The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a much admired Royal Spaniel having been known in Europe and Great Britain since the 16th Century, descending from the toy spaniels of Europe.
Packs of the little dogs are said to have been kept by members of the nobility as sporting dogs possessing a highly developed scenting capacity and enjoying nothing better than wading in water. As lap dogs they were popular with the ladies who used them as comforters by laying them on their stomachs or feet as 'warmers' during their long carriage journeys, thereby being known as the "comforter" of "spaniel gentle".
They first appeared in the courts of England with the reign of Queen Mary the first. The breed which appears in many of the great paintings by the Masters, received it's name from King Charles II who was always surrounded by the Royal Spaniels. The original toy spaniels became virtually extinct in the Victorian and Edwardian eras as short nosed breeds took the fore. By 1923 the King Charles Spaniel (today's English Toy), with it's flat nose, had replaced the old-type toy spaniel.
In 1926 the incentive for revitalization of the old-type Toy Spaniel was provided by Mr. Roswell Eldridge, an American, who offered prizes of 25 pounds for the Best Dog and Best Bitch of this type at "Crufts".
The name Cavalier was added when the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club was founded in 1928 to further develop the breed. It was not until 1945 that the Kennel Club (England) granted separate registration from the King Charles. A year later the Club held it's first Championship Show at Stratford-on-Avon. The popularity of these companion dogs had spread around the world and in 1957 the breed gained Canadian Kennel Club recognition. In 1996 it gained American Kennel Club recognition.
Cavaliers make excellent pets, being very outgoing, happy, loving and devoted dogs. It would be difficult to find a dog with a more delightful temperament. Though they are small enough to suit the city dwelling dog lover, they are equally at home in the country. Though most Spaniels were originally bred as hunting dogs, the Cavalier has been bred exclusively as a companion dog since the days of King Charles the II, and as a Pet and Companion, the Cavalier has no equal.
Cavaliers are a charming Toy Spaniel, elegant but sporting and are versatile dogs, equally happy living in the lap of luxury or hiking in the woods with their owners. Cavaliers make excellent pets for families with children, professional people, or senior citizens. Those people who are lucky enough to own a Cavalier will have a dog who is a loving companion and friend.
Cavaliers are a joy to teach being very people oriented, they are extremely intelligent and readily absorb all they are taught and are always eager to please you. They are often seen in the obedience ring, scent hurdling, lure coursing and in fly ball.
Every dog needs some basic maintenance grooming, nails clipped and coat brushed. Twice weekly brushing should maintain the coat and prevent coat matting.
Breed Group: Toy
Weight: 10-20 lbs
Height: 11-13 inches
Color(s): Blenheim: Bright chestnut red markings broken up on a pearly white background.
Tri Color: Jet black markings broken up on a pearly white background.
Ruby: Whole colored rich red.
Black & Tan: Jet black with rich tan markings over the eyes, on sides of muzzle, chest and on under carriage.
Coat: The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a coat of silky hair that is medium to long in length. The coat is not curly but may have a slight wave. There is feathering in the tail, legs, feet, ears and chest.
Overview: The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is graceful and elegant. They are most associated in history with those of nobility and aristocracy. They are a well-balanced toy Spaniel that display an affectionate and loving nature.
Character: This breed is a true companion and lap dog. They are gentle, but also have a sporting character, which enables them to do well in agility and hunting events. This breed loves to swim and is a natural retriever.
Temperament: The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is best suited for a pampered indoor life. They display the temperament of an extrovert. They can be quite spirited and vocal. The Cavalier prefers to be with their family or other dogs. Although this breed is gentle and affectionate, they do not have patience for unruly children.
Care: The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel must be brushed weekly to prevent mats and tangles. Special attention must be given to the hair behind the ears. The Cavalier has a tendency to develop heart abnormalities early in life. It is extremely important to have regular veterinary examinations. They are also prone to allergies, deafness, cataracts, and diabetes.
Training: The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is highly intelligent and eager to learn. They can be trained in hunting and agility, and also do well in competitive obedience. The Cavalier makes an excellent therapy dog. They respond well to gentle training and high praise.
Activity: The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an active and sporting breed that requires regular exercise to help keep their heart healthy. A fenced yard is a must, as they will give chase to anything that moves. They are able to adapt to apartment or condominium living provided there is a small yard.