Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Also known as: King Charles Spaniel
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Cavalier king charles spaniel

General description

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is accustomed to living indoors and not so inclined to be alone. This breed doesn't need special training methods and tolerates cold climates quite well whilst it suffers in warmer temperatures. Cavaliers are extremely healthy and don't need particular care to remain clean. This is a smart breed capable of displaying great energy during playtime. Cavaliers are not so strong and must engage in some daily activity to avoid gaining weight. A dog that loves to play and doesn't cost much to maintain.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in short

Aspect and attributes

Characteristics accepts by FCI:

  • Colors: red, white, black, tan, seal
  • Hair: silky, long
  • Coats: tricolor

As far as the size, the Cavalier King is fairly small with certain features that especially display in areas such as the head which is quite rounded and equipped with a flat nose that doesn't display any protrusion, increasing the contrast with the width of the face. A Cavalier's body is equipped with a fairly robust torso which remains even with the size of its lower back. It is well-rounded and well-balanced with its rather short size. The tail is quite high but never positioned above the back.

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Costs and maintenance

As far as maintenance cost for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel this breed sits perfectly in the middle. This breed doesn't have any special health requirements although **regular checkups* should be guaranteed, and it doesn't ingest large amounts of food, actually a few cups per day are more than enough or maybe even too much. Although still within average, the main expenses will be concentrated on the aesthetic requirements of the Cavalier King even if the strong coat should never be groomed it still falls under the list of regular cleanliness cost.

Expenditures and maintenance within average

Characteristics Summary


Suitability to apartment life

The Cavalier is a breed that enjoys its natural environment in the house. The apartment and its most crowded areas are the most common and desired situations for this type of dog, especially when they involve spending time with the family. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a perfect master of the house that can easily move within it without displaying any impolite behaviors and knowing what boundaries not to cross, even when left on its own. This situation shouldn't occur often anyway.

Maximum suitability to apartment life

Tolerance for solitude

This type of dog is not very used to spending a lot of time alone. The Cavalier needs to constantly be the center of attention. The breed needs to always be "in sight" and able to constantly follow the movements of the owner and family members. Don't be surprised if your Cavalier dog will choose to follow you to the bathroom. The amount of time this breed can be alone is very limited and only when necessary, for example due to work commitments or special occasions.

Low tolerance for solitude

Suitable as first pet

Choosing a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as first pet could be quite a pleasant choice for various reasons. First of all, we must note how the beauty and calm look of the Cavalier may feel almost therapeutic to those living in lonely environments. Moreover, it is good to clarify how the upbringing of this breed doesn't present any particular challenge as it tends to adjust to a certain routine without becoming difficult to train for an inexperienced owner.

Quite suitable as first dog


The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a unique nature which is typical of those breeds requiring a balanced type of training that takes into account potential issues arising from an overly "soft" or excessively harsh method. This type of dog can however tolerate fairly crowded and chaotic environments without major consequences on its behavior. Obviously, a considerate owner will be able to adjust the manner and tone of any reprimand or reward.

A breed with a very tolerant temperament

Tolerance for cold temperatures

As far as the Cavalier's tolerance for low temperatures, this type of dog falls perfectly within the average of similar sized breeds. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is equipped with an adequate coat which provides support to a rather frail body that is exposed to extremely cold climates. This is when owners should ensure cover their pet appropriately and especially not force it to go out when the weather could be extreme and counterproductive for a Cavalier's health.

Average tolerance for cold temperatures

Tolerance for high temperatures

There are certain circumstances that should be avoided in order to maintain your Cavalier in perfectly balanced health conditions. This type of dog does not tolerate extremely high temperatures very well. The face structure, particularly in the airways can be a concern when trying to cool down the air in scorching hot environments. This can develop lung and heart conditions in your pooch. It is essential to pay close attention to this factor and avoid causing your Cavalier any distress.

Low tolerance for high temperatures

Friendliness and sociability

Affection towards family

The affection of a Cavalier towards its family is one of the most popular traits of the breed. Given the Cavalier was created to enjoy the domestic environment, it is easy to understand how such a feature can be essential to adequately share the house with all family members. A constant in this breed's daily routine which prefers never to be apart from the pack and all its members. The most obvious display of this bond is the typical wagging of the tail of a Cavalier greeting the owner.

Absolute affection towards the family

Friendly towards children

The relationship between dogs and children is always special when have the opportunity to grow up together. This kind of bond strengthens each day and it is facilitated by the Cavalier's great inclination to play with kids who appreciate the various aspects of this interaction such as the gentleness and entertaining skills. Children are in love with the breed's typical look which is framed in the loving eyes of a Cavalier.

Very friendly towards children

Relationship with strangers

Two sides of a coin in this respect. The tolerance towards strangers of a Cavalier King can be quite an advantage when those managing this type of dog in public are inexperienced owners. On the other hand, the disadvantage is that a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel doesn't work well as a guard dog as it is incapable of understanding intentions and therefore alerting the owner when a stranger may be interacting near the house.

Absolute tolerance towards strangers

Friendliness towards other dogs

The aspect of socialization is decisive for any dog breed. The same applies to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and owners should expose their pet to early socialization towards other dogs. When this feature is not facilitated, your Cavalier won't turn into an aggressive or overly shy dog however it may become an issue during public outings in places where your pooch may meet other people or pets.

The Cavalier is exceptionally friendly towards other dogs

Care and health

Coat care and shedding

Despite the nature of a Cavalier's coat which features fairly long hair this tends to be quite resistant. This trait is very important considering this type of dog enjoys spending most of the time in the house and being in contact with sensitive areas and surfaces which may easily attract hair. Another advantage is the fact that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel hardly sheds any hair on garments, making it even easier to spend every moment close to your pet.

Low degree of moulting

Salivation and drooling restraint level

The shape of a Cavalier's muzzle may cause a few issues in relation to drooling restraint. This phenomenon can occur under the most common circumstances such as when your pet is excited or waiting for a meal but even in fairly hot climates. A considerate owner must be more alert in said situations and enable the Cavalier to find refreshment to prevent the amount of dribble from increasing.

Challenging salivation restraint under certain circumstances

Easiness to clean

There is no special advice in relation to the cleanliness of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. This type of dog will usually spend majority of the day at home without engaging in activities that could compromise its level of cleanliness. This is a great advantage for Cavalier owners. Obviously, you should inspect your pet's paws, tail and mouth after its daily walk or following a meal. Nonetheless, this kind of care shouldn't be neglected regardless of the dog breed.

Ease of cleanliness within average

Health and diseases

Despite its physical traits, the Cavalier King has an extremely strong health. This breed is capable of remaining perfectly healthy throughout its entire life and may develop diseases that are fairly common in the canine world. Amongst these we must note health issues affecting the skeletal muscular system and joints. Conditions such as dysplasia and luxating patella are also quite common in other breeds. These issues simply require a regular checkup from the vet.

Good health throughout the entire life span

Tendency to gain weight

A King Cavalier's inclination to gain weight can be a concern. Despite the fairly contained size, a Cavalier is capable of accumulating a decent amount of excess fat as a consequence of an overly inactive lifestyle. An inclination that this breed can willingly facilitate given its famous fondness of being home enjoying a relaxed and calm kind of life. To avoid any problems, owners should enable a regular and daily exercise routine for their pet. A breed that can still prove to be quite agile when challenged.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a moderate inclination to gain weight

Learning skills

Intelligence and training

There are no substantial challenges when trying to train a Cavalier King. This type of dog is capable of engaging in a fairly intense daily activity when motivated and proves to have the skills to understand this activity in different contexts. It is interesting to note how a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will interpret complex tasks such as hunting or retrieving "prizes" for the owner during this activity. A unique disposition that a Cavalier is capable of developing thanks to a high level of intelligence displayed during training.

Exceptional intelligence during training

Loyalty and inclination to escape

Always give your Cavalier King a little extra care when it is engaged in any activity. Although this breed isn't normally a cause for concern in this regard, these traits may become an issue for other dogs if inadequately monitored by the owner. A Cavalier's tendency to escape sits within average but this breed is particularly attracted and curious of moving objects and small animals. Obviously, owners will need to be responsible and manage their pet simply by using a leash.

Loyalty and inclination to escape within average

Inclination to bite

As it regards the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel's inclination to bite we are once again perfectly within range. This specific disposition in any dog breed is mainly connected to certain traits that are softened or adjusted during training. A Cavalier's ability to swiftly interpret the situation and learn the appropriate level of interaction when dealing with the owner and family members are helpful when discussing this breed's inclination to nip. During playtime your Cavalier King will never exceed and it will develop the adequate level of intensity in the bite.

Self-control and tendency to nip within average

Hunt drive

Rather than an inclination, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel hunting a prey can be seen as an acquired behavior. Despite not being a hunting breed, the Cavalier is stimulated by interaction with smaller pets and this may engage your dog into activities such as chasing or hunting of fairly small targets. This is when your Cavalier may easily run away. It will be the owner's responsibility to step in and limit any chance of an escape.

Average hunting drive

Inclination to bark or howl

Every dog has circumstances that can promote the tendency to bark or howl. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is no exception and will engage in such activities in certain situations. This type of dog won't generally react by barking or howling in the house and this can actually turn into a problem. Cavalier King owners should understand that this is not exactly a guard dog. Interaction and coexistence with other dogs in public spaces may cause a reaction in this regard.

Average inclination to bark or howl

Exercise requirements

Energy level

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a fairly energetic breed. This type of dog can display a decent level of energy, especially during the interaction with the owner and other family members. Although it normally won't last long, this factor may vary based on the frequency and type of interaction. An advantage when your Cavalier is playing in public areas as it will prove a great sense of responsibility even off-lead. Being able to release build-up stress is essential for a Cavalier King.

Energy levels within average


As it appears by its physical features, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is not equipped with a great deal of strength. Breeders tend to favor this trait as the Cavalier is a type of dog that perfectly adjusts to household environments and must be able to carry itself nicely when in public. Both of the above circumstances won't be a concern with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Nevertheless, always monitor your Cavalier pet to avoid any injuries it may incur.

A fairly tame breed and not too strong

Exercise requirements

A Cavalier King's requirement for exercise is entirely connected to this breed's inclination to gain weight due to a sedentary lifestyle. On top of the daily walks which should always consider the need for exercise, a Cavalier needs to be able to play with its "pack" inside the house. This kind of necessity is useful when trying to maintain an ideal level of intelligence throughout your pet's lifespan. Don't allow your Cavalier to get too lazy.

Average need for exercise

Tendency to play

As in any breed of similar size and featuring such unique facial expressions, the inclination to play is double-sided as it originates from both the Cavalier itself and the interaction with others, especially children. A Cavalier King is capable of understanding multiple situations and adjusting to them for what they really are: a game. A benefit that makes the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel one of most in demand breeds amongst those wanting to tirelessly play with their pet during the day. Obviously, we shouldn't expect too much from a Cavalier King.

Maximum drive to play

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