Country of Origin: United Kingdom
AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 18 of 196
AKC Classification: Toy group
UKC Classification: Companion Dog
Exercise Requirements: <20 minutes/day
Height: Female: 12 in.; Male: 13 in.
Weight: Female: 10-18 lbs.; Male: 13-18 lbs.
Physical traits: Well-balanced, Small, Square dog
Personality traits/Temperament: Affectionate, Gentle, Graceful
Social/Attention Needs: High
Coat: Length: Medium
Colors: Red; red and white; black and tan; tricolor
Overall Grooming Needs: High
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small, elegant dog with a proud erect carriage and an air of royal nonchalance. It is a delightful companion for the family, especially children. They are intelligent, alert, and eager to learn. The Cavalier is descended from the King Charles Spaniel of 16th century England. It was the favorite dog of Charles II and the one he chose to accompany him on his exile on the Isle of Wight. Although the breed was officially recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1873, it was not until the early 1900s that the Cavalier became popular in the United Kingdom. Today, this little spaniel is one of the most popular breeds in the UK, with more than 200,000 being registered each year.
Appearance In 1934, the Kennel Club recognized two separate types of Cavaliers: the Standard and the Miniature. The Standard is considerably larger than the Miniature. The Kennel Club considers them separate breeds. In 1946, a standard for both types was drawn up by the club's Genetics Committee. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small breed with a proud erect carriage and an air of royal nonchalance. It is a delightful companion for the family, especially children. They are intelligent, alert, and eager to learn.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an active, graceful, well-balanced toy spaniel. True elegance and royal appearance are of paramount importance in the breed. Their body approaches squareness, and the head is proportionate to the size of the dog. The eyes are large, round, and ears set high. The skull is slightly rounded and the tails are well set.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a gentle, loving, and affectionate, fearless, and sporting. They have a happy temperament. They are intelligent and eager to please. Their intelligence makes them easy to train making them a great choice for the first-time dog owner. Cavaliers love their families but can also be wary of strangers, making them an excellent watch dog!
Cavaliers are very active and playful which means they need plenty of exercise; otherwise they will get bored and begin to misbehave. These dogs enjoy playing in the yard or park with their family. They also like to chase small animals and other toys, so they should be given firm guidance on what they can play with and where they can play.
Cavaliers are usually not aggressive towards people; however, it’s important that young children are taught how to properly interact with this breed in order to avoid accidentally being bitten.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a low-maintenance breed, but it does require regular grooming. The coat should be brushed daily and trimmed every 6 to 8 weeks. A weekly bath is also recommended.
Cavaliers were bred to be a beloved lap dog that descended from sporting dogs and enjoys moderate exercise and outdoor activities. They like to go on walks with their owner and also performs well in several canine sports. Use paw balm daily to protect their feet. Cavaliers should not be allowed off-leash because they keep scenting and hunting instincts, and they may not come when called if they’ve found an interesting trail to follow or a creature to pursue.
The most important thing to consider is the dog's trainability. All breeds of dogs are intelligent and have the ability to learn, but some are more willing than others. For instance, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is one of the most amenable breeds to training, especially when it comes to basic obedience. They are also easy to housetrain and can be taught a variety of tricks. Being so intelligent, they excel at games such as hide and seek or any other game that involves retrieving an object such as a ball or toy.
There are several health issues that Cavaliers are prone to. These include mitral valve disease, which leads to heart failure, certain eye conditions (including retinal problems and cataracts), patella luxation, hip dysplasia, middle ear infections, and a neurological condition called syringomyelia. Their life expectancy is 12 to 15 years. Some dogs can develop itchy skin conditions where baths with a high-quality dog shampoo and conditioner is recommended. Flea control is also essential. Breeders should screen for all these conditions to detect the disease early. Owners should discuss any potential health issues with their dog’s breeder.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a delightful companion for the family, especially children. They are intelligent, alert, and eager to learn. There are many myths about the breed and there is still much to be learned about this lovable dog that we call our best friend.
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