Canes Venatici is one of Johannes Hevelius' "new" constellations, and was introduced in 1690. It represents two dogs, Asterion and Chara, which Bootes, the Hunter, holds on a leash as they chase the Great Bear, Ursa Major.
The stars are quite faint, all but one of them of fourth and fifth magnitude. Alpha Canum Venaticorum, the brighter one, is popularly called Cor Caroli, meaning the Heart of Charles, supposedly a dedication to King Charles II by Edmond Halley.
It's roughly the size of our sun, and has a visual magnitude of 2.9, and is 110 light-years away.