Correct Ring Presentation Of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

From the November 2019 issue of  ShowSight, The Dog Show Magazine. Click to subscribe.  Pictured above: The appropriate gait for the show ring is on a loose lead—and not too fast, but with enough spirit to convey the correct gay temperament. This is clearly indicated by a tail which is in constant characteristic motion when gaiting.


In the ring, the Cavalier is to be handled naturally and with a minimum of fuss. They are normally shown on loose or semi-loose leads and are allowed to self-stack while free-baiting with their handlers standing. As our breed has become more popular, we see handlers on their knees hand stacking their dogs. This is totally unacceptable in conformation and Junior Showmanship! Judges should instruct exhibitors who make this mistake to stand while showing their Cavaliers. Nothing equals the picture of a Cavalier standing on its own, slowly wagging its tail. This is also the best time for judges to check expression.

Don’t expect Cavaliers to stand like statues in the ring. It is not in their nature to do so. They are alert, curious and interested in what is going on around them and should not be penalized
for fidgeting.

Tail holding is never practiced in the Cavalier ring, not even for pictures. The outline is quickly spoiled if the tail is held out setter-style as it gives a rather alien look to the breed.

Cavaliers are not to be raced around the ring. They are to be shown at a moderate trot. Faster is not better in the Cavalier ring. Let this be known to your exhibitors before they begin gaiting their dogs.

Cavaliers should be impeccably turned out for the ring; clean, brushed and shining. This is a naturally presented breed totally free from any trimming, sculpting or cosmetic alteration of any kind. This means no trimming of whiskers or feet, o thinning out the neck or cleaning out the throat area, no sculpting of shoulders and hindquarters. This is part of breed type and the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club implores all judges to respect and enforce this part of the standard. As a rule, Cavalier exhibitors know all of these things and will respect a judge who has taken the time to learn and to enforce these correct procedures in the ring. 

  • Show Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

You May Also Like

Scottish Terriers: Judge the Coat, Not the Colors

What color is a Scottish Terrier? For the novice and the unfamiliar, the color ...

Breed Type, Breed Type, Breed Type!

From the monthly column "Becoming". ShowSight August 2018. Click to subscribe.  That’s the Jeopardy ...

The Most Important Trait in Judging: Forgiveness

From the monthly ShowSight column "Becoming" . Originally printed in the June 2015 Issue of ...

Judges’ Education For The Affenpinscher

From the January 2021 issue of ShowSight. Click to subscribe. Photo from the article “Monkey Dogs In ...

The Chihuahua

Showight June 2020 Issue  Where do you live? What is your occupation? How many ...