There are so many wonderful breeds out there and we are in a privileged position of meeting most of them! We thought we would turn the spotlight today on Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, “Cavies” for short.

Cavies are such sweet-natured, loving dogs. They are very soft and gentle and make wonderful family pets. They’re known to be good around children because they’re so keen to please their owners and love the company of people. Cavaliers usually

Cavaliers are a playful breed and as technically they are spaniels, they do have some prey drive so will enjoy hunting and chasing games especially. Cavaliers are normally happy to get along well with other dogs although most of the time they would rather say hello to all the passing people instead of passing dogs!

As Cavies are incredibly eager to please, they are fairly easy to train. Positive, reward based training from a young age with often reward owners with a very obedient and confident dog.

Despite their small size, Cavaliers are quite energetic dogs and will still need plenty of exercise every day to keep them happy and healthy and can also do really well at agility.

Do we see Cavies at the practice more because they are a popular breed choice or because we have a particular interest in Cardiology Unfortunately, heart disease, and more specifically mitral valve disease, is a big problem for this breed. Often detected as murmur during their annual physical examinations, we regularly find one of the valves in the heart doesn’t work as effectively as it should. Eventually this can and does lead to heart failure. Whilst heart disease, if detected early can be managed well for a number of years. Our team it well versed in the detection, treatment and management of the condition in this breed.

Other common clinical conditions affecting this breed are eye problems such as ’dry-eye’, luxating patella’s, ear problems, dentition problems and neurological condition called Chiari malformation and Syringomyelia. This fancy name is a very painful condition where fluid-filled areas develop within the spinal cord near the brain. 

We love their positive attitude and friendly nature, it is unparalleled! In time, we hope genetically we can reduce this prevalent problem in their breed. If you consider purchasing this wonderful breed, do your research and either rescue a dog requiring a much-needed home or ensure you purchase a from a knowledgeable, responsible breeder with parents who are extensively tested.

Fun facts on Cavies:

  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels got their name from King Charles II who was a big fan of the breed.
  • They’re real lapdogs and love nothing more than spending as much time as possible with their owner. They’ve even been nicknamed “the comfort spaniel”.
  • Apparently, a team of scientists found that the breed is the furthest removed physically and characteristically from wolves. They’re a tame breed!
  • The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is one of the most popular breeds in the UK and USA – probably because of their lapdog reputation.