Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small breed of dog usually considered one of the toy dog breeds. more...
The breed has four recognized colors: Blenheim (rich chestnut on pearly white background), Tricolor (black and white with tan markings), Black and Tan (black with tan markings), and Ruby (rich red all over).
The breed is highly affectionate, and some have called the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel "the ultimate lap dog". However, Cavaliers require a great deal of human companionship and do not tolerate well being left alone for long periods of time. Most dogs of the breed are extremely patient and eager to please. As such, dogs of the breed are usually good with children and other dogs.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is the most demesticated breed of dog in the world, meaning it is the least wolf-like. For many centuries, small breeds of spaniels have been popular in the United Kingdom. In the eleventh century, in the reign of King Canute, it was illegal to hunt with any dog that could not fit through a gauge that was eleven inches in diameter. Hence, the "birth" of the Toy Spaniel in the United Kingdom. Some centuries later, Toy Spaniels became popular as pets, especially as pets of the royal family. In fact, the King Charles Spaniel was so named because a Blenheim-coated spaniel was the children's pet in the household of Charles I. King Charles II went so far as to issue a decree that the King Charles Spaniel could not be forbidden entrance to any public place, including the Houses of Parliament. Such spaniels can be be seen in many paintings of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. These early spaniels had longer, pointier snouts and thinner-boned limbs than today's.
Over time, the toy spaniels were replaced in popularity by short-snouted, dome-headed dogs of asian descent, such as the Pug and Japanese Chin. The King Charles Spaniel was bred with these dogs, resulting in the similar-shaped head of today's breed. The King Charles Spaniel remained popular at Blenheim Palace, home to the Dukes of Marlborough, where the brown and white version was the most popular - resulting in the name Blenheim for that color combination.
In the beginning of the 1900s, an American named Roswell Eldrige offered twenty-five pounds as a prize for any King Charles Spaniel "of the old-fashioned type" with a longer nose, flat skull, and a lozenge (spot) in the middle of the crown of the head, commonly called "the kiss of Buddha". So, the breed was developed by selective breeding of short-snouted King Charles Spaniels. The result was a dog that resembled the boyhood pet of the future Charles II of England ("Cavalier King Charles"), whence the breed derives its name.
Two breed clubs are found in the United States: the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club (CKCSC) USA and the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club. The latter club is the breed club of the American Kennel Club.
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