Cavaliers are some of the most popular pets in the world. Everybody knows something about them—whether it’s that they’re affectionate or outgoing, adorable or intelligent. Very few people are unaware of how perfect Cavaliers can be as pets (though I guess I’m a bit biased). However, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has an interesting history, which both causes and encompasses several aspects of their physicality and personality. Here are five fun facts you probably didn’t know about this perfect little pooch.
There are two types of King Charles Spaniels. Yes, you read that correctly. The United States’ Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and England’s King Charles Spaniel, while often mistaken as the same breed, are actually different. They have a shared history, but it diverges in the early 20th century. Here’s how to tell the difference: Cavaliers have a muzzle, whereas King Charles spaniels have very flat faces.
All modern-day Cavaliers are descended from the same six dogs. Following World War II, a group of American breeders took on the challenge of reproducing the original seventeenth century look of the King Charles Spaniel. This was the first time the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was bred in the United States. The six surviving dogs became the starting point from which all modern-day Cavaliers have descended: Ann’s Son, Wizbang Timothy, Carlo of Ttiweh, Duce of Braemore, Kobba of Kuranda, and Aristide of Ttiweh. Talk about a funny family!
They’re not as smart as we might think. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is ranked 44th in Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs, listed as having ‘average’ intelligence in working or obedience. However, Cavaliers are successful in both obedience and agility training, and their sweet, gentile natures make them excellent therapy dogs.
You should consider pet insurance if you’re adopting a Cavalier. You’ve likely already read my post about Cavalier health, but if you didn’t, here’s a refresher. While generally heathy, the Cavalier King Charles spaniel will most often suffer from mitral valve degeneration, ear infections, and skin allergies. These conditions are almost always covered by pet insurance. I’ve had pet insurance for my babies since day one, and it has saved me a boatload of money. Consider doing it for yourself.