Works of art
| Group: Toys
Breed Family: Spaniel
Early in the twentieth century certain dog fanciers became dissatisfied with how the descendants of the King Charles Spaniel dogs had developed, considering them too small and too flat-faced. Indeed, they wanted a dog that looked more like the toy which appeared in the paintings of Van Dyck.
In the early 1920's Roswell Eldridge of Long Island, New York, a breeder of (red and white) Toy Spaniels, decided to do something about the way the dog looked, for he considered it a problem in the breed. In 1926 he offered cash prizes at the prestigious Crufts Dog Show in London for Blenheim Spaniels, "of the old type." The prizes were to continue for five years. Eldridge preferred the type with a more pronounced muzzle and a flat rather than a domed head. He hoped that other breeders would respond by showing this type.
Evidently breeders had been thinking along the same lines, for this type did appear at dog shows, and in 1928 fanciers formed a club for the advancement of the "new" breed. Within just a few years this new breed, to be known as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, became established. In England it has been recognized by The Kennel Club since 1944, and in The United States since 1996.