Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Breed Profile: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a toy breed that combines the hunting spirit of a spaniel with the soothing lap dog style of a companion animal.  The typical Cavalier is 12-13 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 13-18 pounds. 

In other words, bigger than a baby Robin but smaller than a Mastiff.

The breed was named for King Charles II.  The Cavalier was added years later when the breed was revived with an emphasis on the Cavalier line.  That line stressed a longer nose and "old fashioned" style, as seen in this painting by Sir Edwin Landseer.  

The King Charles spaniel was originally bred to hunt small game.  Today, he is still quite capable of pointing, flushing and retrieving.  Many Cavaliers are also accomplished in agility, tracking, obedience, lure coursing and therapy work.

The coat is silky and of medium length. Trimming is not required.  Cavaliers come in many colors:  Chestnut (red) and White, Tricolor (black, tan, white), Ruby, and Black and Tan. 

Cavalier Manifesto:
- I like to cuddle- not only with people, but also with cats, birds, bunnies, other dogs, and creatures I've yet to meet.
-If you're looking for a little watch dog; get a Terrier. 
-We don't all have a lozenge!  Still, it's a fun story!

Wondering about the lozenge? Here's the story:  Sarah Churchill grew up in King Charles' court and grew to love the King Charles Spaniels.  One day, she sat stroking the head of one of her red and white Spaniels, who at the time was just about ready to whelp.  Because Sarah was waiting anxiously for news of her husband, a soldier fighting in the battle of Blenheim, she did a lot of stroking.  Soon the bitch delivered five puppies.  All of the pups had a spot (lozenge in dog parlance) or Blenheim Spot, on the forehead, like a thumbprint, precisely where Sarah had been so persistently stroking their mother's head with her thumb.

Next Profile:  Australian Shepherd!

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel by Barbara Garnett-Wilson


  1. Cute little buggers. Thanks for the education on this royal fellow. I especially love the robin photo. :)