Cavaliers as Companions
February / March 2018
Edited by Dennis & Tina Homes


On 10th February the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club will be ninety years old. Although the club was not officially recognised by the Kennel Club until 1945 it was on the second day of Crufts in February 1928 that a small group of enthusiasts got together to form the club. Here is the story behind the formation of the club.

During the late 1800s small flat faced oriental breeds had become extremely popular. Breeds such as Pugs, Pekinese and Japanese Chins were very popular among middle and upper class families and no doubt these breeds had been crossed with small toy spaniels thus producing the flatter faced King Charles Spaniel. It was during this period that dog shows were starting to gain popularity and in 1885 a number of keen enthusiasts got together with the aim of forming a Toy Spaniel Club. A standard was drawn up for each of the colours and these were the King Charles (Black & Tan), the Blenheim (Red and White), the Prince Charles (Tricolour), and Ruby (Red). These colours were all judged separately, but at a meeting in 1902 at Crystal Palace they decided that as all four colours could be produced in one litter then they must all be of the same family and should therefore be classed as the same breed with colour variants. To keep the link with King Charles the club decided to call the breed The King Charles Spaniel. However, the Kennel Club overruled this decision and said that they should retain the existing name of The English Toy Spaniel. A number of club members appealed to the monarch, His Majesty Edward VII and he sided with the club and felt that they should retain the historical link with Charles II. The Kennel Club therefore had to agree with the royal wish.

Show breeders continued to refine the breed type and the flat face became the standard for the King Charles Spaniel and any longer nosed puppies that turned up in litters were sold as pets and deemed unsuitable for the show ring as they did not conform to the desired standard. However, it was in 1926 that an American businessman, Mr Rosswell Eldridge set the wheels in motion to revive the breed that we now know as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Roswell Eldridge was born in 1857 to a poor family in Long Island New York but by some clever business deals he became a multi millionaire. He visited England quite often for fox hunting with the West Somerset Hunt. Whether he originally wanted to buy these spaniels there is no record but he certainly made many enquiries as to where he might find those little Blenheim spaniels with the long noses and sporting affectionate nature that were depicted in many old paintings. Being a great dog lover and coming to England in the early 1920’s he naturally asked when he was visiting Crufts, "Where are these little spaniels."

In the 1926 he placed a small advert at the bottom of a page in the Crufts’ schedule. It read as follows:


As shown in the pictures of Charles II’s time, long face no stop long skull, not inclined to be domed, with spot in centre of skull. The First Prizes in Classes 947 and 948 are given by Mr Roswell Eldridge, Esq., of New York and will be continued for five years. The prizes go to the nearest to type required.

1st PRIZE £25. 2nd £2. 3rd £1
947 Restricted Open Class Dogs.
948 Restricted Open Class Bitches.

Only four dogs were entered in these two classes, (two dogs and two bitches). The results were as follows:

Class 947 Restricted Open Class – Dogs
lst. Ferdie of Monham (Vital Spark x Monham Reece). Owned and bred by Mrs Treleaven.
2nd. Lord Sukey (Coppergold Cupid x Mischief). Owned by Miss E Sparrow and bred by Mrs French

Class 948 Restricted Open Class - Bitches
lst Fey (Kismet x Faith) Owned by Mrs Higgs and bred by Miss Ellis.
2nd Flora (Laddie x Rene) Owned by Mrs Raymond Mallock and bred by Miss Anderson.

As you can see only Ferdie of Monham has a Kennel Club name while the rest just had pet names which seems to infer that they were originally sold as pets and not as show dogs, hence their longer muzzles.

In 1927 six dogs were entered but in 1928 there were fourteen dogs entered and this was Ann’s Son’s first show. A lady by the name of Miss Mostyn Walker, who resided in Costessy Norfolk, was a breeder of short faced King Charles Spaniels. In 1926 she bred a dog called Lord Pindi to a bitch called Ann. In that litter there were two puppies that appeared to be throwbacks to the earlier longer nosed varieties. These were Ann’s Son (a blenheim) and Wizbang Timothy (a black and white). Miss Mostyn Walker also bred Papillons and there have been suggestions that there could have been Papillon breeding in Ann’s Son. These puppies did have the required longer noses and were retained. Wizbang Timothy was later to be owned by a Mrs Fincham, and Anne’s Son was kept by Miss Walker. He was later to take the first prize and Best of Breed for three years running in 1928, 1929 and 1930. Some years later in 1936 Ann’s Son won the £l5.00 special prize for Best of Breed and also a £50.00 trophy which was a bust of Mr Charles Cruft. When Ann’s Son (his pet name was Bonnie) reached the ripe old age of nine years he made his last appearance at Crufts and then was eventually retired from showing. Throughout his show career he remained unbeaten.

There has been many suggestions that there was out-crossing to other breeds to create the longer nosed variety but this probably wasn’t necessary as longer faced puppies often turned up in King Charles litters and many of the early breeders did go around buying up these long-nosed ‘throw-outs’.

The red letter day in Cavalier history was at Cruft’s in 1928. On the second day of the show a band of enthusiasts gathered to discuss the formation of a club for these "Old type King Charles Spaniels." A committee was formed with Miss Mostyn Walker as the Chairman and Mrs Amice Pitt as the Secretary, (these positions were decided by the toss of a coin). What a momentous meeting that proved to be. A standard for the breed was drawn up and copies of several old paintings of longer nosed toy spaniels were brought along and it was decided to add the word Cavalier in front of King Charles Spaniel. The name Cavalier was taken from the name of the famous Landseer painting The Cavalier’s Pets which was one of the paintings brought along to the meeting. Miss Mostyn Walker’s dog Ann’s Son was placed upon the table as the ideal live specimen of the breed. It was agreed that as far as possible the dog should be guarded from fashion and there was to be no trimming. A perfectly natural dog was desired and was not to be spoiled to suit individual tastes. In other words not carved or cut into shape. The original standard was based on a points system and here is the original standard.

General appearance and soundness – active sporting fearless 15
Head almost flat between ears. No dome. Spot desired 15
Nose slight stop about l½ inches. Black 10
Eyes dark, large and round. But not prominent 10
Muzzle pointed 10
Texture of coat long and silky 10
Colours, all recognised 5
Chest moderate
Ears – long and feathered, high set 10
Tail, Longish docked 5
Legs and feet – moderate bone. Feet well feathered 5
Weight, 10 – 18 lbs 5
FAULTS – undershot, light eyes etc.

Slowly this revived breed started to gain popularity among a small number of dedicated breeders but at dog shows Cavaliers were added as additional classes in the King Charles Spaniel section and in most cases had to be financially sponsored. In the mid 1930s the Cavalier Club approached the Kennel Club and asked if Cavaliers could be accepted as a separate breed. Examples of both a Cavalier and a King Charles Spaniel brought along but the Kennel Club Secretary said that he thought that were they were far too similar and declined the request for separate registration. It was not until 1945 that the Kennel Club finally allowed separate registration for the Cavalier.

The Cavalier’s Pets by Sir Edwin Landseer
The Cavalier’s Pets by Sir Edwin Landseer

Ann’s Son
Ann’s Son

The Cavalier King Charles SpanielFor further news on the early years of both the breed and Cavalier Club our book "The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: The Origin and Founding of the Breed" is still available from the ‘Club Shop/Pay Online’ section of this website which can be accessed from the Home Page.


For the third year running, a Cavalier team has reached the Crufts finals of the Obreedience competition. The Canny Cavaliers team stands 5th out of 20 teams in the national ratings and hopes to show again that the breed has brains as well as beauty. The Crufts team consists of Lucy Dawson and Luphenex Let Me Entertain You (Hetty, 7); Philippa Biddle and Hearthfriend Hazel Nutkin (Hazel, 8); Roxane Hobbs and Wynncliff Lady Karly of Beaconsflyde (Karly, 13½); Kate Hughes and Ruby Roo Girl (Ruby, 8) and reserve Chris Clements and Cloudywing’s Charlotte of Luphenex (Lottie, 6). Hetty, Hazel, Karly and Lottie are all show dogs; Ruby is a rescue. And as you can see from the ages, all except Lottie are veterans – like good wine, Cavaliers get better with age!

The Canny Cavaliers Team at the recent LKA show
The Canny Cavaliers Team at the recent LKA show

Getting to a lot of heats during 2017 has been a bit hectic – especially the last heat at LKA in December, with all that snow! But it has been interesting meeting the other breed teams – from Jack Russells to Bernese – and a real camaraderie has grown up between all the teams. One of the spin-offs from the heats is that they are often held in conjunction with Rally Obedience competitions; Hetty has her Level 4 title, and Karly and Ruby started competing in 2017 and have achieved the Level 1 and Level 2 titles respectively. Sadly, two Cavalier members of the team died during the year: Barbara Taylor’s Taybar Stella and Lucy Dawson’s Willowtump Athelas at Luphenex RL5 (Ellie) have been sadly missed, but fortunately we had two reserves (Ruby and Lottie) who were able to fill in the gaps. Fingers crossed that the Canny Cavaliers keep the breed flag flying at Crufts!


Captain Kidd and a Cavalier

Did the seafaring pirate Captain Kidd ever have a Cavalier? Who knows? However there is a Cavalier in this painting of Captain Kidd in New York Harbor painted by the artist Jean Leon Gerome Ferris around 1920. >


Daisy’s GiftDaisy’s Gift: The Remarkable cancer-detecting dog who saved my life
By Guest, Claire
Published by Virgin Books
ISBN 10: 0753557428

Medical Detection Dogs Chief Executive, Claire Guest was walking her dogs when her Labrador Daisy nudged her breast insistently and stared up into her face with her big brown eyes. Sensing something was wrong, Claire visited her GP and soon found out she had a very deep and difficult to diagnose form of breast cancer. Daisy had saved her life, simply by smelling her cancer. With her scientific background and deep love of dogs, Claire sought to prove that Daisy and her canine pals could save many more lives, and set up the charity Medical Detection Dogs. Though faced with many challenges, Claire and her dogs have proven to be a remarkable asset to cancer detection, and have changed the lives of many seriously ill people and their families. This is the story of how our relationship with dogs can unleash life-saving talents, changing not only the medical world, but our own lives too.

Friend for LifeFriend for Life: The Extraordinary Partnership Between Humans and Dogs
By Kate Humble
Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
ISBN: 9781472224989

Kate Humble, well known as a presenter of many wildlife programmes on TV such as Springwatch and is a life-long animal lover. Now living on an idyllic farm in Wales, she has achieved her dream of surrounding herself with as many varieties as possible. Like so many people the dog has always held a special place in her heart. Here, she uses her journey with her sheepdog puppy Teg to frame her examination of this very special relationship. Written with warmth and love, and packed full of stories about rescue dogs, guide dogs, service dogs and medical dogs, this is a must-read for anyone with a four-legged friend.

The Dog Encyclopedia The Dog Encyclopedia: The Definitive Visual Guide
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Ltd
ISBN: 9781409364214

This catalogue of over 400 dog breeds is a definitive visual guide to all things canine. Dogs have been adored for their unswerving loyalty and companionship throughout history and The Dog Encyclopedia is the perfect celebration of man’s best friend. This book includes photographs and profiles detailing character, compatible owner traits, and breed-specific advice. You’ll also find features on famous fictional dogs, canine heroes, and a fact-packed guide to canine evolution including the jobs dogs have performed over the years. Expert advice on everything from exercise and feeding your dog to grooming and puppy training is included, along with an invaluable section on care to help you quickly identify and deal with any dog health problems. Covering history, breeds, dog care, hound health and training, The Dog Encyclopedia is an indispensable owner’s guide and reference for both experienced dog owners and would-be dog owners alike.

Cavaliers and Friends Cavaliers and Friends – My Two Favorite Things
by Mary Colburn-Green

We mentioned this delightful book in the last Cavaliers as Companions and since then it has been getting wide appraisal from Cavalier owners in many countries. Filled with beautiful photographs of puppies; Cavaliers and kids; Rescue Cavaliers (with touching personal stories); Sporty Cavaliers; Show Cavaliers; Funny Posers; and Golden Oldies. This book will surely take pride of place on the book shelf of any Cavalier lover. For details on how to order please go to


Photo Of Month
Roll on summer!


"If aliens saw us walking our dogs and picking up their poop, who would they think is in charge?"

For further online Cavalier news and stories don’t forget to read some truly inspirational articles by logging on to the Pawz and Pray page at


If you have any questions about owning a Cavalier then click on the envelope to email Dennis and Tina who will only be too pleased to try and help you.

However please remember that we are not Vets or Lawyers so questions on these topics should be addressed to the professionals for advice.

Questions and answers that are of interest to other owners may be published on this page.

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