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Cavalier or King Charles - Two Different Breeds

I’m sure many Cavalier King Charles owners have been stopped by a passer by when out walking their dog and been asked the question, “is it a King Charles”?
I certainly have.

The truth is that a lot of non Cavalier owners and some first time owners, don’t in fact realise that there are two totally separate breeds, the larger and more popular Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the smaller and much rarer King Charles Spaniel.

The picture below shows both, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy on the left and the King Charles Spaniel puppy on the right, you’ll notice the difference immediately in the two head shapes ......

...... and a picture of two adults showing the difference in size, the Cavalier again on the left and the King Charles on the right.

So what are the basic differences between the two?

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

By far the more popular of the two breeds.

There are four colours, 2 parti-colours Blenheim & Tricolour and 2 whole colours Black & Tan and Ruby.

Blenheim: Chestnut and White
Tricolour: Black, Tan and White
Black & Tan: Black with tan markings
Ruby: All red

Head: The skull should be almost flat between ears. Length of nose should be about 1˝ inches. Nostrils should be black.

Eyes: Should be spaced well apart, not too prominent but large and dark.

Weight: Breed standard says 12 – 18 lbs, but there is quite a variation in size, many pet Cavaliers tending to be larger.

Temperament: Cavaliers are usually happy, bright, affectionate little dogs, friendly and sociable with people and other dogs, and devoted to their owners.

King Charles Spaniel

Much rarer than the Cavalier and becoming an endangered breed.

Colours as the Cavalier: Blenheim, Tricolour, Black & Tan, Ruby.

Head: The skull is domed and large in comparison to the size of the dog. The nose is very short, and turned up with wide open black nostrils.

Eyes: Should be large, set wide apart, and dark.

Weight: Breed standard is 8 - 14 lbs

Temperament: Happy, intelligent and affectionate, reserved and gentle.

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