The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has quite a posh history. This quintessential lapdog has warmed some of the noblest laps in Europe, including Charles II, the 17th century British king who gave the breed their name.
You'd think after four centuries of lap-warming, the Cavalier King Charles would be over it, but she's not. If you sits, she fits right up on that sweet square foot of lap. This breed is loving, kind, gentle, and sweet. They have a friendly, calm, and affectionate temperament. If you're searching for a constant canine companion, this pup could be your knight in shining...fur?
Originally from England, this small-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 13-18 pounds and lives an average of 9-14 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Toy group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Companion
Breed Group: Toy
Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Bark Factor: Moderate
AKC RANKING 35
FAMILY spaniel, companion
AREA OF ORIGIN England
DATE OF ORIGIN 1600s
ORIGINAL FUNCTION flushing small birds, lapdog
TODAY'S FUNCTION companion
AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 12-13 Weight: 13-18
AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 12-13 Weight: 13-18
OTHER NAME none
Energy level Medium energy
Exercise needs Medium
Playfullness Very playful
Affection level Very affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Shy
Friendliness toward other pets Very friendly
Friendliness toward strangers Very friendly
Ease of training Hard to train
Watchdog ability Medium
Protection ability Not very protective
Grooming needs Moderate maintenance
Cold tolerance Medium tolerance
Heat tolerance Low tolerance
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIEL'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel loves people and wants nothing more than to spend time with you. These fearless furry friends are considered among the best breeds for families. These dogs are great with many different kinds of families and wonderful with kids (though somewhat delicate, so will do best with supervised children).
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is cheerful and very playful, happy to meet strangers and friendly with other dogs and pets. They make for calm and very affectionate housedogs.
WHAT IS CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIEL BEHAVIOR LIKE?
The playful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a good dog park citizen, but will probably feel most comfortable on the small dog side of the park. They don't need exhaustive exercise, but plan for daily walks and rompy games in the backyard. Cavaliers often like to retrieve and swim, but remember that not all dogs can do so naturally (bring a doggy lifejacket, just in case).
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIEL?
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are eager to please and usually very easy to train. They respond well to food rewards. Obedience training will also help keep their minds active.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIELS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have medium-length silky coats. Their hair is feathered and slightly wavy.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are average, seasonal shedders. Plan for daily brushing and regular grooming, especially to prevent mats and tangles on those fancy feathered ears and luxurious coats. Bathe as needed, but be sure not to get water in the ear canal to avoid issues.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIELS HAVE?
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can develop a number of illnesses. Some are prone to eye or heart disease, cancer, or orthopedic problems. Cavaliers can also tend toward obesity, so count those calories.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed’s history. You can also read on to learn about this breed’s ideal family situation.
ARE CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIELS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club doesn't list Cavalier King Charles Spaniels among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.
You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after you've been playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, and so produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as small as a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT'S A CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIEL'S BEST DAY?
This playful pup would love to sit pretty—on your lap, on your friend's lap, on a lap at the dog park between play sessions. Follow up with a gentle jaunt together through your neighborhood and a well-portioned meal and this pup will think you're perfect.
SHOULD I ADOPT A CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIEL?
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are suited to almost any environment, though they are somewhat sensitive to high temperatures. They don't mind the cold, though. They'll match your personality, so whether you're a couch potato or a daily hiker, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is right there with you. Their puppy eyes will melt your heart and their graceful, playful natures will make you want to take them with you everywhere. And that would suit a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel just fine.
Have you decided that a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.