Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog
Named for King Charles II, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is descended from the King Charles Spaniel. In the late 1600s the King Charles Spaniels were interbred with Pugs, which resulted in a smaller dog with flatter noses, upturned faces, rounded heads and protruding eyes. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed, as we know it today, is the product of the American breeders of the late 1920s, though this ‘modern‘ breed is the true heir of the royal spaniels of King Charles II. By the 1940s these dogs were classified as a separate breed and were given the prefix Cavalier to differentiate them from their forebears.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels cannot be trusted off-leash. They have more spaniel (hunting dog) instincts than you might think and will take off after anything that runs….which means they can easily end up under the wheels of a car. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a well-proportioned little dog. The head is slightly rounded, the muzzle full, tapering a little with a shallow stop. The nose is black. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. The dark brown eyes are round and set well apart with dark eye rims. The long ears are set high with abundant feathering. The topline is level. The tail is sometimes docked by 1/3, but is usually left natural. Dewclaws may be removed. The silky coat is medium in length with feathering on the ears, chest, legs and the tail. it is small for a spaniel, with fully grown adults comparable in size to adolescents of other larger spaniel breeds. Breed standards state that height of a Cavalier should be between 12 to 13 inches (30 to 33 cm) with a proportionate weight between 10 to 18 pounds (4.5 to 8.2 kg). The tail is usually not docked, and the Cavalier should have a silky coat of moderate length. Standards state that it should be free from curl, although a slight wave is allowed.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an eager, affectionate and happy dog, always seeming to be wagging its tail. Outgoing and sportive, these fearless lively little dogs are eager and willing to please. They are intelligent enough to understand what you want and therefore are usually easy to train and respond well to gentle obedience training. They are said to be naturally well behaved and get along well with other dogs and non-canine pets.
Often called a “sporting toy breed” because of his combination of spaniel and toy traits, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is sweet-tempered, playful, and gentle.
This comfort-loving breed adores cuddling in laps and snuggling on soft pillows, but he also has more athletic instincts than you might think. Indeed, he can be a runner and chaser. A fenced yard or a leash are musts at all times, because many Cavaliers will pursue squirrels, chipmunks, low-flying birds, even butterflies, right into the street. Most Cavaliers are polite with everyone and peaceful with other dogs and cats. As with all sweet-tempered dogs, there is potential for timidity, so Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies need plenty of early socialization to build a confident, outgoing temperament.
Though they do have a mild independent streak, Cavaliers are willing to please and respond well to praise and encouragement . . . and treats. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels need a great deal of companionship and do not like being left alone for more than a few hours. They become anxious, which they express through destructive chewing and barking. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are good for apartment life. They are moderately active indoors and a small yard will be sufficient. The Cavalier does not do well in very warm conditions.
Cavaliers do need a decent amount of exercise — a couple of long daily walks and a fenced yard in which to run. And they’re very people-oriented — they become stressed when left alone too long, so should have companionship (either human or other pets) most of the day. A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who is lonely will whine or bark or chew destructively.
To keep their silky, feathered coat free of mats, Cavaliers require regular brushing and combing, and occasional trimming. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel sheds a lot. Clean the inside of the ears regularly. Always make sure the dog is thoroughly dry and warm after a bath. Check the eyes carefully for any signs of infection. This breed is an average shedder.