Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, like his close cousin, King Charles Spaniel, took the name of his race from, of course, the name of the 17th century King of England, Charles I, and his son Charles II. The former went down in history as a bloody tyrant, but at the same time a lover of these dogs, whose appearance after many years was recreated from paintings ordered by the king, and the breed was named after a famous lover.
An image of a dog that looks like today Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in paintings depicting the life of the English aristocracy in the 17th century is ubiquitous. We see these cute, long-haired, small dogs warming the ladies’ knees while lying down or accompanying their gentlemen hunting birds and miniature games.
When in the 19th century other small companion dogs, such as pugs or Pekingese, became popular, as a result of crossing the aforementioned small spaniels from the royal court with them, the appearance of the King Charles Spaniels (Dog Breeds)changed significantly – shorter muzzle, more prominent, bulging eyes – these are the clearest of these changes.
At the beginning of the 20th century, there was an idea to recreate the appearance of a dog known from paintings from the court of King Charles from almost 300 years ago. In 1928, the standards of two breeds were established – the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, known from the canvases, and the one that had a harsh mouth and a flat due to crossbreeding muzzle – King Charles Spaniel. The restoration of the original appearance was facilitated by competitions held during dog shows in England.
The dog’s owner could receive a cash prize, most resembling the paintings. The winner of this 1928 contest, a dog named Ann’s Son, became the prototype of the breed this text is about. A new name was needed to distinguish between the two types of dogs. It stood on a Cavalier, King Charles Spaniel, and the word Cavalier comes from the title of the painting on which these dogs were immortalized, which was “King Charles Spaniels (The Cavalier’s Pets).”
Interestingly, Cavaliers were officially registered in England only in 1945, and since then, King Charles Spaniel and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel have been two separate breeds.
In the USA, the first Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs appeared in the 70s of the previous century, and the first documented birth of Cavalier puppies took place in 1981.
Cavaliers are small dogs – they weigh 5-8 kilograms and grow up to 35 centimeters at the withers. There are four types of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel colors: Black And Tan (black and tan), Blenheim (white-brown), Tricolor (white-black-brown), and Ruby (ruby).
It is worth remembering that a Cavalier’s long hair requires a lot of care and attention. It should be combed regularly to avoid tangling, which is very difficult to deal with.
Charakter rasy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have been classified to the IX classification of the International Cynological Federation, i.e., decorative and companion dogs. However, in the American Kennel Club, they belong to the “Toy Group” category, which in free translation means toy dogs. How dangerous and harmful consequences it can have if the name is taken literally to any dog, it is hardly necessary to convince anyone. No dog is a toy, but a living, feeling animal with specific needs. Cavaliers are not dogs to be carried in a purse or armpit despite their petite size and lightweight. Let’s not forget that although they are small and cute in appearance, they are dogs, and they need, like almost every dog, to explore, smell, bite and communicate with the world in a doggy way.
When characterizing the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, it should be remembered that it comes from spaniels, i.e., hunting dogs. This is of great importance in determining the character of dogs of this breed. The custom is alert. Lively dogs need to satisfy their hunting needs and be willing to pursue, sniff or chase. Cavaliers are usually social dogs and need the presence of their owners, for whom solitude is by definition not a pleasant state. It often happens that opinions about the character and behavior of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed representatives can determine their size. It happens that the keepers do not obey the messages sent by the dog and unknowingly “drag” him into danger. This is the case, for example, in a situation where the dog does not want to go somewhere, and the human, due to the small size of the quadruped, quickly pulls it on a leash or carries it on its hands into space or situation that the dog is afraid of. This, in turn, causes a frightened dog to become nervous and insecure, and it will bark, jump and show its teeth. But this is not the fault of his character, but the caretakers’ lack of understanding of the dog’s communication and needs. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, who feels confident and safe, will surely be many families’ good and cheerful companions.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – how long is he alive?
Cavalier, like most small dogs, live relatively long. Custom healthy dogs of this breed live up to 12-15 years. Unfortunately, they are also prone to certain diseases. According to a survey conducted by the American Kennel Club, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is the breed that most commonly has valve disease, which often causes heart failure. According to the study, as many as 42% of Cavaliers died from ailments related to abnormal heart function. Therefore, if you decide to buy a dog of this breed, be sure to regularly check the condition of this essential canine muscle at the vet. Another disease that Cavaliers suffer from is Episodic Falling Syndrome (EFF), which is unique to this breed. The condition manifests itself as muscle spasms following exercise or stress, leading to a sudden fall over. The contractions are usually not painful and can be treated.
Training and upbringing of Cavalier dogs
Representatives of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed are dogs that like working with people very much, so it is worth signing up for training. Under the watchful eye of a qualified trainer, a lot can be achieved together with a dog of this breed. Of course, we recommend training with positive methods. It’s worth starting small, that is, training for puppies and then continuing into adolescence. Cavalier is an agile and supple dog, so that it will do a great job of various tricks and tasks. As the next step in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel training, you should be interested in training dog sports in the field of obedience – Obedience or its version “relaxed,” i.e., Rally-O. As a Cavalier dog, however, he is a spaniel. He can get a lot of fulfillment and satisfaction from utility tracking training. In general, like almost any other dog, a Cavalier will also be happy to spend time training with a handler.
Advantages and disadvantages of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs
Indeed, one of the advantages of this breed is its friendly, cheerful, and pleasant disposition. Cavaliers are relatively quiet dogs that are not very prone to excessive barking. An advantage, which may also become a disadvantage for some, is the beautiful, long hair. Unfortunately, it requires routine and time-consuming care.
Who is Cavalier King Charles Spaniel best for?
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a companion dog who likes people and being close to them. Therefore, he will certainly feel good in larger families, although it does not exclude the happy life of such a dog in smaller “herds.” If a Cavalier ends up in a house with children, it’s important to remember to teach your little ones that the dog may not feel like cuddling, cuddling, or hugging. Due to his “sociability,” it is good not to be left alone for long hours too often because it can cause him frustration and sadness. Dogs of this breed are recommended for people who like to work and exercise with their four-legged friends – joint training and learning passwords or tricks can be an excellent entertainment for a Cavalier and help build a good relationship with their owners.