Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, a small dog breed of the spaniel variety, has existed for centuries. Century old tapestries and paintings of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels along with aristocratic families have proved this. This is not a working dog breed, but instead, has been kept as a loyal companion of the rich. This dog breed has historically lived a privileged life.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel we know today has a very close resemblance to its royal ancestors. This can be attributed to the efforts of Roswell Eldridge, an American with a great love for toy spaniels.
It was 1952 when the first Cavaliers reached American shores. After which, formation of a national breed club followed. However, due to just a small number of Cavaliers, the breed did not receive full recognition until 40 years later.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed is small for a spaniel but is one of the largest in the toy breed category. They are often confused with King Charles Spaniels. The most noticeable differences between the two are their size and facial features. A King Charles Spaniel is smaller and has a domed head.
According to breed standards, Cavaliers should be between 5.9 and 8.2 kilograms in weight and 30 to 33 centimetres in height. They have a moderately long, silky coat free from curl but slightly wavy. Feathering is acceptable on certain parts of the body such as legs, tail, feet and ears. The dark brown eyes are large and round. Ears are set high on the head with ample spacing in between. The skull is without peak or dome and slightly rounded. The muzzle is full and slightly tapered and the nose is solidly black, devoid of flesh marks.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have four recognised breed colours—Blenheim, Black and Tan, Ruby and Tricolour. Blenheim Cavaliers have chestnut markings on a white background; Black and Tan Cavaliers have a black body with tan highlights, Ruby Cavaliers are entirely chestnut and Tricolor Cavaliers are black and white with tan markings.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are very social dogs. They do not have problems getting along with dogs of all sizes. This makes them ideal pets. In fact, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a perfect companion and playmate for children, they are playful and very patient. They’re extremely affectionate dogs and all they ever want to do is please their owners. They enjoy sitting on cushions or laps.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are great at adapting to new environments or locations and new families. They are very curious dogs and highly trainable. They love chasing almost everything. However, they will rarely make good guard dogs, they’re so friendly, they see strangers as friends.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are prone to serious genetic problems. One of these is a heart problem known as MVD or Mitral Valve Disease. It is the leading cause of death in this breed. Other causes of death are cancer and old age. They are also prone to hip dysplasia and disorders related to the eyes and ears.
A healthy, well cared for Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a life span of 9 to 14 years.