Toys Are Us?
The Cavalier has historically been considered a Toy spaniel, preferred by ladies and gentleman at Court in
The Cavalier is arguably among the largest of the Toys, but a toy nonetheless. At 12-13” and recommended weights up to 18 lbs., he stands out, with the Pug, among the least diminutive in the Group. Indeed, one of the criticisms of Cavalier judging has been that many Toy judges have insisted on rewarding the smallest Cavaliers in the ring, whether or not they were the best specimens—simply because they cannot get their heads around the fact that a proper Cavalier has substance and bone commensurate with his height. BUT—the Cavalier has long been considered a Toy in the
In every chronicle I know of that recites the development of the modern Cavalier, he and his ancestors have been referred to as “toy spaniels.” “Toy” is his heritage…it is what he “looks like”, not what he “does.” The first line of the breed standard refers to him as a “toy spaniel.” If he is suddenly labeled as a breed that no longer belongs in the Toy Group, but is to be thought of first as a Companion, should we change our standard and ignore our history books? While I know he will flourish in whatever Group to which he belongs, it would seem a shame to me to move him from the very Group that defines him--changing his identity as a Toy, which is the very essence of his colorful, complex, and long history, and what has been so carefully cultivated by his breeders worldwide for many decades.