Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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Country of Origin: The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (affectionately known as a‘Cav’) is an offshoot of the King Charles Spaniel. The King Charles Spaniel wascreated by crossing small Spaniels with a short snouted breed such as the Pugor Japanese Chin. It was brought to Scotland from Continental Europe (possiblyby Mary, Queen of Scots) in the 1500’s or 1600’s, where it became a fashionablelap dog and companion for the noble class. King Charles Spaniels were alsopopular lap warmers (and flea magnets) for the lower class. King Charles II, forwhom the breed is named, grew up with a pet King Charles Spaniel (then knownas the Toy Spaniel), and was such a big fan of the breed that he was accused of

neglecting his official duties to spend time with his pet Spaniels. He once issueda decree that the breed could not be forbidden entry to any building, includingParliament! Some King Charles Spaniels, such as the red and white ‘Blenheims’,served as hunting dogs, but most strains were bred for appearance rather thanwork capacity. Over the years, the breed became smaller with a shorter nose. Inthe 1920’s, a wealthy American man named Roswell Eldrige traveled to Englandand offered 25 pounds, a large sum at the time, for an ‘old style’ or ‘pointednose’ version of the breed, similar to Charles II’s actual dog. The effort wassuccessful, and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel eventually surpassed its shortnosed cousin in popularity, achieving American Kennel Club recognition in 1996.

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Size: The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a shoulder height of 30-33 cm (12-13 in) and weighs 5-8 kg (12-18 lbs). It has a large muzzle, large eyes, and long,highly set ears. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a flat back and breed-characteristic feathered feet. Unlike most Spaniels, they have a long, featheredtail which is carried high and moves when the dog runs.Coat: The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has long, soft, silky hair which islightly waved. There are four color types which were formerly consideredseparate breeds: tricolor (‘Prince Charles’), red and white (‘Blenheim’), blackand tan (‘King Charles’) and red (‘Ruby’). The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel isan average shedder.

Character: The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel loves to be with its family andcraves attention. It is cheerful, playful, and intelligent—an ideal dog to carrywith you and share your time with. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels do not barkfrequently. They are generally well behaved, but can sometimes be timid orstubborn.

Temperament: The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel gets along well with children(older children are preferable), other dogs, and any household pets. It isfriendly, happy, and loving. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are devoted to lovedones but suspicious around strangers.

Care: The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel must be brushed several times a week.It should be bathed only when necessary. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have alife span of 10-12 years. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are susceptible to mitralvalve disease (a heart condition) and syringomyelia (a spinal condition), whichafflicts many members of the breed. They may have a soft spot in the skull,which closes by adulthood and is not considered a risk. Fused toes are also notconsidered a health risk. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels may be sensitive toanesthesia and hot weather.

Training: The intelligence of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel makes trainingfairly easy. This breed requires a gentle approach.

Activity: The exercise needs of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel areuncomplicated. It enjoys walks, but its needs can usually be met with indoorplay; it will adapt itself to the activity level of your family. The Cavalier KingCharles Spaniel is well suited to apartment life. The Cavalier King CharlesSpaniel should be leashed or watched closely around roads as it tends to givechase to small animals.