The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small dog, equipped with a moderately long coat, long floppy ears and a well-feathered chest and tail. Officially classified as a toy breed, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies was originally developed by cross breeding King Charles Spaniels with Pugs.
The short and stubby nose is the result of breeding with the pug, a popular breed amongst the aristocratic and classes and royals of the 1600s and 1700s. Mary, Queen of Scots was accompanied by a toy spaniel as she walked to her beheading and her grandson loved them. King Charles II, after whom the breed is named, reportedly never went without at least one or two toy spaniels by his side.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are very affectionate, energetic and eager little dogs. They love human contact and have a great reputation with children. As with all dogs, it’s important to maintain supervision with smaller children. Because the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is small, it may not be as tolerant to provocation. It’s also notable that the breed is generally very tolerant of other pets in the home, even cats. Early socialisation of the King Charles Cavalier puppy is a good way to avoid any problems that may otherwise arise, however.
Training the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels is not troublesome. They respond well to mild obedience training, but for best results they need a dominant and obvious pack leader. Discipline should be maintained, especially around the house or when introducing the dog to strangers. Like many smaller dogs, they tend to develop behavioural problems if they are allowed to get away with misbehaviour.
The breed comes in a variety of colours, including black and tan, red and white (known as Blenheim) and a mahogany red.
The average Cavalier King Charles Spaniel measures between 30 to 33cm and a healthy dog will weigh between 5 to 8 kgs. The life expectancy for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is about 9 – 14 years.