac),
Fancy and Carbon produced Ch. Coedwig's Optimystique (aka Mystique, aka Miss Stinky), who loves agility and took to it like a duck to water.
The Why: Kim and I breed to produce our next show dogs and, of course, to improve our lines to maintain the breed standard. Our motto is "Striving for Perfection".
Fancy's first litter
Princess -- From Fancy's first litter
Mystique and agility tire
MJ: If you were talking to someone who knows nothing about Cardigans, what would you say was their best quality, trait, or habit?
LT: The Cardigan is such a magnificent dog. Loyal, loving, funny, active, They have a great ability to learn. Cardigans do well in all performance venues--obedience, agility, herding, even tracking. I don't think there is really one best quality, as each Cardigan has its own endearing qualities, which is why they are so beloved by their owners.
MJ: Now, of course, we want to hear what you think is the worst thing about Cardigans!
LT: Because they are herding dogs, most people believe that their nipping/herding is probably their worst trait. If you have more than two--they do love to bark a lot.
MJ: About how many litters do you help raise each year?
LT: Right now I limit it to one, possible two litters a year. It depends on when and which bitches come in to season, age, etc.
MJ: If one of our readers is interested in breeding Cardigans, or any dog for that matter, what advice would you give them?
LT: Be prepared--both financially and emotionally. Breeding and whelping a litter can be very expensive. First, if you are doing it right, you have had all the health clearances for your breed done. Then there is the cost of keeping your breeding bitch in optimum health--good food, supplements, medical care. Be prepared for the cost of a c-section and follow-up care of the mother and puppies. There is always the possibility of losing the bitch and/or puppies during the whelping process. You should also be prepared to raise the litter for a number of months if you are unable to find good, loving homes.
To anyone who believes you can make a lot of money breeding purebred dogs--if you do it right, you will be happy to just "break even".
MJ: Do you have an all-time favorite Cardigan? We won't tell the others!
LT: I had to think long and hard about that. Carbon, of course, was the greatest to Kim and myself. Among my gang--it would be hard to choose just one, as each has a personality or quality that is dear to me. (Each also has a way of driving me crazy).
Rocco (Am/Int'l Ch. Coedwig's Roc Around the Clock, CD, RA, TDI/CGC) has the most titles. and is my Velcro dog. He produced my latest champion, Ch. Coedwig's Play it Again Sam. [MJ's note: he is Darby's papa, too!] Vickie (Ch. Coedwig's Painted Lady) is probably my prettiest Cardigan.
Vickie and her litter (Leda's latest litter)
Leda and some of her gang
MJ: Thank you, Leda, for taking time away from your gang, your work, and everything else that makes up your very busy life to answer my nosy questions! And thank you, once again, for causing my little four-legged brat, Darby, to be in my life!
P.S. One more question: With all those Cardigans, how do you keep your floor so clean??