Know Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Standard size of Cavaliers
The standard size of a Cavalier is supposed to be anywhere between 12 to 13 inches, when measured at the shoulder. They generally weigh around 13 to 18 pounds. The concept of a toy Cavalier is a falsity and one should avoid any breeder who sells a Cavalier dog at half the size.
The Cavalier comes in a range of personalities, from being rowdy and loud to being quiet and calm. The Cavalier is definitely not a great choice for a guard dog as they may or may not bark when they sense an intruder. They have friendly personalities and will not be able to keep your house safe like other dogs. It is not wise to rely on them for security and your alarm system would be much more precise.
Most common Health problems in Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
When purchasing a puppy it is very important to buy one from a good breeder a good breeder for cavThe breeder must be reputed and must have all the relevant King Charles cavaliers is windsorsprings with heath clearances for the parents of the puppy. These health clearances are essential as they are proof that the puppy does not have a particular disease. Following are various diseases one must look out for:
• The Mitral Valve Disease (MVD)
This is a fairly common disease in the breed of Cavaliers. Though heart disease is common amongst all dogs as they age, it is found in very young cavaliers too. The breeders who are responsible get their dogs checked regularly by cardiologists. This is important in order to prevent dogs with this disease from breeding and carrying the disease forward to the next generation.
• Syringomyelia (SM)
Syringomyelia is usually seen when the dog starts scratching itself. Sometimes they favour one side of the body and are also known to air scratch. Air scratching is when they start scratching their body but fail to make physical contact. The cause behind this disease is the malformation of the skull of the dog. This in turn leads to the reduction of the size of the brain. This can cause the dog to be in mild to severe pain and in serious cases it can cause paralysis as well. This condition has been known to affect the brain as well as the spine of the dog.
• Episodic Falling
This is a condition which Cavaliers are prone to. The disease is more often than not confused with epilepsy. The difference between epilepsy and Episodic Falling is that in case of Episodic Falling the dog remains conscious during the fall as well as the seizures. The first symptoms can manifest at the age of 5 months, at this age the dogs are usually so small that it is difficult to identify such seizures.
• Hip dysplasia
This is a particularly painful medical condition that a Cavalier can get. The hip joint of the Cavalier is deformed in this condition. The reasons for getting this condition can vary from genetics to diet. In some cases they can even be environmental. The Cavaliers with such a hip deformity can usually lead healthy lives in a very normal way. Though, in some rare cases it has been found that these dogs require hip surgery.
• Patella Luxation
This is a condition in which the dog’s kneecap comes out of the joint and keeps sliding in and out of the joint. This can be painful for the dog at times and can cause difficulty in running as well but, overall they are able to live normal lives.
• Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (Dry Eye)
The condition is a type of auto-immune reaction in the tear glands of the dog. This reaction reduces the tears in the eyes of the dog. The eyes can become severely dry over time and in very severe cases this condition has led to blindness as well. The solution to the condition is very simple, it just requires the guardian of the dog to administer daily eye drops in the eyes of the Cavalier.
What Basic care do they need?
Cavaliers are small and that makes them ideal for living in apartments or condos. A small yard is sufficient for their daily exercise but, you must always ensure they are on leash outdoors to avoid accidents. Since they are short nosed dogs, you must avoid walking them in the sun. They must always have access to shade and fresh water.
Feeding patterns and cautions
Cavaliers need two meals daily. Their meals must be made up of half or one full cup of dry food of good quality. Their meals will depends on a number of factors like their size, build, age, metabolism and activity. In order to check if your dog is overweight, place your hand on his back and with your fingers you should be able to feel its ribs without pressing hard. If you can’t, then your dog needs more exercise and less food. Avoid feeding it canned food and make sure the quality of food is high.
Coat, Color and Grooming
Cavaliers have medium length coats and they are silky to touch. They come in variations of four colours. They can be of Blenheim, tricolour, black and tan and ruby colours. The most common colour is Blenheim. Cavaliers don’t need to bathe daily and they can be given a bath once a week. You must brush or comb their fur multiple times a week. You must also untangle the hair on the ears and legs. Trimming and clipping is not necessary as they are average shedders. Daily brushing is essential for your dog in order to prevent gum diseases, bad breath and tar build up. Neatly trimming their nails is also necessary. If you hear their paws clicking on the floor it is time to trim. You must get your dog accustomed to being touched as a puppy as, that will help you in the long run. You can keep checking them for rashes and sores while playing with them in order to catch health problems early.
Do they get along with children and other pets?
Cavaliers love playing with people and especially children. But, the child must never be left unsupervised with a dog in order to prevent biting or either party getting hurt. Children can play ball with the dog or just run around with them. Children must be taught not to disturb the dog while eating or sleeping. They must never take away the dogs food either. Cavaliers have a strong hunting instinct but they have been known to get along well with other dogs, cats and birds. Though, this will completely depend on their personality. They love playing a game of chase but, you must supervise their interactions to avoid accidents or fights.