HISTORY: The Cavalier is a direct descendant of the Toy Spaniels, owned by Royalty way back in the fifteenth century ! 

King Charles later became interested in the breed, it is said he paid more attention to his little spaniels than he did matters of the Court.  He loved them so much,  he decreed that the Royal Spaniels could never be denied access to Public buildings and even honoured them with his own name!  Back then they were used for hunting, mainly small quails and pheasants and also as comforters for ladies of the court. Many of these Spaniels became models for famous paintings.  After the demise of King Charles I and II, the spaniels gradually lost their popularity and quite  possibly morphed into what we know today as the King Charles.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as we know it, owes it's existence to an elderly American, yes - American gentleman, by the name of Mr. Roswell Eldridge. Esq... Mr Eldridge offered a purse of twenty five pounds, which was quite a lot of money in those days, to the male and female closest in type to the Royal Spaniels.

He advertised in the catalogue of the Charles Crufts Dog Show (now known as "Crufts") in the early 1926. The advertisement read :-

quote - "Blenheim Spaniels of the Old Type, as shown in the pictures of Charles II's time, long face, no stop, flat skull not inclined to be domed, with a spot in the centre of the skull. The first prizes in classes 947 and 948 are given by Roswell Eldridge. Esq., of New York, and will be continued for five years. Prizes go to the nearest of type required." - unquote.

To give people an idea of the type he required, a painting of "Cavalier Pets" (pictured above) by Landseer was placed above the notice. This painting was actually from the 19th century and not from Charles the second's era, but nobody seemed to mind and thanks to the whim of a wealthy American our beloved Cavaliers reappeared.

There were only four entries the first year but that was enough to fuel the fires and a crusade was launched to revive the breed.

Gradually larger entries were obtained by Crufts and in 1928 Ann's Son , a Blenheim who could have held his own in the showring today, won the 25 pounds.

Sadly Mr Eldridge never saw Ann's Son, as he died before his dream was realised............

In 1944 The Kennel Club of England finally admitted the breed to it's registry and slowly the Cavalier was reborn!

We all owe Mr Eldridge a big thank you, I'm sure he would be pleased to see how popular his little spaniels are today..! !

Not to mention King Charles!

LEGEND OF THE LOZENGE SPOT: The Lozenge or Blenheim spot is situated on the top of the head in the centre (hopefully) of the blaze....

The Duke and Duchess of Marlborough kept toy or comforter Spaniels. They were lovingly known as "Carpet Spaniels". It was said they were a beautiful adornment to any Drawing Room, but sometimes they broke out and did what nature intended them to do, playing in water and following the scent of  something only they could see!

(Mine still do this and during this exciting time, develop selected hearing...)

While the Duke of Marlborough was away, fighting the Battle of Blenheim, his Duchess waited anxiously at home for news of her beloved..

During this time she had a comforter spaniel on her lap constantly, she pressed her thumb continuously on the little bitches head to release her tension. The bitch was in whelp and in due course, the puppies arrived all displaying the red thumbprint on their heads!

A whimsical tail, but what a lovely way of attracting attention to a special feature of this breed.

(Though not as unique as some might think!)

Kahleyvale Twin Peaks was so named for his unusual double Lozenge spot!


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