View Full Version : Cavalier or just king charles??

2nd September 2006, 10:08 PM
I feel really silly for asking this but Were unsure if our Charlie is actually a cavalier or just a king charles spaniel icon_blshing
My husband says he is a cavalier but his papers just say king charles spaniel??
How can we tell, not that it really matters as we love him whatever but I do think we ought to know
I feel really stupid asking this :sl*p:

2nd September 2006, 10:44 PM
It's not a stupid question at all; it can be confusing.

Here's some info on the difference between the two breeds:


If your dog isn't flat-faced it's a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They often are just called King Charles spaniels in both Ireland and the UK as Charlies (English toy spaniels or King Charles Spaniels -- confused yet? :lol: ) are so rare. Only people that really know the breed seem to call them cavaliers in Ireland for example. It would be a bit worrying if the breeder didn't get the breed right on the papers though as then it would mean the dog is registered as the wrong breed! :shock:

Claire L
2nd September 2006, 10:49 PM
:D I think it has to say Cavalier King Charles Spaniel icon_nwunsure , otherwise it's a King Charles.
King Charles are usually bigger but just as adorable so don't worry about it -enjoy! :thmbsup: b*n*n*

2nd September 2006, 11:11 PM
No, no Claire King Charles are smaller!!!! They usually weigh in at 9-12 lbs max!

Estelle, have a look here at the two different breeds .....



There are pics here too so that you can see the differences in them - Charlies (ETS or King Charles) have a much squatter muzzle and are typically more snobby in attitude LOL

Extremely adorable though and I'd love one :lol:

2nd September 2006, 11:33 PM
Thanks everyone, I feel so stupid :sl*p:
His pedigree does actually say Cavalier, it was just the envelope that said KCS BB which I took to mean King charles spaniel blenheim boy :sl*p:
Looking at the links just confirms that he is definately a cavalier :D :D .
Thanks again everyone

Claire L
3rd September 2006, 09:54 AM
:oops: Sorry Karlin. I have never ever met a King Charles that was smaller than Rudee. Anyone I've met who has a Kng Ch always tells me that they are a bigger breed. I guess Rudee is a very small Cav.

Claire L
3rd September 2006, 09:58 AM
:oops: Sorry Donna. I thought it was Karlin rapping me on the knuckles there icon_blshing .

Bruce H
3rd September 2006, 10:59 AM
It's easy to get them mixed up if you haven't seen the ETS. And they really are fairly rare; I see them only at the shows and have never seen one away from a show.

I really had to laugh once several years ago. My daughter and then 6 month old grandson were with us at a show (back when the Cavaliers were about as rare as the ETS are now) and we were outside the ring grooming and waiting for ringtime. All of a sudden Shannon yells at us and tells us we are at the wrong ring and that the dogs are showing! What she saw of course were the ETS showing in another ring. It was that day that she learned about the difference between the ETS and Cavaliers :D Can't blame her, they really do look a lot alike, especially at a distance.

3rd September 2006, 11:59 AM
If you don't see them head on they are easy to confuse as the coat colours are the same and the Charlies look like slightly smaller cavaliers. They are supposed to be a little more reserved than cavaliers I believe. I too have only ever seen them in the show ring. They are so rare now in the UK that they are officially designated an endangered breed.

They are actually close cousins to cavaliers -- kind of the long, intermediate stage between the original small toy spaniels in Europe and Britain and the cavalier today. The spaniel much beloved of King Charles and the Duke of Marlborough ('blenheims' get their name because the Duke of Wellington, who loved the dogs and bred them, was awarded by the Queen with Blenheim Palace for winning an important battle at Blenheim...) had a narrower muzzle for example.

When William of Orange came to the throne his dog of choice was the pug and thus the toy spaniels lost their royal place in England to pugs, and other flat-faced dogs became very fashionable for the next century-plus. The toy spaniel was crossed, probably with pugs among other breeds, to produce the King Charles Spaniel with the flat face. But there were always the longer nosed spaniels too and some paintings from the 19th century for example show spaniels that look very much like today's cavaliers. Cavaliers though were reconstructed when an American came over to Crufts at the early part of the last century expecting to find the long nosed small spaniels shown in royal paintings of Charles II's era and there were none now recognised as a breed, just the Charlies. He offered a reward for the first breeder to successfully produce a dog of the type in the old portraits and thus the CKCS eventually came to be, using longer nosed Charlies and other stock (there's much dispute about what breeds might have gone into the cavalier). The cavalier was only recognised as a breed in its own right in 1945 in Britain, but of course has the long spaniel heritage from the Charlies. The two breeds have some similar health issues because of their relatedness as well.

Cavaliers became very popular in the UK when one (Alansmere Aquarius) took Best of Show at Crufts in 1973 and are now the most popular toy breed in the UK and Ireland.

There's a good breed history here:


3rd September 2006, 12:21 PM
Oh Claire, don't apologise :flwr: Unless you are familiar with both breeds you wouldn't know. I didn't mean to sound harsh in my reply, so sorry if I did! :flwr:

I used to know an elderly couple who kept King Charles Spaniels when I was a kid. I sometimes used to walk the furbabies for them & I'd spend hours playing with them too.

They are darling little dogs but they do have this sort of aloofness that the Cavaliers don't !

One day I might just have a KC as well as a Cavalier ;) A lot of people who have KC's also have Cavaliers or Pugs - weird isn't it?

Claire L
3rd September 2006, 01:53 PM
No worries Donna :hug: I gladly stand corrected cl*p cl*p cl*p . That's why I love this site; I learn something new everyday! My OH always says "throw out Encylopedia Brittanica - the wife knows everything! " Think I'll have to retrieve it :rotfl: :rotfl: