The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a breed rich in history, allied with the royals in England as they were championed by King Charles I and Charles II. He is pictured in the paintings of many an old master—Titian, Gainsborough, Van Dyck, among others. Known familiarly as a toy “Comforter” spaniel, the cavalier was never bred to be anything other than a small, beloved gentle pet, a lap dog to be sure, but also sporting in nature in that he could run behind a horse and enjoy a day’s activities outside the palace walls. Those breed characteristics endure to this day, and indeed are essential to a sound and happy cavalier.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an active, graceful, well-balanced toy spaniel, very gay and free in action; fearless and sporting in character, yet at the same time gentle and affectionate. It is this typical gay temperament, combined with true elegance and royal appearance which are of paramount importance in the breed. Natural appearance with no trimming, sculpting or artificial alteration is essential to breed type.
The cavalier is a happy, gentle dog—not at all aggressive with either dogs or man. Indeed, many owners assert that “you cannot have just one!” He is biddable and very trainable—not only as a household pet, but also as a Therapy, Obedience, and Agility dog. Remember, though, that he cannot always be relied upon to come when he is called if he is chasing a butterfly or following the flight of a bird. For most owners, a fenced yard and/or a leash is a ‘must have.’
Height 12 to 13 inches at the withers; weight proportionate to height, between 13 and 18 lbs. A small, well balanced dog within these weights is desirable, but these are ideal heights and weights and slight variations are permissible.
Blenheim – Rich chestnut markings well broken up on a clear, pearly white ground. The ears must be chestnut and the color evenly spaced on the head and surrounding both eyes, with a white blaze between the eyes and ears, in the center of which may be the lozenge or “Blenheim spot”. The lozenge is a unique and desirable, though not essential, characteristic of the Blenheim.
Tricolor – Jet black markings well broken up on a clear, pearly white ground. The ears must be black and the color evenly spaced on the head and surrounding both eyes, with a white blaze between the eyes. Rich tan markings over the eyes, on cheeks, inside ears and on underside of tail.
Ruby – Whole-colored rich red.
Black and Tan – Jet black with rich, bright tan markings over eyes, on cheeks, inside ears, on chest, legs and underside of tail.
Learn more at the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club.