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pet profile

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

A sweet-natured softie. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a silky-haired dog with royal roots and a rather relaxed attitude given his princely pedigree. Cavaliers are excellent pets for families with children or for seniors that have time to spoil them with love and affection.

Where I'm From

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel descends from a long line of toy spaniels held in high esteem by English royalty and aristocracy from the 16th century. So much so that King Charles II named the King Charles Spaniel in the late 1600s. After the monarch's passing, the original King Charles Spaniel became less popular in the 17th century and was subsequently crossed with pugs and other similar flat-faced breeds.

It took an initiative by an American spaniel lover in the 1920s to find dogs similar to the ones depicted in old paintings of the Charles II era. The re-established breed that is slightly larger than the King Charles Spaniel with a longer snout was named the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and formally recognised as a separate breed in 1945.

Today the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel consistently ranks in the top 10 dog breeds in the world including in Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, France and Sweden.

What I Look Like

Cavaliers are small, long-eared and big-eyed dogs with an endearing doleful expression. They have a luxurious long, wavy coat that comes in four colour combinations: blenheim (chestnut and white), tri-colour (black, white and tan), black-and-tan, and ruby (all red).

How I Act

Cavaliers are friendly, lovable little dogs that are great companion dogs for a range of attentive owners. With their tolerant attitudes, Cavaliers get along well with other dogs and cats if integrated into the family unit from a young age. Though birds or other small animal pets may be viewed as prey!

Bred as lapdogs, Cavaliers love nothing more than cuddling on the couch with their masters as well as accompanying their human family pretty much anywhere. They actually have a hard time with any time spent away from the family, and should be integrated into a homebody household.

Cavaliers can easily be trained with a consistent, firm owner. Training and socialisation should begin early to ensure a well-rounded pet. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels respond better to gentle positive re-enforcement and reward-based training rather than harsh reprimands.

Cavaliers were bred as lapdogs and enjoy relaxing at home. However, due to this lazy tendency they really need to be walked or have a round of indoor fetch of around 20-30 minutes per day to remain fit and active. They also do well with dog sports and agility training.

Looking After Me

Cavaliers may be affected by a number of genetic health problems including loose kneecaps, eye problems, hip dysplasia, spine paralysis and seizures.

A common condition in some Cavaliers is Mitral Valve Disease (MVD), which starts with a heart murmur that leads to heart failure and can appear in young dogs. Though responsible breeders are trying to breed the illness out, not all breeders ascribe to this protocol.

In regard to this condition and other health issues, it is very important to check the medical history of a puppy's parents and view veterinarian clearance certificates to ensure you get a healthy dog. Be very wary of uncertified backyard breeders.

Cavaliers live for about 10 to 14 years.

They are small dogs that need to be fed a high quality and nutritious meal twice a day. Leftover food should be taken away until the next feeding time to prevent the Cavalier tendency to overeat. Cavaliers may also need their extra long ears tied back at feeding time if eating wet foods to prevent scraps ending up attached in their feathery fur.

Cavaliers have a moderate-length smooth and silky coat that requires a long weekly brush and a bath when necessary in order to stay looking their finest. Their coat sheds, more so in summer months, and may need further attention during those times.

They need their ears checked regularly for any redness or foul odours that could indicate infection as often occurs in dog breeds with floppy, face-hugging ears.

Am I the pet for you?

Cockatiel plucking her feathers

Hi! I hope you can help me with my cockatiel, I write from Spain and here they aren't that common so vets don't know much about treating them. I have a 5 years old female cockatiel and she is very affectionate, 2 years ago I had to spend a couple of months at a hospital and my parents during that time were either working or visiting me, so she felt lonely and started plucking her feathers. Even after I went back home she continued with this behaviour and hasn't stopped. I took her to different vets, they told me to give her small amounts of a syrup that was meant for calming itching and an antibiotic in case it was something producing an itching, but neither worked. I also tried a spray called "Pluck-no-more" with the same results. In case she was lonely we got her a mate, but it may be also female since they don't pay attention to each other at all. She rubs her cloaca on the perch often but the other tiel ignores it (the pet shop said it was male but they said the same with her and then she laid an egg...). The layer that covers the feather while growing (not sure of the name in English) doesn't grow normally, looks more like bland plastic than a hard cover like the ones on my other birds pin feathers (besides her, I have another cockatiel and a lovebird). Is as if the feathers on the plucking areas aren't growing correctly. The areas she plucks are under the wings, the part where wings join the body, and the body area that is covered by the wings while resting. While plucking she lets out small cries. The fluff covers these areas so by just looking at her isn't easy to tell, unless you watch her while preening. I let her play outside of the cage very often, but lately she can't fly well and I think it may be caused by the loss of these feathers. As I said, vets in this area are more specialized in cats and dogs and know little about parrots, so I hope you can advise me since these birds are native to Australia. Is there some kind of balm or spray I can apply on her skin to soothe it? Some medicine I can ask my local vet to use? I love her and it hurts seeing her in pain everytime she preens. Any advice would be much appreciated. Greetings from Spain!