The Canine Chronicles Directory
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a long, silky coat with abundant feathering.
The coat is usually solid ruby, black/tan, tri-color or Blenheim (rich chestnut
on a pearl-white background) in color. On Blenheim colored dogs, a chestnut-red
spot on top of the head between the ears is preferred by breeders, but is not critical
when showing. The skull should be nearly flat between the ears. The stop should
be shallow and the muzzle tapered. The broad, well-developed nose should be black.
The teeth should meet in a scissor or level bite, although a scissor bite is preferred
when showing. The large, round eyes should be dark and wide set. There should be
a moderate cushion underneath the eyes giving a soft expression. The ears are long
and feathered. The long neck merges into curved shoulders. The body is short with
a level topline. The moderately deep chest has well-sprung ribs. The medium-boned
legs should be straight and the feet well-cushioned. The tail should be carried
level with the back and is sometimes docked. However, the tail should not be docked
less than two-thirds its original length.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are affectionate, outgoing, fearless, lively, and
undemanding dogs. They love and generally greet people warmly. However, some lines
can be reserved with strangers. They are excellent with children although they are
recommended for older, more considerate children due to their size and build. They
are excellent companion dogs for the elderly. This breed gets along with other dogs,
cats and even other small household pets. They should not be left alone all day
since they need a lot of companionship to be happy. They make great travel companions
due to their size and their calm demeanors. They have a keen sense of smell and
vision. They enjoy the outdoors. However, they should be kept on a leash or in a
fenced in area since their chasing instincts can cause them danger. Cavalier King
Charles Spaniels do not bark excessively but they will announce people they do not
Height: 12-13" ; Weight: 10-18 lbs.
The most common and detrimental hereditary disease is Mitral Valve disease. However,
breeders are working at eradicating this disease from the breed. Other common ailments
associated with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel are heart murmurs, cataracts,
subluxating patellas, syringomyelia, eye disease, back troubles, ear infections,
deafness and occasionally hip dysplasia.
King Charles Spaniels do well with apartment living. They are inactive indoors and
do better with a small yard. This breed does not do well in warm to hot weather.
Though they enjoy a good romp in the park, the King Charles will take any exercise
that their owners give them.
About 9-14 years
The ears of this breed tend to mat easily, so care should be taken by frequent grooming.
Bathe when necessary. Keep your pet warm after bathing. Hair should be trimmed between
the toes and in the ears often. This breed is an average shedder.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels originated from toy spaniels. These spaniels were
pictured in 16th, 17th and 18th century art pieces painted by Van Dyke, Titian,
Stubbs and Gainsborough. The spaniels had flat heads with high set ears, almond-shaped
eyes and a pointed nose. The royal name of King Charles Spaniels was bestowed on
this breed during the reign of King Charles II. The King was so fond of these dogs
that he would have at least one or two with him everywhere he went. He also issued
a law giving this breed access to any public place, including the House of Parliament.
This decree has yet to be changed and still stands today. During the reign of King
William and Queen Mary, these spaniels were interbred with Pugs. The head of the
dog was significantly altered. Their heads had a flattened face, domed skull and
round, protruding eyes. These dogs were named English Toy Spaniels. In the 1920s
an American by the name of Mr. Roswell Eldridge offered a reward for the original
(non-pug influenced) spaniels. Due to this demand as well as careful breeding resulted
in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. By the 1940s, these dogs were recognized as
a separate breed. They were given the prefix 'Cavalier' to distinguish them from
their forebearers. The Spaniels were originally used as a 'comforte dog', a medical
remedy for ailing patients. Used as a pet lap warmer, ladies would use them to warm their
laps on long carriage rides and in chilly castles. They were also used as flea distractors, as they
would distract fleas from their mistresses so that the owners would not be bitten
and hence succumb to the plague. Today they are used primarily as companion dogs.
They were recognized by the UKC in 1980 and in 1996, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
breed joined the Toy Group of the AKC.
AKC Toy, UKC Companion Dog