Small in size, very elegant and royal, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels is a very cheerful and active dog. They are famous for their companion skills for centuries. Want to know everything about this breed? Then please keep reading.
There are many excellent reasons why one can choose the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as a pet or even as a show dog. They are a small, affectionate, playful and intelligent animal with great desires to return the cares and attentions to their master with complete devotion.
Although Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is undoubtedly considered a lapdog because of its size, the Cavalier is very brave and sporty. It is cheerful, friendly non-aggressive, and an excellent and adaptable companion for many types of homes and lifestyles.
Origins and Characteristics of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The first specimens of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel emerged in England in the sixteenth century as “water” dogs (for living in swampy areas). Soon they became popular among nobility. Also due to its small size, they were easy to transport in carriages. They were chosen by the Ladies of the High Society to provide warmth during the winter.
King Charles I had a Cavalier as a pet while he lived in the Castle of Carisbrooke. But the monarch with whom the breed is most related is with the successor, King Charles II. In the Court it was said that he never separated from them, and that he even issued a decree so that anyone with a Spaniel of this type would be accepted in all public places.
In the reign of William III and Maria II the water dog was replaced by the Pug. A cross between both animals resulted in the modern Cavalier King Charles as we know it today. In comparison with the “original”, its snout is shorter, the forehead more prominent, the eyes larger and a less “aristocratic” character.
In the 18th century John Churchill (Duke of Marlborough) had as a faithful friend a red and white Cavalier who helped him in the hunt and was called Blenheim. At that time many thought that the name of the race was chosen by this member of the nobility.
In the 20th century, an attempt was made to recreate the “original” Cavalier King Charles. It was achieved by crossing it with the Toy Spaniel Trawler (now extinct). He is currently the sixth most popular dog in the United Kingdom.
As for its appearance, the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel can measure up to 36 cm at the withers and weigh 9 kg. The colors of the mantle are red and white, black and tan, black, fire and white or red.
Basic Info to know about Cavalier King Charles Spaniel:
- Height: from 32 to 34 cm in the females and from 34 to 36 cm in the males
- Weight: between 5 and 9 kg
- Coat: intense red and white; unicolor red; tricolor (black, fire and white); black and tan
- Average life: from ten to fourteen years
- Character: playful, extroverted, friendly and easy temperament
- Relationship with children: excellent
- Relationship with other dogs: very good
- Skills: companion dog
- Needs of the space: well adapted to the life inside the house (but also to a more rustic way of life)
- Feeding the King Charles Spaniel Cavalier: between 150 and 200 g. Dry whole food diaries or 100 g. of meat and 200 g. of rice-legumes (it matters more the quality than the quantity)
- Maintenance cost: moderate
King Charles Cavalier Temperament
Cavaliers are very loyal to their owners. They are not too independent and prefer to trust their masters. These dogs get along very well with the children. In fact, they are perfect pets, either in a house or apartment. When owning a King Charles Spaniel Cavalier, it is recommended that they live indoors and not outdoors.
They are happy being surrounded by their owners and love to go for walks. The King Charles Spaniel Cavalier is a rather sedentary race and has no problems with other dogs.
The King Charles Cavalier is very sweet and moves quickly. He has a great instinct to pursue everything that moves (from an insect to a car). It is advisable to take them out for a walk always on a leash. Affectionate, noble, friendly and willing to please everyone, the Cavalier is a very intelligent and obedient dog.
Although they may bark when someone strange is detected, they are no guard dogs.
Health and care of the Cavalier King Charles
All dogs, regardless of their breed, suffer from health problems at some time in their lives, but, without a doubt, certain breeds seem more predisposed to suffer certain problems than others. If you know what to look for, owners can be prepared to urgently request veterinary assistance, to catch any problem on time.
Most Cavaliers are small, healthy dogs, but you should be careful not to get too fat. Obesity, although mild, can cause additional stress on the heart, and some Cavaliers tend to have heart problems. Of course, many Cavaliers live long and healthy lives, but it should be known that, apparently, the onset of heart problems usually occurs at eight years of age, and sometimes before.
Due to the sweetness of their eyes, many Cavaliers are fed with the leftovers of the food, without the owners stopping to think much about this.
In any case, it is better, in the long term, to feed them with a healthy diet and hold back on junk food, to give them only when necessary and certainly no chocolate or pieces of cake, however tempting they may be.
The main problem of the race is mitral valve prolapsed with a heart murmur that slowly worsens, leading to heart failure. It is a genetic condition and is the main cause of death of King Charles Cavalier.
It can be manifested itself after 5 years of age. Veterinarians have developed a guide for owners that allows the animal to live better for longer.
To a lesser extent, this race can suffer from syringomyelia, hip dysplasia, patella dislocation, cataracts, and retinal dysplasia.
Finally, it is recommended to maintain a routine of brushing the hair of the Cavalier King Charles. Remember that, being long, it is easily entangled. Also, when you go outside, you can return home with objects attached to the legs, tail or ears.
The IQ of a Cavalier
In accordance with normal canine standards, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a fairly high IQ, and many of his senses, such as smell and hearing, are much more developed than those of people. But although the Cavalier fits so well into family life, they do not have an almost human mentality as some would like to believe. They can easily assimilate the fears and joys of their masters, so a somewhat nervous person can convey this feeling to their dog, which could end up having a similar personality.
If you want to know more about pets and our beloved friendly Dog, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, keep visiting Gingercavalier.