The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is considered a royal breed of dog. The breed most likely originated in Japan and was brought to England in the 16th century. The breed was a popular pet with British royalty. Queen Mary, Queen Anne, King James II, Mary Queen of Scotts, Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth II, and of course King Charles II owned Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia also had a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The dogs were beloved royal pets because of their strong loyalty and companionship combined with their ability to aid in hunting. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a beautiful and loyal breed of dog that makes a wonderful companion and family pet.
Here are the top 5 myths about the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
They are lap dogs
Contrary to popular belief, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are not just lap and show dogs. Certainly, the breed was popular with British royalty because of their loyalty and comfort. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel remains a very loyal pet that loves to be close to its master and will certainly snuggle in his lap. However, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a very active sporting dog. The dogs were bred to flush out and retrieve fowl. The breed is energetic and loves exercise and play. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can live well in an apartment but also thrive in the country. They love to hike, run and hunt, and they have great agility.
The Battle of Blenheim Myth
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel may have different color coats. They can be either Ruby (mahogany), Prince Charles (tri-color), King Charles (black and tan), or Blenheim (chestnut and white). There is a myth about the origin of the Blenheim shade of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. It is said that in the 1800’s in Britain the Duke of Marlborough went off to fight in the Battle off Blenheim. His wife was at home helping their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel give birth to her puppies. To calm herself and her dog, the Dutchess of Marlborough pressed her thumb against her own and her dog’s forehead. The puppies were born with red or chestnut spots.
They are flea magnets
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was thought to protect its owners from fleas and therefore the plague. Particularly with British royalty, the breed was brought into the Kings and Queens beds to sleep because they believed the dog attracted fleas and protected the owners from fleas and diseases. While this may be true to an extent, fleas would be attracted to any type of dog. Whether or not sleeping with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel actually protected their masters from fleas and disease is questionable.
British law states that they can go anywhere
It has long been said that their is a written decree that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can go anywhere in public, even secure venues. King Charles II so loved his namesake breed of dog that he insisted they could go anywhere in public, including the Houses of Parliament. There is a belief in Britain that this law is in effect. Unfortunately for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, there is in fact no written law decreeing the breed can go anywhere in public.
They are a curse
The breed so adored by King Charles II became widely popular in Britain during his reign. When the House of Staurt fell, some in England associated with the breed with the royal house. As a result the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel went out of favor. The breed became rare until Queen Victoria revived its popularity. While it is true that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel went out of popularity for many years, it may not have much to do with a curse. The dogs were bred with pugs and had shorter snouts and domed heads. This breed is called the King Charles Spaniel. In the 1920’s, the breeds were distinguished with true Cavalier King Charles Spaniels having more elegant snouts and heads.