Cavalier King Charles Spaniels: A tale of Charles II, Great Neck, & cuteness

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At School For The Dogs, we had a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel meetup scheduled this past weekend, but the blizzard had other ideas.  We are rescheduling the breed meetup that was cancelled. But, in rescheduling it, I recalled a bit of trivia I learned when I was the quiz writer on the Animal Planet show Too Cute. 

DID YOU KNOW that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a breed that was only created less than a century ago? They were actually designed to look like the breed of dog that were often shown in 17th Century paintings of England’s King Charles II. Charles II is believed to have had Toy Trawler Spaniels, which were pretty much extinct by the 20th Century. In 1926, a man from Great Neck, Long Island, who was visiting England dared breeders there to figure out how to breed the English Toy Spaniel (aka the King Charles Spaniel) to resemble the dogs in the Charles II paintings. He wanted them to have “long face, no stop, flat skull, not inclined to be domed, with spot in centre of skull.” It tells you something about the speed of evolution that in just two years, the resulting perfect specimens (which were the result of interbreeding with pugs) were deemed the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.



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