Facts about Cavaliers

BaxterAs regular readers know, Baxter the Wonder Dog is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The video below gives some facts about the breed. Although they originated in England in the 1600s, at the end of World War II, there were only six such dogs and all the current dogs are descendants from them.

One problem of having such a narrow population bottleneck is that any genetic problem in one or more of the original group would be propagated to large numbers of dogs. It is known that the breed suffers from a congenital mitral valve heart defect that makes their life spans shorter than for comparable small dogs. Reputable breeders, like the person from whom we got Baxter, are trying to get rid of that trait. We get him checked regularly and so far he does not show any symptoms so we are keeping our fingers crossed.

This video captures perfectly why they are so lovable and Baxter has all those qualities.


  1. Holms says

    Mano Singham, of all your contentious posts, this one truly is beyond the pale. The best dog in the world was and continues to be my childhood chihuahua.

  2. Katydid says

    Such a cute breed!

    My neighbors are hosting their granddog at a sleep-away camp at their house for a week while their children are travelling. The dog looks like a cross between a beagle and a CKC, and I’m hoping that the cross means it won’t suffer from the heart problems so prevalent in the breed. Glad to hear Baxter is doing fine.

  3. Funny Diva says

    Another congenital problem with the CKCS is syringomyelia due to brachycephaly (which I learned about from a BBC documentary on congenital problems in modern purebred show-dogs). Definitely another reason to find a reputable breeder trying to get rid of the bad traits in one’s favorite breed!

    That said, these li’l guys really are totes adorbs. And still will be even with crania large enough for their brains!

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