With their big, heart-warming eyes and a lovable personality, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are incredibly popular among a variety of lifestyles. Comfortable staying in for a lazy Sunday watching movies or adventuring around the city, Cavaliers love pleasing their owners. Here's 9 facts about Cavaliers that we bet you didn't know!
1. Cavaliers have a Unique Coloring
Cavaliers come in 4 colors: Ruby, Black and Tan, Tricolor, and Blenheim. They are the only dogs that come in the Blenheim color, which contains chestnut markings on a white coat and is named after the Blenheim Palace where they were originally bred.
2. The Blenheim Marking
Sometimes, Blenheim colored Cavaliers can have a lozenge-shaped, chestnut-colored marking on the head that is called the Blenheim spot. It is also called the “Duchess Thumb Print,” based on a legend that the Duchess of Marlborough, Sarah Churchill, pressed her thumb into the head of her pregnant Cavalier while waiting on her husband to return from the Battle of Blenheim. As a result, 5 of the puppies bore the mark on their head at birth.
3. They Are Named After Royalty
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are named after King Charles II of England. He constantly had a large pack of toy spaniels following him around to court, church and in his bedchambers, even though they were reportedly not housebroken. The dogs ate like royalty and were dressed to the nines in silk, precious metals, and velvet collars.
4. They Thrive in Many Environments
Cavaliers are extremely adaptable and very trainable. They can thrive as couch potatoes with short walks as their exercise, but they also have a rich history of competing in sports and obedience trials. They also make great therapy dogs because they tend to love everyone and everything!
5. The Brink of Extinction
The original spaniel that English monarchs loved so much in the 17th-19th century were bred with Asian toy breeds, resulting in the English Toy Spaniel. This, in combination with the new English monarchs preferring Pugs, drove the original toy spaniels nearly to extinction.
6. The Revival of the Cavalier
In the 1920s, an American named Roswell Eldridge visited England looking for the dogs that he saw in the old paintings. He was disappointed that he could not find any, so he put out a cash prize of 25 pounds (equivalent to ~$1000 in today’s currency) to anyone that could bring back the old style. 5 years later, a breeder of a dog named Ann’s Son was awarded the prize, and Ann’s Son’ became the new breed standard.
7. They Almost Went Extinct... Again
The breed almost went extinct again during WWII since travelling to stud dogs was nearly impossible, and because there were very few studs even available at the time. Unfortunately, this led to a rather aggressive inbreeding practice that is frowned upon to today but saved the breed.
8. Late Recognition in America
Cavaliers weren’t brought to the USA until 1952 but were small in numbers. In 1956 a breed club was formed, but it wasn’t until New Year’s Day in 1996 that Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was recognized by the AKC.
9. Cavaliers have "Average" Intelligence
According to Dr. Stanley Coren, a leading canine psychologist, Cavaliers rank #44 in the smartest dog breeds in his book The Intelligence of Dogs. However, due to their incredibly trainable nature and eager to please attitude, they are amazing at reading the emotions of their human caretakers. This makes them excellent family dogs which explains why they are often in the top 20 of the most popular breeds according to the AKC.
Are Cavaliers Right for You?
Cavaliers are a wonderful choice for many people. Given their adaptable nature, they enjoy a nap on the couch just as much as they enjoy participating in sports. their grooming is minimal, requiring only the occasional bath and regular brushing to keep their lustrous coat silky and shiny.
The best part is, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are small enough to travel with you everywhere! They can keep up while walking or can be carried in a stylish bag like our Hollywood Carrier, shown below.
Which fact surprised you the most?? Comment below to let us know!