The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small breed known as a toy breed. They should have a height of about twelve to thirteen inches. A healthy Cavalier will be between thirteen and eighteen pounds. Cavaliers live between twelve and fifteen years.
Overall, this is a great family breed. They are lovely and social and get along with almost everybody. Many Cavaliers are show dogs or therapy dogs, but they are just as content enjoying their time with you at home. In addition to being a show breed, these dogs are often associated with royalty.
There are four variations of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. These are Blenheim, Black and Tan, Tri-Color, and Ruby. Blenheim is the most common color found in this breed due to selective breeding over the years. Blenheim Cavaliers are primarily pure white. They do have chestnut or ruby markings, though.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel doesn’t have nearly the long history as some other breeds. This breed has only been around since the 1920s. It comes from an effort to bring back a dying breed created in King Charles II.
Fast forward to 1926, and Roswell Eldridge put out an ad for an upcoming Crufts dog show. The ad challenged British breeders to bring the Blenheim Spaniel of the “old-type” back. These dogs were described as having a long face and flat skull, and they were viewed as a royal dog breed.
Unfortunately, the response to this challenge wasn’t initially the greatest. In 1928, breeders founded an official club for this variety of King Charles Spaniel. However, four dogs were entered in the show that year, and more joined in the years that followed. Ann’s Son, a male King Charles Spaniel, won Best of Show that year and two years later. He would become the template for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
The name “Cavalier” is inspired by the initial breed that led to the modern-day version. Cavaliers were King Charles II supporters back in their time.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are adorable dogs. They are the perfect family pet since they are great with children and other dogs. They are somewhat protective but not the most outstanding watchdog in the world. This breed is vocal to some degree, but you won’t need to worry about them constantly barking like some other breeds.
Most of their personality traits fall in the middle. They aren’t too extreme with any of their characteristics. Cavaliers are pretty open to meeting new people and pets. They are rather playful but not overly active. They could do well with or without a task being given to them.
This breed is pretty low-key when it comes to its physical environment needs. Cavaliers don’t require a whole lot of space to run around. Suppose you have a huge house, great. If not, an apartment or condo is just as acceptable. A small yard will do just fine as well. They do enjoy outdoor activities. This comes from the breed’s history in hunting and tracking prey animals.
It is important to note that they aren’t the most intelligent breed out there. In Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs, Cavaliers are ranked 44th out of 131 different breeds. So, childproofing the house and yard for these dogs is a must. Yards must be fenced in. They should never be without a leash in an unfenced area. You don’t have to worry much about Cavaliers chewing on objects, but safety should be a concern for you.
Another essential thing to note about safety is that Cavaliers still have strong hunting and scenting instincts. It is not uncommon for them to go chasing after a squirrel, rabbit, or another prey animal without regard to their physical surroundings.
This breed does not do well in cold weather, though they shouldn’t be exposed to extremely hot temperatures. Generally speaking, they can be fine in weather up to 85 degrees Fahrenheit if not exercising. If they exercise, the temperature should not be above 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature for Cavaliers is 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
As was said before, this is the perfect family pet. They get along very well with kids, other dogs, and all family members. They are open to meeting new people and animals, so you shouldn’t have any worries about introducing them into a new family or introducing a new family member to them.
That being said, they do not tolerate being alone. It is not good to get a Cavalier if they are without companionship for extended periods. This doesn’t mean you have to be with them constantly. They’ll be fine as long as they have another pet to hang out with while you’re gone.
Separation anxiety hits certain breeds very hard, and Cavaliers are one of them. You’ll notice signs of this in your puppy. You can curb some of these behaviors, but it is also a good idea to get them a companion regardless.
The earlier you can start the grooming process, the better. Puppies will be less tolerant than adults, but, over time, they can learn to adapt. Breeders should start grooming training before the puppy even comes to you. There are several components of Cavalier grooming.
Lucky for Cavalier owners, they don’t shed all that much. They have a medium-length coat that is both wavy and silky. It is also very soft. Professional grooming should be done every four to six weeks. However, it would help if you continued brushing them at home every day between professional grooming appointments.
Brushing should take about ten minutes. Use a pin or boar bristle brush. Despite not shedding much, Cavaliers do still shed a bit. Daily brushing helps to alleviate this significantly. It also helps prevent matting, which can be uncomfortable and pose health risks for your Cavalier. Cavaliers generally enjoy grooming sessions since it gives them a chance to bond with you.
Professional breeders generally have a grooming routine that starts with puppies. That said, you can give your new puppy a week or so in their new home before picking the routine back up.
All Cavaliers need regular baths, but the frequency changes depending on if they’re a show dog or not. Show Cavaliers generally get baths weekly. Non-show Cavaliers can settle with monthly bathing.
Bathing should be done with lukewarm water and a canine shampoo formula. Because their hair is so delicate and wavy, finishing with a conditioner is also a good idea. You’ll want to bathe your dog after brushing out as much of the matting as you can.
Despite being incredibly athletic, this isn’t a very energetic breed in general. That being said, you could have two Cavaliers and be different from one another. One may be perfectly fine lounging around all day, and the other may want to be on the go constantly.
Overall, this breed requires about 45 minutes to one hour of exercise each day. However, it is not recommended to do all of this time at once. You should split it into two smaller exercise sessions each day. For example, you could do a thirty-minute walk in the morning and a thirty-minute walk in the evening.
Keep in mind that puppies won’t have as much stamina as their adult counterparts. Don’t expect your Cavalier puppy to be able to exercise for an hour each day. Build them up to it. For instance, do two ten-minute walks per day at first and see how they do.
As far as training goes, they are people, pleasers, for the most part. Training is fairly straightforward, though they aren’t the most adaptable breed. This means that some changes could be difficult for them at first. However, they often excel in training activities with the right dedication from owners. This includes rally, agility, and other general obedience training.
Cavalier puppies should eat more often but smaller portions than adults. Cavalier puppies should be fed three or four times per day until they are about six months old. Once your Cavalier King Charles is older than six months, you can feed two times per day. Always confirm with your veterinarian any changes in feeding first.
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