The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a direct descendant of the King Charles Spaniel and is named after King Charles II.
The earliest appearance of this breed came in when King Charles Spaniels were mixed with Pugs. The offsprings had rounded heads, upturned faces, a noticeably flatter nose, and protruding eyes. You may also know the King Charles Spaniel with its unofficial breed name “English Toy Spaniel”.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has had a very interesting and peculiar history. An American individual named Roswell Eldridge was searching for a King Charles Spaniel exhibiting a long nose in the 20’s. He offered a big prize money in London, during the Cruft Dog Show to anyone who could present him with such a breed as what he saw in Van Dyke’s famous painting showing King Charles II and his loyal pets.
A woman named Mostyn Walker won the “Eldridge Prize” when she brought in a long-nosed spaniel named “Ann’s Son”. Unfortunately, the American was unable to witness it as he died a month before the show. The event went on but the prize money was handed out in his absence. The concept of a long-nosed King Charles Spaniel lived on and was the talk amongst American breeders. So they set out to accomplish Eldridge’s dream and created the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel we know and love today.
It should be noted that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is the “true” heir to the royal line of King Charles II’s dogs. In the 40’s the breed was recognized and given the prefix- “Cavalier” in order to separate itself from the rest. It finally appeared in the AKC belonging in the toy dog division beginning of the year 1996.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Personality and Temperament
The Cavalier is an excitable dog who’s interested in every person he or she meets. If that person were to sit down and offer a treat as well as a place in their lap, then you can be sure the Cavalier will come over and get friendly! This breed simply adores soft pillows, warm hugs and yet retain their outdoor instinct and athletic features.
The Cavalier can come in a wide variety of personalities. They can be rowdy and frisky, or calm and relaxed. They aren’t as reliable as the other breeds when it comes to being a watchdog because they sometimes bark at strangers, and sometimes not.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Exercise Needs
If you’re living in an apartment or a condo, then the pint-sized Cavalier is a good choice as it is often calm and friendly. You may see them getting active sometimes in the house, but a small yard can also fit in perfectly for their exercise needs.
Take your Cavalier out for a leashed walk around the neighborhood or within the yard. The leash is important because the Cavalier breed exhibits little to no street smarts, often allowing their base nature to get the best of them. They can run after a bird in flight and not heed the present dangers.
This breed is versatile and can adapt to their owner’s personality and lifestyle. They can be your couch potato partner or your closest workout buddy. The essential part is that they should get to walk at least once a day.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels as Suitable Family Pets
You’ll have no issue here. The Cavalier is smart and can be easily trained. They are friendly and make great companions and family pets.
This breed can play a friendly game of ball with children. You can teach the Cavalier tricks (and they learn quickly), train them for dog competitions or have them sit on your lap as you watch television. Their small size should be kept under watch as they play with children; rough play can easily injure them.
It’s best to teach your children the proper approach and handling of canine pets. The first interactions should always be under adult supervision. Keep an eye out for tail pulling, biting and any play that could injure both parties.
All in all, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mingles well with other family pets such as cats and other dog breeds. You’ll just need to introduce your dog gradually at an early age. Smaller animals such as birds and hamsters should be watched closely. The Cavalier still has that hunting instinct strongly ingrained within them.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Known Health Issues
The Cavalier breed is prone to the following diseases- dislocating kneecaps, hereditary cherry eye disease, syringomyelia, early deafness, back trouble, ear infections and hip dysplasia. They also tend to gain weight quite easily so make sure not to constantly overfeed them. Lastly, they are prone to deadly mitral valve disease. Do a quick scan of the medical history of the puppy before taking them home.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a gentle and affectionate dog. They make an ideal family pet with only weekly grooming and moderate exercise needs.