Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Other Names: Cavalier, Cavie, Cav
Dog Group Kennel Club: Toy (AKC, KC)
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are frequently confused with King Charles Spaniels. They are both separate breeds, with each of them recognised with their own breed standard. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are usually slightly larger in size weighing between 12-18 lbs. They have a flat head, and a complete scissor bite. King Charles Spaniels are usually smaller in size weighing between 8-14 lbs. They have a domed head, a slight jaw undershot, and sometimes have their middle foot pad and nails fused together.
Cavaliers have large brown eyes, long ears and a silky long feathering coat. Coat colours include black and tan, ruby, red and white (Blenheim) and tricolour (black and white with rich tan markings).
Weight: 12-18 lbs
Average Life Span: 13-15 years
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are loving, good natured, intelligent, friendly and happy little dogs. The love human attention and are well suited with children making them excellent family pets. They also get along well with other dogs and non-canine animals. Their need for human attention means they do not get like being left alone for long periods of time.
They are intelligent dogs making them easy to train, they also house break quite easily.
To keep their silky long coat tangle free they do require daily brushing. Fur around their paw pads should be trimmed regularly along with their nails. Their ears also need regular attention to keep them clean.
Cavaliers need daily exercise to keep them fit and healthy and happy.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Health Issues
Luxating Patella: Slipping knee joints (also referred to as luxating patellas, slipped stifles) are a common problem in small breeds. In this condition, the kneecap slips out of its groove and moves against the thighbone (femur) instead of along its natural groove. Although this has been found to be a heritable condition, small, active breeds are likely to aggravate it through the course of their natural activities (jumping up and down) around taller objects such as furniture.
Mitral Valve Disease (MVD): The most serious health problem found in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed is Mitral Valve Disease (MVD). This is a problem where the left (or mitral) valve of the heart can thicken and degenerate leading to congestive heart failure and eventually death. MVD is common in most toy breeds, however, in the Cavalier there is an unusually early onset with a more rapid progression of symptoms.
Episodic Falling (Collapsing Cavalier Syndrome): is a syndrome of muscle stiffness and collapse. The underlying cause for the condition is still unknown. Some of the symptoms include: seizures with the dog remaining conscious; the dog tumbles or freezes; or the dog falls, tries to rise and then falls again
Cataracts: cause a loss of the normal transparency of the lens of the eye. The problem can occur in one or both eyes and can lead to blindness.
Entropion: is a problem with the eyelid that causes inward rolling. Lashes on the edge of the eyelid irritate the surface of the eyeball and may lead to more serious problems.
Ear Infections: Long ears prevent air circulation which can lead to moisture loving bacteria to form resulting in ear infections. Ears should be checked and cleaned on a regular basis.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel History
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel of today is descended from the small Toy Spaniels seen in so many of the 16th, 17th and 18th Century paintings by the likes of Titian, Van Dyck, Lely, Stubbs, Gainsborough, Reynolds and Romney.
It was during Tudor times that this breed became popular with the ladies of the Royal courts. The breed gained its name during this period from the reigning King, King Charles II who kept a large number of Toy Spaniels. King Charles II adored these dogs and was very rarely seen without at least one of his dogs by his side. So fond was King Charles II of his little dogs, he wrote a decree that the King Charles Spaniel should be accepted in any public place, even in the Houses of Parliament where animals were not usually allowed. This decree is still in existence today in England.
The breed lost its popularity during the 20th century when oriental breeds came into fashion. Breeders then began crossbreeding the spaniels with the oriental flat nosed breeds to achieve a more snub-nosed, round-headed look spaniel. These dogs today are known as the King Charles Spaniel, or (in America) the English Toy Spaniel.
In 1926, a wealthy American, named Roswell Eldridge, visited England in search of the small long nosed original spaniels so often seen in portraits of King Charles. But there were none. So he offered monetary prizes to be awarded for the male and female most closely resembling the original King Charles Spaniel. British breeders rose to the occasion and by 1945, the recreated breed had arrived. To avoid confusion with the now-snub-nosed King Charles Spaniels, the breed was named the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel since Charles was known as the Cavalier King.
Although both the King Charles and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel have similar coat colourings there are distinctive differences between the two separate breeds.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are usually slightly larger in size weighing between 12-18 lbs. They have a flat head, and a complete scissor bite.
King Charles Spaniels are usually smaller in size weighing between 8-14 lbs. They have a domed head, a slight jaw undershot, and sometimes have their middle foot pad and nails fused together.