Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy

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Pedigree Dogs > Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Breed Information


The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small breed of Spaniel-type dog, and is classed as a toy dog by The Kennel Club. It is one of the most popular breeds in the United Kingdom. Since 2000, it has grown in popularity in the United States. It is a smaller breed of spaniel, and Cavalier adults are often the same size as adolescent dogs of other spaniel breeds. It has a silky coat and commonly an undocked tail. The breed standard recognizes four colours: Blenheim, Tricolour (black/white/tan), Black and Tan, and Ruby.

Various health issues affect this particular breed, most notably mitral valve disease, which leads to heart failure. This appears in most Cavaliers at some point in their lives and is the most common cause of death. The breed may also suffer from Syringomyelia, in which cavities are formed in the spinal cord, possibly associated with malformation of the skull that reduces the space available for the brain. Cavaliers are also affected by ear problems, a common health problem among spaniels of various types, and they can suffer from such other general maladies as hip dysplasia, which are common across many types of dog breeds.

During the 16th century, a small type of spaniel was popular among the nobility in England. The people of the time believed that these dogs could keep fleas away, and some even believed that they could prevent forms of stomach illnesses. These dogs were sometimes called the "Spaniel Gentle" or "Comforter", as ladies taking a carriage ride would take a spaniel on their laps to keep them warm during the winter. Charles I kept a spaniel named Rogue while residing at Carisbrooke Castle; however, it is with Charles II that this breed is closely associated and it was said of him that "His Majesty was seldom seen without his little dogs". There is a myth that he even issued an edict that no spaniels of this type could be denied entry to any public place.

During the reign of King William III and Queen Mary II, the long nosed style of spaniel went out of fashion. The Pug was the favoured dog at the time in the Netherlands, and with William's Dutch origin, they became popular in England too. At this time interbreeding may have occurred with the Pug, or other flat nosed breeds, as the King Charles took on some Pug-like characteristics, but in any event the modern King Charles Spaniel emerged.

The King Charles changed drastically in the late 17th century, when it was interbred with flat-nosed breeds. Until the 1920s, the Cavalier shared the same history as the smaller King Charles Spaniel. Breeders attempted to recreate what they considered to be the original configuration of the breed, a dog resembling Charles II's King Charles Spaniel of the Restoration.

The breed is highly affectionate, playful, extremely patient and eager to please. As such, dogs of the breed are good with children and other dogs. Cavaliers are not shy about socialising with much larger dogs. They will adapt quickly to almost any environment, family, and location. Their ability to bond with larger and smaller dogs makes them ideal in houses with more than one breed of dog as long as the other dog is trained.







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