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AKC Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an active,
graceful, well-balanced toy spaniel, very gay and free in action; fearless and sporting in character, yet at the same time
gentle and affectionate. It is this typical gay temperament, combined with true elegance and royal appearance which are of
paramount importance in the breed. Natural appearance with no trimming, sculpting or artificial alteration is essential to
Size, Proportion, Substance
Size - Height 12 to 13 inches
at the withers; weight proportionate to height, between 13 and 18 pounds. A small, well balanced dog within these weights
is desirable, but these are ideal heights and weights and slight variations are permissible. Proportion - The body approaches
squareness, yet if measured from point of shoulder to point of buttock, is slightly longer than the height at the withers.
The height from the withers to the elbow is approximately equal to the height from the elbow to the ground. Substance - Bone
moderate in proportion to size. Weedy and coarse specimens are to be equally penalized.
Proportionate to size of dog, appearing neither too large nor
too small for the body. Expression - The sweet, gentle, melting expression is an important breed characteristic. Eyes - Large,
round, but not prominent and set well apart; color a warm, very dark brown; giving a lustrous, limpid look. Rims dark. There
should be cushioning under the eyes which contributes to the soft expression. Faults - small, almond-shaped, prominent, or
light eyes; white surrounding ring. Ears - Set high, but not close, on top of the head. Leather long with plenty of feathering
and wide enough so that when the dog is alert, the ears fan slightly forward to frame the face. Skull - Slightly rounded,
but without dome or peak; it should appear flat because of the high placement of the ears. Stop is moderate, neither filled
nor deep. Muzzle - Full muzzle slightly tapered. Length from base of stop to tip of nose about 1½ inches. Face well filled
below eyes. Any tendency towards snipiness undesirable. Nose pigment uniformly black without flesh marks and nostrils well
developed. Lips well developed but not pendulous giving a clean finish. Faults - Sharp or pointed muzzles. Bite - A perfect,
regular and complete scissors bite is preferred, i.e. the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square into
the jaws. Faults - undershot bite, weak or crooked teeth, crooked jaws.
Neck, Topline, Body
Neck - Fairly long, without throatiness, well
enough muscled to form a slight arch at the crest. Set smoothly into nicely sloping shoulders to give an elegant look. Topline
- Level both when moving and standing.
Body - Short-coupled with ribs well spring but not barrelled.
Chest moderately deep, extending to elbows allowing ample heart room.
Slightly less body at the flank than at the last rib, but with no tucked-up appearance.
Tail - Well set on, carried happily but never much above the level of
the back, and in constant characteristic motion when the dog is in action. Docking is optional. If docked, no more than one
third to be removed.
Shoulders well laid back. Forelegs straight and well
under the dog with elbows close to the sides. Pasterns strong and feet compact with well-cushioned pads. Dewclaws may be removed.
The hindquarters construction should come down from
a good broad pelvis, moderately muscled; stifles well turned and hocks well let down. The hindlegs when viewed from the rear
should parallel each other from hock to heel. Faults - Cow or sickle hocks.
Of moderate length, silky, free from curl. Slight wave permissible.
Feathering on ears, chest, legs and tail should be long, and the feathering on the feet is a feature of the breed. No trimming
of the dog is permitted. Specimens where the coat has been altered by trimming, clipping, or by artificial means shall be
so severly penalized as to be effectively eliminated from competition. Hair growing between the pads on the underside of the
feet may be trimmed.
Blenheim - Rich chestnut markings well broken up on a clear,
pearly white ground. The ears must be chestnut and the color evenly spaced on the head and surrounding both eyes, with a white
blaze between the eyes and ears, in the center of which may be the lozenge or "Blenheim spot." The lozenge is a unique and
desirable, though not essential, characteristic of the Blenheim. Tricolor - Jet black markings well broken
up on a clear, pearly white ground. The ears must be black and the color evenly spaced on the head and surrounding both eyes,
with a white blaze between the eyes. Rich tan markings over the eyes, on cheeks, inside ears and on underside of tail.
Ruby - Whole-colored rich red. Black and Tan - Jet black with rich, bright tan markings over eyes,
on cheeks, inside ears, on chest, legs, and on underside of tail. Faults - Heavy ticking on Blenheims or Tricolors, white
marks on Rubies or Black and Tans.
Free moving and elegant in action, with good reach in front
and sound, driving rear action. When viewed from the side, the movement exhibits a good length of stride, and viewed from
front and rear it is straight and true, resulting from straight-boned fronts and properly made and muscled hindquarters.
Gay, friendly, non-aggressive with no tendency towards
nervousness or shyness. Bad temper, shyness, and meanness are not to be tolerated and are to be severely penalized as to effectively
remove the specimen from competition.
Approved Date: January 10, 1995
Effective Date: April 30, 1995
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Breed Standard
An active, graceful, well-balanced dog, very gay and free in
action; fearless and sporting in character, yet at the same time gentle and affectionate
The skull is slightly rounded, but without a dome or peak; it should appear flat
because of the high placement of the ears.
Large, round and set well apart; color a warm, very dark brown, giving a lustrous,
limpid look. There should be slight cushioning under the eyes, which contributes much to the sweet, gentle expression characteristic
of the breed. Faults: Small, almond-shaped, prominent, or light eyes; white surrounding the ring.
There should be a shallow stop, and the length from base of stop to tip of nose
should be at least 1-1/2 inches. Nostrils should be well developed and the pigment uniformly black. Putty, or "dudley" noses, and white
patches on the nose are serious faults, as are small, pinched nostrils.
Well tapered; mouth level; lips well covering. Faults: Sharp, pointed or snipey
muzzle. Full or pendulous lips. Flesh marks, i.e. patches of pink pigment showing through hair on muzzle.
Strong and even, preferably meeting in a scissors bite, although a level bite is
permitted. Undershot mouths are greatly to be discouraged; it should be emphasized, however, that a slightly undershot bite
in an otherwise well-balanced head with the correct sweet expression should not be penalized in favor of a level mouth with
a plain or hard expression. Faults: weak or crooked teeth; crooked jaws.
Set high, but not close, on top of the head. Leather long, with plenty of silky
feathering, and wide enough so that when the dog is alert, the ears fan slightly forward to frame the face.
Fairly long, without throatiness, well enough muscled to form a slight arch at
the crest. Set smoothly into nicely sloping shoulders.
Shoulders: Sloping back gently with moderate angulation, to give the characteristic look of top class and presence
Short-coupled with ribs well sprung but not barreled. Chest moderately deep, leaving ample heart room. Back level, leading into strong, muscular hind quarters. Slightly less body at the
flank than at the last rib, but with no tucked-up appearance.
straight and well under the dog, bone moderate, elbows close to the sides. Hind legs moderately muscled; stifles well-turned;
hocks well let down. The hind legs viewed from the rear, should parallel each other from hock to heel. Pasterns strong and
feet compact with well-cushioned pads. The dog stands level on all four feet. Faults: loose elbows, crooked legs; stifles
turned in or out; cow hocks; stilted action; weak pasterns; open feet.
Set so as to be carried level with the back. Tail should be in constant characteristic
motion when dog is in action.
Docking: Docking is optional, but whether or not the tail is docked, it must
balance the body. If docked, the tail must not be cut too short; two-thirds is the absolute minimum to be left on the
body, and the tails of broken-colored dogs should always be docked to leave a white tip.
Long and silky and very soft to the touch; free from curl, though a slight wave
is permissible. Feathering on ears, legs and tail should be long, and the feathering on the feet is a feature of the breed.
Trimming: NO trimming of the dog
is permitted. However, it is permissible, and often desirable, to remove the hair growing between the pads on the underside
of the foot.
Height 12 to 13 inches at the withers; weight, proportionate to height, between
13 and 18 pounds. These are ideal heights and weights; slight variations are permissible, and a dog should be penalized only
in comparison with one of equal general appearance, type and quality. The weedy specimen is as much to be penalized as the
The following colors are the only ones
Blenheim: Rich chestnut markings well broken up on a pearly white ground. The ears must be red and the color
evenly spaced on the head, with a wide white blaze between the ears, in the center of which is the much valued lozenge (diamond),
or "Blenheim Spot". The lozenge is a unique and highly desirable, though not essential, characteristic of the Blenheim.
Tricolor: Jet black markings well-broken up on a pearly white ground; with rich tan markings
over the eyes, on cheeks, inside ears and on underside of tail.
Whole-colored rich red.
Black-and-Tan: Jet black with rich tan markings over the eyes, on cheeks,
inside ears, on chest, legs, and underside of tail.
is important to remember that a dog can have one or more of the faults listed in the Standard, in moderation, and still be
an over-all typical, gay elegant Cavalier. On the other hand, bad temper or meanness are not to be tolerated and shall be
considered disqualifying faults. It is the typical gay temperament, combined with true elegance and "royal" appearance, which
are of paramount importance in the breed.