Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a beautiful dog with large, wallowing eyes, and a sturdy build. His coat is long, straight, and silky, and his ears are large, hanging to the side of his face and adding to his sweet and innocent appearance. The coloring of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can vary, and the four varieties are blenheim, ruby, black and ton, and tri color. The weight of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is around 12-18 pounds, and his height is around 12-13 inches.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Temperament
A good natured and loving animal, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a dog that makes a marvelous pet and companion. This is a dog that has a cheerful outlook, is very friendly, obedient, and sociable. These dogs love to play, and have a sweet and gentle nature that makes them perfect for family pets and companions. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is fine for the more inexperienced dog owner as well as those with experience of dog ownership. Although the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an energetic and playful little dog, he also loves to snuggle up with his owners, and is a devoted and loyal creature.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel gets along well with children and has plenty of affection to shower upon them, particularly with older and more considerate children. They are fine with strangers, and tend to get on well with other dogs and cats, although they may try and chase smaller animals or birds. Some Cavalier King Charles Spaniels may be a little shy, and this is why early socialization when he is a puppy is essential. Eager to please and intelligent, training the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel shouldn't prove a problem. He doesn't like being left on his own for long periods of time.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a medium shedder, and grooming may need to be stepped up at times when he is shedding more heavily. Otherwise, his coat should be brushed three times per week, and his ear canals should be checked to ensure that they are clean and dry. For hygiene reasons you should also trim the hair around his bottom. You will also need to trim his nails when they get long.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is one of the few breeds of dogs that have been re-created after becoming blended with other types of spaniels. The original Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, although they were not known by that name, were first recorded in paintings from the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as small dogs that were often found in the houses of royalty and in court. King Charles II was considered to be the largest supporter of the breed and was usually seen with a few of his favorite small spaniels. At this time these small dogs were used to attract fleas from their owners and were also often prescribed as a way to calm nervous and even cure stress ailments.
An American dog fancier by the name of Roswell Eldridge actually offered a prize in 1926 at the Cruft's Dog Show in England for breeders to produce a toy spaniel with a long nose, typically to those seen in the Van Dyck paintings of King Charles II. He did not want the current version of the King Charles Spaniel, which had a domed head, larger body size and shorter nose.
After there first showing at Cruft's in 1928 the long nosed, small bodied Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breeders formed an association and registered the breed as separate from the larger King Charles Spaniel. Mrs. Hewitt Pitt is considered to be the first breeder of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that favors the current breed standards. Her prefix, Ttiweh, which is actually Hewitt spelled in reverse, is still seen in many championship lines of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed today. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was accepted into the KC in 1945 and into the Miscellaneous class of the AKC in 1961, but have since achieved breed status in the toy group in 1995.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a very easy dog to train as it is so eager to please and to earn the owners praise and attention. Since they have been used as a companion dog throughout history they are naturally very responsive and well mannered, although like all dogs, they do need to be carefully, positively and consistently trained.
Like most toy breeds they can be challenging to house train since they are so tiny as puppies. Carefully monitoring the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and taking them outdoors after eating, drinking, waking or playing will greatly help this process. They are naturally clean dogs and will also respond very well to crate training as a house training method.
Socialization is a key consideration in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels development. A puppy obedience class is a great way to combine both socialization as well as basic instructions. Often smaller breeds have a tendency to both jump and bark, so it is essential to control both these behaviors right from the start and teach the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to sit for attention as well as bark once or twice and then stop. Positive reinforcement through praise and attention as well as a simple "no" and ignoring for a few minutes is usually all that is required to help the puppy understand what is acceptable and what is not.
Training the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel on a lead is also important. Many people choose to use a harness instead of a traditional collar, as it is easier on the throat area of a small breed, especially if they have a tendency to pull against the collar. An obedience class can help correct this if it is a problem.
The life expectancy of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is around 10-15 years, and there are a number of health issues and disorders that have been linked to this breed. This includes luxating patella, cataracts, MVD, and retinal disorders. The parents of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel should have OFA and CERF certificates, and because these dogs or so prone to heart problems should also have clear heart examination results.