Life Span: 10-15 years
Litter Size: 2-6 puppies with an average of 5
Group: AKC Toy
Recognized By: CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR
Color: Red and White (Blenheim), black and tan (King Charles) tricolor (Prince Charles) and solid, dark red (Ruby).
Hair Length: Long
Shedding: Moderate Shed
Male Height: 12-13 inches (30-33 cm)
Male Weight: 10-18 pounds (5-8 kg)
Female Height: 12-13 inches (30-33 cm)
Female Weight: 10-18 pounds (5-8 kg)
Living Area: The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel does very well in small spaces such as apartments but is also ideal in larger settings. They will self-exercise if indoors and must be kept in a fenced yard or on a leash when outside.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an endearing toy dog that has boundless energy and love. They are an excellent family dog and will do well with older, considerate children that are aware of the small size of this breed, especially as a puppy. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is both athletic and active for its size but can also be a quiet companion dog. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is graceful and elegant. They are most associated in history with those of nobility and aristocracy. They are a well-balanced toy Spaniel that display an affectionate and loving nature. This breed is a true companion and lap dog. They are gentle, but also have a sporting character, which enables them to do well in agility and hunting events. This breed loves to swim and is a natural retriever.
The coat is moderately long, silky and very well feathered on the legs, chest, ears and tail. The feet will also have feathering and this is a standard of the breed. There are four color types which were formerly considered separate breeds: tricolor (‘Prince Charles’), red and white (‘Blenheim’), black and tan (‘King Charles’) and red (‘Ruby’). The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a moderate, average shedder.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (affectionately known as a ‘Cav’) is an offshoot of the King Charles Spaniel. The King Charles Spaniel was created by crossing small Spaniels with a short snouted breed such as the Pug or Japanese Chin. It was brought to Scotland from Continental Europe (possibly by Mary, Queen of Scots) in the 1500’s or 1600’s, where it became a fashionable lap dog and companion for the noble class. King Charles Spaniels were also popular lap warmers (and flea magnets) for the lower class. King Charles II, for whom the breed is named, grew up with a pet King Charles Spaniel (then known as the Toy Spaniel), and was such a big fan of the breed that he was accused of neglecting his official duties to spend time with his pet Spaniels. He once issued a decree that the breed could not be forbidden entry to any building, including Parliament! Some King Charles Spaniels, such as the red and white ‘Blenheims’, served as hunting dogs, but most strains were bred for appearance rather than work capacity. Over the years, the breed became smaller with a shorter nose. In the 1920’s, a wealthy American man named Roswell Eldrige traveled to England and offered 25 pounds, a large sum at the time, for an ‘old style’ or ‘pointed nose’ version of the breed, similar to Charles II’s actual dog. The effort was successful, and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel eventually surpassed its short nosed cousin in popularity, achieving American Kennel Club recognition in 1996.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a wonderful temperament and is ideal for single people, couples or even families. They are curious and playful by nature but also enjoy just cuddling up on a favorite cushion or even better on their owners lap. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel loves interacting with people and likes a lot of human attention on a regular, ongoing, daily basis. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel loves to be with its family and craves attention. It is cheerful, playful, and intelligent—an ideal dog to carry with you and share your time with. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels do not bark frequently. They are generally well behaved companions.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an excellent companion dog for dogs in the family or even other pets such as cats. They are natural "chasers" so do need proper socialization to understand not to chase the other pets in the house. They do well with other dogs and are not a dog-aggressive breed.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is best suited for a pampered indoor life. The Cavalier prefers to be with their family or other dogs.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will bark when strangers come to the door and may take a few visits before they warm up to new people. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel gets along well with children,, other dogs, and any household pets. It is friendly, happy, and loving. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are devoted to loved ones but can be suspicious around strangers. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel bonds with family members and will often choose a favorite family member although they will get along with everyone. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a dog that enjoys being outdoors and going on walks and outings despite its small size. They are moderately active if left inside and will play and romp through the house or apartment with toys.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a natural pleaser and is a very easy dog to train and teach. They respond best to positive rewards and attention and love to be the center of attention.
As an average shedder it is important to keep the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel well groomed on a regular basis. The dead hair, if not removed from the coat, will result in matting and tangling of the fine, silky hairs that make up the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel coat.
Grooming can be easily done in a quick five to ten minute a day or every other day session, depending on how active and how much outside time the dog has. A stiff bristle brush and a grooming comb are all that is needed. Start by brushing the coat in the direction of hair growth, which is down and slightly back along the body and down on the chest and neck. Always brush first before bathing to prevent making any knots or mats worse through the shampooing process. This breed can tolerate regular bathing either full wet bathing or dry powder treatments, but try to avoid bathing too frequently, especially in cold weather. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel may become quickly chilled so always dry completely before letting them outside after a full bath.
It is important to carefully trim the long hair on the feet and especially between the pads. Use blunt edged grooming scissors and make sure that you have help to hold the dog or puppy, especially if they are new to the process. Gentle pressure on the top and bottom of the foot will cause the pads to spread apart, making it easy to clip and check for any possible mats or debris that may be trapped.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a very adaptable breed of dog that can adjust to the level of activity within the home. They do need regular exercise just as any other breed, but they are happy to just walk around the house with the owner or go for a brisk walk or a morning jog. This adaptability towards levels of exercise is what makes this breed such a versatile dog for seniors, families, very active individuals and even people with limited mobility.
As with most toy dogs the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a lot of spirit and loves to be involved in everything that the family does. They are great travelers and quickly learn to love going in the car. This makes them easy to exercise as they can go anywhere the family goes for changes in exercise locations. As a spaniel breed the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will retrieve small balls and chew toys and typically do this very naturally and will little specialized training.
The exercise needs of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel are uncomplicated. It enjoys walks, but its needs can usually be met with indoor play; it will adapt itself to the activity level of your family. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is well suited to apartment life. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel should be leashed, provided a fenced are or watched closely around roads as it tends to give chase to small animals and naturally curiosity may lead them in harms way.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a very easy dog to train as it is so eager to please and to earn the owners praise and attention. Since they have been used as a companion dog throughout history they are naturally very responsive and well mannered, although like all dogs, they do need to be carefully, positively and consistently trained.
Like most toy breeds they can be challenging to housetrain since they are so tiny as puppies. Carefully monitoring the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and taking them outdoors after eating, drinking, waking or playing will greatly help this process. They are naturally clean dogs and will also respond very well to crate training as a housetraining method.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is highly intelligent and eager to learn. The Cavalier makes an excellent therapy dog. They respond well to gentle training and high praise.