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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Group: Toys (Group 1)
Club: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club Of Victoria Inc
Contact: Joy McInnes
Phone: 0403 535 649

Brief History
Toy spaniels were the province of European nobility from at least Renaissance times. It was, however, the Merry monarchs, the ill-fated King Charles I and his son Charles II, who were fanatical devotees. According to the famed diarist, Samuel Pepys, “Charles II seemed more concerned with his spaniels than ruling Britain”.  In the age of Victoria, the breed was crossed with Asian toys such as Pugs, thus a new-style toy spaniel with a flatter face came to be.  Fanciers of the 1920s set about recreating the old-type toy spaniel immortalised in ancestral portraits hanging in the stately halls of English manors. They added ‘Cavalier’ to his name to differentiate him from his more ancient cousin.

Average Life Span
When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime.
The average life span is 12 to 15 years

The Cavalier is fearless and sporting in nature, yet at the same time gentle and affectionate. A Cavalier does not do well in a kennel, nor is he an outside dog, being happiest as a member of the family, joining in their games and activities.

General Breed Description
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an active, graceful, well-balanced toy spaniel.  The Cavalier’s all-round beauty, regal grace, and even temper mark him as one of dogdom’s noblemen.  The Cavalier draws you in with his face: the sweet gentle and melting expression emanates from large dark round eyes.  Lavish long ears are another notable feature. Cavaliers may be aristocrats, but they gladly enjoy a frolic in the backyard or a butterfly or bird chase. The breed is notable for its four distinct colour patterns, each of which, at various times, was associated with a particular noble family.  Blenheim: chestnut markings on a white background, Tricolour: black markings with a small amount of tan on a white background, Black and Tan, and Ruby (rich Red).

Coat and Care Requirements
The Cavalier’s lustrous, silky coat requires regular brushing and a weekly bath to keep him in beautiful condition. Brushing not only helps to keep the coat shiny and tangle-free but also serves as a session to enhance the dog-owner bond and provide an opportunity to inspect the dog’s whole body for any new or unusual bumps or other issues. The ears should be checked weekly for signs of infection, and the nails should be trimmed at least once a month.

Weight: 5.4 - 8.2kgs.

All breeds have individual health issues. When speaking to breeders it is recommended you enquire about the breed’s health and what health testing the breeder does. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is generally a healthy breed, however health conditions do occur occasionally including MVD or Mitral Valve Disease which affects the heart and CM/SM or Syringomyelia - a neurological problem. Both of these conditions are progressive, meaning that dogs may only develop the problem or symptoms, if any, later in life. It should be stressed that not all Cavaliers will be affected by either of these conditions. The vast majority of Cavaliers are generally happy, healthy dogs, many leading long and happy lives, living well into their “teens”.

Cavaliers are great family dogs. In fact, the Cavalier will suit a person of any age, as they are adaptable to both busy family life and as companions to older and less mobile members of the community; they can be upbeat athletes or shameless couch potatoes, depending on an owner’s lifestyle. They get along nicely with other dogs.  Beware, as whilst he is a devoted companion, he is easily distracted and has very little road sense.

In Conclusion
Now you know a little more about this breed. If you have decided this is the dog for you and wish to investigate further, please contact the Breed Club or Dogs Victoria. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog events where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs.  With any breed of dog, it is important to research and determine suitability for your lifestyle before committing to a puppy which will be a part of your family for many years to come.

Whilst many breeds are recommended for families, it is imperative that when children are with dogs they are supervised at all times. Basic obedience training is a vital part of dog ownership.

Dogs Victoria is about the responsible ownership of all dogs and in particular, the preservation of pure breeds.

Link to ANKC Breed Standard:

Registered Breeders