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The history of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavaliler King Charles Spaniels of today today are direct descendants of the toy spaniels that were found in Italy, France and Holland in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. 

Historically the breeds that were merged into the King Charles Spaniel were used for hunting mainly small birds. They have kept their hunting instincts, but do not exhibit high energy and are better suited to being lapdogs. The modern breed can be prone to several health problems, including cardiac conditions and a range of eye problems.

The King Charles Spaniel and the other types of toy spaniels were then crossed with Pugs in the early 19th century to reduce the size of the nose, as was the style of the day.

The 20th century saw attempts to restore lines of King Charles Spaniels to the breed of Charles II's time. These included the unsuccessful Toy Trawler Spaniel and the now popular Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.


The Cavalier is slightly larger, with a flat head and a longer nose, while the King Charles is smaller, with a domed head and a flat face.


In 1946, the Kennel Club finally granted separate registration from the flat-faced King Charles 
Spaniel. Prior to this time, early Cavalier breeders added "Cavalier Type" to their 
registration forms to denote a dog with a longer muzzle.

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