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Cavalier Colours!

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Rich chestnut markings, well broken up on a pearly white ground. Ears are covered in red chestnut which also surrounds both eyes. The colour is evenly spaced on the head with a white blaze in-between their eyes. Some Blenheim’s also have the desirable lozenge, “queen’s kiss” or Blenheim spot on the top of their head. Blenheim colouring will richen with age. Some beauty marks/freckles may develop within the first year as well.

  • When a Blenheim is bred to a Blenheim you will always only receive Blenheim puppies.  The genetic make-up of a Blenheim is ee:ss.  Blenheim is the easiest colour genetic make up.


  • Blenheim bred to a Tri-Colour can produce either Blenheim or Tri-Colour puppies.


  • Blenheim bred to Black and Tan can produce all four colours with some white miskarkings possible on the solid colour puppies.  White mismarkings are normally found on the chest, center of face and paws and may diminish with age.


  • Blenheim bred to a Ruby either Blenheim or Ruby coloured puppies are possible and some white mismarkings on the Ruby coloured puppies is possible.


The Ruby is a solid red (or chestnut in colour).  It has little variance, but may be a coppery red or a mahogony red.

  • A Ruby bred to a Ruby will produce all Ruby puppies.


  • When a Ruby bred to a Black and Tan will produce either Ruby and Black and Tan puppies.


  • Ruby bred to a Tri Colour can yield all four colours with the possibility of white mismarkings on the Ruby and Black and Tan puppies.


  • A Ruby bred to a Blenehim can produce either Ruby or Blenheim coloured puppies are possible and some white mismarkings on the Ruby coloured puppies is possible.


  • Breeding a Ruby to a Blenheim can also greatly increase the richness of the Blenheim puppies colouring.


Jet black markings broken up on a pearly white background, with rich tan markings over the eyes, on the cheeks, under side of ears and underside of tail. The ears are black and black also covers both eyes. Colour is evenly spaced on the head with a white blaze between the eyes. Of the four colours the Tri's markings will change the most. The black will always grow in on the white. The Tri's white blaze must be very broad at birth if you want your puppy to have a blaze as an adult. As the blaze fills in many Tri's lose their blaze entirely by their first birthday. The wider the blaze at birth the wider as an adult. Some beauty marks/freckles may develop within the first year as well.

  • When you breed Tri Colour to a Blenheim you can receive both Tri Colour or Blenheim.


  • Tri Colour to Tri Colour you will most like receive all Tri Colour unless both parents are Ee:ss, (produced from a Blenheim X Tri or Blenheim X Black and Tan parents), and in this case you can receive both Blenheim or Tri Colour puppies.


  • Tri Colour bred to either Ruby or Black and Tan can produce all four colours with the possibility of mismarkings on the solid coloured puppies.

Black & Tan

Jet black with rich tan markings over the eyes, on cheeks, inside ears, on chest, legs, and underside of tail. The genetic combinations for Black and Tan's are very complicated.

  • When bred to a Blenheim or Tri Colour they can produce all four colours with the possibility of white mismarkings on the Black and Tan and Ruby puppies.


  • Black and Tan bred to another Black and Tan will produce all Black and Tan puppies.


  • A Black and Tan bred to a Ruby will produce either Black and Tan or Ruby puppies.


  • Mismarkings do diminish with maturity. How much white will remain in adulthood depends on how much was there at birth. Small amounts of white on the chest will most likely disappear with age while a large amount some will remain. White on the feet tends to stays. 

Mismarked or Misinformed?


Studying Cavalier colour inheritance and exposing the truth about Kennel Club standards.


The Kennel Clubs have several mismarkings or "incorrect" colour coat patterns listed for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, such as:


Incorrect white

~ Too much white on the face or body of a Blenheim or Tri-Colour

~ Any white on a Ruby or a Black and Tan



Exsessive ticking (freckles) on a Blenheim or Tri-Colour


Incorrect Tan

~ Seen on Tri-Colours and Black and Tans


Incomplete Pigment

~ Of the nose or eye-rims on a Blenheim or Tri-Colour


Blue Eyes

~ Usually only seen on a Blenheim or Tri-Colour


Now, here are some important Kennel Club facts about the colour allowances for this breed:


When breeding Cavaliers, "incorrect" colour patterns are basically to be expected and there is virtually no way to avoid it!


Here is why ...


The Piebald gene (sp) which creates the colour pattern for Blenheim and Tri-Colours, is recessive to the solid gene (S) on the Spotting Locus.  However, the Cavalier in most cases is heterozygous for these genes (Ssp), meaning that most of them carry the Piebald gene and will produce dogs with varying amounts of white.  Mismarkings generally take form as white on the toes, chest, face, and sometimes the tail of a Black and Tan Cavalier, and too much white or ticking on the face or body of a Blenheim and Tri-Colour, or incorrect tan markings on a Black and tan or Tri-Colour.  To this day no one can determine what controls the "too much white" gene and therefore it's all but impossible to eliminate it from showing up as a mismarking.


The Cavalier's genetics and breed standards determine that the Cavalier will never be "perfect". Another example is for the colour pigment around the eye-rims and the amount of ticking that is allowed.


Too much white on the face (most commonly seen in Blenheims and Tri-Colours) often also alters the eye-rim pigment if the white extends over the eye(s) instead of the chestnut (Ruby) or black colour.  But at the same time the breed standard requires that the Blenheim and Tri-Colour colours coat pattern have a "broad white facial marking" that extends from the nose, up between the eyes, over the head and it may extend down the back of the neck.  And as mentioned above, it is not possible to avoid mismarkings -- so who has the right to call "too much white" an "incorrect" colour pattern?


The ticking gene (Tt) is also found in the Cavalier and is also acceptable, in fact, particularly in the case of the Blenheim it is most desired to have a small "lozenge" sized marking on the top of the head between the ears, and it is considered to most likely be a large ticking spot.  And freckles (ticking) is acceptable on both the Blenheim and Tri-Colour on both the face and body -- but "too much ticking" is frowned upon.  Most Blenheim and Tri-colours are heterozygous for the ticking gene (TT) -- so, again, who has the right to call "too much ticking" an incorrect colour pattern?


The tan markings found on the Tri-Colour and Black and Tan Cavalier are also in the spotlight for not always being the correct size, shape, or location.  The thing to understand about tan markings is that they are found in several breeds such as the Cavalier, Rottweiler, Bernese Mountain Dog, Doberman, and the Collie to name only a few -- and every one of these breeds have varying and uncontrollable Tri-Colour or tan markings as they are also dictated by the Piebald gene (sp) or (Ssp).  Whenever a tan marking is not dark enough, extends into the surrounding black or white colour, it is considered a mismarking.


In the case of ALL "mismarkings" -- they occur as NATURAL and UNAVOIDABLE genetic colour combinations of the breed!


So what's the "problem"?


According the Kennel Club standards ... (which were decided upon and written up based SOLELY on someone's idea of FASHION and their own personal LIKES and DISLIKES) ... No amount of white is allowed on the Ruby or Black and Tan colours, and too much white on a Blenheim and Tri-colour is also frowned upon!


So what have Kennel Clubs and SOME breeders 


done to try and correct this "problem"?


Kennel clubs have encouraged breeders to strictly breed solid colours to other solids and piebalds to piebalds, and all of it has been done in vain because ALL CAVALIERS still produce "incorrect" white markings even if none are present in the parent dogs (or even for generations!).


Another huge problem has been presented by this selective breeding of colours -- what you may ask?


Limiting the colours bred to each other narrows the genetic diversity into two smaller gene pools, and by doing so it only causes genetic disorders to arise in a breed that has already been on a rocky road with breeders practicing line-breeding (breeding related dogs to each other) to SUPPOSEDLY retain certain physical and/or colour/marking traits that are IMPOSSIBLE to control.  And what for? All for the purpose of FASHION and creating the UN-ACHIEVABLE "PERFECT" dog.This problem with the Kennel Club and SOME breeders trying to manipulate the colour/appearance is not limited to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed, but rather EVERY breed out there!


Our PROMISE to you:


We at Pleasant Meadows promise to the best of our ability to raise dogs based on selecting healthy breeding stock, and NOT focusing solely on the "cosmetic colour/appearance" of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, but instead breeding for health and temperament, and creating an overall excellent family dog.  We have chosen our breeding dogs not only for their healthy lines, but for their own unique beauty!


If you want the "perfect" un-acheivable uniformly marked, perfect pigmented, perfect amount of ticking, and no mismarkings ... this in itself will not yield quality of health or temperament in a dog.  We will not penalize or discard any of the dogs that we own or produce because of an "incorrect" markng, as these colour/pattern markings come directly from nature and are individual to each and every dog!


God created all living creatures to be unique and we have no right to try and manipulate them to fit man-made rules and desires!

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