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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier-King-Charles-Spaniel

An Easygoing Family Dog

Affectionate, playful, sweet

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are eager to please, gentle, and intelligent, small dogs. These lap dogs are extremely friendly toward strangers, children, and other pets as long as they are socialized at an early age. Cavaliers don’t do well in the heat and are best kept as indoor dogs with plenty of attention from their family. They make great companions for singles, families, senior citizens, and those who enjoy the outdoors. These easily adapted dogs are happy running outside or lounging around, which ever best suits their owners’ lifestyle. They require a fair amount of exercise daily, and enjoy exploring, sniffing, and chasing.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs.

Breed Details

Height:12-13 in. Weight:13-18 lb Lifespan:9-14 years

Size
2

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
3

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
3

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
4

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
5

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
5

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a strong chase instinct, so they need to be leash walked and a fenced yard is a must. They can be sensitive to temperature extremes; avoid any prolonged exposure and be very alert to the signs of heat stress. They are well suited to apartment life as long as they are given daily walks and frequent play sessions.    

Grooming: Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly to prevent mats.  

Dental: Cavalier King Charles Spaniels often have serious problems with their teeth, so you’ll need to brush them at least three times a week! 

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Make sure to keep their floppy ears dry. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how! 

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a lover of comfort and is devoted to their family. With early socialization and consistent leadership, they are a patient and happy addition to any family. 

Positive Traits: 

  • Affectionate, easygoing, and lovable 

  • Energetic and playful 

  • Good with children and other pets 

  • Eager to please and responsive to training 

  • Lively, with a friendly personality 

  • Intelligent and easy to train 

  Negative Traits: 

  • Needs frequent attention from their family 

  • Exhibits signs of separation anxiety if left alone too much 

  • Sees cats and small animals as prey unless trained otherwise 

  • Can be difficult to housetrain 

  • An indoor dog that doesn’t do well in the heat 

  • Prone to quite a few health problems



Whether you are considering adding a new Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

Some health issues a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel could encounter:

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel originated in England as a companion pet. The Cavalier was separated from the King Charles Spaniel, or English Toy Spaniel, in the early 1900’s in an effort to return to an older variant with a longer muzzle. The Cavaliers are an active breed that enjoys chasing butterflies in the yard and is even suitable for obedience trials. When not on the move, the Cavalier’s favorite place is their owner's lap. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel thrives in a home where someone is home most of the time; they require close human contact and often become destructive when left alone more than a couple of hours. The Cavalier is an intelligent and fearless companion, but is not known to be a good watchdog even though they can alarm bark because they are often overly social with strangers. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 9-14 years.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel shows signs of the following:

  • Coughing, especially at night or upon rising after sleeping, rapid breathing at rest 

  • General reluctance to run or play 

  • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

  • Cloudiness to eye lens 

  • Redness, squinting or greenish eye discharge 

  • Bumping into objects, startles easily 

  • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors 

  • Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine 

  • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing 

  • Easily startled, no reaction to unseen sounds

  • Care

    Routine Care: Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a strong chase instinct, so they need to be leash walked and a fenced yard is a must. They can be sensitive to temperature extremes; avoid any prolonged exposure and be very alert to the signs of heat stress. They are well suited to apartment life as long as they are given daily walks and frequent play sessions.    

    Grooming: Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly to prevent mats.  

    Dental: Cavalier King Charles Spaniels often have serious problems with their teeth, so you’ll need to brush them at least three times a week! 

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Make sure to keep their floppy ears dry. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how! 

  • Characteristics

    The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a lover of comfort and is devoted to their family. With early socialization and consistent leadership, they are a patient and happy addition to any family. 

    Positive Traits: 

    • Affectionate, easygoing, and lovable 

    • Energetic and playful 

    • Good with children and other pets 

    • Eager to please and responsive to training 

    • Lively, with a friendly personality 

    • Intelligent and easy to train 

      Negative Traits: 

    • Needs frequent attention from their family 

    • Exhibits signs of separation anxiety if left alone too much 

    • Sees cats and small animals as prey unless trained otherwise 

    • Can be difficult to housetrain 

    • An indoor dog that doesn’t do well in the heat 

    • Prone to quite a few health problems



  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some health issues a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel could encounter:

  • History

    The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel originated in England as a companion pet. The Cavalier was separated from the King Charles Spaniel, or English Toy Spaniel, in the early 1900’s in an effort to return to an older variant with a longer muzzle. The Cavaliers are an active breed that enjoys chasing butterflies in the yard and is even suitable for obedience trials. When not on the move, the Cavalier’s favorite place is their owner's lap. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel thrives in a home where someone is home most of the time; they require close human contact and often become destructive when left alone more than a couple of hours. The Cavalier is an intelligent and fearless companion, but is not known to be a good watchdog even though they can alarm bark because they are often overly social with strangers. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 9-14 years.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel shows signs of the following:

    • Coughing, especially at night or upon rising after sleeping, rapid breathing at rest 

    • General reluctance to run or play 

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Cloudiness to eye lens 

    • Redness, squinting or greenish eye discharge 

    • Bumping into objects, startles easily 

    • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors 

    • Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine 

    • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing 

    • Easily startled, no reaction to unseen sounds

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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