Cavalier King Charles Spaniel


Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)11-13in (28-33cm)
Weight12-18lbs (5.5-8kg)
Hair Colour(s)Varies
Lifespan12-15 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size2-6
Barking TendencyMedium
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of trainingMedium
Suitability for kidsHigh
Animal compatabilityHigh
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftHigh

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small but solid and muscular dog. The tail is sometimes docked and the skull is flat with a conical shaped muzzle, large, wallowing eyes and large ears that hang to the side of the face. The coat is long and silky and usually comes in black and tan, chestnut on white (Blenheim), and ruby.


Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are good natured, loving dogs with cheerful outlooks that love to play. They tend to be very friendly, obedient, and sociable, and make great companions and family pets. Eager to please and intelligent, training should not be difficult and so they are suitable for inexperienced owners as well as the more experienced. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels get along well with older, more considerate children, as well as other dogs and cats, although they may try to chase smaller animals or birds. They are also fine around strangers but some can be a little shy, and so early socialisation as puppies is essential. Note that these dogs do not like being left alone for long periods of time.

History & Skills

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels originate from Great Britain. Developed in the 1800s by breeding King Charles Spaniels with Cocker Spaniels and resulting in a bigger head with a flatter face, they were bred as lap dogs to keep people warm. Their current name was appointed due to the patronage of King Charles II, who would not travel anywhere without them. A little known fact is that a decree he made stating they were to be allowed in all public places is still law today. Originally bred as hunting dogs, these days they are known as show dogs and companion dogs for individuals and families.

Breed Specific Ailments

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels tend to live between 12-15 years and come with a number of related health issues and disorders, which include heart murmers, luxating patella, cataracts, MVD, and retinal disorders. They also have a tendency for obesity when overfed.


Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are medium shedders and grooming is minimal, although they are seasonal sheedders too. The coat should be brushed at least once a week with a bristle brush, and about three times a week during periods of heavier shedding. The ear canals should be checked to ensure that they are clean and dry, and the hair around the bottom should be trimmed for hygiene reasons. The nails will need trimming occasionally too.

Exercise & Environment

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels tend to live indoors but are relatively energetic. They need at least an hour of daily exercise to prevent them from becoming obese. This can be provided by access to a yard or garden plus a daily walk. These dogs do not adapt well to colder climates.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

Breed Clubs

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