The history of the breed
The ancestors of the little spaniel were gun dogs of French and Spanish origin, but through years of time they were bred on as tou dogs,which didn’t have much in common with the old time hunting dogs.
They became the special favourites of the aristocracy and particurlarly of King Charles II., whose name they bear even today.
Though the Cavalier King Charles spaniel is one of England’s most ancient breeds,it still exists only owing to the efforts of an American, Roswell Eldridge who admired the charming little dogs seen in paintings by old masters and in the 1920s he travelled to Endland to buy a spaniel.To his greatest sorrow he found only the similarly named relative of today’s cavaliers, the short-nosed King Charles spaniel.
The flat-faced, domed-skulled spaniel showing cross-breeding with pug-dogs became so popular that the original variety almost disappeared.
After 5 years of search he offered prices of 25 pounds at Crufts, the most prestigious dog show in England, to award the dogs of the old type Blenheim variety.
As far as he knew sometimes longer-faced puppies were born in the litters of short -faced parents and he was confident that as a result of the significant sum promised these atavisms would emerge.
Eventually he managed to generate interest among breeders and the rebreeding of the old spaniel started.
However whether the cavalier came to existence as a result of natural selection or as a result of outcrosses to other breeds by breeders striving for a quick success, remains a question.
The Cavalier King Charles gained full recognition as a separate breed in 1945.
Since then it has gained popularity over its shorter-nosed relative, the King Charles spaniel, which can still be distinguished from it by its domed-skull and shorter face.