Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Active, happy, affectionate and eager-to-please

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Toni Grzunov - Last updated on May 20th, 2021

All you need to know about the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an extremely popular breed all over the world. It is not hard to see why this is the case. These dogs look irresistibly cute!

Their flowing, silky hair and lovable faces with friendly looks in their eyes make them popular companions. Their personality fits their look as well - these pups are super friendly and will want to get along with everyone.

The Cavalier King Charles was bred primarily as a lap dog so they are smaller than other spaniels. They don’t have a high prey drive when compared to their spaniel cousins either.

These dogs will immediately fall in love with any stranger, will get along nicely with other pets, and will become a well-adjusted member of your family in no time! They are highly adaptable pups.

Fast Facts

Group - Toy

Weight - 10-18 Pounds 

Height - 12-13 Inches 

Hair Length - Long

Shedding - Moderate

Lifespan - 10-15 Years

The Appearance of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Although these pups are considered to be one of the larger toy breeds, they are still quite small and petite. They are primarily known for their long, fluffy, floppy ears that give them the cutest look you can imagine.

Underneath the cuteness, they are well-balanced dogs that can actually be quite active (although they won’t mind laying around the couch all day, but more on that later). Their head is flat between the ears and they have a muzzle of moderate length. 

Their floppy ears are set high on the head and are really long and feathered. These pups are also known for their large, round, expressive eyes

The coat is long and silky, but not curled, and the tail is usually of moderate length and plumed. You will often notice how the tail of your Cavalier is wagging when it is in motion. 

In general, it is hard not to see how adorable these pups are. It is noticeable in every single aspect of their appearance, from the ears and eyes to the feet and tail!

Featured Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Breeders

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What colors does a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel come in?

When it comes to colors, the breed standard states that there are four colors a Cavalier King Charles can come in. these colors are:

  • Blenheim (red and white)
  • Tricolor
  • Ruby
  • Black and tan

The Blenheim coat color is characterized by rich chestnut markings that are broken up on a base of white color. The ears are always of chestnut color and these pups usually have markings surrounding both eyes.

Tricolor Cavalier King Charles pups combine black markings on a white coat with some tan markings on the cheeks, over the eyes, and inside the ears. Ruby-colored dogs are completely red, and the black and tan ones combine a black coat with tan markings.

All about the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel personality

The Cavalier King Charles is one of the most lovable, sweetest pups you’ll ever find. They make perfect family dogs and it is clear to see why they are so popular. They are lap dogs but incredibly playful and energetic at the same time.

These pups were bred to be lap dogs, and their personality fits that purpose. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel gets along with basically everyone. This includes all dogs, cats, children, and other people. They will learn to play with anyone, but can also just spend the day laying on the couch.

They are also amazing pets for seniors because of this. Seriously, it is impossible to stress enough how adaptable these dogs are. It is definitely one of the main selling points of the Cavalier. All of this makes the Cavalier King Charles a great pick for first-time pet owners.

Usually, Spaniels will be more active and will love playing and running around all day. However, the Cavalier King Charles won’t have a problem forgoing all of that for a calm afternoon in front of the TV. These pups won’t mind living the life of a couch potato!

Still, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take your pet for walks. Also, adjusting its diet to the lifestyle is always necessary since these dogs can become overweight.

Since the Cavalier King Charles will fall in love with you as much as you fall in love with it, it will become attached to you. These dogs don’t like being left alone at all. If you have another pet it might ease the pain caused by solitude for them a bit, but in the end, they will miss you the most.

Separation anxiety can be a problem so make sure you have enough time to dedicate to your cavalier King Charles spaniel. You don’t want your pup to start behaving destructively.

Be careful when letting your Cavalier King Charles go outside with you. Always keep it on a leash because these pups have a problem learning how to behave well outside. They might get distracted and start chasing a bird and end up running out into traffic.

Is a Cavalier King Charles easy to train?

Cavalier King Charles pups are considered to have good intelligence, but the main reason they are easy to train is their strong desire to please. 

This makes them highly trainable, although you will still want to keep them on a leash when going outside. 

Show your enthusiasm while training your pup, and shower it with praise. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel responds well to this, so positive reinforcement is advised. However, they are prone to gaining weight, so make sure you don’t reward your pet with treats!

These dogs are sweet and gentle. They will get along with everyone, and training them is a piece of cake thanks to this. They excel in a lot of canine sports such as agility and obedience. 

Naturally, early socialization and puppy training classes will help you tremendously. Your Cavalier King Charles will grow up into a well-adjusted dog with them!

How much Grooming does a Cavalier King Charles need?

You won’t have trouble maintaining your Cavalier. Combing and brushing of the coat should be done three to four times a week. Bathing should be performed as necessary. It all depends on how much time your pet spends outside. If it goes out a lot, you might need to do it weekly.

The hair on the ears and legs of a Cavalier is feathered so it can get tangled. You should check these areas often and gently comb them out if necessary. Make sure to trim the hair between the pads on your pet’s feet and clean its ears.

The paws of a Cavalier King Charles will almost always get dirty, so keeping them clean can become a small hassle. 

When it comes to shedding, these dogs do shed occasionally. No special trimming of the coat is required since their natural look fits them amazingly. However, since they do shed, these pups are not hypoallergenic. If you suffer from allergies, there are some Cavalier King Charles mixes that might suit you better.

Make sure to brush your Cavalier’s teeth regularly using a vet-approved doggy toothpaste. This will get rid of any tartar buildup and bacteria. It will also prevent bad breath and gum disease.

If your pet doesn’t trim it's nails naturally, make sure you do it at least once a month. A good way to find out if they should be trimmed is to pay attention to the sound they make while your dog is walking. If you can hear them clicking, you should trim them.

The Living Environment of the Cavalier King Charles

When it comes to the living environment of the Cavalier King Charles, the adaptability of these pups comes into play again. All it takes for a Cavalier to be happy is your presence. They can get used to any type of house or apartment easily.

This is one of the reasons why they are so popular as pets. 

If it is too hot outside, don’t leave your Cavalier by itself for too long, since these pups can develop breathing problems in the heat.

Make sure your pup has access to water and shade outside. Since these pups have a single coat, they don’t like when it is too cold either, although they will manage. Snow can cause some problems if it gets matted in the hair around their feet and make them suffer from frostbite, so pay attention to that.

The Health and Nutrition of the Cavalier King Charles

Not everything can be perfect and easy, so we need to inform you that Cavaliers can suffer from some serious health problems. However, you shouldn’t be afraid as they can be avoided and aren’t life-threatening. 

  • The most common issue is mitral valve disease. This is a heart condition that can evolve into heart murmurs. It weakens the heart valves and these murmurs can actually become worse with age. All cavaliers are susceptible to this disease since it is affected by multiple genes. It is believed that all Cavaliers develop a murmur of some type eventually.
  • Syringomyelia (SM) attacks the brain and spine and can lead to the reduction of space in the skull available for the brain. This disease can result in partial paralysis and is quite common in Cavaliers. It can be mild and only cause discomfort, but in some cases, it can be extremely painful for your dog. This is why some dogs that suffer from this condition can lead a normal life. Despite having an increased chance of getting these diseases, most Cavaliers can live happily despite them.

These pups are prone to gaining weight. When it comes to feeding, consult with your vet on what the best food is for your Cavalier. Make sure to feed them in two portions daily, and to adjust the amount of food based on age and activity level.

Where does the Cavalier King Charles come from?

Spaniels used to be extremely popular in the Old World, especially in the 17th century. Two British monarchs, King Charles I and his son King Charles II loved their black-and-tan toy spaniel pet so much that it was named after them.

This breed then continued to be crossbred with other toy breeds including Pugs and the Japanese Chin. Eventually, we got the breed we know today as the English Toy Spaniel or King Charles Spaniel.

During the 1920s there was a revival of popularity for these types of dogs, and breeders started working on them again. In 1926 a reward was offered to breeders by Roswell Eldridge if they could produce these toy spaniels that were popular in the Old World.

This led to the first Cavalier King Charles spaniel as we know it today. The dogs started gaining popularity fast and it still hasn’t stopped.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Mixes you would like to know about*

Dog crossbreeds or mixes are sometimes called designer dogs. The name fits since you are “designing” a new dog by mating two purebred dogs. It has become popular in recent times, and more and more breeds have several noteworthy crosses we could write about.

The thing with mixed puppies is that it is hard to know which characteristics they will inherit from their parents. You should research as much info as possible on the parent breeds to understand what you can expect. This way, you will find a mix that has all of the characteristics you want and love.

Read on to see the most popular Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mixes:

*Not all breed mixes are equal in quality! neither condones nor endorses any example of unethical and unhealthy crossbreeding. We encourage everyone to research in detail before they choose to get a crossbreed. 

Questions people often ask about Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

  • +Do Cavalier King Charles bark a lot?

  • +Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels hard to potty train?

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