The New Zealand Kennel Club publishes a written set of Standards for all pedigree dog breeds. Listed below is the current standard for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Official Breed Standard

Active, graceful and well-balanced dog, with gentle expression.

Sporting, affectionate, absolutely fearless.

Gay, friendly, non-aggressive, no tendency to nervousness.

 Head and Skull:
Skull almost flat between the ears. Stop shallow. Length from base of stop to tip about 3.8 cm. (1.5 inches). Nostrils black and well developed without flesh marks, muzzle well tapered. Lips well developed but not pendulous. Face well filled below eyes. Any tendency to snipiness undesirable.

Large, dark, round but not prominent; spaced well apart.

Long and set high with plenty of feather.

Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

Moderate length, slightly arched.

Chest moderate, shoulders well laid back; straight legs moderately boned.

Short-coupled with good spring of rib. Level back.

Legs with moderate bone; well-turned stifle - no tendency to cowhocks or sickle-hocks.

Compact, cushioned and well-feathered.

The length of the tail should be in balance with the body well set on, carried happily but never much above level of the back. Docking optional. If docked, no more than one-third to be removed

Free-moving and elegant in action, plenty of drive from behind. Forelegs and hindlegs move parallel when viewed from in front and behind.

Long, silky and free from curl. A slight wave permissible. Plenty of feathering. Totally free from trimming.

Recognised colours are:
Black and Tan: Raven black with tan markings above the eyes, on cheeks, inside ears, on chest and legs and underside of tail. The tan should be bright. White marks undesirable.
Ruby: Whole coloured rich red. White marks undesirable.
Blenheim: Rich chestnut marking well broken up on a pearly white ground. The markings should be evenly divided on the head, leaving room between the ears for the much valued lozenge mark or spot (a unique characteristic of the breed).
Tricolour: Black and white well spaced and broken up, with tan markings over the eyes, on cheeks, inside ears, inside legs, and on underside of tail. Any other colour or combination of colours highly undesirable.

Weight and Size:
Weight - 5.4 to 8.2 kg. (12-18 lbs). A small well-balanced dog well within these weights is desirable.

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effects upon the health and welfare of the dog.


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully
descended into the scrotum.