So you’re in the market for a new puppy. You know you don’t want a large dog or even a medium-sized one. So, which small dog breed would be best for you? Think about looking into a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
With the lifespan of between nine and 15 years, a Cavalier King Charles stands about 12 to 13 inches high and weighs 13 to 18 pounds. On the friendliness scale, this dog is off the charts. She doesn’t need a ton of vigorous exercise and her breed is trained for companionship. Let’s take a closer look.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is descended from toy Spaniels like the ones you occasionally see in paintings from the Middle Ages. They were bred for nobility and loyalty and it was Charles I and Charles II who gave the toy Spaniel its name. Although this breed has been around a long time, it wasn’t until 1995 that the American Kennel Club recognized this breed.
While this breed originated from a toy Spaniel, there is no toy version of a Cavalier King Charles. If you run into a breeder who tries to sell you a dog that’s half the size of a regular Cavalier, walk away.
Cavaliers have medium length coats that are very silky and could, at times, even be wavy. Adults have feathering on ears, chests and legs.
There are several colors to choose from and it’s really going to depend on your personal taste as to which one you choose:
- Blenheim – This is a rich chestnut on a white background.
- Tricolor – You’ll find black markings on a mostly white coat and these markings will be on the eyes and cheeks for the most part.
- Black and tan – The tan portion of this dog will have these markings on the eyes and cheeks and also inside the ears.
- Ruby – This Cavalier is covered in reddish brown firm with no white spots or markings.
The Cavalier loves everybody and can’t wait to meet them all. How your pup behaves is really part of genetics. Some of them are very quiet while others are rambunctious. Some bark and are great watchdogs but others do not bark much at all.
Like any purebred animal, there are health concerns as a result of genetics. If you find someone who recommends a breeder ask that breeder for references and call all of them.
When you go to visit puppies, make sure to ask the breeder for health certificates on the parents and the puppies themselves. If you get a chance, watch how the puppies behave and find one that’s in the middle of the road as far as personality is concerned.
If any breeder tells you that health certificates are unimportant, find another breeder. Even though they’re small, Cavaliers can develop hip dysplasia as well as patellar luxation.
Cavaliers are very intelligent and learn easily. As with any puppy, it’s a good idea to start them in kindergarten class as soon as possible. Cavaliers get along well with other dogs as well as cats but also have a strong hunting instinct so it’s a good idea to supervise any interaction.
They’re terrific playmates for kids, especially those who love to throw a tennis ball.
This dog breed is an average shedder which means that you don’t have to brush them every day. A couple times a week is fine and bathe them when necessary. It’s always a good idea to brush their teeth and check their ears for any oil or dirt buildup. Trim her nails if they’re not being worn down naturally.
Are you ready for a small dog? Check out a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel today.
Photo Credit: istockphoto.com