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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Meet the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – the spaniel of the kings and the king of lapdogs! Cavaliers are elegant and royal toy spaniels. You’ll fall in love with their sweet, heart-melting expression radiating from their big round eyes – the breed’s hallmark.

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Animalia Team
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    Country of Origin

    United Kingdom

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    Breed Group

    Toy dogs

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    Height

    Male 12-13 In

    Female 12-13 In

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    Weight

    Male 13-18 Ib

    Female 13-18 Ib

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    Life Span

    9-14 years

In a Nutshell

Despite their aristocratic descent, Cavs are playful, gentle, affectionate, quiet, and willing to please. They don’t bark excessively, even at strangers. Their Spaniel legacy kicks in when they are outdoors, where they love to frolic, sniff, explore, and chase (poor squirrels, beware)!

Life With a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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Energy level

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Trainability Level

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Amount of Shedding

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Tendency of Barking

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Exercise Needs

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    Home Alone

    Consider working from home

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    Living Arrangements

    Apartment will do

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    Kid Friendly

    Yes

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    Pet Friendly

    Yes

Looks & Personality

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are toy breed spaniels known for their richly colored, smooth, and silky coat that comes in four colors: Blenheim (white and chestnut), tricolor (white/black/tan), ruby, and black and tan. The breed is also known for the lovely feathering of the hair on their feet, ears, legs, and tail.

Cavaliers get on excellently with kids and other pets. They are super adaptable to your lifestyle – whether as a couch potato or an athlete – although the latter is obviously better for your health. They are known for being affectionate, graceful, and gentle but also for their athleticism and stamina of a sporting spaniel. Keep this in mind – they need moderate exercise, enjoy walks, and do well at several doggie sports.

 

They have a keen hunting instinct, so if they aren’t on a leash and onto an exciting scent, you can call to your heart’s content with no response. Also, fence in your yard! Do note that Cavs are known to suffer separation anxiety. Their unconditional loyalty and love makes it hard for them to be left home alone.

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A tip from a vet

Easily distracted and famously lacking in street smarts, it’s a good idea to keep your Cavalier on the lead when you’re walking through populated areas. They’re also sensitive to hot weather so aim to walk thm during the cooler times of the day.
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A tip from a trainer

The Cavalier is very eager to please its owners. They are friendly, intelligent, train quickly, and excel in several canine sports, including rally, agility, and obedience. Their sweet-tempered nature also makes them excellent therapy dogs.
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Did You Know

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    A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel featured on the hit TV series “Sex and the City” as Charlotte York’s dog, whom she called Elizabeth Taylor Goldenblatt.

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    Urban legend says that king Charles 1 of Britain was so attached to his Cavs that he issued a decree that dogs be allowed in all public spaces, including Parliament or Westminster Palace, overriding the “no dog except guide dogs” rule.

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    Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are genetically prone to mitral valve disease (MVD), which causes heart failure – the most common cause of death in the breed.

In The News

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Queen Victoria had a tricolor Cavalier whom she called Dash. She wrote the following message that was inscribed on her beloved pet’s tombstone when he died: “Here lies Dash, the favorite spaniel of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, by whose command this memorial was erected. He died on the 20th December 1840 in his ninth year. His attachment was without selfishness, his playfulness without malice, his fidelity without deceit. Reader, if you would live beloved and die regretted, profit by the example of Dash.”

Famous Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Owners

Lauren Bacol, Margaret Thatcher, Diane sawyer, Courtney Cox, Jennifer love Hewitt, Liv Tyler, Jaclyn Smith, Tom Selleck

The History Behind the Breed

Toy spaniels were the territory of European aristocracy dating back to the Renaissance. For example, 17th-century British monarchs, King Charles I and his son Charles II were devoted to tan and black toy spaniels, eventually called King Charles Spaniel in his honor. Toy spaniels continued to be a favorite of British nobility into the early 19th century. During the Victorian age, the breed was mixed with the Asian toy, possibly the Japanese Chin and <a href="https://animalia.pet/dog-breeds/pug/>Pugs</a>. It became what is now called the English Toy Spaniel in the US and King Charles Spaniel in the UK. This new-style spaniel had a rounded skull and flatter face than Charles's, which soon became the dominant trait. The traditional toy spaniel of the Restoration age was made nearly extinct but not forgotten. They were preserved in portraits of ancestors hanging in stately manors in England. In the 1920s, enthusiasts wondered if the ancient toy spaniel still existed. Hence, a wealthy American, Roswell Eldridge, offered a cash reward to British breeders who could produce Old World Bleinheim Spaniels. Breeders created the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – Cavalier as a nod to the royalist party that supported the Stuarts in the civil war and cost King Charles 1 his head.

If a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Could Talk…

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“What’s the plan for today? Netflix binging on the sofa or working out in the yard? I’m game either way!”

A Quick Anatomy Lesson

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Cavaliers are prone to ear disease, ear infections, bone and joint problems, skin issues, neurological problems to name a few.

Common Health Problems

What about your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?