|Photo by David Shankbone|
|The Children of Charles I of England|
Painting by Sir Anthony van Dyck in 1637
Later on, King William III and Queen Mary II liked pugs better than spaniels, so that's more the kind of dog everybody wanted to have. And spaniels got bred to pugs and other dogs with flat faces, which made the spaniels have flat faces, too. Which was the beginning of the King Charles Spaniel breed.
In the middle of the 19th century, an American named Roswell Eldridge started looked for spaniels in England that had the longer noses, like the ones that used to be in the early paintings of noble families and their dogs. But by then, most of the King Charles Spaniels had very flat faces, domed skulls, and undershot jaws. So Mr. Eldridge held a contest to find a spaniel of the type he wanted to breed from. The winner of this contest was a dog named Ann's Son. This dog was used by the new Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club to write the breed standard. And they used the word "Cavalier" to show that this was a different breed from the King Charles Spaniel.
|BEST IN SHOW SPECIALITY WINNER - NZ|
Ch. Merseyport Carter of Darilance (Imp Aust)
Owner Jan Eatock (Darilance Cavaliers) New Zealand
Sadly, this breed has a lot of genetic health problems, mainly because of what's called the "founder effect." This means that there was not a very big gene pool among the dogs who got the breed started again after World War II. A lot of breeds have health issues because of small gene pools, but the Cavies may have the biggest list of serious problems.
Here are some of them:
Heart failure due to mitral valve disease
Syringomyelia, which happens when the skull is deformed and there is not enough space for the brain.
In its worst form, this can cause severe pain or paralysis.
Episodic Falling, which means that the dog's muscles get tense while exercising and cannot relax.
Eye problems such as cataracts, PRA, entropion, and "dry eye"
"Glue ear," which is a mucus plug that forms in the dog's middle ear