The History of the Breed Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

It is impossible to tell the history of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel without mentioning his foster-brother, King Charles. These two spaniels, which differ significantly in the length of the face, have common roots.

The first mentions of small spaniels are dated by the 9th century, when the Celts brought dogs similar to the Сavaliers to Britain. During the reign of King Knuth (994-1035) they have been used for hunting. They were small and had pointed faces with oblong flat skulls.

Until the XIII century, almost nothing is known about them.

Again, they were talked about by the Minnesingers (German knight poets-singers), who mentioned small but fearless dogs of white-and-black and white-and-red colors in their songs. Later these dogs became the favorites of the ladies at the court of England. But these elegant creatures pleased not only the charming ladies.

In the XIII-XIV centuries, aristocrats often used to hunt precisely with dwarf spaniels because of their elegant appearance. However, as time goes by, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels increasingly turned into decorative dogs and became a necessary attribute of rich living rooms. With the help of the Cavaliers slumbering on their knees, the English nobility were kept warm in their huge, damp castles and unheated carriages. There is a recipe retained, that ordered the Queen of England to keep a “comfort dog” (now known as Cavalier King Charles Spaniel) on her lap for treating colds. They were also used to lure fleas, saving noblemen from the danger of being infected with plague. The British call the Cavaliers "creating comfort" and believe that they relieve stress. The Cavalier provides soothing effect, snoring peacefully, curled up on your lap. Back in the 16th century, doctors recommended Cavaliers to their patients as a cure for boredom, melancholy, disturbance, and adversity (now called “stress and depression”).

Кавалер Кинг Чарльз Спаниели

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

This breed was the most popular at the time of the royal dynasties Tudor and Stewart. At the time of the Stuarts, they were given a royal title.

The King of England Henry VIII Tudor (1509-1547) was a famous tyrant, nevertheless, he was fond of the little spaniels. A special decree forbade keeping dogs at court, but there was an exception for “several small spaniels for ladies”. Later, during the reign of his daughter Queen Elizabeth I, they were kept as lap dogs, whose main task was to bring joy to their owners and to demonstrate their wealth and high status.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels - Dogs of Kings

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a very ancient history. As early as the 9th century, the Celts brought these dogs to Britain, however, until the XIII century, almost nothing was heard about the small spaniels.

Again they were talked about by the Minnesingers (German knight poets-singers), who mentioned small but fearless dogs of white-and-black and white-and-red colors in their songs. Later these dogs became the favorites of the ladies at the court of England. But these elegant creatures pleased not only the charming ladies. In the 13th and 14th centuries, aristocrats often used dwarf spaniels to hunt.

Кавалер Кинг Чарльз Спаниели

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

However, as time goes by, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels more and more turned into decorative dogs and became a necessary attribute of rich living rooms. The peak of their popularity was at the time of the royal dynasties of the Tudors and Stuarts. In the literature of that period, small spaniels are often mentioned, and many entertaining, though not always joyful stories, are associated with the breed.

Suffice it to say that one of these dogs of black-and-white color, the favorite of the Queen of Scotland, Maria Stewart, accompanied the owner to the execution.

Representatives of the breed often posed for painters. They can be seen in the paintings of great artists: Titian, Van Dyck, Pierre Minyar and Jean Antoine Watteau. Such popularity once again shows how they were loved and revered.

Though, artists mostly did not accurately depict dogs from a canine point of view: parts of the body were either large, or too thin, noses - either too long, or too short. So, we can hardly recognize these dogs at the pictures.

It should be noted that today there are two related breeds: King Charles Spaniel, sometimes also called the English Spaniel and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel - the hero of our story.

The modern form of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel originated on the initiative of the American breeder Roswell Eldridge, who instituted a special prize at Cruft's exhibition in order to force British breeders to come back to the form he described as the "old type Blenheim Spaniel".

Eldridge meant by this a toy-spaniel with a longer nose than that of a brahilooking King Charles Spaniel. This led to a quite fast separation of breeds, starting from 1944. In 1973, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, named Alansmere Aquarius, won the Best-in-Show at the largest British exhibition Crufts.

Pictures of these dogs are found in ceramics. Maids of honor of the Queen of England Victoria used to embroider the little spaniels. In the Queen’s jewelry box were kept wonderful brooches of dainty work, depicting her favorite dog named Dash.

The King of England Henry VIII Tudor (1509-1547) was a famous tyrant, nevertheless, he was fond of the little spaniels. A special decree forbade keeping dogs at court, but there was an exception for “several small spaniels for ladies”. Later, during the reign of his daughter Queen Elizabeth I, they were kept as lap dogs, whose main task was to bring joy to their owners and to demonstrate their wealth and high status.

The Cavaliers became the most popular, as mentioned above, during the reign of the Kings of England from the dynasty of Stuarts - Charles I (1600-1649) and Charles II (1630-1685).

According to the king’s edict, there were no closed doors for these dogs at the court, lots of them were at the royal chambers and they had an access even to the British House of Commons. "A toy-spaniel is a dog that was created by the King himself", as contemporaries of King Charles II said.

Though, it was established that he did not directly participate in the breeding of the Cavaliers, but, anyway, the breed was named after him and is obliged to him for its further existence. The King adored little spaniels. They still inspired artists and writers.

For example, in one of the novels of the English writer Kathleen Winsor a dog named Monsieur, owned by the favorite of the King Charles II, is often mentioned. This once again testifies to the popularity of the breed.

Кавалер Кинг Чарльз Спаниели

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Special credit in breeding of "toy" Spaniels belongs to another high-ranking aristocrat. John Churchill Marlborough (1650-1722), the ancestor of Sir Winston Churchill, veteran of the Spanish war for the throne, was a fan of white-and-red color. "Charlies" always accompanied their owner, even during the battle on August 13, 1704 at Blenheim, near Ulm and Donauwörth, that he had won.

As a gift on return, he received a castle with a large park from Queen Anne and the English Parliament and gave him the name Blenheim House. Here he could totally devote himself to his hobby.

In particular, he received pure dogs with clearly demarcated chestnut-red spots on a white-pearl background. Such color later became known as "Blenheim."

Along with the Blenheim-colored Spaniels, the dogs of black-and-red, tricolor and completely red colors were also known in the days of Kings Charles and James. When the Toy Spaniels club was founded in England in 1886, each variety got its name: Toy Spaniels of black-and-tan color called Kings Charles, tricolor - Princes Charles, red-and-white called Blenheims, and red ones - Ruby ​​Spaniels.

By request of the King of England Edward VII (1841-1910), all toy spaniels in memory of the Stuart dynasty received the name of King Charles Spaniels, and this name was affirmed finally for them.

In 1928, the first standard was created, based on a dog named Ann’s Son of “Blenheim” color from the “Ttiweh” kennel (owner A. Pitt). Need to say that the best dogs of the breed came from this kennel.

The "new" old breed has received the additional name "Cavalier", which is also associated with well-known historical events. The fact is that supporters of King Charles I during the civil war against Cromwell (1599-1658) were called Cavaliers.

In the late 40s, the Cavaliers from England were taken to America, Australia, New Zealand, where they laid the foundation for the further development of the breed.

In Europe, the era of the Cavaliers began in 1954, when the Countess Ts. Boom brought from an English kennel "Ttiweh" male of color "Blenheim" named Harmony and pregnant female of the same color named Ttiweh Sorel Dandy. The Countess founded the famous kennel "Fanfar" in Holland, her homeland. Male Harmony from "Ttiweh" at that time was already the champion of England.

Кавалер Кинг Чарльз Спаниели

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Soon, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels could be found in almost all European countries.

At home in England, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed is extremely popular. The number of these dogs at shows is very large. In 1994, at the Crufts show, 362 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were registered, in 1995 - 314, in 1996 - 335. It is not surprising that charming, active, friendly and devoted dogs won hearts of dog lovers in many countries of the world.

In Russia, surprisingly, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels appeared before the revolution. Edvard Radzinsky writes in his book "Nicholas II: Life and Death": "They all had their favorite dogs. Anastasia had a King Charles. A tiny dog ​​that the wounded officer presented to the nurses in the hospital. It could be carried in a muff ".

The history of the breed resumed after a long break in 1986, when Alexander Polyakov brought from Germany a tricolor male named Herbie Von Douglas. But it turned out that in the country there is no couple for him. Therefore, two years later, the female Cavalier of color Blenheim named Kenzie von Sachsenhof was brought from Germany. The first four puppies were born on January 12, 1990.