Cavaliers as Companions
May/June/July 2022
Edited by Dennis & Tina Homes

My Favourite Pet
This painting called "My favorite pet" is by Charles Baxter (1809-1879)


Pharyngeal Gag Reflex, more commonly known as Reverse Sneezing, is a rapid inhalation of air through the nose which causes the dog to make repetitive snorting sounds almost as if he is choking. This is also sometimes referred to as Inspiratory Paroxysmal Respiration. Often when a pet owner first encounters their dog doing this is causes great alarm but in the majority of cases there is absolutely nothing to worry about. A reverse sneeze can last from just a few seconds or up to a minute or so. Smaller breeds are more prone to this condition especially breeds with shorter muzzles whereby they often have an overlong soft palate which is the soft fleshy extension of the hard palate at the roof of the mouth. It will sometimes be sucked across the entrance to the larynx and this in turn will make the dog snort. Various things may cause an incident to start, most commonly pulling on a lead when out walking. Foreign bodies and even pollens in the nasal passage may cause a reaction. The best way to stop the dog from snorting is to hold him still and briefly close his nostrils until he swallows or gently rub his throat. Usually the dog is quickly back to normal. It is only in cases where a dog has an excessively overlong soft palate that veterinary treatment is needed and fortunately that is not such a common ailment in Cavaliers. Dogs who are afflicted by this usually pant and snort quite a lot of the time.


That’s a question that we are often asked and the simple answer is "Whatever is comfortable!" If your dog could choose he or she would probably say, "My owner’s bed!" For a young puppy we usually suggest using a strong but snug cardboard box with soft bedding in it. As the puppy grows you can increase the size of the box. If you buy a very small bed for a young pup it will soon become too small as the puppy grows and you will then have to buy a bigger one. It may therefore be wise to wait until the puppy is about three months old before buying a proper bed. There are very many types to choose from as shown below. There are soft beds, hard plastic beds, wicker beds, framed beds, etc. All are excellent and it is really down to your own personal preference.

Dog Beds

Some people who have several dogs may like to have a separate bed for each dog. We have a few beds but our mob all prefer to share one!!!!

Sleeping Cavaliers


Wagtails At Crufts

There was no Crufts last year due to the Covid pandemic so it was great to see this wonderful dog show, (the world’s largest), back again. And once again the Cavalier team Wagtails took part in the Obreedience competition and ended up in a very worthy overall third place. Many congratulations to them.


We have all been shocked and horrified by the war in Ukraine and the devastating effects that it has had on its citizens. The Kennel Club has launched a fundraising campaign to support dogs and their owners affected by the conflict. So far, they have managed to raise over £225,000 from various trusts, dog societies and general donations from dog owners. The Cavalier Club itself has managed to raise £15,250. This was achieved by a £5,000 direct Club donation, a £5,000 sum from the Club Benevolent Fund and £5,000 from their partners The Cavalier Welfare. In addition, £250 was collected by attendees at the recent Cavalier Club Championship Show.

Ukrainian Cavalier owners and exhibitors at an event before the war began.
Ukrainian Cavalier owners and exhibitors at an event before the war began.

Anna is a Ukranian Cavalier breeder who also has some Yorkshire Terriers. She lived in Mariupol which has been almost destroyed by Russian bombs. She is known by many Cavalier owners across the world from her regular posts on Facebook. When the bombardment began on Mariupol she had to put all her dogs in a basement cellar to keep them safe. She posted a photo of her dogs in the cellar which caused great concern among her Facebook friends who became extremely concerned for her safety.

Anna spent twenty three days in a basement in Mariupol, sixteen of which were without any form of communication which alarmed so many people who became more and more worried about her safety. After all this time she finally managed to get out of Mariupol with all her dogs as she was determined not to leave any of them behind. Finally, after a long a treacherous journey across Ukraine, she eventually made it to safety in Poland. She now hopes to eventually get to Portugal where she will stay with friends, and of course with her precious dogs.

Ukraine Dogs in Cellar
Anna had to keep her dogs in a basement cellar in Mariupol
to keep them safe from the continued bombing

Anna in Poland
Safe at last. Anna with some of her dogs after she finally arrived in Poland.


Back in December 2009 we wrote an article here on Cavaliers as Companions about a Ruby Cavalier named Nutmeg. She was born in May of that year but unfortunately had a poor a start in life. As a very young puppy she was not in the best of health and her owners decided that they could not keep her and actually thought that it would be best if she was put to sleep. However, the vet firmly believed that her illness was treatable and contacted the Humberside Cavalier Club’s Welfare Rescue and between them they persuaded the owner to sign her over and she was nursed back to health and given lots of tender loving care. By September she was quite well and was adopted by Stephanie and Keith Mason who already had a Cavalier cross named Kizzy. Nutmeg soon proved to be a very loving and affectionate little girl and absolutely full of energy. However, her health problems were never that far away and with every two steps forward there always seemed to be another one step back. She had several bouts of colitis and also kennel cough but despite all this she always remained happy with a constant wagging tail and so very anxious to please. Just prior to her third birthday she went for a BAER test and was found to be totally deaf in one ear and with very little hearing in the other. Once this condition was diagnosed Stephanie and Keith started to concentrate on using hand signals for her training and she has responded to this extremely well.

In May 2013 we featured her again in Cavaliers as Companions with an update on her. By then she had passed her bronze Kennel Club Good Citizen scheme award, and after her deafness was diagnosed Stephanie and Keith made the decision to still continue with the training. Earlier that year she gained both her silver and gold awards. The trainers were brilliant with her and, as she is the first deaf dog that they had ever trained, it was indeed a learning curve for them also, especially as her test was conducted entirely with hand signals.

We have recently heard from Stephanie and Keith and they have given us their latest update on dear Nutmeg. As she approaches her thirteenth birthday she is slowing down a lot and sleeps the days away but does still enjoy a couple of shortish walks each day. She always comes to her little ‘sister’s’ Hoopers training classes and acts as chief cheerleader for Asha. She has had the occasional run round the courses for fun but recently had the opportunity to tackle a proper course. She was paw perfect. So, at the age of almost thirteen, this deaf and arthritic little rescue girl achieved a first-time pass at the Hoopers World level one. She was the trainers oldest ever pupil to do so and almost certainly the oldest Cavalier ever to achieve this. Just like those brilliant disabled athletes in the Paralympics Nutmeg has indeed proved herself a true Superstar Cavalier.



For those of you who have read the above article on Nutmeg and are wondering what Canine Hoopers is all about here are some links. It is fast becoming both a sport for dogs and their handlers and is also a great way of training your dog. Firstly, here below is a YouTube video showing some of the starting exercises followed by a couple of links to Canine Hooper websites. With more and more people entering their dogs in this sport it could well end up as popular as Agility or Flyball.


The Cavalier is largely a manufactured breed. We know the original spaniels that are featured in old renaissance paintings were small red and white with smooth silky coats. There did appear to be small fringes on their ear leathers and tail and feet. The crossing of other breeds in the Victorian era to change their make and shape also changed their coat structures. The history is still somewhat vague. The addition of oriental dogs then, was largely responsible for more featherings. Today both show and pet Cavaliers carry a much larger coat. This does need to be addressed sometimes.

When the Cavalier was first given Kennel Club recognition a standard was drawn up. The wording with regard to the coat reads. "Long, silky free from curl. Slight wave permissible. Plenty of feathering. Totally free from trimming". However, I don’t know of many show breeders who strictly adhere to the latter. For ease of cleanliness and general tidiness some general trimming is done to tidy the underside of the feet. It is amazing just how much coat does grow in between the pads. Some dogs never seem to be bothered, or at least they don’t grow very much hair, whilst others need to be heavily trimmed to avoid heavy mats which can in some cases make it uncomfortable for the dog to walk. Think of a stone in your shoe. You will appreciate how your dog might feel. Also, allowing the nails to grow untrimmed also adds to general discomfort.

The following pictures show how best to keep your pet in trim.

There is nothing more annoying than coming in from a wet muddy walk and your pet bring half the park in with him. If you keep the feet trimmed you should be able to avoid the mud.

Cavalier Untrimmed Foot Untrimmed Foot Trimming an Untrimmed Foot

Trimming a footTrimming round a footA trimmed foot

A trimmed foot A pair of nicely trimmed feet


Here are three new books that have just come onto the market. The first two were published just last month and the third is due out mid-May.

The Story Of Your DogThe Story of Your Dog:
A Straightforward Guide to a Complicated Animal

by Brandon McMillan
Publisher: Harper One

GET TO KNOW YOUR DOG. Renowned expert dog trainer and bestselling author of Lucky Dog Lessons Brandon McMillan unpacks the unique and often misunderstood 15,000-year evolutionary history governing a dog’s every move.

Most dog owners know the truth – – their dogs are totally incompatible with the modern world. Instincts like herding, chasing, and protecting have no natural outlet and frequently result in chewing, barking, nipping, jumping, lunging, and worse. However, as McMillan argues in these pages, the solution isn’t as simple as mastering "sit" and "stay." No matter what kind of dog you have, no matter how old or young or well-trained or well-bred, your beloved companion is strongly influenced by his DNA. The result of these genetic distinctions shows up in every inch and action – – from the size and shape of a dog’s head (and the brain inside it) to the length and curve of his tail, from the texture of her fur to the webbing (or lack of webbing) between her toes. It’s in their lung capacity, their tolerance for heat and cold, their appetites for food and exercise, and whether and how they bark. It goes beyond their structure and deep into their psychological profiles. Perhaps you’re lucky enough to have a dog with more than a few breeds mixed in, which makes this information all the more crucial to know and understand.

In The Story of Your Dog, McMillan breaks down why your dog acts the way it does, so you can train better and easier, with fewer missteps and miscommunications, and bond in ways you never thought possible. It is an invitation to get to know the sometimes frustrating but always incredible dog at the other end of the leash.

Perfectly Imperfect PuppyPerfectly Imperfect Puppy:
The ultimate life-changing programme for training a well-behaved, happy dog.

By Greame Hall
Publisher: Ebury Publishing

This is the latest book written by the TV dog trainer Graeme Hall who has his own programme on Channel 5 Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly. In this stress-free guide you will learn how to:

Choose the right puppy for your lifestyle, including the benefits of a rescue dog
Introduce them to the family, other pets and children
Tackle separation anxiety
Train your puppy, while building understanding and trust
Socialise them, so they grow into a happy, well-adjusted dog
Prevent behavioural problems later in life

As he says, "I love working with puppies because there is so much potential to make a lasting difference to a dog’s life and to their owner’s. If you can get it right (or right-ish), you are paving the way for a lifetime of reliably good behaviour."

How the Science of Dogs Changed the Science

by Jules Howard
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

How dogs defied science and changed the way we think about animals
What do dogs really think of us? What do dogs know and understand of the world? Do their emotions feel like our own? Do they love like we do?

Driven by his own love of dogs, Charles Darwin was nagged by questions like these. To root out answers, his contemporaries toyed with dog sign language. To reveal clues, they made special puzzle boxes and elaborate sniff tests using old socks. Later, the same perennial questions about the minds of dogs drove Pavlov and Pasteur to unspeakable cruelty in their search for truth. These big names in science influenced leagues of psychologists and animal behaviourists, each building upon the ideas and received wisdom of previous generations but failing to see what was staring them in the face – that the very methods humans used to study dogs’ minds were influencing the insights reflected back.

To discover the impressive cognitive feats that dogs are capable of, a new approach was needed. Treated with love and compassion, dogs would open up their unique perspective on the world, and a new breed of scientists would be provided answers to life’s biggest questions.

Wonderdog is the story of those dogs – a historical account of how we came to know what dogs are capable of. It’s a celebration of animal minds and the secrets they hold. And it’s a love letter to science, through the good times and the bad.


Flying CavalierFlying Cavalier
"Who is ready for take-off?"


"My fashion philosophy is, if you’re not covered in dog hair, your life is empty"
Elayne Boosler

For further online Cavalier news and stories don’t forget to read some truly inspirational articles by logging on to the Pawz and Pray page at


If you have any questions about owning a Cavalier then click on the envelope to email Dennis and Tina who will only be too pleased to try and help you.

However please remember that we are not Vets or Lawyers so questions on these topics should be addressed to the professionals for advice.

Questions and answers that are of interest to other owners may be published on this page.

The Cavalier Club is not responsible for external website content.
Back to Top
This document maintained by the
Material Copyright The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club