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News » Proposed Revisions to the Breed Standard
Proposed Revisions to the Breed Standard
CKCSCC PROPOSED ALTERATIONS TO THE BREED STANDARD
REVISION 2 - November 4, 2016
I have heard from you with regard to changes, and have come up with the following alterations. These are agreed to either by consensus or majority of the committee. All changes are underlined and an explanation given.
Members of the Breed Standard Committee include:
Norma Moffat, Chair , Louise Pearce, Elaine Mitchell, Mavis Holub, Elaine Whitney, Susan Smith
1.0 Origin and Purpose
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a much-admired Royal Spaniel. Descended from the Toy Spaniels of Europe, the breed was variously known as the “comforter” or “Spaniel Gentle” and first appeared in the courts of England with the reign of Queen Mary I. The breed, which appears in many of the great paintings of the Masters, received its name from King Charles II. It became virtually extinct in the Victorian and Edwardian eras, as short-nosed breeds took the fore. By 1923 the King Charles Spaniel (today’s English Toy) with its flat nose had replaced the old-type Toy Spaniel. In 1926 the incentive for the revitalization of the old-type Toy Spaniel was provided by Mr. Roswell Eldridge, an American who offered prizes of £25 for the Best Dog and Best Bitch of this type at Crufts. The name Cavalier was added when the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club was founded in 1928 to further develop the breed. It was not until 1945 that the Kennel Club (England) granted separate registration from the King Charles. The popularity of these companion dogs has spread around the world and in 1957 the breed gained Canadian Kennel Club recognition.
2.0 General Appearance
Existing: An active, graceful, well-balanced dog, very gay and free in action.
PROPOSED CHANGE: An active, graceful, well-balanced dog, very happy and free in action.
REASON FOR CHANGE: The word “gay” no longer means what it did years ago, and we should adapt to the change of meaning.
Fearless and sporting in character, yet at the same time gentle and affectionate.
4.0 Size Existing: Height 12 - 13 inches (30 - 33 cm). Weight proportionate to height 12 - 18 pounds (5 - 8 kg). Slight variations permissible. A small, well-balanced dog well between these heights and weights is desirable. Overall type and quality should not be sacrificed for size alone. A weedy specimen is to be penalized as severely as a coarse one.
PROPOSED CHANGE: Height 12 - 13 inches (30 - 33 cm.) Weight proportionate to height 14 - 18 lbs. (6.4 - 8 kg.) Slight variations permissible. A small, well-balanced dog well between these heights and weights is desirable. Overall type and quality should not be sacrificed for size alone. A weedy specimen is to be penalized as severely as a coarse one.
REASON FOR CHANGE: The weight variance is too great. 12 pounds may be correct for an English Toy, but cannot be correct for a Cavalier if the dog is to have any substance.
Existing: Long, silky, and 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. It is common and permissible for bitches to carry less coat than dogs. No trimming, scissoring, clipping, or artificial colouring is allowed and this should be severely penalized.
PROPOSED CHANGE: Long, silky and 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. It is common and permissible for bitches to carry less coat than dogs. A totally natural coat is preferred. Any neatening must be kept to an absolute minimum.
REASON FOR CHANGE: We have all seen scissored and trimmed dogs winning, and some judges do not see fit to penalize this. I realize that it is difficult for them when a superior overall specimen is seen to be trimmed and an inferior one has a natural coat. Therefore it seems hypocritical to retain the last sentence. The main sentence here is that a totally natural coat is preferred, and that is accentuating the positive rather than the negative.)
Blenheim: Bright chestnut red markings well-broken up on a pearly white ground. The red on the head must extend around the eyes as well as down over the ears. A pure white muzzle is preferred. There must be a distinct white blaze between the eyes. Between the ears may be the lozenge or spot unique to the Blenheim which is a highly desirable, but not essential, characteristic.
Tricolour: Jet black markings well-broken up on a pearly white ground. The black on the head must extend around the eyes as well as down over the ears. There must be a distinct white blaze between the eyes. A pure white muzzle is preferred. Rich tan markings appear over the eyes, on cheeks, inside ears, under the tail, and around the vent. Tan should appear inside the legs where it is adjacent to black.
Ruby: Whole-coloured rich red. White marks are undesirable.
PROPOSED CHANGE: Whole-coloured rich chestnut red.
REASON FOR CHANGE: The dog is not in fact red. It is actually chestnut red. Also, eliminating the “white marks undesirable” takes away the negative aspect. The phrase “white marks undesirable” was only put in during the last review of the Standard. Committee members have commented if we leave this phrase in, then we should add a similar phrase to the Standard to the effect that heavily marked or blanketed partis are undesirable when the Standard says “well broken.” White marks as a fault are already covered in 14.0.
Black & Tan: Jet black with rich tan markings over the eyes, on cheeks and muzzle, inside the ears, on throat and chest, on forelegs from knees to toes, on the inside of the hind legs also extending from hocks to toes, on the underside of the tail, and surrounding the vent. White marks are undesirable.
PROPOSED CHANGE: Jet black with rich tan markings over the eyes, on cheeks and muzzle, inside the ears, on throat and chest, on forelegs from knees to toes, on the inside of the hind legs also extending from hocks to toes, on the underside of the tail and surrounding the vent.
REASON FOR CHANGE: Eliminating “White marks undesirable.” See above.
Head: Almost flat between the ears, without dome. Stop moderate. Length from base of stop to tip of nose about 1 ½ inches (4 cm). Nostrils should be well developed and the pigment black. Lack of stop or too deep a stop are to be penalized equally.
PROPOSED CHANGE: Almost flat between the ears, without dome. Stop moderate. Lack of stop or too deep a stop are to be penalized equally. Nostrils should be well developed and the pigment black. Length from base of stop to tip of nose about 1 ½ inches (4 cm.) or 2/3 length of skull to 1/3 nose.
REASON FOR CHANGE: Elaine Mitchell comments that the skull to nose ratio is more important than an actual measurement because dogs vary in size, and their heads accordingly. A 14 lb. dog may well have a shorter muzzle than an 18 lb. one. I think we can keep the option of measurement since it is approximate.
Muzzle: Tapering slightly to the nose. Lips well-covered and well-cushioned but not hound-like. There should be cushioning beneath the eyes which contributes much to the sweet, gentle expression characteristic of the breed.
Mouth: Teeth strong and even, meeting in a scissors bite. Level and undershot mouths are to be discouraged. However, a slightly undershot bite in an otherwise well-balanced head with the correct sweet expression should not be penalized in favour of a scissors or level bite with a plain head or hard expression.
PROPOSED CHANGE: Teeth strong and even, meeting in a scissors bite. Level and undershot mouths are incorrect. However, a level or slightly undershot bite in an otherwise well-balanced head with cushioning and a sweet expression should not be penalized in favour of a scissors bite with a plain head or hard expression.
REASON FOR CHANGE: Emphasizing the positive of cushioning and sweet expression versus the plain and hard expression mentioned. Also making clear that both level and undershot bites are considered incorrect.
Eyes: Should be large, round, and set well apart. Colour should be a warm dark brown, giving a lustrous, limpid look. Eye rims should be dark. Small, light or bulging eyes, or a white ring surrounding the iris are very undesirable.
Ears: Set high but not close to the 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.
Moderate length, without throatiness. Well enough muscled to form a slight arch at the crest. Set smoothly into nicely sloping shoulders.
Forelegs straight and set well under the dog. Bone moderate. Elbows close to the sides. Shoulders well-laid back. Pasterns strong and feet compact, well-feathered and with well-cushioned pads.
Short-coupled with ribs well-sprung but not barreled. Chest moderately deep leaving ample heart room. Back level. Slightly less body at the flank than at the rib, but with no tucked-up appearance. Bitches may be slightly longer at the loin.
Hind legs moderately muscled, well-angulated at the stifles. Hocks relatively short and at right angle to the ground when standing. Hind legs should parallel each other from hock to heel with no tendency to long, cow or sickle hocks.
Set on so as to be carried level with the back. Tail should be in constant motion while the dog is moving. Docking is optional, leaving 2/3 of the tail and the tail must balance the body. A white tip must be left on the tails of Blenheims and Tricolours.
PROPOSED CHANGE: Set on so as to be carried level with the back. Tail should be in constant motion while the dog is moving. Docking, or any other artificial alteration of the tail is not permitted.
REASON FOR CHANGE: Docking has been banned in a number of countries already. It was traditionally done when Cavaliers were commonly used to hunt birds. The tail could get caught up in brambles and thorns when retrieving, and that is the reason docking was done. A reason for docking in recent years was to amend the balance of the dog if the tail appeared to be too long for the body. The reason for the “artificial alteration” clause is that unscrupulous breeders have had a dog’s tail broken so that it will not be carried too high in the ring. Dogs who have suffered this surgery can be spotted because the tail seems to hang down from the middle. It is up to judges to decide if this has been done, and to put such a dog at the end of the line.
Free moving and elegant with good reach in front and sound drive from the rear. Head carried slightly forward on the move. Back level and tail carried straight behind as an extension of the line of the back. Good length of stride from the side. Front and rear should move straight and true.
Note: The Cavalier should be moved on a loose lead and never “strung up”.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in proportion to its degree.
Nervousness, shyness, and aggression in adults.
Trimming, scissoring, or artificial colouring.
Lack of a white blaze in Blenheim or Tricolour.
White marks on Ruby or Black and Tan.
Small, light or bulging eyes, or a white rim around the iris.
Long, cow, or sickle hocks.
Colours other than the four above.
Clown faces (white around one or both eyes or white ears).
Tricolours and Black & Tans lacking tan markings.