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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel : Dog Breed : Videos and photos

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dog on his day off
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Blenheim coat) on his day off

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The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small breed of dog usually considered one of the toy dog breeds.

Appearance

The Cavalier is by most measures the largest toy breed: though clearly a lap dog, fully-grown adults tend to fill one rather amply. It is nonetheless quite small for a spaniel, with fully-grown Cavaliers roughly comparable in size to an adolescent of a more conventional spaniel breed. Breed standards call for a height between 29 and 33 cm (12-13 inches) with a proportionate weight between 5,5 and 8,5 kg (13 and 18 lbs). Unlike most other spaniels, the Cavalier has a full-length tail well-feathered with long hair, which is typically carried aloft when walking.



Video - Cavaliers at play

Coat

The breed naturally grows a substantial silky coat of moderate length. Breed standards call for it to be free from curl, with a slight wave permissible. In adulthood, Cavaliers grow lengthy feathering on their ears, chest, legs, feet and tail; breed standards demand this be kept long, with the feathering on the feet cited as a particularly important feature of the breed.

The breed has four recognized colours:

Blenheim (rich chestnut on pearly white background)

Tricolour (black and white with tan markings on cheeks, inside ears, resembling eyebrows, inside legs, and on underside of tail)

Black and Tan (black with tan markings)

Ruby (rich reddish-brown all over)

Parti-colors are the colours that include white: Blenheim and Tricolor. Whole-colours have no white: Black and Tan, and Ruby. The Blenheim is the most common colour, although the others are not rare.




Ruby the Cuddly King Charles Cavalier Dog

Daisy the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Ruby the Cuddly King Charles Cavalier DogDaisy the King Charles Spaniel


Temperament

The breed is highly affectionate, and some have called the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel "the ultimate lap dog". However, Cavaliers require a great deal of human companionship and do not tolerate well being left alone for long periods of time. Most dogs of the breed are playful, extremely patient and eager to please. As such, dogs of the breed are usually good with children and other dogs. A well-socialized Cavalier will not be shy about socializing with much larger dogs. (However, on occasion, this tendency can be dangerous, as many cavaliers will presume all other dogs to be equally friendly, and may attempt to greet and play with aggressive dogs).

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (Complete Pet Owner's Manual) By Caroline Coile
"This is a good informative book. It tells you the real problems with the breed and gives sound advice. Glad we bought it. Good value too" - from Amazon.co.uk


History

For many centuries, small breeds of spaniels have been popular in the United Kingdom. In the eleventh century, in the reign of King Canute, it was illegal to hunt with any dog that could not fit through a gauge that was eleven inches in diameter. Hence, the "birth" of the Toy Spaniel in the United Kingdom. Some centuries later, Toy Spaniels became popular as pets, especially as pets of the royal family.

In fact, the King Charles Spaniel was so named because a Blenheim-coated spaniel was the children's pet in the household of Charles I. King Charles II went so far as to issue a decree that the King Charles Spaniel could not be forbidden entrance to any public place, including the Houses of Parliament. Such spaniels can be seen in many paintings of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. These early spaniels had longer, pointier snouts and thinner-boned limbs than today's.

Muffin the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel DogLeo the King Charles Spaniel sent in by Milly
Sent in by Katia - Thanks

This is Muffin he is a King Charles Cavalier


Spaniel and only thirteen weeks old.
Leo sent in by Milly - Thanks

hi this is a picture of my dog leo is 18 now

months old my name is milly and we are

from wirral.

Over time, the toy spaniels were replaced in popularity by short-snouted, dome-headed dogs of Asian descent, such as the Pug and Japanese Chin. The King Charles Spaniel was bred with these dogs, resulting in the similar-shaped head of today's English Toy Spaniel breed. The King Charles Spaniel remained popular at Blenheim Palace, home to the Dukes of Marlborough, where the brown and white version was the most popular - resulting in the name Blenheim for that colour combination.

Ruby and Lilly the King Charles Spaniels
Ruby and Lilly sent in by Karen - Thanks
hi here is a pic of my cavalier pups ruby and lilly. from karen in derbyshire.

 
In the 1920s, an American named Roswell Eldrige offered twenty-five pounds as a prize for any King Charles Spaniel "of the old-fashioned type" with a longer nose, flat skull, and a lozenge (spot) in the middle of the crown of the head, sometimes called "the kiss of Buddha," "Blenheim Spot," or "Kissing Spot". So, the breed was developed by selective breeding of short-snouted Spaniels. The result was a dog that resembled the boyhood pet of the future Charles II of England ("Cavalier King Charles"), whence the breed derives its name.

Two breed clubs/registries are found in the United States: the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club (CKCSC) USA and the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club. The latter club is the breed club of the American Kennel Club.

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Health

The breed suffers from a number of severe genetic defects. If considering a puppy, ask to see its parents' heart and eye certificates to reduce the chance your puppy will have the defects described below. Many breeders supply these and most breeders choose pairings to try to reduce the incidence of these defects in the breed.

Mitral valve disease

Virtually all Cavaliers suffer from mitral valve disease, causing progressively worsening heart murmurs leading to heart failure. This condition can begin to emerge at an early age, and is present in more than half of all Cavalier King Charles Spaniels by 5 years of age. It is extremely rare for a 10-year-old Cavalier not to have at least a slight heart murmur. It is the leading cause of death of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Veterinary geneticists and cardiologists have designed breeding guidelines to eliminate early-onset mitral valve disease in the breed, but only an insignificant minority of breeders follow these guidelines.


Ralph the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dog
Sent in by Janet and Tony - Thanks
Ralph 10 weeks and now nine months old


Syringomyelia

Syringomyelia (SM) is a condition affecting the brain and spine, causing symptoms ranging from mild discomfort to severe pain and partial paralysis. Syringomyelia is rare in most breeds but has become widespread in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Veterinary neurologists who have been researching the disease in Cavaliers have estimated that at least half of all Cavaliers have either syringomyelia or occipital hypoplasia, the skull bone malformation believed to cause SM.

The 2005 Cavalier Heath Survey done by the AKC Cavalier club indicated that about 4% of Cavaliers showed clinical symptoms consistent with SM. Although symptoms of syringomyelia can present at any age, they typically appear between 6 months and 3 years of age. Symptoms include sensitivity around the head, neck, or shoulders, often indicated by a dog whimpering or frequently scratching at the area of his neck or shoulder.

Scratching is often unilateral -- restricted to one side of the body. Scratching motions are frequently performed without actually making physical contact with the body.

The scratching behavior appears involuntary and the dog frequently scratches while walking -- without stopping -- in a way that is very atypical of normal scratching. Scratching typical of SM is usually worse when the dog is wearing a collar, is being walked on leash, or is excited.


Hugo the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dog
Hugo sent in by Gary and Debbie - Thanks
"Greetings from the UK.  We'd like to introduce Hugo to you.  Hugo is nearly 3 years old, and he lives in Birmingham, England. Hugo is beautiful and is our pride and joy.  We love him so much despite his hairs getting everywhere! - Gary and Debbie"

Hugo the Cavalier in the Peak District


Not all dogs with SM show scratching behaviour. Not all dogs who show scratching behaviour appear to suffer pain. If onset is at an early age, the first sign may be rapidly appearing scoliosis. If the problem is severe, there is likely to be poor proprioception (awareness of body position), especially with regard to the forelimbs. Clumsiness and falling results from this problem.

A vet should be asked to rule out primary secretory otitis media (PSOM - glue ear) before assuming that a Cavalier has SM. PSOM can present similar symptoms but is much easier and cheaper to treat. An MRI scan is normally done to confirm diagnosis of SM.


Harry the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy
Harry sent in by Lucy and William - Thanks
"This is Harry from Norfolk, England who loves chasing seagulls at the beach and is adored by Lucy and William."

"Thanks for putting Harry on, you made William and Lucy's day. Poor old Harry has been collected from the vets today as he has torn a ligament, the vet said he has never met a more cowardly dog!! (harsh, but true I'm afraid!) however he's struggled down poached chicken, what a trooper!"

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a common genetic disease in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. It rarely is present at birth and develops with age. Hip dysplasia is diagnosed by x-rays, but it usually does not appear in x-rays of Cavaliers until they mature.

Luxating patella

Cavaliers, like many toy breeds, are subject to a genetic defect of the femur and knee called luxating patella. The disorder is believed to affect 20% to 30% of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. This condition is most often observed when a puppy is 4 to 6 months old. In the most serious cases, surgery may be indicated.

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca


Another common defect among Cavaliers is keratoconjunctivitis sicca, colloquially known as "dry eye". The usual cause of this condition is an autoimmune reaction against the dog's lacrimal gland (tear gland), reducing the production of tears. The condition requires continual treatment and if untreated may result in partial or total blindness.  


Young King Charles II of England with his spaniel
Young King Charles II of England with his spaniel
Public domain

Puppy Mills

The recent increasing popularity of the breed has led to breeding of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in puppy mills and an upsurge in the number of Cavaliers sold in pet stores.

It is usually a mistake to buy a Cav (as cavalier king charles spaniel owners call them) in a puppy mill. The dogs bred in puppy mills usually have more diseases and health issues then the other dogs.

Another aspect to consider is that Cavaliers NEED human contact, and do not do well in kennels. Behaviour traits can come from too much time without contact, so much so that they may act as if they had been abused.

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Comments

Ruby the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dog
Picture of Ruby from Harriet - Thanks
"Hello - This is a picture of our Cav called Ruby when we collected her at 10 weeks. Unfortunately we didn't realise at the time that the place we got her from was not very  nice, although it seemed ok when we collected her, we have since found out that it has a bad reputation. We have learnt the hard way as Ruby has been in and out of the vets since we bought her.

She has had Bronchial pneumonia to name but a few ailments and had to have an op on Christmas Eve to repair a big hernia that she had.  All that apart she is the most adorable dog to be around, and we all love her to bits.  She is the most lovely thing and loves nothing more than cuddles and the more she can snuggle into you the better. - Ruby started with her symptoms within a couple of days of getting her, so

I feel like we saved her in a way as I doubt she would have received the treatment that we have given her had she not come home with us, and I would never be without her now."


Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy in the hand
Cavalier Puppy sent in by John - Thanks
Here are a couple of pictures of our Cavalier taken on the day we picked him from a litter of 5. He’s 4 days old and we can’t wait for the weeks to pass until he’s with us. We may yet be having one of his Blenheim brothers as well !!! - Cheers - John
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy


Casey and Bracken the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dogs
Casey and Bracken sent in by Olwen and Chris - Thanks
Hello to all Cavi lovers.- This is Casey, our four year old Tri colour and Bracken a now 21 month old Blenheim. They are wonderful companions to my husband and l and we love them dearly. We live in North Wales UK, where this breed is very popular. When you buy one Cavi you always want more........so be warned! - From Olwen and Chris.
Casey and Bracken Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dogs having a rest

Pepper the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dog
Pictures of Pepper and Makaveli from Sinead - Thanks
Pepper (the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel) and Makaveli (the Tamaskan), owned by Sinead. Both boys are lovely dogs, they get on well with other dogs, cat's and children. I often take my dog's out to meet up with my friend's female Staffy and next door's two dogs, a Doberman and Lab (both male). Pepper can be shy around strange dogs as he was once attacked by one, but when he's warmed up to them, he's very happy. Makaveli is hyper, he loves to chase all animals, wanting to play with them, he's always trying to climb tree's (often getting stuck up them), diving into river's, and annoying wild deer! Both of my dogs are very loyal to me, great fun, and a wonder to have.

Makaveli the Tamaskan Dog

We have 2, Hera and Artemis. Artemis always loves to give hugs and is full of energy. Hera is so mellow and a sweet princess. They both are big smugglers. Its been fun reading all the comments. Thanks from Concord, California. ~Tasha, Joe, TK, Artemis and Hera

My favourite dog breed is the gold king Charles cavalier because it is so cute, small and they don't bark.

My lovely boy Jasper is a 12 month old Ruby CKCS. He recently alerted us when my daughter fainted by continuously barking until we came in the room to see what he was barking at. We love him to bits and wouldn't be without him

My Cavalier is 15 weeks old ruby colour called Toby he is great with my 2 boys, and my mums boxer dog. He is the most adorable thing i have ever seen, he loves his cuddles. he keeps my company at night when my husband is away working! Amazing breed.

my wee buster is now 1 and he is sooooooooo beautiful i just adore him xxxxxxxxxx

i love cavaliers i have got one it is a girl named poppy she is blenhiem

Cavaliers are the best companions in the world. I LOVE THEM!!!

My Cavalier is 15 weeks old ruby colour called Toby he is great with my 2 boys, and my mums boxer dog.  He is the most adorable thing i have ever seen, he loves his cuddles. he keeps my company at night when my husband is away working! Amazing breed.

I HAVE A KCS AND HIS NAME IS FRECKLES , HE HAS REPLACED A DEAD HUSBAND AND BABY BOY AND HAS GIVEN ME HOPE THAT EVERY MORNING WE WILL RISE AND WALK TO BEGIN OUR JOURNEY OF LIFE TOGETHER.

I have three cavs Holly a Ruby and is nine yrs Kishka a Tri who is two and a half yrs Kala is a black and tan and is one and a half yrs. I love them all they all get on and play together well, I would not be without them. Cherry

I have 8 ckc, love them all so much

the cuttiest dogs what you have got

Leo, my puppy is 10 months and he is amazingly gorgeous... I love him to bits and he knows sit, stay, roll over, kiss and tons of other stuff. when i get home from school he wags his tail constantly and licks your face til its soaking wet. He is faster than me and could win a 1mile race against me. XOX Ellie,

I want to see a really , really, really, really, reallyyyyy cute dog that's a Chihuahua

My 8 month old cavalier King Charles weighs a whopping 32 lbs. He seems healthy and happy, does have a hip curvature, and appears proportionate in height. So nothing at this point of time that would get me concerned except for the fact that he is much larger than is typical of the breed. Anything I should worry about?

hi i have a cavalier king charles spaniel she is adorable and the best dog in the world and the craziest

my mates dog lucky is my fave dog

We have 4 cavies  one of each colour they all play together never squabble or go for each other, our dogs are friendly, well behaved, fantastic with children, & give us so much love we couldn't ask for anything else from this breed of dog,  if you haven't got one we recommend them to anyone  g&t dorset

I have always loved king charles dogs and now I'm an adult and have got my kids and house I can finally start saving up for one of my own and I can't wait to give it a home, I'm hoping maybe i can help a rescue dog from the RSPC but i guess that's unlikely as too many people want to make big bucks from these beautiful good natured dogs to just give them away but hopefully one day I'll be able to afford one :)

We just love this site and immediately found the picture and all info about our little granddaughter's new puppy in Oregon [we live in Tx) This is great and we've saved the file for future reference.  We're in our 70's and are looking forward to finding a wonderful puppy to pamper and as many Drs advise they can assist in keeping elderly people's BP in tact!!!!  

We'll be back to this site many times. It's great!  Johnny and Velma P in Texas  
PS: Perhaps 20 yrs ago we had 4 generations of Toy Poodles we now refer to as the "Girls" File ~ All their collars and paperwork thru the years we pampered them endlessly and they were FAMILY!!  Glad we found your site. I grew up with a king charles always around. Over the years we have had several of them and they're wonderful dogs with such wonderful personalities.

Ruby Rose the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dog
This is Ruby-Rose! - Sent in by Sharon - Thanks
I have a beautiful 6 month old tri colour called Izzy, she is lovely we wouldn't swap her for the world!!!

When I was in 8th grade I managed to convince my parents to let me get my own little dog. I ended up getting a ckcs (he was mixed with a corgi but you wouldn't have known it, even the vet thought he was pure bread!) I named him Freckles, and he was my best friend. He even helped me choose my husband. There were a few guys (friends and boyfriends) in my life, and Freckles was spot on about all of them. Sean was a nice guy, but not marriage material (later came out as gay). Dave was a great guy, but we weren't in love with him. Rob we did not like (should have listened to my little dog more on this one) and Charles was just plain a creep (only person Freckles ever growled at). But the instant Freckles met Dale, I knew. Freckles loved Dale almost as much as he did me from day one, and I knew, this guy was a keeper. So I married him. Freckles died at the age of 12 (having suffered seizures most his life), when Dale and I had been married a little over 6 years. Dale and I are still married, 12 years this Dec '09, and I thank that little dog for finding me such a wonderful husband. I have (had) many dogs and cats, Freckles got along with all animals, but none will compare to that sweet old soul of my Freckles. If you are considering this breed, don't consider any longer. Get one. You will never regret it.

We are getting a ruby ckcs.  She was born on Sept 25 and will be my son's Christmas present.  I can't wait, I have heard a lot of wonderful things about the breed.  I got her from a good breeder not a puppy farm as I hear those puppies can be high risk for sickness.  I read through some of the other comments and noticed that one family had named there puppy (female) Pebbles.  I like that name for a female.  If anyone has any tips or suggestions about the ruby ckcs it would be appreciated.

i love puppies haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

i think all of them are very cute but not as cute as my king charles toby!:)

my cavie is called alfie,a gorgeous tri colour, he has grown and grown, at 14 months old he's still got some growing to do, he weighs a ton as well-

I have a king cavaliers cavalier called Spencer and he is the most wonderful, gentle and cutest dog EVER! (honestly) I love him so much and wish that we could be together for ever. He's a lovely breed and i trust him with all my might. Personally i would highly recommend this breed of dog to ANYONE! - Lauren X

hi again! been a while sincei was lst on this website- :-) been very busy! Jasper (my gawjuss cav, my lyf, my soul, my best friend, my evryfing!) :-) xxxxxx is the best!! luv u and fudge RIPxxxxxx -  I jst wanted to say to anyone who is thinking of getting a cavalier, makes sure you find a reputable breeder. wud u rather go down the road to get ur dog, or travel miles, to get a gawjuss companion who will be wif you 4 a long tym??!! also make sure you search the breed, as you may be surprised at how loveable they r!! xxxxxx

Pedigree dogs plagued by diseaseThe BBC recently broadcast a programme about the breeding of dogs and especially Cavi's. Please make sure you go through a reputable dog breeder who really understands and cares for their dogs.

I love Ruby she is so cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.From looking at those pictures I know what tipe of dog im going to get. Well I wont be the only one begging. p.s. those were the cutest dogs I have ever seen!!!!!!!!!!!!!

lush dogs just got a puppy in ruby and woulds you believe it she is called ruby

Hi i have a tri cavalier dog he is 10 months old, the only concern i have is his tail, It some times curls up when he's walking, is this normal or is its some sign that he may have a cross in him.?

i think this website is great to tell all about any dogs the website is the best

I get my 3rd cavilier in August and i can't wait, shes black and Tan and i don't know what to name her,  any ideas ? :) - Nicola

i  think this website is off the hook one thing though get more pics to make the pages go for ever I LOVE IT SO Much!!!!!!!!!!= ) : )

We're just about to get a little Ruby girl, and calling her Pippa!! Hope she gets on alright with our Rotties and Bullmastiffs!!!

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy with blanket
Pictures of Ralphie and Suki sent in by Fitzgerald - Thanks  
These pics are of Ralphie (8weeks) and Suki (nearly 1yr) they both are the sweetest puppies and have given my family and I lots of pleasure, Suki has accepted Raplhie and happily eats and lets him share her bed. In this pic Ralphie has wrapped himself in my pink robe! He has only been with us a few days but has settled in perfectly. Suki is almost a year old and is a beautiful little dog, I was worried that she would take some time to get used to Ralphie but he has become a great playmate for her in such a short time hopefully they'll be the best of friends for years to come.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dog ready for work  

wow you have the most cutest dogs you know I have a cavalier too and he looks like one of the ones you have there you r so lucky to have them they must be a handful. I have one and he is CRAZY! well I hope you and your dogs have happy days!

i love king charles they r very cute

have a Cavalier Ling Charles Spaniel and he is soooooo adorable! His name is Bailey, he is a white dog with brown spots, and he is so energetic! The goods thing is that when the dogs are older, they get more lazy but they can also be very energetic! King Charles are the absolute BEST DOGS IN THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!! I seriously couldn't live without my five-year-old dog. I don't know one person in the WORLD who wouldn't love to have one of these dogs!

I LOVE Cavaliers!!! They r sooooooo cute! but i'm not allowed to have one, 'cause my mum and dad won't let me. But i'm savin up for one anyway! The problem is though that all my friends say they have too many health problems, and that i shouldn't get one but i seriously want a puppy!

X -PUPPYLOVER-X

My Favourite dog is my king Charles spaniel he's 1 year old now and is really loving and sweet i think they all are

hi again! I'm just writing to say my Cav ~ Jasper has just turned 1!!  he is so mad ~ but that's y we love him!! he barks at dogs or animals on the t.v, chases leaves, and stones!!  he even chases his own fluff on the floor!! does anybody else's Cav do this!! xxxxxx

I have a Cavalier. he has just turned 1 year old! he's so cute!! he made my life complete!! i don't know what i would do without him! he gets so much love,  and he is definitely a lap dog!! :-

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