Redwood Forest Cavaliers

Member of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club


PO Box 2506, McKinleyville, CA 95519

About Us

Precious 1987-2002

 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 we adopted from  the local shelter, Precious lived with us for 14 years.  My husband and  I 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 the dog  would be good with children. (Note: We now have three grandsons:  Leopold, born in 2009, Maxwell 2011, and Theodric 2013!)

Cavalier  King Charles Spaniel was the breed we chose. I found a reputable  breeder who had two female litter-mates.  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). 


 Over time, we watched them mature  into wonderful examples of the breed and decided to show them.  We  attended dog shows sponsored by the American Kennel Club ( and  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. Sadly Bianca died of Cushing's Disease on February 18, 2018  at the age of 12.

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 several sleep in our bed! 

Breed History

Future King Charles II - 1635

(Image: Future King Charles II, circa 1635)

Today’s Cavalier King Charles  Spaniel is descended from the small Toy Spaniels depicted in so many  sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth century paintings. These  paintings show small spaniels with flat heads, high set ears, almond  eyes, and rather pointed noses. During Tudor times, Toy Spaniels were  quite common as ladies' pets, but it was under the Stuarts that they  were given the royal title of King Charles Spaniels.  

King Charles  II was seldom seen without 2 or 3 spaniels at his heels. He was so  fond of his little dogs, that he wrote a decree that the King Charles  Spaniel should be accepted in any public place, even in the Houses of  Parliament. (This decree is still in existence today in England.) As  time went by, and with the coming of the Dutch Court, Toy Spaniels went  out of fashion and were replaced in popularity by the Pug. One exception  was the strain of red and white Toy Spaniels that was bred at Blenheim  Palace by various Dukes of Marlborough.  


(Image: Future Queen Victoria with her dog, Dash - 1833)

Young Queen Victoria had beloved  tri-color spaniel called "Dash".  Dash features prominently in early  episodes of the excellent PBS series "Victoria". 

Long  ago, there were no dog shows and no recognized breed standard, so both  type and size varied. By the mid-nineteenth century, England took up dog  breeding and dog showing seriously. Many breeds were developed and  others altered. This brought a new fashion to the Toy Spaniel - dogs  with the completely flat face, undershot jaw, domed skull with long, low  set ears and large, round frontal eyes of the modern King Charles  Spaniel (also called "Charlies" and known in the United States today as  the English Toy Spaniel). As a result of this new fashion, the King  Charles Spaniel, of the type seen in the early paintings, became almost  extinct.

In  1926, the Kennel Club was persuaded to allow a rich American to offer  prizes for the best bitch or dogs of the Blenheim variety as seen in  King Charles II's reign, after he had exhausted his search throughout in  England.  He was looking for foundation stock to breed Toy Spaniels  that resembled those in the old paintings.  All he could find were the  short-faced "Charlies".

The  King Charles breeders did not take this challenge very seriously as  they had worked hard for years to do away with the long nose. Gradually,  as the big prizes came to an end, only people really interested in  reviving the dogs as they once had been were left to carry on the  breeding experiment. Little had been achieved after five years.  The  Kennel Club was of the opinion that the dogs were not sufficient in  number, nor of a single type, to merit a breed registration separate  from the Charlies.


(Image: Ann's Son -1928) 

The final prize was awarded to Miss Mostyn  Walker’s dog, “Ann’s Son”, in 1928. (Unfortunately, Mr. Eldridge died in  1928 at age 70, only a month before Crufts, so he never saw the results  of his challenge prizes.) It was in the same year that a breed club was  founded, and the name Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was chosen. It was  very important that the association with the name King Charles Spaniel  be kept as most breeders bred back to the original type by way of the  long-faced throwouts from the kennels of the short-faced variety  breeders. Some of the stock threw back to the long-faced variety very  quickly. Pioneers were often accused of using outcrosses to other  suitable breeds to get the long faces, but this was not true, and  crossing to other breeds was not recommended by the club.  

At the  first meeting of the club, held the second day of Crufts in 1928, the  standard of the breed was drawn up; it was practically the same as it is  today. Ann's Son was placed on the table as the live example, and club  members brought all the reproductions of pictures of the sixteenth,  seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries they could muster. As this was a  new and tremendous opportunity to achieve a really worthwhile breed, it  was agreed that as far as possible, the Cavalier should be guarded from  fashion, and there was to be no trimming. A perfectly natural dog was  desired and was not to be spoiled to suit individual tastes, or as the  saying goes, "carved into shape." Kennel Club recognition was still  withheld, and progress was slow, but gradually people became aware that  the movement toward the "old type" King Charles Spaniel had come to  stay. In 1945, the Kennel Club granted separate registration and awarded  Challenge Certificates to allow the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to  gain their championships.  

A  whimsical tale ...The Duke and Duchess of Marlborough kept Toy or  Comforter Spaniels, lovingly known as “Carpet Spaniels.”  It was said  they were a beautiful adornment to any drawing room.  While the Duke was  away, fighting the Battle of Blenheim, his wife waited anxiously at  home for news of her beloved.  During this time, she had a comforter  Spaniel on her lap constantly, pressing her thumb on the top of the  little female’s head to release her tension.  The bitch was in whelp and  when the puppies arrived, all displayed the red thumbprint on their  heads!  The Blenheim spot, also called the Lozenge, is a desired trait  on the little ruby and white dogs. 

Our Dogs