Breed History – One of the most popular breeds of dog in Britain, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel shares the same history as the King Charles Spaniel until the 1920s, when breeders tried to recreate a spaniel that was more similar to the original dogs Charles II owned in the 1600s. Unfortunately today’s Cavaliers are all descended from only 6 dogs, so a host of inbreeding problems are apparent in them.
Breed Description – Considered a toy dog, Cavalier’s are first and foremost a small companion dog of the Spaniel line. Their fur is silky to the touch and it is for this reason that they have such a great reputation as a lapdog. Male dogs can grow up to 13in and weigh 18ib, and can typically live up to 12 years-old.
Special Needs – Because of years of inbreeding, unfortunately there are a few health issues that are present in Cavaliers, including Syringomyelia – where the skull is too small for the brain. There are also heart problems that are prevalent in the breed as well as ear and hip health issues.
Owning a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – Always eager to please, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an affectionate and playful dog to own. They are good in family environments and with children in particular, although they make for terrible guard dogs as they tend to regard all strangers as friends! Cavaliers are the 6th most popular breed of dog in the UK, the 4th most popular in Australia and they are on the rise in America as well.