Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – the name seems to sound ancient and noble, right? It was centuries ago when Toy Spaniels became popular pets, especially pets of the royal family. A Blenheim-coated spaniel was the children’s pet in the household of Charles I thus named King Charles Spaniel.
The early spaniels had longer, pointier snouts and thinner-boned limbs but as time goes by, breeding with breeds such as Pug and Japanese Chin took place. In 1920, a selective breeding of short-snouted Spaniels took place and the result – a dog that resembled the boyhood pet of Charles II of England (Cavalier King Charles) thus named Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Considered as one of the toy dog breeds, the standard for the breed requires a height of 12 to 13 inches at the withers, the weight – proportionate to height must be between 13 and 18 pounds. The coat is silky, free from curl with feathering on ears, chest, legs and tail (undocked). There are four recognized colors; Blenheim, Tricolor, Black and Tan, and Ruby with Blenheim as the most common.
Known as “the ultimate lap dog” or the “love sponge of dogs”, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are highly affectionate tail-wagger little creatures. They are lively, outgoing and eager to please animals, good with children, other dogs and non-canine pets as well. They love people and must not be left alone all day.
Despite their reputation as naturally well-mannered dogs, training is necessary to a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to teach what is and what is not acceptable behavior. Fortunately, these dogs are intelligent enough to understand what you want thus makes training easier.
Owners or soon to be owners must look after this breed’s health for they are prone to genetic defects such as mitral valve disease and syringomyelia, both can be very severe and very common. Other diseases common to this breed are episodic falling, hip dysplasia, keratoconjunctivitis sicca, luxating patella, primary secretory otitis media and deafness.
City dwellers may also want to consider this breed since Cavaliers can do well in apartment life and a small yard and indoor active will be enough.