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Called comfort dogs, Cavalier King Charles spaniels were often brought into beds. His first job as first dog was to turn on the Christmas lights with his paw. Rex lived a decadent lifestyle, complete with a fancy doghouse designed by Theo Hayes, great-great-grandson of President Rutherford Hayes. Inside, there were red drapes and framed pictures of his owners hung on the walls.

When Reagan left office, Rex was presented with a new doghouse shaped like the White House and lined with carpet from Camp David. Cavies come in four different colors , and they all have unique names. The monikers are: Prince Charles tri-color , King Charles black and tan , Ruby mahogany , and Blenheim chestnut and white. In the early s, the Duke of Marlborough loved King Charles spaniels and kept a number of them with chestnut and white markings. Legend has it that when the duke went off to fight in the battle of Blenheim , his wife stayed home taking care of a spaniel giving birth.

News arrived that the battle had been won and soon after, the puppies were born with red spots on their heads. This was, of course, just a coincidence, but many believed the marks came from the pressure of the duchess' thumb. As a result, the coloration, called the "Blenheim spot," was named after the battle. The family continued to breed Blenheim dogs until the early s. View image gettyimages. Animals dogs. Subscribe to our Newsletter! This sturdy toy breed is a re-creation of the toy spaniels that populated royal courts and noble homes in Europe from the 15th to the 19th centuries. The typical Cavalier is always happy, trusting and easygoing, a friend to everyone he meets.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel today is a beloved, and increasingly popular, companion dog. He's small, loving, playful and attractive. A Cavalier will dog your footsteps throughout the day, from kitchen to bathroom to home office and back again and prefers not to be left alone for hours on end.

The ideal home is one with a stay-at-home parent, work-at-home spouse or retired couple. He can be a steady and willing competitor in obedience and rally, and excels in agility and flyball. His intuitive nature also makes him a superb therapy dog. He will sit quietly with older people or young children and then turn into a rowdy playmate with active children or adults.

These dogs generally love kids and do well in families with older children who will throw a ball for them, teach them tricks or just hang out with them. Cavalier temperament ranges from sweet and placid to hard-charging and, yes, stubborn. The sweet, placid Cavaliers sometimes have a reputation for being dumb, and the stubborn ones for being untrainable, but in general, these dogs are smart and learn quickly.

They respond well to positive reinforcement techniques, especially when food rewards are offered, but harsh words will cause them to stop trying or even to hide. At his best, the Cavalier is an adaptable, flexible, hardy little dog. Always walk the Cavalier on a leash. When he sees a bird or other potential prey, everything else goes out of his head. All too often Cavaliers are hit by cars and killed when they chase a bird or ball -- right into the street. It should go without saying that the Cavalier is not meant to live outdoors.

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Small spaniels have been popular companion dogs for hundreds of years. The Scottish Stuarts were especially fond of the little dogs. William was from Holland, and he favored Pugs. People began crossing the Pugs and spaniels, and eventually their look changed, becoming more flat-faced with a domed head. Dogs like the ones seen in old portraits practically disappeared, except for a few lines here and there, like the ones kept by the Churchill family at Blenheim Palace.

The dogs might have faded into the past except for one Roswell Eldridge, a wealthy American who offered a prize to anyone who could produce a dog like the ones he had seen in 17 th and 18 th century paintings. British breeders took up the challenge and rebuilt the breed, working with long-nosed English Toy Spaniels called King Charles Spaniels in England. Alas, Eldridge did not live long enough to see him, but his estate paid the prize. Since then, the Cavalier has evolved to what he is today: a sturdy and highly popular companion, combining bird-dog nosiness and Toy-dog affection for people.

The Cavalier ranks 23 rd among the breeds registered by the American Kennel Club, up from 54 th in The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is small, loving and playful.

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Cavalier temperament ranges from sweet and placid to hard-charging and even stubborn. A Cavalier should usually never be shy or aggressive to people or other dogs. Cavaliers live to be with their people. The dogs generally love kids and do well in families with older children who will throw a ball for them, teach them tricks or just hang out with them. A few things to know about Cavaliers: they love to lick, they love to chase moving objects especially feathered ones and they can be manipulative when they want food those eyes!

The Cavalier is not perfect.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dog Breed Profile | Petfinder

Any dog, no matter how nice, can develop obnoxious levels of barking, digging and other undesirable behaviors if he is bored, untrained or unsupervised. Start training your puppy the day you bring him home. Even at eight weeks old, he is capable of soaking up everything you can teach him. If possible, get him into puppy kindergarten class by the time he is 10 to 12 weeks old, and socialize, socialize, socialize.

However, be aware that many puppy training classes require certain vaccines like kennel cough to be up to date, and many veterinarians recommend limited exposure to other dogs and public places until puppy vaccines including rabies, distemper and parvovirus have been completed. In lieu of formal training, you can begin training your puppy at home and socializing him among family and friends until puppy vaccines are completed. Breeders see the puppies daily and can make uncannily accurate recommendations once they know something about your lifestyle and personality.

Whatever you want from a Cavalier, look for one whose parents have nice personalities and who has been well socialized from early puppyhood. All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines. The Cavalier can develop certain health problems. They include a heart condition called mitral valve disease, a neurological problem called syringomyelia, patellar knee luxation, certain eye problems such as cataracts and keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or dry eye, an ear condition called primary secretory otitis media, allergies and other skin problems.

Most of these conditions are suspected to be hereditary. First things first: Not every Cavalier will get all or even any of these diseases. Some die in what should be the prime of their life. Mitral valve disease is the most common acquired heart disorder in dogs. The valve gradually thickens and degenerates, eventually becoming leaky.

That forces the heart to work harder to pump blood out and it becomes enlarged. Lots of dogs get MVD in their senior years, but in Cavaliers it can strike at an early age. A heart murmur is the first sign of MVD. Cavaliers with a murmur may go on for years without any problem or need for medication, or they can develop congestive heart failure, which can often be controlled for a time with medication. Syringomyelia is a nervous system disorder. It results from a congenital bone deformity in which the rear part of the skull is too small.

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The cerebellum and the brainstem are crowded and obstruct the foramen magnum, the opening at the bottom of the skull. When this happens, the flow of cerebrospinal fluid is obstructed, resulting in the formation of fluid-filled cavities in the spinal cord. The damage can cause pain. Signs include scratching at the neck and sensitivity in the area of the head and neck. The dogs often yelp or scream for no apparent reason, may hold their head in a certain position much of the time, or develop a wobbly walk. Syringomyelia can be mild, requiring no action; managed with pain medication; corrected with surgery; or so severe that the dog must be euthanized.

Many toy breeds and small dogs, the Cavalier included, have a condition known as luxating patella, in which one or both kneecaps are unstable and occasionally, or in more severe cases, always slip out of place. Depending on the level of severity 1 being mild and 4 being severe , luxating patellas can be a minor issue that cause the dog little problem or pain or serious enough to require surgical correction.

Primary secretory otitis media, also known as glue ear, occurs when a mucus plug forms within the middle ear cavity of one or both ears. Signs include head or neck pain, holding the neck carefully, tilting the head, scratching at the ears and hearing loss. Often PSOM is mistaken for syringomyelia or hereditary deafness. Eye problems that may affect the breed include juvenile cataracts and dry eye. Dry eye is most common in senior dogs. Not all of these conditions are detectable in a growing puppy, and it is impossible to predict whether an animal will be free of these maladies, which is why you must find a reputable breeder who is committed to breeding the healthiest animals possible.

They should be able to produce independent certification that the parents of the dog and grandparents, etc. In the hope of controlling the genetic diseases that already affect the breed and preventing any new ones from emerging, the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club, which is the American Kennel Club parent organization for the breed in the United States, participates in a program operated by the Canine Health Information Center CHIC. Cavalier breeders who want CHIC certification must test breeding dogs for eye disease, patellar knee luxation, hip dysplasia and heart disease and agree to have test results, positive or negative, published in the CHIC database.

Breeders must agree to have all test results, positive or negative, published in the CHIC database. If the breeder tells you she doesn't need to do those tests because she's never had problems in her lines and her dogs have been "vet checked," then you should go find a breeder who is more rigorous about genetic testing. Careful breeders screen their breeding dogs for genetic disease and breed only the healthiest and best-looking specimens, but sometimes Mother Nature has other ideas and a puppy develops one of these diseases despite good breeding practices.

Advances in veterinary medicine mean that in most cases the dogs can still live a good life. Keeping a Cavalier at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways to extend his life.

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  6. Make the most of your preventive abilities to help ensure a healthier dog for life. For a coated breed, the Cavalier is relatively easy to groom. The medium-length silky coat is not so heavy that it requires hours of brushing, and it sheds dirt easily. Use a slicker brush or stainless steel comb to remove tangles, then bring out shine with a bristle brush.

    Cavalier King Charles Spaniel separation anxiety

    The coat does not require any trimming for the show ring; indeed, such trimming is prohibited by the breed standard. A bath every two to four weeks will keep the Cavalier smelling sweet. The only other grooming needed is regular ear cleaning, tooth brushing and nail trimming. Whether you want to go with a breeder or get your dog from a shelter or rescue, here are some things to keep in mind.

    Finding a good breeder is the key to finding the right puppy. A good breeder will match you with the right puppy, and will without question have done all the health certifications necessary to screen out health problems as much as is possible. He or she is more interested in placing pups in the right homes than in making big bucks.

    A good breeder can tell you about the history of the breed, eXplain why one puppy is considered pet quality while another is not, and discuss what health problems affect the breed and the steps she takes take to avoid those problems.

    Did You Know?

    Start your puppy search by finding a breeder who is a member in good standing of either the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club — USA or the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club , and who has agreed to abide by the CKCSC's code of ethics or the ACKCSC's ethical guidelines , both of which specifically prohibit selling puppies through retail outlets such as pet stores and outline the responsibility their member breeders have to the dogs they produce and the people who purchase them.

    Choose a breeder who is not only willing but insists on being a resource as you train and care for your new dog throughout his life. Avoid breeders who only seem interested in how quickly they can unload a puppy on you and whether your credit card will go through.


    Put at least as much effort into researching your puppy as you would into choosing a new car or expensive appliance. It will save you money in the long run. Red flags include puppies always being available, multiple litters on the premises, having your choice of any puppy, and the ability to pay online with a credit card. Disreputable breeders and facilities that deal with puppy mills can be hard to distinguish from reliable operations.

    The cost of a Cavalier puppy varies depending on his place of origin, whether he is male or female, what titles his parents have, and whether he is best suited for the show ring or a pet home. For that price, the puppy you buy should have been raised in a clean home environment, from parents with health clearances and conformation show titles to prove that they are good specimens of the breed.

    Before you decide to buy a puppy, consider whether an adult Cavalier might better suit your needs and lifestyle. Puppies are loads of fun, but they require a lot of time and effort before they grow up to become the dog of your dreams. An adult Cavalier may already have some training and will probably be less active, destructive and demanding than a puppy.