Country of Origin: United Kingdom
  • Activity Level: low
  • Grooming Level: moderate
  • Trainability: high
  • Adaptability: high
  • Kid/Pet Friendly: often
  • Average Size: Small
  • Average Lifespan: 9-15 years
  • Prey Drive: moderate
  • Watchdog: aware
  • Registered?: aca, akc
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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Breed Profile

Overview
Temperament
Adaptability
Health
Owner Experience
Grooming
Activity Level
Size
Life Span

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel originated in the United Kingdom. They were first recognized by the AKC as a toy dog in 1945 and were fully recognized in 1995. This dog breed often confused with the English Toy Spaniel, which is called the King Charles Spaniel in the UK. While they share a similar history, they are not the same dog breed. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is slightly larger than the King Charles Spaniel with higher set ears, a flatter skull, and a longer muzzle.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are a friendly, sweet, and obedient dog breed. They love their family and are good with both children and other pets. They are patient and eager to please. Due to their outgoing and friendly personality, they do not make good watchdogs, but are a popular choice for therapy dogs. They do have an instinct to chase, which can include moving cars, so they are not a good fit for living outdoors or being off-leash. This dog breed makes a loving companion and is a great addition to any family.

This breed is highly adaptable and fits well into almost any environment. They’re a great fit for apartment dwellers. They do not like being alone, however, so you will want to make sure they have plenty to do and plenty of company. If you can, take them with you when you have to leave.

This is a generally healthy dog breed. As with all dogs, there are some breed-specific health issues to be aware of like Mitral Valve Disease (MVD), Syringomyelia (SM), patellar luxation, and hip dysplasia.

Mitral Valve Disease (MVD) starts as a heart murmur and worsens until it becomes heart failure. Although heart disease is common in older dogs of any breed, Cavaliers may be prone to developing this at an earlier age.

Syringomyelia (SM) affects the brain and spine, often caused by a skull malformation that reduces the space available for the brain. It can result in symptoms ranging from mild discomfort to partial paralysis and severe pain. Checking the genetic history of the parents can allay some of these health concerns.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are very intelligent, so they learn fairly quickly. With their intelligence, gentle nature, and drive to please their owner, they are a good fit for dog owners of any experience level. They are sensitive and gentle with a soft personality, so training should be positive and reward-focused. Raised voices or negative feedback can send these sensitive pups into hiding or into a sulk.

This dog breed has a long, silky coat that may have some waviness to it. Common coat colors include ruby, black and tan, tri-color, and Blenheim, which is chestnut and white. Their coat needs to be brushed weekly to prevent matting and remain healthy and they require occasional bathing.

They shed moderately and will shed more heavily twice a year as the seasons change. They also need their ears examined weekly and cleaned regularly. Their nails should be trimmed monthly. Brushing your dog’s teeth daily is preferable, but if that can’t be done, once or twice a week is often sufficient to maintain proper dental hygiene.

This is a small dog breed that requires minimal exercise. Although they’ll be happy cuddling on the couch after a short walk, they’ll be just as happy running with you on a leash, going on a hike, or training for dog sports like flyball or agility.

A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will typically stand between 12 to 13 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 10 and 18 pounds.

This dog breed generally lives from 9 to 15 years.