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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
History
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Dogs of the small spaniel-type have existed for centuries and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has documented its place among them. They have been recorded in paintings and tapestries for centuries together with the aristocratic families who enjoyed their loyal companionship. Cavaliers were obviously a luxury item, for the average person could not afford to keep and feed a dog that did not work.

Today's Cavalier is directly modeled on its royal ancestors but this did not happen without the effort of an American fancier, Roswell Eldridge. Mr. Eldridge traveled to England in the early 1920's hoping to buy two spaniels. He was unsuccessful, finding a diversity of type and none of the "old type", particularly the head type he desired. Employing Yankee ingenuity and determination, Roswell offered prizes of twenty-five pounds to the best male and best female of the "old type" exhibited at Crufts each year. The motivator worked; interest was generated among breeders to revive the original spaniel.

In 1952, the first Cavaliers were sent to America and a national breed club was formed soon after, but because of the small numbers of Cavaliers they did not gain full breed recognition for 40 years. January 1, 1996 saw the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel enter American Kennel Club competition as the 140th recognized breed.





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