Why Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are the Best Dogs: Period
Cavaliers: A Cure for World Peace, Migraines, and Strange Anti-Dog People
To the outside observer, your average Cavalier King Charles Spaniel owner may seem like a bit of a fanatic. For one thing we talk about our dogs incessently, and not in doggy terms either. It's not all about the roll over and the fetch, it's about rain boots, special cookies, and morning cuddles that linger past the alarm buzzing. Many of us refer to our pups as children, and oftentimes Cavalier owners find that, like potato chips, it's hard to stop at just one Cavalier. So what is it about this obscenely cute little dog breed that turns once sane people into fluffy puppy slaves? After looking objectively (or at least trying to) at my own life, I think I may have a few answers.
1. Cavaliers are Unique-Just Ask Your Cat
One of the most endearing and unusual traits about the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is his affinity for felines. Many dogs will either chase cats or be scared out of their proverbial boots when a cat comes around. But a Cavalier? No way! Cavaliers love cats, and will try to cuddle, lick, and love any cat that comes within sight. Cats=best friends. The funny thing about it? Most cats will allow these strange dogs to be their friends, and often interspecies cuddling (in sometimes large piles) can result. Perhaps this is because Cavaliers think they are cats, or at least they sure think so when they try to perch on the back of your chair, your neck, your table...
2. Cavaliers Love Food
You can get a Cavalier to do anything for a cookie or a bit of food. In fact, it doesn't matter if the bit of food is a green bean, he'll still roll over, play dead and do somersaults for a morsel. Now, the caveat here is that you have to be careful to walk a fine line while training your Cavalier in order to avoid constant begging, but it always feels great to have someone around the house who will be eternally grateful, no matter what you feed them. Plus, some of the behaviors (such as the trademark Cavalier spin) inspired by a simple dog cookie will have you in stiches for hours.
3. Cavaliers are Great With Children
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is descended from the toy spaniels so beloved by King Charles II of England, which you see in the painting above of the king as a boy. In modern times as well as past history these little spaniels have been superb companions for children, being loving, loyal, and above all patient with the antics of fussy little nuggets. Cavaliers are naturally drawn to children and tolerate being picked up, hauled around, and dressed up with minimal fuss. My black-and-tan Cavalier, Byron, is always captivated by friends' babies, standing by their rockers for hours watching them sleep. I never worry about my pups around children!
4. Cavaliers Stick to you Like Glue
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is not a dog for people who aren' t looking for a constant, close companion. A Cavalier lives and dies for his human, and pines when his human is away. My dogs have even been known to howl piteously when I lock them out of the bathroom. They love to sleep in bed with their humans. And forget leaving them on the floor while watching T.V. In fact, I haven't knit on road trips for about two years because both of my Cavaliers insist on riding in my lap, which can be difficult to juggle! But for anyone who likes the reassuring physical contact of a warm, furry little body, you couldn't wish for a more perfect companion.
5. Cavaliers are Pretty Clever
Unlike some companion breeds who may be a little dim, a Cavalier still has some of his spaniel-esque hunting and outdoor smarts. Sometimes his tail will shoot straight out like a rod and his nose will point sharply when a bird flies into the air. Though small, he loves to fetch and play like any big dog. Try hiding a dog cookie and turning him loose and he'll amaze you with his smarts! Playing with a Cavalier is just as fun as cuddling with one, because they are always curious and inquisitive and willing to partake in any new game.
While Cavaliers are undoubtedly the best dogs ever (completely biased am I) they also suffer from the same plight many other purebred dogs do: puppy mills. Especially as the breed becomes more popular, puppy mills will churn out more pets for consumers. Please put a stop to these horrible mills and buy your puppy from a reputable breeder who can sho you the puppies' health history and parents. Or better yet, rescue a Cavalier!