Dog Profiles - Description of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Description: The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an endearing toy dog that has boundless energy and love. They are an excellent family dog and will do well with older, considerate children that are aware of the small size of this breed, especially as a puppy. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is both athletic and active for its size but can also be a quiet companion dog. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel looks very similar to the larger King Charles Spaniel used as a gun dog and hunting breed. They have a distinctively beautiful feathered coat as well as a soulful expression in their eyes that often makes them appear almost human in expression. The head is almost flat between the high set, long, pendulous ears and the eyes are dark, well set to the sides of the muzzle and very large and round.

Height: 12-13 in (30-33 cm)

Weight: 10-18 lbs (5-8 kg)

Colors: Red and White (Blenheim), black and tan (King Charles) tricolor (Prince Charles) and solid, dark red (Ruby).

Coat: The coat is moderately long, silky and very well feathered on the legs, chest, ears and tail. The feet will also have feathering and this is a standard of the breed. The coat may be wavy but not curly and should not be very dense or wooly in texture.

Temperament: The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a wonderful temperament and is ideal for single people, couples or even families. They are curious and playful by nature but also enjoy just cuddling up on a favorite cushion or even better on their owners lap. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel loves interacting with people and really needs a lot of human attention on a regular, ongoing, daily basis. This is not a dog that does well left alone for moderate to long periods of time. They require contact with people on a continuous basis to avoid falling into negative behaviors such as chewing and barking and becoming nervous. Most breeders recommend the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to families with older children simply because they are so small as puppies they may easily be accidentally injured by younger children. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an excellent companion dog for dogs in the family or even other pets such as cats. They are natural "chasers" so do need proper socialization to understand not to chase the other pets in the house. They do well with other dogs and are not a dog-aggressive breed. Early socialization with other dogs will help the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel from becoming territorial or timid around other dogs. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will bark when strangers come to the door and may take a few visits before they warm up to new people. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel bonds with family members and will often choose a favorite family member although they will get along with everyone. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a dog that enjoys being outdoors and going on walks and outings despite its small size.

Training: The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a natural pleaser and is a very easy dog to train and teach. They respond best to positive rewards and attention and love to be the center of attention.

Activity: They are moderately active if left inside and will play and romp through the house or apartment if they can't go outside.

Living Environment: Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are good for apartment life. They are moderately active indoors and a small yard will be sufficient. The Cavalier does not do well in very warm conditions.

Health Issues: Prone to syringomyelia, hereditary eye disease, dislocating kneecaps (patella), back troubles, ear infections, early onset of deafness or hearing trouble. Sometime's hip dysplasia. Don't over feed. This breed tends to gain weight easily. Also prone to mitral valve disease, a serious genetic heart problem, which can cause early death.

Life Span: 9-14 years

Litter Size: 2-6

History: The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is one of the few breeds of dogs that have been re-created after becoming blended with other types of spaniels. The original Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, although they were not known by that name, were first recorded in paintings from the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as small dogs that were often found in the houses of royalty and in court. King Charles II was considered to be the largest supporter of the breed and was usually seen with a few of his favorite small spaniels. At this time these small dogs were used to attract fleas from their owners and were also often prescribed as a way to calm nervous and even cure stress ailments. An American dog fancier by the name of Roswell Eldridge actually offered a prize in 1926 at the Cruft's Dog Show in England for breeders to produce a toy spaniel with a long nose, typically to those seen in the Van Dyck paintings of King Charles II. He did not want the current version of the King Charles Spaniel, which had a domed head, larger body size and shorter nose. After there first showing at Cruft's in 1928 the long nosed, small bodied Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breeders formed an association and registered the breed as separate from the larger King Charles Spaniel. Mrs. Hewitt Pitt is considered to be the first breeder of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that favors the current breed standards. Her prefix, Ttiweh, which is actually Hewitt spelled in reverse, is still seen in many championship lines of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed today.