O.J. A King Charles Spaniel that came into our Dixon Clinic

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There are many types of Spaniels and here at our Dixon clinic is a very nice example of the King Charles Spaniel. This picture is of O.J. and his human and if you look carefully you can see the most prominent characteristics of the King Charles breed: Small size, short nose, domed head and abrupt stop between the nose and the head. The history of the King Charles and the Cavalier King Charles is long and confusing. The story begins with the migration of at least one small East Asian Toy Spaniel to the court of England’s Queen Mary in 1540 and then to the court of King Charles in 1650. (note that it is not clear whether the first Spaniels went from Asia to Spain or from Spain to Asia and then back) Then the Cavalier King Charles and Blenheim varieties developed with short faces and a stop. In 1900 the Cavalier was bred back to resemble King Charles’ original dog with a larger body, long nose, flat head and minimum stop while the King Charles Spaniel as it was already known in 1900 retained its very small size and current head characteristics. These dogs now have very little hunting capabilities left and make excellent house dogs though sometimes they can be a little excitable and periodically hyperactive as was O.J. the whole time we were trying to catch his picture.

– Geoffrey Antipa

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