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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The art of great masters such as Titian pay evidence and homage to the delightful little dog that the Royals of the age took such joy in.  As times changed and centuries moved, preferences gave way to a more Asian influence with a pushed in face (now known as the English Toy Spaniel).  Roswell Eldridge so longed to look into the eyes of that old type Spaniel that he put up $1000 USD as a prize to the breeder that could deliver such a dog.  The task engender much interest and while it is not recorded who won the prize, clearly the contest was won by each person who's had the privilege to spend time with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  A charming toy dog of some courage and verve, the Cavalier does not lack intelligence or energy and is a wonderful companion for a number of differing lifestyles and home environments.
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General Information
Group(s): Toy Height: 12-13 inches
Weight: 13-18 pounds Longevity: 10-11
Colors: Blenheim - red/white; Tricolor; Ruby (solid red), Black and Tan; Coat type: moderately long, silky, wavy permitted, fringe off ears, back of legs and tail, fringe over the feet is a breed characteristic
Recognized Registries: NCA, FCI, The Kennel Club, UKC, AKC and others
Overall Appearance: Small, romantic spaniel of the royalty of old. Warmest of expressions with long spaniel ears, long in body and moderately short in leg. The look is not refined but completely charming.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: moderate
General Nature: Loving, not particularly independent or bold, frolicsome, playful and adoring
  with Children: Generally good but requires knowledgable handling beyond the understanding of small children
  with other pets: can be good but do tend to chase anything that runs
  with dogs: generally very good with proper socializing
Socialization requirements: fairly high: as a toy breed they are easy to have accompany you everywhere but an unsocialized example will be fearful and anxious in new surroundings or experiences
Ideal home characteristics: One that understands the demands of a toy dog with a number of potential health issues and some frailty (relative to other bigger sturdier breeds). A tendency to chase things that run make them only suitable for homes with fenced yards.
Temperament Notes: Tends toward shyness if not properly socialized and handled while young. Must have a companion they trust implicitly as rough handling will make them understandably fearful. As a toy breed they are easily injured.
Training requirement: socializing and basic manners
Trainer notes: It is advisable for the person that seeks to train with a Cavalier to either have experience training small dogs or to train with someone who does.  While the Cavalier is not a wilting violet, it is important to keep in mind how the size difference between the dog and trainer can impact virtually every aspect of training and communication.  Aside from that, the Cavalier is intelligent and agile creating an exceptional option for a variety of dogsports and activities.  Special care must be taken to avoid any injury to the dog as they tend to be aware of their vulnerability and will not forget that they were "stepped on" and thus not heel closely, as an example.  One accident can result in a loss of the entire exercise until trust can be rebuilt.
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: early 1600s
Country of Origin: Great Britian
Original Function: companion
History: The cherished companion of royalty was altered to modern tastes creating the English Toy Spaniel, in early 1900s R. Eldridge offered a prize for the re-establishment of the old type, while it is not stated who won this prize, the reward is this breed.
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard: too large, head incorrect
Health Notes: Platelet (blood) Issues, Syringomelia, Eye problems, Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, Heart murmurs, Patellar Luxation, Back issues
Health Testing: CERF, OFA,
Questions to ask Breeder:  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!

  • How long have you had Cavaliers?
  • How long have you been breeding?
  • What health issues are you aware of?
  • How do you screen for health issues in your stock?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • What titles do you seek for your breeding stock?
  • How did you select this specific breeding pair?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • Do you microchip your puppies?
  • Do you provide a suggested vaccination schedule?
  • Do you have any suggestions for training and socializing a puppy?
  • What do you consider an ideal Cavalier temperament?
  • What would you consider an ideal Cavalier home?
  • At what age do you send your puppies to their homes?
  • Do you have any suggestions regarding diet, supplements and/or handling to help with the long term health of my puppy?
Web Sites: - Cavalier Rescue (click on about half way down left nav) - Exceptional educational site dedicated to outreach and education about the health and breeding issues surrounding the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  Review all pertinent info on this site PRIOR to getting a CKCS.


Other Resources
Breed standard: - Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Standard

Breeder Ethics: Cavavlier Club of America ethical guidelines (the website is in frames just scroll to the bottom of the left nav)

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