The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an affectionate companion dog to families and individuals of all ages. These dogs are popular for their beautiful, silky coats and cheerful temperaments. Keep reading to learn more about this adaptable breed that blends well with any home no matter the size.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are linked to toy spaniels that have existed since the Renaissance. This breed has also been called the Blenheim Cavalier, King Charles Spaniel, and Cavalier. In the 17th century, toy spaniels became popular lapdogs among Europe’s upper class and nobles. King Charles I and Charles II both took a special interest in black and tan toy spaniels and eventually became the Cavalier’s namesake.
As continued breeding and interest in toy spaniels further developed this breed, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that we know today emerged in the early 1900s. This breed finally arrived in the United States in 1952 and was registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1996, becoming the 140th breed to be registered with the AKC.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Characteristics
Appearance & Coat
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a delicate and regal appearance. These dogs are part of the toy group, weighing between 13 to 18 pounds and standing around 12 to 13 inches tall. Cavaliers have big brown eyes, rounded heads, feathered ears that hang down, short muzzles, and long, feathered tails.
Cavaliers have silky coats that come in 4 different colorings. This breed can be red and white, black with white and tan markings, black with tan markings, and all red. Even though they are small and have silky coats, Cavaliers shed moderately throughout the year. Because they are moderate-shedders, these dogs are not hypoallergenic and not a good fit for people with pet dander allergies.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is playful but not overly energetic. These gentle and affectionate dogs are perfect for owners who want a breed that is calm and low-key but still enjoys playing with its family. Cavaliers are perfectly content to snuggle up with their owners on the couch after enjoying a good game of fetch. These dogs are known for being very friendly and approachable with everyone they meet, always wanting to befriend people and animals.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a long lifespan, usually around 13 to 18 years. Despite having a long lifespan, this breed is susceptible to various health problems. These dogs tend to be prone to hip dysplasia, patella luxation, syringomyelia, heart conditions, eye problems, middle ear infections, and idiopathic asymptomatic thrombocytopenia. Regularly taking your Cavalier to the vet can help prevent, manage, and treat these conditions. Staying consistent with vet check-ups is key to keeping your Cavalier healthy and feeling good.
Caring for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier’s Ideal Home
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are adaptable dogs that can live in many different homes and environments. Dog lovers looking for a breed that can live in an apartment should turn their focus to the quiet and easygoing Cavalier. This dog will blend well in almost any household from families with kids to elderly owners.
Cavaliers need owners who will be present and very affectionate with them. These are social dogs that love spending time with people and other animals. They’d do very well in a house with other pets, including cats, that can keep them company. Families who are rarely home and don’t have any other pets are not a great fit for Cavaliers as they require consistent attention and affection.
Training Best Practices
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels aren’t difficult to train as they’re obedient and love to please people. Cavaliers respond well to praise and treats as rewards for good behavior. Like all dog breeds, socializing your Cavalier from a young age is important for future self-control and good behavior. By gradually introducing your puppy to family, friends, pets, public places, and strangers, your Cavalier will be better adjusted to handling new people and experiences when they are adults.
While this breed is lowkey, it still needs daily walks as well as time to run and play in a fenced-in area. Cavaliers should be given around 1 hour of exercise a day. Ways to exercise your Cavalier can include walks, trips to the dog park, canine sports, and play. These dogs are especially good at agility training. Training your Cavalier to compete in agility competitions is another great way to get exercise in and further improve their abilities.
While Cavaliers can greatly benefit from having a fenced-in area where they can run around and play off-leash, families don’t need to have a yard to own a Cavalier. These dogs will be perfectly happy with daily walks and trips to the dog park. However, owners should be aware that Cavaliers aren’t dogs that do well off-leash. Their spaniel-hunting instincts make them high-flight risk so they should only be off-leash if they are in a safe, fenced-in area.
Grooming & Hygiene
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a naturally clean dog that only needs a bath when it gets dirty. These dogs love to be brushed, so brushing them a few times a week will help collect loose fur and keep their coats healthy. The feathering on this breed’s coat will need a bit of extra care, frequently being combed through to stay tangle-free. Like other dogs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels will need to have their teeth brushed, nails trimmed, and ears cleaned regularly.
Does the Cavalier sound like the perfect addition to your home? Check out Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy listings on Lancaster Puppies to find Cavalier puppies near you.