The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small dog belonging to the larger end of the toy class. They have round, dark, soulful eyes and long floppy ears set high on a flat skull. These are dogs that were adored by royalty, and who were named for King Charles 1 and King Charles 11 of Britain. During that time they were occasionally allowed to follow the horses out on the hunt and were used to flush birds and other small animals out of the brush, however, they were mainly kept as companion dogs. As such they were often used as foot and lap warmers as well as flea magnets! These are the descendants of the dogs seen in the 17th century paintings sitting on the laps of princes and princesses.
Their lively, cheerful personalities make them wonderful family pets as they are good with children as well as older adults. They are elegant, playful, friendly and loving without the least bit of aggression. They seem ever joyful with a constantly wagging tail. Although they are small, they are fearless and have no problem approaching and trying to befriend much larger dogs as well as cats and other animals. They are generally intelligent and learn quickly through positive reinforcement, but, like children, if scolded they may stop trying or even run and hide. The Cavalier King Charles seems always ready for anything being quite content to lay at its persons feet during quiet time or to chase after a ball when it’s time to play.
The colorations of this breed are varied.. There are four recognized colors of the breed: ruby, black and tan, Blenheim, which is a combination of chestnut and white and tri-color which combines black, white, and tan. The coat is silky with feathering appearing on ears, legs, feet, and tail at maturity. It weighs from 12 to 18 pounds (5.4-8.1kg) height is generally 12-13 in (31-33cm).
The Cavalier is a social dog and as such will follow their people around the house from room to room just to be with them. They thrive on companionship and should not be left alone for long periods of time as they can become depressed, Cavaliers should not be left outside for long periods of time either as they do not adapt well to extreme temperature changes. This is a house pet that needs to be kept inside with its human family. When walking for exercise a leash must be used as their inherent instinct to hunt makes a passing bird or even a passing car potential prey that they must chase after.
To keep mats out of the smooth, silky hair, brush about once a week. They do not need a tremendous amount of bathing. A mild shampoo every few weeks or once a month or so should be all that is necessary.
Cavaliers may be subject to certain health defects such as cardiac mitral valve disease (MVD) and inherited eye defects including cataracts and cherry eye.
This is a dog with a personality that makes it suitable for people of all ages. Because it is such a social breed, it thrives on companionship and is happiest when it’s people are around. It does not do well being alone and crated for long periods of time and is not suitable for those who spend all day at work.