Santa Barbara, California
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Suffolk, United Kingdom
Breed group: Toy Group dogs
Other name(s): Cavalier; Cav; CKCS
Country / place of origin: United Kingdom
History: According to The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club, "The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel of today is the direct descendant of the small Toy Spaniels seen in so many of the pictures of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Toy Spaniels were quite common as pets of the Court ladies in Tudor times but in this country it was under the Stuarts that they were given the Royal title of King Charles Spaniels." In the 1920's an American, Roswell Eldridge, took the opportunity during a Cruft's Dog Show in London to offer prize money to anyone showing King Charles Spaniels with long noses. He was looking for dogs similar to those depicted in Van Dyck's portraits of King Charles II and his spaniels. By the 1940's these dogs were classified as their own breed and the prefix of “Cavalier” was added to their name to distinguish between them and their ancestors.
Details: The Cavalier is a lovely small spaniel with a body slightly longer than it is tall; it has a level topline, a flat skull and a cone-shaped muzzle; it has a shallow stop, well developed nose and wide nostrils; the eyes are round, dark, and expressive; the ears are long with copious feathering; the bite should be scissored; the tail is occasionally docked by no less than 1/3 its original length, though many prefer not to dock the tail; the chest, tail, legs and feet should all be heavily feathered. The coat is long and silky with an occasional slight waviness to it. There are four accepted colorations: Blenheim, Tri-colored, Ruby, and Black and Tan.
Average height and weight (mature size and weight): 12-13 inches, 10-25 pounds
Color / coat variations: The Cavalier’s coat is rather long and silky and they are very well feathered on the ears, chest, tail, legs and feet. Their coat may be wavy but should never be curly, wooly, or dense. Absolutely no trimming is done on the Cavalier other than to trim their feet and between the pads on the bottom of the feet.Coat colorations are:
Lifespan: 9-14 years
Litter size: 2-6 puppies
Grooming and shedding: You should brush your Cavalier with a firm bristled brush or comb him. Because all of his feathering is subject to matting and tangles, brushing and combing must be thoroughly done quite frequently. Trim the hair on the feet and between the foot pads; no other trimming of the hair should be done. Clean his ears regularly and watch his eyes for any signs of over-tearing or infection. Though the Cavalier tolerates regular bathing (either dry shampoo treatments or fully wet bathing), avoid overly wet-bathing him during the colder months. If you have given him a wet bath, ensure he is fully dry to avoid him chilling, which he can quickly do. The Cavalier is considered an average shedder; however, your diligent good brushing or combining regimen will help cut down on dog hair in the house.
Food habits: The Cavalier should be given a nutritious, high-quality diet. This type of diet will greatly assist in the prevention of coat and skin problems, serious health problems, and premature again. The Cavalier is best fed with measured portions on a meal schedule. This will allow you to control the amount he eats and to watch his appetite as a lack of appetite in the Cavalier is quite often your first sign that he could be ill. Due to the Cavalier’s propensity toward obesity and their somewhat delicate digestive system, never free feed your Cavalier.
Climate and environment: The Cavalier is an indoor dog and very well suited to apartment life as they are moderately active indoors. As with most dogs, a safely enclosed back yard (even a small one) is optimum; however, the Cavalier has a reputation of being adaptable and does equally well as a companion to an individual or a family, whether in the city, the suburbs, or rural living. The Cavalier will self-exercise indoors frolicking with toys and playing games with his owner. The breed does not do well in consistently warm climates and, in fact, prefers cooler climates.
Behavioral aspects: The Cavalier is a happy little tail-wagger of a canine companion. She is outgoing, lively, eager to please, and fearless. She is possessed of an intelligence capable of understanding what her owner wants and this makes her easy to train using a method of gentle obedience training. Cavalier’s are people dogs and require a lot of companionship to be mentally and emotionally happy; she should not be left alone for extended periods of time. Because the Cavalier is the descendant of hunting dogs, she will occasionally have an urge to give chase, so never let her run unleashed in an area that is not safely enclosed. The Cavalier is a very good choice for a novice dog owner.The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a natural pleaser with a wonderful temperament, making them an ideal canine companion for singles, couples, or the family. They love interaction with people and have a deep need for consistent human attention on a regular, daily basis. They do not do well when left alone for even moderate amounts of time and do very poorly if left alone for extensive periods of time and leaving them alone for long periods of time will lead to unwanted behaviors such as nervousness, nuisance barking and chewing. They are not at all dog-aggressive and, with proper socialization as puppies, make excellent companions for other dogs in the home and even make good companions for cats. Cavaliers have a playful, curious nature.
With children: Cavaliers love all members of the family, including children; but, if you are considering a puppy, it is best that your children be older as Cavvie puppies are delicate little things and a small child can unintentionally, but easily, cause severe damage to a puppy.
With other dogs and animals: Cavaliers to extremely well with other pets, including cats, if socialized to them properly as a puppy. They are not dog-aggressive, but should be trained in puppyhood not to give in to their chasing instinct where other pets are concerned.
Training and learning rate: The Cavalier is rated high in learning rate, obedience and problem solving skills. Because of their eager-to-please attitude, they are very easily trained using positive reinforcement training – usually just the praise and attention of their owner for a task or command well performed is sufficient positive reinforcement for this sensitive little spaniel. Cavaliers are naturally tidy, clean dogs and respond very well to proper crate training; this will also aide in housebreaking your Cavalier. The greatest key to success with your Cavalier is early socialization and lots of it – to other people, to strangers, to pets of all types. Leash training is essential to the health and well-being of your Cavalier so they do not bolt away from you in response to a need to chase something interesting. Obedience training is a terrific way to accomplish these training necessities and socialization at the same time.
Agility: Cavaliers do well in competitive obedience and can be trained to agility trials. For the most part, though, their activity levels are ranked at low to medium.
Affinity to water: As individual as each Cavalier; gradual, patient and gentle introduction to wet baths will benefit your little friend.
How noisy are they: Though the Cavalier is not known to be an excessive barker, they will bark in alert; and, those who are left alone frequently and for long periods of time will become neurotic, nuisance barkers.
Exercise: For apartment dwellers, a daily walk is essential to the health of your Cavalier as they, like any dog, has an instinctive need to walk. Otherwise, Cavaliers typically get sufficient exercise romping in the house or their backyard. Cavaliers should be taught early not to jump up onto or down off of furniture in order to avoid knee and joint injuries later in life.
Health issues: For a Toy breed, the Cavalier is surprisingly healthy, with the primary concerns being only luxating patella, heart murmur (which is actually rather common) and hip dysplasia. Other less common health issues include syringomyelia, early onset deafness, back trouble, hereditary eye disease, mitral valve heart disease (typically first diagnosed as a heart murmur), cataracts, and the ear infections that are usually seen in any canine breed with long, folded ears.Careful questioning of your breeder about her parent stock and who offers a health guarantee, along with a vet check prior to purchase, will help minimize your chances of purchasing a Cavalier of inferior breeding.
|I am incredibly happy with my dog||4.4|
|My dog is exactly the right dog for me||4.2|
|I love my dog||4.8|
|I am very attached to my dog||4.6|
|Quick to learn and train||3.9|
|Doesn't bark a lot||2.9|
|Easy to groom||1.9|
|Safe with small pets||4.0|
|Great guard dog||1.7|
|Great watch dog||2.6|
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