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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Exercise Needs

Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday.


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They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they're more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells. Low-energy dogs are the canine equivalent of a couch potato, content to doze the day away. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you'll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.

A vigorous dog may or may not be high-energy, but everything he does, he does with vigor: he strains on the leash until you train him not to , tries to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who's elderly or frail. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life. Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise -- especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, such as herding or hunting.

Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, such as barking, chewing, and digging.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Muscular Dystrophy (CKCS-MD)

Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility. Some dogs are perpetual puppies -- always begging for a game -- while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a beautiful small dog that undoubtedly is a contender for the title of "top tail-wagger.

If the characteristic wagging of the Cavalier's plumy tail doesn't melt your heart, surely his large, dark round eyes will. Warm and lustrous, with a sweet expression, they hold the power to extract constant petting and unlimited supplies of food from people under their spell. Not surprisingly, this breed can easily become fat, which spoils its lovely lines, so be strong and offer a walk or playtime instead of the potato chips and pizza your Cavalier is angling for.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Stats

Cavaliers pad through the house on slippered paws, always following in the footsteps of their people. With a Cavalier in residence, you'll never be alone — not even in the bathroom. Because they're so attached to their people, they do best when someone is at home during the day to keep them company. They are a housedog and will never thrive in an environment where they're relegated to the backyard or otherwise ignored. When it comes to training, Cavaliers are generally intelligent and willing to try whatever it is you'd like them to do.

Food rewards and positive reinforcement help ensure that training goes smoothly. Cavaliers have a soft personality, so yelling at them is counterproductive and likely to send these sweeties into the sulks or into hiding. Instead, reward them every time you see them doing something you like, whether it's chewing on a toy instead of your Prada pumps or not barking in response when the dog next door barks.

They'll fall all over themselves to find more things that you like. As with many toy breeds, Cavaliers can have issues with housetraining , but if you keep them on a consistent schedule, with plenty of opportunities to potty outdoors, they can become trustworthy in the home. While the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a relatively new breed, recreated less than a century ago, his prototype is the toy spaniel that has existed for centuries as a companion to royalty and nobility.

Cavaliers are descended from the same toy spaniels depicted in many 16th, 17th, and 18th century paintings by famous artists such as Van Dyck and Gainsborough. The spaniels in those paintings had flat heads, high-set ears, and longish noses. These little spaniels were great favorites of royal and noble families in England. Mary, Queen of Scots had a toy spaniel who accompanied her as she walked to her beheading, and her grandson, Charles I, and great-grandson, Charles II — who gave their name to the breed — loved the little dogs as well.

It's said that King Charles II, who reigned from to , never went anywhere without at least two or three of these little spaniels. He even decreed that the spaniels should be allowed in any public place, including the Houses of Parliament. It's claimed that the decree is still in effect today in England, although no one has tested it recently to see if it's true.

After Charles II's death, the King Charles Spaniels' popularity waned, and Pugs and other short-faced breeds became the new royal favorites. The King Charles Spaniels were bred with these dogs and eventually developed many of their features, such as the shorter nose and the domed head. There was one stronghold of the King Charles Spaniels that were of the type that King Charles himself had so loved — and that was at Blenheim Palace, the country estate of the Dukes of Marlborough. Here, a strain of red and white Toy Spaniels continued to be bred, which is why Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with this coloration are called Blenheim today.

Since there was no standard for the breed and no dog shows yet, the type and size of the toy spaniels bred by the Dukes of Marlborough varied. In the midth century, however, English breeders started holding dog shows and trying to refine different dog breeds. By that time, the toy spaniel was accepted as having a flat face, undershot jaw, domed skull and large, round, front-facing eyes.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Information & Dog Breed Facts

The King Charles Spaniels depicted in paintings from earlier centuries were almost extinct. In the s, an American named Roswell Eldridge started searching in England for toy spaniels that resembled those in the old paintings. He searched for more than five years, even taking his search to the Crufts Dog Show, where he persuaded the Kennel Club England's equivalent to the American Kennel Club to allow him to offer 25 pounds sterling — a huge sum at the time — for the best dog and best bitch of the type seen in King Charles II's reign.

He offered this prize for five years. In , Miss Mostyn Walker presented a dog named Ann's Son for evaluation and was awarded the pound prize.

Roswell Eldridge didn't live to see the prize claimed, as he had died just one month before Crufts. Interest in the breed revived, and a breed club was formed. The club held its first meeting on the second day of Crufts in and drew up a breed standard, a written description of how the breed should look.

Ann's Son was presented as an example of the breed, and club members gathered up all of the copies of pictures of the old paintings that had little dogs of this type in them. One thing that all club members agreed upon from the start was that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels would be kept as natural as possible and trimming and shaping of the dog for the show ring would be discouraged. The Kennel Club was reluctant to recognize the new breed, but finally, in , after years of work by the breeders, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was recognized as a separate breed.

In the s, two male Cavaliers were imported into the U. It wasn't until , however, that Cavaliers had their true beginnings in the U. In that year, Mrs.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dog Breed Information

She fell in love with the breed and imported more. When she found that she couldn't register her dogs with the American Kennel Club, she started contacting people in the U. At that time, there were fewer than a dozen. During these years, the members of the CKCSC, USA decided against pushing for full recognition of the breed, feeling that the club's strict code of ethics prevented the breed from being commercially bred. They feared that too much recognition of the breed would lead to it becoming too popular and therefore too attractive for breeders who wouldn't maintain the standards they had established.

Mostly, they kept the AKC Miscellaneous status so that members who wanted to show their dogs in obedience could do so.

The membership said no. This was granted, and the AKC officially recognized the breed was in March This small but sturdy dog stands 12 to 13 inches at the shoulder and weighs 13 to 18 pounds. There is no such thing as a "toy" Cavalier, and you would do well to avoid buying a Cavalier from a breeder who offers dogs half that size. The gregarious Cavalier takes as his role model humorist Will Rogers, who famously said he never met a stranger. The Cavalier is eager to meet everyone who crosses his path, and if that person sits down and offers a lap or a treat , so much the better.

Like any dog, Cavaliers come in a range of personalities, from quiet and sedate to rowdy and rambunctious. They might or might not bark when someone comes to the door, so they're a poor choice as a watchdog — except, that is, for watching the burglar cart off the silver. There are exceptions, of course — some Cavaliers will inform you of every event in your neighborhood and bark ferociously when strangers approach — but overall you're better off buying an alarm system than counting on your Cavalier to alert you to trouble.

Cavaliers are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they're prone to certain health conditions. Not all Cavaliers will get any or all of these diseases, but it's important to be aware of them if you're considering this breed. If you're buying a puppy, find a good breeder who will show you health clearances for both your puppy's parents. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition. In Cavaliers, you should expect to see health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals OFA for hip dysplasia with a score of fair or better , elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand's disease; from Auburn University for thrombopathia; and from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation CERF certifying that eyes are normal.

You can confirm health clearances by checking the OFA web site offa. Their size and generally quiet nature make Cavalier King Charles Spaniels good candidates for apartment or condo living. They are moderately active indoors, and a small yard is adequate for their exercise needs. Walks on leash or a securely fenced yard are musts with this breed.

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They have no street smarts and will run right in front of a car if they catch sight of a bird or other interesting prey. Your Cavalier will enjoy a daily walk or romp in the yard and will tailor his activity level to your own. Because he's a rather short-nosed breed, avoid walking him during the heat of the day and never leave him out in a hot yard without access to shade or cool, fresh water. NOTE: How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level.

Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don't all need the same amount of food. It almost goes without saying that a highly active dog will need more than a couch potato dog. The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference — the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog and the less of it you'll need to shake into your dog's bowl. Keep your Cavalier in good shape by measuring his food and feeding him twice a day rather than leaving food out all the time. If you're unsure whether he's overweight , give him the eye test and the hands-on test.

First, look down at him. You should be able to see a waist. Then place your hands on his back, thumbs along the spine, with the fingers spread downward. You should be able to feel but not see his ribs without having to press hard. If you can't, he needs less food and more exercise. If you feed a canned or raw diet, it's a good idea to cover the ears with a snood, or headband, or pull them back with a hair scrunchy while your Cavalier eats.