For hundreds of years, small Spaniel breeds have been popular in the United Kingdom. In the eleventh century, during King Canute's reign, it was illegal to hunt with any dog that could not fit through an 11 inch gauge. This led to the rise of the Toy Spaniel in the UK.
Height is generally 12-13 inches (30-33 cm.), weight is 13-18 pounds (5-8 kg.).
The breed's coat is silky, and sometimes slightly wavy. Four colors are recognized - ruby, black & tan, tri-color and blenheim (reddish brown and white).
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Temperament: The breed is highly affectionate. Some have called the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 'the ultimate lap dog'. They do require a great deal of human companionship - it is not recommended that they be left alone for long periods of time.
Care: The breed suffers from a number of congenital defects, most significantly, mitral valve disease. This condition can begin to emerge at an early age, and is present in many Cavalier King Charles Spaniels by 5 years of age. Responsible breeders are attempting to breed only from dogs that exhibit a later onset of the disease. The feathered hair on the ears is prone to tangling and matting, so this dog should be thoroughly groomed often. The hair between the pads on the feet should be kept trimmed and the ears should be cleaned regularly. This breed tends to gain weight easily - don't overfeed.
Training: They are intelligent enough to understand what you want and therefore are usually easy to train and respond well to gentle obedience training. They are said to be naturally well behaved and get along well with other dogs and non-canine pets.