Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Breed Standard
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an active,
graceful, well-balanced toy spaniel, very gay
and free in action; fearless and sporting in
character, yet at the same time gentle and
affectionate. It is this typical gay temperament,
combined with true elegance and royal appearance
which are of paramount importance in the breed.
Natural appearance with no trimming, sculpting
or artificial alteration is essential to breed
Size, Proportion, Substance
Size - Height 12 to 13 inches at the withers;
weight proportionate to height, between 13
and 18 pounds. A small, well balanced dog within
these weights is desirable, but these are ideal
heights and weights and slight variations are
permissible. Proportion - The body approaches
squareness, yet if measured from point of shoulder
to point of buttock, is slightly longer than
the height at the withers. The height from
the withers to the elbow is approximately equal
to the height from the elbow to the ground.
Substance - Bone moderate in proportion to
size. Weedy and coarse specimens are to be
Proportionate to size of dog, appearing neither
too large nor too small for the body. Expression
- The sweet, gentle, melting expression is
an important breed characteristic. Eyes - Large,
round, but not prominent and set well apart;
color a warm, very dark brown; giving a lustrous,
limpid look. Rims dark. There should be cushioning
under the eyes which contributes to the soft
expression. Faults - small, almond-shaped,
prominent, or light eyes; white surrounding
ring. Ears - Set high, but not close, on top
of the head. Leather long with plenty of feathering
and wide enough so that when the dog is alert,
the ears fan slightly forward to frame the
face. Skull - Slightly rounded, but without
dome or peak; it should appear flat because
of the high placement of the ears. Stop is
moderate, neither filled nor deep. Muzzle -
Full muzzle slightly tapered. Length from base
of stop to tip of nose about 1½ inches.
Face well filled below eyes. Any tendency towards
snipiness undesirable. Nose pigment uniformly
black without flesh marks and nostrils well
developed. Lips well developed but not pendulous
giving a clean finish. Faults - Sharp or pointed
muzzles. Bite - A perfect, regular and complete
scissors bite is preferred, i.e. the upper
teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and
set square into the jaws. Faults - undershot
bite, weak or crooked teeth, crooked jaws.
Neck, Topline, Body
Neck - Fairly long, without throatiness, well
enough muscled to form a slight arch at the
crest. Set smoothly into nicely sloping shoulders
to give an elegant look. Topline - Level both
when moving and standing. Body - Short-coupled
with ribs well spring but not barrelled. Chest
moderately deep, extending to elbows allowing
ample heart room. Slightly less body at the
flank than at the last rib, but with no tucked-up
appearance. Tail - Well set on, carried happily
but never much above the level of the back,
and in constant characteristic motion when
the dog is in action. Docking is optional.
If docked, no more than one third to be removed.
Shoulders well laid back. Forelegs straight and
well under the dog with elbows close to the
sides. Pasterns strong and feet compact with
well-cushioned pads. Dewclaws may be removed.
The hindquarters construction should come down
from a good broad pelvis, moderately muscled;
stifles well turned and hocks well let down.
The hindlegs when viewed from the rear should
parallel each other from hock to heel. Faults
- Cow or sickle hocks.
Of moderate length, silky, free from curl. Slight
wave permissible. Feathering on ears, chest,
legs and tail should be long, and the feathering
on the feet is a feature of the breed. No trimming
of the dog is permitted. Specimens where the
coat has been altered by trimming, clipping,
or by artificial means shall be so severly
penalized as to be effectively eliminated from
competition. Hair growing between the pads
on the underside of the feet may be trimmed.
Blenheim - Rich chestnut markings well broken
up on a clear, pearly white ground. The ears
must be chestnut and the color evenly spaced
on the head and surrounding both eyes, with
a white blaze between the eyes and ears, in
the center of which may be the lozenge or "Blenheim
spot." The lozenge is a unique and desirable,
though not essential, characteristic of the
Blenheim. Tricolor - Jet black markings well
broken up on a clear, pearly white ground.
The ears must be black and the color evenly
spaced on the head and surrounding both eyes,
with a white blaze between the eyes. Rich tan
markings over the eyes, on cheeks, inside ears
and on underside of tail. Ruby - Whole-colored
rich red. Black and Tan - Jet black with rich,
bright tan markings over eyes, on cheeks, inside
ears, on chest, legs, and on underside of tail.
Faults - Heavy ticking on Blenheims or Tricolors,
white marks on Rubies or Black and Tans.
Free moving and elegant in action, with good
reach in front and sound, driving rear action.
When viewed from the side, the movement exhibits
a good length of stride, and viewed from front
and rear it is straight and true, resulting
from straight-boned fronts and properly made
and muscled hindquarters.
Gay, friendly, non-aggressive with no tendency
towards nervousness or shyness. Bad temper,
shyness, and meanness are not to be tolerated
and are to be severely penalized as to effectively
remove the specimen from competition.
(Information courtesy of the American Kennel