Breed Love: Cavalier King Charles spaniel

If this little face doesn't make you melt, you might be without a heart. Source: Flickr, user hong_songshu

As you can probably tell if you’ve been reading my Breed Love posts, I’m not a huge fan of little dogs. This could be because I have never met a lot of little dogs that I just loved. Maybe I just haven’t met the right one. But if I were ever to get a little dog, I would put my money–and a lot of it–on a Cavalier King Charles spaniel.

They’re incredibly popular, particularly among those who can afford them, and it shouldn’t be surprising. Look at those precious faces! At any age, a Cav is guaranteed to be 110% adorable. My well-off great uncle and aunt in Tennessee always had Cavaliers, who fit perfectly into their genteel, posh Southern way of life.

At Timberline Lodge
Handsome black tricolor and black-and-tan cavaliers. Source: Flickr, user kateinoregon

My mother often talks about getting a dog once she’s finally an empty nester and she’s developed a fondness for Cavaliers. One of her main complaints about Emma, our Aussie, was that Emma was not “cuddly;” Emma shared affection on her own terms. Cavaliers are renowned for being extremely snuggly and affectionate; they were bred, after all, to sit on ladies’ laps in drawing rooms for hours upon end. Cavaliers are also quite intelligent and gregarious for being a toy breed. Like most dogs, they take well to being spoiled, but they aren’t as insistent upon pampering as some other toy breeds. For these reasons, if space constraints demanded a small dog, I’d seek out a Cavalier. Wouldn’t you? Look at those faces one more time. All willpower is lost.

Cavalier links:

7 thoughts on “Breed Love: Cavalier King Charles spaniel

  1. Since I wrote an essay about genetical diseases of dogs caused by human made breeding standards – I kind of feel obliged to warn you about a special condition in Cavaliers called Syringomyelia:
    This is mainly caused by the skull being to small for the whole brain to fit in…
    Actually, it is really disturbing what kind of diseases we inflict on all the poor dogs by breeding with a special form in mind.
    I highly recommend the BBC documentary:

    I always loved Ridgebacks but would now never get one, since I know that the ridge is actually a genetic defect and can have serious consequences.
    I mean – we actually choose the one more prone to health issues over a perfectly healthy one, just for the appearance! A puppy without a ridge is considered to be a bad result.
    This is just one of many examples…

    Please, please inform yourself about typical diseases of the breeds before deciding on one…

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