Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, known as Cavaliers for short, are admired for their expressive eyes and charming personalities. While their sweet nature and compact size are well-known characteristics, there are many lesser-known facts about this beloved breed. In this article, we’ll explore seven intriguing facts about Cavaliers that may surprise even the most ardent fans.
They Have Royal Roots
The breed’s name isn’t just for show; Cavaliers have an impressive royal lineage. They were a favorite of King Charles II of England, who had such a strong attachment to these dogs that he reportedly would not go anywhere without at least two or three by his side. Their close association with royalty continued through the years, with Queen Victoria owning a King Charles Spaniel named Dash.
There are Four Recognized Colors
While many people think of Cavaliers as primarily chestnut and white (Blenheim), the breed standard actually recognizes four distinct color patterns. These include Blenheim, tricolor, black and tan, and ruby. The Blenheim pattern, chestnut markings on a white background, is named after Blenheim Palace, the ancestral estate of the Duke of Marlborough, where this color pattern was popularized.
The Breed Was Almost Extinct
By the end of World War II, the number of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels had dropped precipitously, and the breed was nearly extinct. It took the dedication of breed enthusiasts, most notably American Roswell Eldridge, to bring the breed back. Eldridge offered a cash prize at the Crufts dog show to the best dog and bitch of the “old type” King Charles Spaniel, helping to revive interest in the breed.
They Are Known for the “Cavalier Kiss”
Cavaliers are known for a unique habit referred to as the “Cavalier Kiss.” This is when a Cavalier will touch noses with another dog or even a human as a sign of affection. It’s just one of the many reasons these dogs are renowned for their friendly and outgoing personalities.
Their Tails Are Naturally Short
While some people might assume Cavaliers’ tails are docked, they are actually naturally short and carried aloft. They should not be docked according to the breed standard. The tail typically has a lush plume of hair, adding to the breed’s overall charm.
They Are Great Lap Dogs
Cavaliers were bred to be companion dogs, and they excel in this role. They love to cuddle and are known for their ability to adapt their energy level to their owners. If you want to go for a walk, they’re up for it. If you want to have a quiet day indoors, they’re happy to snuggle on the couch with you.
They’re Exceptionally Good with Children and Other Pets
Despite their royal roots, Cavaliers are notably unpretentious and get along well with children and other pets. Their easy-going nature and adaptability make them excellent family pets. They’re even known to get along well with cats, a feat that not all dog breeds can boast.
These surprising facts about Cavalier King Charles Spaniels offer a fascinating insight into the breed’s history, characteristics, and natural behaviors. From their royal roots, diverse color patterns, near extinction, unique “kisses,” natural tail length, lap dog suitability, and exceptional sociability, Cavaliers are a breed filled with delightful surprises. Their blend of charm, adaptability, and affectionate nature makes them a favorite in many households worldwide.