Pet Care

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels- to own a King you must spend like one!

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are not an ideal pet if you are going to leave them alone for long periods. How do they make their displeasure known ? By destructive chewing. This is especially important if you got your dog during lock down. He/she may seem happy and well adjusted because they have constant company. Once life returns to normal do you have a plan? or have you taught your Spaniel to live alone.

Where and how did these mini royals derive their name? And how old is the breed? They were first bred in the 16th century by Lady Wenworth. They were bred to ‘warm laps in drafty castles!’ With their silky coats and usually undocked tails, Cavalier Spaniels appear in works of art spanning 16th to 18th centuries! Adding to their regal allure.
Originally bred with longer muzzles one of their the functions of a Cavalier was bird hunting. These spaniels then go on to gain popularity as lap dogs. Though their interest and enthusiasm for indoor as well as outdoor activities remains.

cavalier king charles spaniel
Photo Credit Radovan Zierik
Cavaliers are good family dogs, loving and easy to get along. Some even display an interest in hunting and chasing prey. Seen as a ‘status symbol’ pet owning and buying a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, means you are contributing to the breeding and propagating to yes another brachycephalic breed of dog.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Health and welfare

What are some of the health and welfare issues of the breed you should learn about? They are a Brachycephalic breed of dog, which means they are prone to respiratory problems. As our fascination with short muzzled dogs continues and pandemic puppies gain popularity it is important to know your Cavalier may need special care. The list is not exhaustive, but are some of the key health markers to watch for.

  1. Hip Dysplasia- up to 1 in 4 Cavalier’s may develop the condition.
  2. “Reverse Sneeze” or “Cavalier Snort” – it sounds and looks like its description a ‘reverse sneeze’ but in fact is a serious condition which may need surgical intervention and some cases you may need to physically help your Cavalier spaniel breathe.
  3. Congenital deafness it does not mean your dog will develop the condition. A responsible breeder as with any breed is essential. Because these are expensive dogs, the temptation of back yard breeders to cash in is a danger to your dogs health. Ill bred spaniels may be at higher risk.

If you really want a Cavalier – rescue one!,There are hundreds of ‘apartment sized, pandemic puppies’ tossed out once ‘life gets back to normal’. The advantage of adopting? You get the breed you WANT, give a dog a home, and make room for the next Cavalier at a rescue center. Google “Cavalier Rescue Center” and you will find one near you.

Brachycephalic dogs remain popular, despite the knowledge that this head conformation is associated with health problems, including airway compromise, ocular disorders, neurological disease, and other co-morbidities.

Rusbridge, C., & Knowler, P. (2021). The Need for Head Space: Brachycephaly and Cerebrospinal Fluid Disorders. Life (Basel, Switzerland), 11(2), 139.

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