The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a companion dog, which was very popular among the nobles of the XVI Century.
Disney chose this breed to have the leading role of its film “Lady and the Tramp” as “Lady”.
This breed comes from the United Kingdom, where it is very popular, and owes its name to King Charles I, but it is more linked to Charles II, who was rarely seen without its little Spaniels.
Later, the popularity of the flat snout dogs known as Pugs led to a crossbreed which created a King Charles spaniel with a shorter snout and a more prominent skull.
At the first stages of the XX Century, breeders made an effort to recreate the original breed, which is currently the Standard one.
The Spaniels are courteous, friendly and willing to please everyone. Due to the impulse of its thighs, it makes an elegant and fluent movement, and if they are seen from the back or the front, these move in a parallel plane. These dogs are active because of its instinct which makes them chase most of the things that move, including the vehicles in crowded streets. That is why it is highly recommended to take it for a walk with a dog leash. They tend to consider all strangers as friends, and they do not usually fight with other dogs; this breed’s dogs are not good as guardians.
There are four colors in this breed’s coat:
• Blenheim: its coat has a white background and chestnut markings. The ears are chestnut.
• Tricolor: its coat has a white background and black markings. The ears and area surrounding the eyes will be black, separated by a splash of white. Tricolors have tan markings over the eyes, on the cheeks, inside the ears, and beneath the tail.
• Ruby: Ruby Cavaliers are intended to be entirely chestnut in color. For showing, a Ruby that is truly 100% liver-colored is preferred, having white markings in their coats is considered as a defect.
• Black & Tan: have a black body with tan highlights, most notably tan eyebrows, cheeks, chest, and legs and beneath the tail. Having white markings in their coats is considered as a defect.
It is a sporty dog, affectionate and bold. Its personality is happy, friendly, docile and calm. The Spaniels are hunters and can put in danger birds and little animals. However, there are owners who have said that with a constant training, their Spaniels can live happily around little dogs.
This breed is good with children and other dogs, due to they are caring and patient. As they are small, these dogs are suitable for an apartment life. They are naturally curious and playful, but they also enjoy staying quiet on the sofa, making them perfect as companion dogs for patients, elderly or people with depression. It must be brushed frequently and softly around the eyes area.
This breed has the 44th place on the intelligence rate of Stanley Coren, due to its medium intelligence in training obedience.
Due to its long fur, this dog demands a high maintenance, and will require being brushed daily –at least 3 times a week- and wash it regularly. It will often have to visit a dog groomer.
They can frequently suffer serious diseases, including Mitral Valve Disease (MVD), the potentially painful Syringomyelia (SM), Hip Dysplasia, Patellar Luxation, and some hereditary sight conditions such as cataracts y Retinal Dysplasia, and hearing impairments as well. As present Cavaliers descend from just six dogs, any hereditary illness may have been transmitted to future generations. In biology, this is known as founder effect and causes the remaining of the MVD in this breed.
You can download the FCI (International Cinological Federation) standard at the following link: http://www.fci.be/Nomenclature/Standards/136g09-en.pdf