Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel pictures
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel suitability

In my own words


“I love to lead a pampered life – I am descended from royal pets, after all!”

There are three things that are important to me in life… cuddles, cuddles and more cuddles! They call me a lap dog because frankly, there’s nowhere I’d rather be than sitting in your lap. I love you so much, I could stick to you like glue all day long and never tire of your company. I really don’t enjoy being on my own, I’d much rather be sat right next to you at every opportunity. Back in the day, my ancestors were quite the prized pooches, you know? We were so popular amongst royalty and nobility – we were even named after a king! I suppose that might be why I like to be so pampered; it must be something to do with my royal history.

Don’t worry though; I can really get into my exercise too! I love to hunt and chase things when we go for walks and if there’s a lake or pond near by, you can bet all your money that I’m going to leap straight into it. There’s nothing more refreshing than a good swim!


My ideal owner(s)


Single people


Retirees and senior citizens

Families with older children

People who like long walks

People who live in an apartment


What they say about me



Loves to learn

Lap dog

Affectionate and loving

Handsome and elegant


Please read on to find out more about me, and whether I’ll be someone you’ll be happy to live with for the next 14 years!



Is this Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for you?

Test your knowledge about the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Information essential about the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel


Kennel Club Group:



Small: Weight Male 10 – 18 lb (5 – 8 kg) Female 10 – 18 lb (5 – 8 kg)

Height Male 12 – 13” (30 – 33 cm) Female 12 – 13” (30 – 33 cm)




The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an incredibly popular dog in the United Kingdom and its popularity in the United States of America has been on the rise for well over a decade. In the UK, it ranks in the top six most popular breeds of dog. The breed is also loved in Australia and was the fourth most popular breed of dog in Australia in 2009.


Breed History:


An elegant looking breed, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s history is rooted in royalty and aristocracy. Named after King Charles II, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a cross between the larger King Charles Spaniel and the Pug, creating a small spaniel with flatter muzzles, upturned faces, rounded heads and slightly protruding eyes.

The toy spaniels were hugely popular in the United Kingdom in the 17th Century during the reign of Charles II, who adored his own Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. The dogs were often portrayed in paintings of the era, next to portraits of their royal owners.

During the 1920s an American dog breeder called Roswell Eldridge travelled to England in an attempt to find the original breed of King Charles Spaniels with longer noses which had not been bred with pugs, but was mostly unsuccessful. He even offered prize money during Crufts Dog Show to anyone exhibiting a King Charles Spaniel which resembled those in the 17th Century paintings. The prize was won by a dog called Ann’s Son, owned by Mostyn Walker, though Eldridge sadly passed away just a month before the show.

However, many enthusiastic breeders continued Eldridge’s work, and bred the King Charles Spaniel to be as similar to the original 17th Century breed as possible. In the 1940s, the dogs were classed as a different breed to the King Charles Spaniel and given the prefix ‘cavalier’ to differentiate between the two.




Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel always seems to greet you with a smile! Happy, cheerful and bouncy, his tail is constantly wagging and he’s always happy to see you. This affectionate and loving dog is eager to please and wants to keep you happy, making him a wonderful companion dog. He loves to cuddle up to you and is an ideal pet for anyone looking for a lap dog who craves affection. Although your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is naturally well behaved and polite, it is important not to baby him or he could end up with Small Dog Syndrome. This occurs when small dogs are allowed to show dominant behaviour over their owners, which a larger dog could not get away with, such as jumping up on humans. It allows your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to believe he is in charge of the ‘pack’, otherwise known as you and your family, and he can become bossy, aggressive, stressed or over protective. Always show your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that you are the boss and the authority in the pack, to prevent this. While your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel makes a truly fantastic lap dog, he also has a sporting character which means he loves to get out in the open air and get some exercise. He loves to swim and excels in agility courses and field trials.




Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was bred to live the life of royalty, so he’s best suited to a pampered and relaxed life that would be fit for a king. You can expect your Cavalier King Charles to be content to stay indoors being a couch potato and lazing around, just as long as he is close to you. Your Cavalier King Charles doesn’t like his own company much and would prefer to be among his human family, as well as with other dogs – he’s not suited to life as a kennel dog and will become stressed and unhappy if left on his own for long periods of time. Although your Cavalier King Charles is very much a lap dog that loves to laze around the home and snuggle up on the sofa with you, he does have an energetic side that needs attention. His hunting background means that he has a strong instinct to run and chase, so in order to keep your dog content and balanced you should be sure to take him on a daily walk or light jog. Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will do well with older children who can be more considerate to his feelings and needs, but he will not do as well with younger children who he has little patience for.




The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small dog, with a well-proportioned body and elegant posture. The rounded head features a conical muzzle with a shallow stop, black nose and teeth which meet in a scissor bite. The eyes are round and a dark brown colour. The ears are hanging, set high, long and show plenty of feathering. The long necks should meet sloping shoulders and straight forelegs. The tail may be docked by a third, but is often natural, and should not be carried too high. The coat is silky and medium to long and may have a slight wave with feathering on the ears, tail, legs and chest.




The King Charles Cavalier Spaniel’s coat comes in tri-colour called Prince Charles, a deep cred called Ruby, black and tan called King Charles, and red and white called Blenheim. Most breeders prefer the Blenheim shade with a chestnut red mark between the ears, on the top of the head.




Your Cavalier King Charles is not only enthusiastic and eager to please, he’s highly intelligent and loves to learn new things. This makes him a breeze to train with the right owner and proper guidance. Gentle, reward based training and positive reinforcement works wonders when training your cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They are so quick to learn that Cavalier King Charles Spaniels excel in hunting and agility as well as in competitive obedience, and they are also used as therapy dogs.




An average shedder, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel needs to be brushed with a firm bristle brush once a week in order to prevent mattes and knots from forming in the coat. The ears need to be brushed or combed more often than this, as they are particularly prone to becoming tangled. The insides of the ears should also be cleaned and the eyes regularly checked for any signs of infection. Bathe or dry shampoo your Cavalier King Charles when necessary, but be sure to thoroughly dry and warm him after you’ve given him a bath.




The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is susceptible to a number of genetic health problems including syringomyelia, eye disease and patella. Mitral Valve Disease is a serious issue which is a genetic heart problem that can cause premature death. Heart abnormalities can develop early in life with the Cavalier. It is incredibly important to know your puppy or dog’s medical history, going back several generations, so be sure to check this with your breeder. Other health issues include back problems, allergies, cataracts, diabetes, early onset deafness, hearing trouble and ear infections. As the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel enjoys a sedentary life as a lap dog, they can gain weight easily, which puts a further strain on their health. Exercise your dog and don’t over feed him to prevent excessive weight gain. The average lifespan of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is between nine and 14 years.


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Advice on choosing your breed »

Find an animal shelter or rescue home where a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is waiting for a new home »


The following grid gives a fast track review which covers all breeds. You can apply it to help you decide if a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is suitable for you, the environment where you live, your personality and your lifestyle. On the grid, 1 = strongly disagree, and 5 = strongly agree. For example, if you are looking for a dog that is suitable for a first time dog owner, look down the list under ‘training and obedience’ and you will see that Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are perfect for inexperienced dog owners, scoring 5. If you are looking for a dog that likes to learn new tricks, look under ‘activities’ and you’ll see a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel would be an excellent choice, also scoring 5. You might like to save or print off this section and keep it for reference while you check some other breeds before making your choice.


Be the first to rate this breed »

Noahs Breed Rating | Community Breed Rating

Good jogging companion5/5
Good walking companion5/5
Likes water/swimming5/5
Likes learning new tricks5/5
Likes to hunt5/5
Likes to fetch5/5
Good gundog/retriever4/5
Barks a lot4/5
Gets easily jealous3/5
Friendly with strangers4/5
Expensive to insure4/5
Expensive to feed1/5
Happy to sleep outside1/5
Prefers countryside3/5
Suits urban environment4/5
Prefers temperate climate5/5
Prefers hot climate3/5
Prefers cold climate3/5
Moults a lot3/5
Requires lots of grooming3/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly5/5
Ideal for singles5/5
Ideal for couples with no children5/5
Ideal for family with children3/5
Good watch dog3/5
Good guard dog2/5
Good with other pets4/5
Good with other dogs5/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs1/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs2/5
Requires lots of exercise3/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners5/5
Good for experienced owners4/5
Good recall4/5
Easy to train5/5
Good jogging companion0/5
Good walking companion0/5
Likes water/swimming0/5
Likes learning new tricks0/5
Likes to hunt0/5
Likes to fetch0/5
Good gundog/retriever0/5
Barks a lot0/5
Gets easily jealous0/5
Friendly with strangers0/5
Expensive to insure0/5
Expensive to feed0/5
Happy to sleep outside0/5
Prefers countryside0/5
Suits urban environment0/5
Prefers temperate climate0/5
Prefers hot climate0/5
Prefers cold climate0/5
Moults a lot0/5
Requires lots of grooming0/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly0/5
Ideal for singles0/5
Ideal for couples with no children0/5
Ideal for family with children0/5
Good watch dog0/5
Good guard dog0/5
Good with other pets0/5
Good with other dogs0/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs0/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs0/5
Requires lots of exercise0/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners0/5
Good for experienced owners0/5
Good recall0/5
Easy to train0/5

*PLEASE NOTE: All our breed profiles are general, and all dogs are individuals. Always talk to the breeders and meet the owners you are buying from. Try to meet the dog and its parents if it is a puppy in their home environment.

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