About the Cavalier

"Spaniels by Nature are very loving, surpassing all other Creatures, for in Heat and Cold, Wet and Dry, Day and Night, they will not forsake their Master."

Richard Blome

The Early Cavaliers

During the 16th century, a small type of spaniel was popular among the nobility in England. These dogs were referred to as the "Spaniel Gentle" or "Comforter". It is with Charles II that this breed is closely associated and it was said of him that "His Majesty was seldom seen without his little dogs". There is a myth that he even issued an edict that no spaniels of this type could be denied entry to any public place.

During the early part of the 18th century, John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough kept red and white King Charles type spaniels for hunting. The duke recorded that they were able to keep up with a trotting horse. His estate was named Blenheim in honour of his victory at the Battle of Blenheim . Because of this influence, the red and white variety of the King Charles Spaniel and thus the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel became known as the Blenheim.

In 1928 in the UK the first Cavalier club was formed. The first standard was created, based on a dog named "Ann's Son" owned by Mostyn Walker, and the Kennel Club recognised the breed as "King Charles Spaniels, Cavalier type".

World War 11 caused a dreadful setback to the breed, with the vast majority of breeding stock destroyed because of the hardship. For instance, in one leading  Cavalier Kennel, the population of sixty dropped to three during the 1940s. Following the war, just six dogs would be the starting block from which all Cavaliers descend. These dogs were Ann's Son, his litter brother Wizbang Timothy, Carlo of Ttiweh, Duce of Braemore, Kobba of Kuranda and Aristide of Ttiweh.

The numbers increased gradually, and in 1945 The Kennel Club first recognised the breed in its own right as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

The Cavalier Today

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is one of the largest toy breeds.It is, however, small for a spaniel with fully grown adults comparable in size to adolescents of other larger spaniel breeds. Breed standards state that height of a Cavalier should be between 12 to 13 inches (30 to 33 cm) with a proportionate weight between 10 to 18 pounds (4.5 to 8.2 kg).The Cavalier should have a silky coat of moderate length. Standards state that it should be free from curl, although a slight wave is allowed. Feathering can grow on their ears, feet, legs and tail in adulthood. Standards require this be kept long, WIth the feathering on the feet a particularly important aspect of the breed's features.

Sadly, however, a number of modern cavalier breeders here have presumed to take it on themselves to alter the breed standard and have started the trend of clipping the cavalier coat especially the feet for the show ring. Sheeplike, other breeders follow their example in droves and we can only hope that those starting out in the breed will actually read the breed standard and be brave enough to adhere to it.

The breed has four recognized colours. Cavaliers which have rich chestnut markings on a pearly white background are known as Blenheim in honour of Blenheim Palace where the Duke of Marlborough  raised the predecessors to the Cavalier breed in this particular colour Some dogs have the coveted lozenge or blenheim spot in the middle of the forehead Black and Tans are glossy  black  with tan highlights, particularly eyebrows, cheeks, legs and beneath the tail.  Ruby Cavaliers should be entirely rich chestnut all over. The fourth colour is known as Tricolour, which is black and white with tan markings on cheeks, inside ears, on eyebrows, inside legs, and on underside of tail.

Cavaliers In Australia

The first Cavalier arrived in Melbourne from New Zealand in 1960. Her name was Soyland Begonia and she became the first Australian breed champion.

As more and more cavaliers arrived in Australia from England and New Zealand their popularity here increased dramatically. In 2009, the Cavalier was the fourth most popular breed in Australia with 3,196 registrations behind only Labrador Retrievers , German Shepherd Dogs and Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club was formed in New South Wales in 1968 and during 1971 another club was started in Victoria. The South Australian club was started in 1990 and just a year later there was a Cavalier Club in Canberra. More recently a Queensland club was started in 2002 and a Tasmanian Club in 2009.

There are also national breed clubs in Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Spain and Sweden.


The breed is highly affectionate, playful, extremely patient and eager to please. As such, dogs of the breed are good with children and other dogs. Cavaliers are not shy about socialising with much larger dogs. They will adapt quickly to almost any environment, family, and location. Their ability to bond with larger and smaller dogs make them ideal in houses with more than one breed of dog as long as the other dog is trained. The breed is great with people of all ages, from children to seniors, making them a very versatile dog. Cavaliers rank 44th in Stanley Coren 's The Intelligence of Dogs being of average intelligence in working or obedience. Cavaliers are naturally curious and playful, but also enjoy simply cuddling up on a cushion or lap.

Cavaliers are active and sporting. They have an instinct to chase most things that move including while on busy streets, and so most Cavaliers will never become "street-wise".As they tend to regard all strangers as friends, members of the breed will usually never make good guard dogs. Spaniels have a strong hunting instinct and may endanger birds and small animals. However, owners have reported that through training their Cavaliers live happily with a variety of small animals including hamsters and rabbits.

"He never makes it his business to inquire whether you are in the right or wrong, never bothers as to whether you are going up or down life's ladder, never asks whether you are rich or poor, silly or wise, sinner or saint. You are his pal. That is enough for him."

Jerome K. Jerome



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Latest comments

29.09 | 19:48

Hi just wondering when you are planning your next litter?

06.09 | 16:14

I am looking for a tri coloured puppy for my 16 yr old daughter as a campanion dog. please any advice would be appreciated eg as sex or where best to buy?

02.08 | 21:37

Hi, Just wanting to know if you have any Ruby male pups available?

13.07 | 12:55

Hi i am just wondering when your having another lot of Tri Coloured babies. I am very interested in a male if possible. Thank you

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