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The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a member of the Toy Group of dogs and in these days of high cost of living and restricted living space, has become highly regarded as a family dog. Intelligent, adaptable and highly willing to please, Cavaliers are equally at home living indoors or out, in the suburbs or country as a family dog or a companion to single persons. The more love they are given, the more love they will return.

Toy Spaniels were already well established in England in Tudor times, and history has it that a toy Spaniel was a companion of Mary, Queen of Scots when she was imprisoned by Elizabeth I. They were favourites of Charles I, Charles II with whom they are indelibly associated, and with James II, but with the accession of William and Mary, the toy spaniel lost popularity.

However, during the reign of Queen Anne, the Duke of Marlborough maintained kennels at Blenheim Castle where he established a line of red and white spaniels and today red and white Cavaliers are still called "Blenheims".

By the late Victorian era, the old style of toy spaniel had been evolved into the flat faced, dome skulled King Charles Spaniel and it was not until 1925 that a move was made to revive the old style spaniel depicted in early paintings. When an American offered a prize of $25 at Crufts dog show for such an exhibit, English breeders took up the challenge and by 1928 the English Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club had been formed, adopting the name "Cavalier" to distinguish them from the flat-faced King Charles. In 1945 the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was granted separate breed status by the English Kennel Club and began a steady return to their former popularity. In 1973 a Cavalier won Best in Show at Crufts.

Cavaliers came to Australian about 1960. In Victoria numbers were sufficient to form a Club in 1973 and the breed has steadily increased until now Cavaliers are among the top ten breeds registered with the Kennel Control Council.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is active, gentle little dog with a friendly, intelligent disposition. They get along easily with adults, children and other animals. They are quick to learn and many Cavaliers have done well in obedience training.

Both dogs and bitches have the same easy-going nature and love of attention. House training and general behaviour will normally present few problems and new owners will find that other owners are only too willing to give advice or encouragement if any problems are encountered.

Cavaliers are very alert, and will give ample warning of strangers on the property, but once they realise that the newcomers are welcome, will readily accept them.

Size may vary, but ideally a Cavalier should weigh between 12 and 18 lbs. There is no regulation as to height but about 12 or 13 inches at the shoulder is average. Sometimes they do grow bigger and weigh much heavier than this, but although unsuitable for the Show Ring, this in no way alters their happy disposition or prevents them fro from being loving and faithful companions.

Coming from a "royal" heritage, Cavaliers have an inherent instinct for the finer things of life and when living indoors will unerringly choose the most Comfortable chair in" the house or the most suitable setting to display their good looks.

Cavalier are bred in four colours.
Blenheim: Rich Chestnut markings on a pearly white ground. The markings may be evenly divided on the head, leaving room between the ears for the much valued lozenge or spot.
Tricolour: Black and white with tan markings over the eyes, on cheeks, inside ears, inside legs and under the tail.
Black and Tan: Raven black with rich tan markings above the eyes, on cheeks, inside ears, on chest and legs and underside of tail.
Ruby: Whole coloured rich red.

Cavaliers are rarely finicky eaters and will eat most foods. Mostly the trick is to keep them from overeating. Most breeders have their own preference for the diet of baby puppies and will usually supply a diet sheet for new owners.

The coat is normally long and silky, with feathering on the chest, legs and tail. A brush and comb once or twice a week is sufficient to keep the coat free of tangles, plus the occasional bath which is rarely a chore as they enjoy the attention and the drying which follows. The eyes, being large, should be checked at each grooming session, plus the insides of the long drop ears. Apart from the hair between the pads under the feet, no trimming whatsoever is required. If the dog is exercised regularly on pavements or runs on concrete, the nails should not need trimming but should be regularly checked.

Being a small dog, Cavaliers do not need a great deal of exercise and are active enough to keep themselves reasonably fit in a small back yard. But to keep them in top condition, regular walks are recommended. They soon learn what a lead is for and will always be ready for that quick stroll around the block. A day in the country or at the beach is always welcorne, and Cavaliers soon become enthusiastic travellers in the family car.

Generally a Cavalier is a hardy dog with few health problems and with normal care can live to the age of 12 or 14 years. Puppies should receive Immunization against Hepatitis, Distemper and Parvovirus beginning at six weeks, followed by a booster at About 10 weeks, and again at 14 weeks, with subsequent boosters every 12 months. Worming should be routinely carried out at regular intervals and a veterinarian should be consulted about heartworm when a puppy is about 6 months old. Regular check-ups with the vet. is always a good way of keeping an eye on your dog's health.

Further Information
  Books - Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Pet Love
  Books - Cavalier King Charles Spaniel a New owners guide
  Books - Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Today

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club of Victoria
Puppy Referral : 1300 850 844

Last Update: 07/08/08 13:01 Views: 19803

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