The start of a friendship between Pam Upton and Denis and Cherith Branquinho after Denis and Cherith bought their first puppy from Pam, led to the birth of the Club.

Initially Pam and Denis started and ‘unofficial cavalier club’ by sending out numerous letters and newsletters to cavalier owners. The then started holding ‘cavalier tea parties’ and fun shows in Denis and Cherith’s back garden.

Once they had a small group of devoted cavalier owners, they organised a few fun raising events in an effort to raise enough funds to become affiliated to the Kennel Union of Southern Africa. After a lot of hard work and perseverance this dream eventually became a reality.

The clubs first steps into the world of dog shows began by drawing up a Code of Ethics and a Constitution and this was done with the help of The Victory Toy Dog Club.  A committee was then formed and the criteria was met and the approval received from the Kennel Union of Southern Africa (KUSA).  The club was then required to hold one Open Show every year for 4 years and then a Qualifying Show in the 5th year before permission was granted by KUSA to enable us to hold our first Championship Show in 2008.  A long process but a great triumph as we were the very first Cavalier Club to hold a Championship Show in South Africa.

Without the tenacious and dedicated work done by Pam and Robbie Upton, Denis and Cherith Branquinho and a small group of staunch Cavalier enthusiasts, the club would never have come into being.

Like any club, we need the support of our members.  We will be trying hard to grow the club and are making the effort to involve all members, whether just ‘pet owners’, or those that like showing their dogs.

Our newsletter will become a regular feature again … one many are very glad about!. We are organising more ‘non show’ functions so all members can benefit from being club members and there are also plans afoot for functions for our Gauteng members …

We encourage our members to make suggestions as to what they would like to receive from being members of the club and will endeavour to accommodate requests.

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CKCS

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel come in 4 recognised colour combinations:

Blenheim

Rich ruby red well broken up on a pearly white background. The ‘lozenge’ is unique and desirable but not an essential characteristic of the Blenheim.

Tricolour

Black and white with tan highlights. The ears and areas surrounding the eyes are black separated by a splash of white. They have tan highlights on the face, the eye brows, under the ears and under the tail.

Black and Tan

Black with tan highlights, most notably tan eyebrows, cheeks, chest, legs and beneath the tail.

Ruby

Entirely ruby red in colour.

The other characteristics, which are the same for all the colours; are ideally they should be about 30cm to 35cm in size, weigh between 5.5kg to 8.5kg (a little under or over this is not serious), head is almost flat between long high set ears with abundant feathering, dark round expressive eyes, medium to long length silky coat that should not be trimmed except between the paw pads to prevent slipping.

WHY CHOSE A CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIEL AS A PET

There are so many reasons why a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel makes a perfect pet and so few that make them unsuitable.

The temperament and nature of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which makes them a companion par excellence, is perfectly summarised in one of the sentences that Queen Victoria had inscribed on the memorial of her beloved Cavalier, ‘Dash’.

“…. His attachment was without selfishness, his playfulness without malice, his fidelity without deceit …”

A sweet, gentle natured and loving animal, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is highly affectionate, gentle, fearless, playful, extremely patient and very eager to please.  They repay their owners care and attention with an endearing devotion.

They will adapt quickly to almost any environment, family and location.  They are great with people of all ages, from children to seniors, making them very versatile dogs.  Young children must however, as with any pet, be supervised and taught how to treat them so as not to hurt them.

They are equally at home living in a house with large grounds or a townhouse with little garden, sitting on your lap or being taken for walks.  They are however not happy being left alone for too long.

They bond easily with household pets, but their hunting instincts can result in them chasing a butterfly or catching the odd dove.

They are naturally curious and playful, but also enjoy simply cuddling up on a cushion or lap.

Retirees or people on their own find the companionship, temperament, small size and easy maintenance idea.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are not good guard dogs.  While they will alert their owner to the arrival of someone new, they seem to regard all strangers as friends.  Although a noisy greeting may be enough to ward off a prowler, it would be difficult picturing anyone being scared off by a Cavalier.