Redwood Forest Cavaliers
Humboldt County - Northern Coastal California

Shirley with Bella & Bianca

Frequently Asked Questions

Who does well with a Cavalier?  The Cavalier has been the companion of choice to high stress people for 400 years.  Every crowned head of England had one as a companion as a child, as did many in the Dutch court. 

More recent celebrities who own or have owned Cavaliers are Ronald and Nancy Reagan, William F. Buckley, Mrs. Frank Sinatra, Candice Bergen, Robert Wagner & Natalie Wood among others.

The Cavalier has a calming effect on many people.  Stress reduction and relaxation can be noticeably felt when a Cavalier curls up peacefully on ones lap.

Are they good with kids?  The Cavalier is excellent with children. Their tendency to interact with their owners makes them especially close friends and confidants for children. They enjoy playtime and activity. Children, of course, need supervision to be certain that the child does not hurt the dog.

Are they good with seniors?  Retirees, or "empty nesters," find the companionship, temperament, small size and easy maintenance ideal.  More than one woman has mentioned that a Cavalier resting on her lap or in the crook of her arm is almost as peaceful as holding a (human) sleeping infant.  Often an active senior with a Cavalier has experienced the receipt of two invitations for a cocktail party: one addressed to the senior and one to the Cavalier.

Are they good guard dogs?  No. While the Cavalier will alert his owner to an arrival of someone new, they seem to regard strangers as friends they haven't met yet. Although a noisy greeting may be enough to ward off a prowler, it would be difficult picturing anyone being scared off by a Cavalier.

Do they travel well?  People who travel often find it easy and pleasant to take their Cavalier along.  Their strong desire to be with their owners makes them willing travelers. The dog’s size and personality contribute to their welcome at "dogs allowed" hotels, marinas & campgrounds.

Are they an AKC breed?  The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel received full recognition by the AKC in January 1996. This has resulted in two national breed clubs, the original CKCSC-USA and the AKC-recognized ACKCSC. 

Can I find one in a pet store?  Hopefully, NEVER!  Every attempt has been made by the CKCSC-USA to prevent Cavaliers from falling into the hands of puppy mills or anyone who would resell the dog. CKCSC member breeders adhere to the Code of Ethics which specifically excludes providing any puppies for resale.  Responsible Cavalier breeders do their best to screen any prospective puppy buyer and often refuse to sell to a less than "ideal" home.

What medical problems do Cavaliers have?  For the most part Cavaliers are quite healthy dogs. There are a few problems which are known to appear in the breed: heart murmurs, Mitral valve heart disease, cataracts, and subluxating patellas.  We have all our dogs checked yearly by Board Certified Veterinary Ophthalmologist and Cardiologist. 

What grooming is required for Cavaliers?  A great deal of time and effort is not necessary if the dog is brushed and combed thoroughly at least once a week.  Cavaliers do shed, particularly in spring and fall, but a little all the time.  Nails should be clipped and the hair between the pads trimmed once a month.  No other trimming is necessary (or allowed) in the show ring.  Knots and tangles are kept to a minimum if the Cavalier is free of parasites and is combed regularly.  

Cavaliers are naturally clean dogs. Too much bathing dries out the skin and hair so certainly do not bathe more than once a week.

Redwood Forest Cavaliers
is located on the North Coast of California.  When you're driving up Highway 101 from the Bay area, once you hit Humboldt County, you see nothing but giant redwoods for miles and miles.  I always say, “We have more trees than people!” 

We adopted our first Cavalier a couple of years after our dog, Precious died.  A tiny terrier/poodle pup that we rescued from the pound, Precious lived with us for 14 years.  My husband and I had decided we would not get another dog, but eventually we realized our “empty nest” was a bit lonely. 

I began researching the breeds to see if “the perfect dog” for us existed.  We wanted a small dog that was smart and didn’t require a great deal of exercise.  I also looked at how much they shed, bark and how aggressive they are.   Since we planned to take the dog to work with us (we own the company), it would need to be “people-friendly”.  And, finally, we needed to be assured that it would be good with children. (Note: We now have grandsons: Leopold, was born in 2009 and Maxwell was born in June 2011!)

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was the breed we chose. I found a reputable breeder who had two female puppies.  He considered both to have show potential.  Before we had chosen which of the pups we wanted, the breeder had to move back East, and made us an offer to take both girls.  We accepted, and oh, what a wonderful decision we made!  I have heard from many folks that Cavaliers are like potato chips: “You can’t have just one!”  My degree is in music and I studied and sang opera, so we named them Bella Donna (Italian for beautiful lady) and Bianca Donna (white lady).  Bella is smaller and has more ruby spots.  Bianca has more white coverage.

Over time, we watched them mature into wonderful examples of the breed and decided to show them.  We belong to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club (  After reading many books, attending dog shows, Cavalier shows, consulting with other breeders and our vet, we decided to become breeders of these wonderful, little dogs.

We strive to breed intelligent, beautiful and happy Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, paying particular attention to temperament, health, and size. 

Cavaliers, a very loving and affectionate breed, have unique personalities.   They are treated with love as members of our family.  We keep our numbers small in order to give them the individual attention they deserve.  

Our puppies are raised in our home, watch TV with us and often sleep in our beds!

Maestro Puccini is our stud male.
(Pronounced my-stro poo-chee-nee; for those not familiar with opera, he is named after the composer of Madame Butterfly.)  I spent a great deal of time trying to find just the right little guy for my girls and I succeeded!  He is adorable in looks and spirit.  When he was a pup, my husband often called him “Feisty McMuffin.”

If you want a dog who...

  • Is small and soft, with large expressive eyes and a lovely feathered coat in a variety of striking colors
  • Adores comfort, cuddling in laps, and snuggling on soft pillows, yet has more athletic and outdoorsy instincts than you might think
  • Is peaceful with everyone
  • Is willing to please and responds well to praise and encouragement.

A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel may be right for you.


If you don't want to deal with...
"Separation anxiety" (destructiveness and barking) when left alone too much

  • Timidity and shyness when not socialized enough
  • Chasing instincts
  • Regular brushing and combing
  • Bouts of Shedding
  • Higher prices
  • Potentially serious health problems

A Cavalier may not be right for you.

Not all Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are alike!

  • Some are energetic and some are placid.
  • Most are sweet-natured yet some are stubborn. 
  • There are serious Cavaliers while many are good-natured goofballs.
  • Most Cavaliers love everyone but a few seem  introverted.