Cavaliers as Companions
November 2021
Edited by Dennis & Tina Homes


Almost every book about Cavalier King Charles Spaniels tells the story of how an American gentleman named Roswell Eldridge came to England in the early 1920’s and when visiting Crufts noticed that there were none of the small Blenheim spaniels that were pictured in many of the early paintings. He therefore paid for an announcement in the 1926 Crufts catalogue offering a prize of £25 to the exhibitor of a dog and bitch nearest to the old type longer nosed spaniel. This award would be presented for the next five years. The wording for this announcement was as follows:

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

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 natures that were depicted in the paintings he had seen. He sadly died before the first of these classes were held at Crufts and never did see any of the dogs that were entered so nobody knows for sure if they were the type of spaniels that he envisaged. Over the years a myth has grown up that there were no longer faced toy spaniels around during the first twenty years of the 20th century, but this is not true. During the 19th century small dogs with flat faces became extremely popular such as Pugs, Pekinese, Japanese Chins, etc, and it seems that the older type of toy spaniels were crossed with flatter faced dogs to produce the King Charles Spaniel, or English Toy Spaniel as it is known in America. In the latter part of the 19th century dog showing started to gain great popularity and The Kennel Club was founded in 1873. 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 & 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.

When Roswell Eldridge visited Crufts he would obviously only had seen the flatter faced King Charles Spaniels exhibited as the longer muzzled type would not had been desirable for the show ring. However, there certainly were longer faced toy spaniels around and if any ‘show’ breeders had one turn up in a litter it would have no doubt been sold as a pet. It was therefore from these so-called ‘rejected’ examples that were used to revive the Cavalier.

King Charles Spaniel pups were from a litter born around 1908
These rather cute King Charles Spaniel pups were from a litter born around 1908 and they certainly appear more like the modern Cavaliers than King Charles Spaniels.

The three above photos all come from the first few years of the 1920s when it was said that the longer nosed toy spaniel had virtually died out. As you can see each of these are of a ‘Cavalier’ type.


The firework season is now with us. Years ago it was just November 5th that we had to contend with but these days the fireworks season seems to go on for weeks. Some dogs are quite oblivious to loud bangs while others can get quite distressed. We have written about it here in the past but here is a reminder about some of the products that you can buy that may help to calm your dog. There are several herbal and homeopathic remedies available that can help to keep a dog calm during stressful situations. These are Natural Calm, Valerian Compound and Scullcap and Valerian. Dog Appeasing Pheromones (DAPs) are also quite useful. These are small plug-in diffusers that emit the smell of a comforting hormone and greatly calms the dog. Humans are unable to smell it. DAPs can also be used in conjunction with desensitization CDs. These are recordings of various noises such as fireworks. The idea is to keep the dog in a comforting situation and in close proximity to a DAP and at first play the CD at an extremely low volume. Over a period of a few weeks gradually increase the volume so that the dog becomes used to these sounds and is totally oblivious to them.

For further details on where to obtain these products please view the following sites: for Scullcap and Valerian and Valerian Compound. for various DAPs for various calming items.

Anatomy of a CKCS


Some time ago we heard the story of a five-year old Labrador cross that ingested a half canister of raisins. Several hours passed and the dog started vomiting, and had the most awful diarrhoea and was shaking violently. The owner didn’t at the time think it was an emergency until things started to get worse later in the day. The dog was taken to the vet and admitted immediately. The Vet had heard somewhere that raisins and grapes caused acute renal failure in dogs so various tests were run and kidney values monitored. The patient was placed on an IV catheter and fluids were administered. He was given 3 different anti-vomiting medications, but they still couldn’t control his vomiting. His urine output decreased and his blood pressure rocketed and still he continued to vomit. After almost two days of intensive care the owners elected to euthanize. This must surely be a wake up to us all, foods that are ok for humans can be poisonous to our dogs, so beware even as few as a handful of raisins or grapes can make a dog ill or worse still kill.

There are quite a few everyday foods that are extremely toxic to dogs. Chocolate, a favourite with everyone, contains theobromine which is a compound that is a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic. It is often several hours after the pet has eaten a large quantity that sickness, laboured breathing, diarrhoea, staggering and seizures will be seen. There is often an increased heart rate followed by coma and culminating in death. No dog should be given chocolate especially the dark form. Cocoa powder and cooking chocolate is also dangerous. So, for safety-sake only give your pets chocolate that is especially formulated for dogs.

For those of you who may have a bird food table in the garden and put out fats and nuts, these too can present a problem. Too much fat and the trimmings can cause pancreatitis. Do also be careful that your dog does not scrounge the overspill of grain together with the bird droppings that accumulate around the base of the table. Coccidiosis is a disease carried by birds in their droppings which if ingested can have pretty grim results. A very bad tummy upset could result and in very bad cases death can occur. Do be aware of any fruit trees that you have in the garden. Cherry stones and apple pips contain tiny amounts of cyanide which are so minute to have any effect on a human but can prove dangerous to dogs. If a lot of these are eaten the ground up pips will ferment in the stomach. Lethargy and drooling and vomiting are signs of cyanide poisoning and if you suspect this do not hesitate to get to your vet at double quick time. Cooked eggs are a great treat, but fed raw may contain salmonella.

Many of you will enjoy a Chinese or Indian takeaway or even Pizza? I hear of many owners that give their pets the leftovers and I know that their pets enjoy these, however, be aware that most of these foods contain onions which again can be pretty upsetting. Garlic is given to dogs and horses as an internal cleanser and wormer, it is also beneficial in keeping fleas and lice at bay, but because it is good, too much can have adverse effects and again can be lethal.

We know that most dogs do enjoy nuts even the unsalted variety, but all nuts contain phosphorus in high amounts which can lead to bladder stones. So, what to treat and what not? To be safe only give your dogs what is commercially tested and sold as dog food. As much as we love our pets, we have all probably heard the saying "killing our pets with kindness" we do love to treat, but if in doubt – Leave it out!

Every Snack You Make


As winter approaches, we need to modify our daily walks with the dog if the weather turns cold and icy. In really cold weather it’s best to keep the walks fairly short. Should your dog wear a coat? It rather depends on how cold it is and whether the dog is happy to wear one. Being a reasonable long coated breed Cavaliers can probably cope better than similar sized short coated breeds, but there are quite an array of different coats to choose from.

Dog Coats
And here is one of our dogs in her dapper looking coat.

Leogem CKCS in a coat

Winter can be brutal on our dog’s paw pads. Exposed to the elements and toxic chemicals, the paw pads are at risk for drying, cracking, trauma, frostbite and chemical burns. Do look out for road salt and antifreeze while walking your dog in the winter. Check that salt isn’t stuck in their paws. And watch out for ice, you don’t want either of you falling down. Antifreeze, which often collects on driveways and roadways, is an enticement to dogs because it is sweet tasting, but it is highly poisonous. Although it smells and tastes good to your dog, it can be lethal. Rock salt, used to melt ice on roads and pavements, may irritate footpads. Be sure to rinse and dry your dog’s feet after a walk. Wipe their paws and legs well removing all snow and salt. Towel or blow-dry your dog if it gets wet from rain or snow. A little petroleum jelly may soften the pads and prevent cracking. There are also several protective balms available to help protect your dog’s paws, but before using a balm make sure the paw is ready.

Protective creams

Good grooming is essential for healthy winter feet. Trim the hair around the paws especially if they have a lot of feathering to make sure none of the hair comes into contact with the ground. This will help prevent ice balls from forming between and around the paw pads which can be painful. It also makes it easier to apply the balm to the pads. Keeping the nails trimmed is important year-round but even more so in the winter because long nails force the paw to splay out and make it more likely that snow and ice will accumulate between the paw pads. Apply a thin even layer of balm just before going out for a winter walk. After the walk wipe your dog’s paws with a warm washcloth to remove snow, ice and ice melt.

Another good option to protect your dog’s paws is dog boots. These boots are made by various manufacturers and can be easily found online and in pet stores. They consist of a sock like boot with a Velcro strap to help keep them in place. Some have soles which provide the additional benefit of adding traction. These boots protect the paw by helping them stay dry and preventing exposure to salt and de-icers. Be sure to check that the strap is not too tight; the boot should be snug so that it doesn’t slip off but not so tight that it constricts the paw. Dogs tend not to like wearing the boots at first so acclimatise them to wearing them by putting them on your dog for short periods of time in the house. Praise them and gradually increasing the length of time as they get used to them.

Boots for Dogs


What Its Like to Be A DogWhat It’s Like to Be a Dog:
And Other Adventures in Animal Neuroscience

By Gregory Berns
Publisher: Basic Books

What is it like to be a dog? A bat? Or a dolphin? To find out, neuroscientist and bestselling author Gregory Berns and his team did something nobody had ever attempted: they trained dogs to go into an MRI scanner — completely awake — so they could figure out what they think and feel. And dogs were just the beginning. In What It’s Like to Be a Dog, Berns takes us into the minds of wild animals: sea lions who can learn to dance, dolphins who can see with sound, and even the now extinct Tasmanian tiger. Berns’s latest scientific breakthroughs prove definitively that animals have feelings very much like we do — a revelation that forces us to reconsider how we think about and treat animals.

Puppy ProblemsPuppy Problems:
The Dog’s–Eye View on Tackling Puppy Problems

By Sophie Collins
Publisher: Guild of Master Craftsmen Publications

An informative guide to the first year (and beyond) of dog ownership, this is also the first book to look at situations from the puppy’s, as well as the human’s, point of view. This essential guide covers: eating, sleeping, playing, training, socialising (both with people and with other dogs), problem-solving and building the best-ever relationship with your puppy.


Look Whats Out There
"Look what’s out there"


"If you don’t own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life"
Roger A. Caras

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

We have been writing Cavaliers as Companions for the past fourteen years, but from next year it will be three monthly. Our next page will be next February. If there are any subjects that you would like us to cover please let us know.


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.

The Cavalier Club is not responsible for external website content.
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