Cavalier King Charles Dog Breed Characteristics & Care

As one of the biggest and most popular toy dog breeds, the Cavalier King Charles Dog is frequently referred to as the “ideal lap dog.”. The dog’s silky, wavy hair, tiny legs, floppy ears, and unusual feathery characteristics make it a favorite with children and families alike. As of 1995, they were exclusively recognized by the American Kennel Club as an official breed.

cavalier king charles dog

One of the biggest toy breeds, Cavaliers are known for their love of hiking and jogging on the beach, as well as participating in dog sports such as flyball or rally. Some of these dogs have even proved that they are capable of being used in the field as hunting dogs. Family pets and therapy dogs benefit from more laid-back members of the breed.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel features are detailed below!

Cavalier King Charles Dog Characteristics

Because of their love for people, Cavalier King Charles dog have earned the reputation of being highly lovable, gregarious, and eager to please. They perform best in a household with other dogs and people, so a home where they won’t be left alone all the time would be ideal for them.

Because they aren’t very demanding or energetic, they’re a popular choice among seniors looking for a pet. Even dogs that are known to be tolerant should not be disturbed when resting or eating, and youngsters should be instructed on how to behave around dogs.

History of the Cavalier King Charles Dog

Aristocrats and kings in Europe, notably in England, have always had a special place in their hearts for this friendly species. During this period, the spaniels were better known as toy spaniels, and their look might vary. As the name suggests, they were highly popular with Charles I and his eldest son, Charles II. These dogs were so beloved by King Charles II that he ordered that they might be admitted into any public institution, even Parliament, according to some accounts.

As a consequence of John Churchill’s and his wife’s devotion to the breed of dogs, the Blenheim color variety was dubbed after them. They had a slew of these dogs at Blenheim Palace, where they lived.

Dash, Queen Victoria’s cavalier King Charles spaniel dog, was said to be her closest childhood friend and a favourite of the monarch.

Read also: How to Safely Jog With Your Dog in the Summer Heat?

Victoria’s reign saw a rise in crossbreeding between these spaniels and Asian companion breeds, such as pugs and Japanese chins. Because of this, the toy spaniel was born in England (which is confusingly known as the cavalier king charles dog in the United Kingdom).

cavalier king charles dog

After King Charles II and the Duke of Marlborough’s reign, breed aficionados started to strive to revive the spaniel’s appearance, which led to the creation of the breed we know today. The American Kennel Club first recognized the breed in 1995. Still, it has grown in popularity each since, and the AKC listed it as the 18th most popular breed in 2018 despite its relatively recent recognition by the organization.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Care

The fact that this dog likes to snuggle up on the couch doesn’t indicate that it’s a couch potato or that it doesn’t need a lot of exercise and training, even if it’s a toy breed. In addition, if the cavalier’s coat is not well cared for, it may grow unkempt and twisted around the ears.


While this dog will enjoy a nice, solid walk for 30 to 60 minutes a day, the breed may need a little more activity. Playing fetch for half an hour after a half-hour stroll will be plenty for your cavalier.


This may not be the breed for you if you’re searching for a low-maintenance canine companion. To keep the dog’s feathery ears and feet from becoming tangled or matted, they must be cleaned on a regular basis. Depending on the dog’s coat, it may need to be combed out a few times a week, or it may be clipped down for convenience and to keep the dog cooler in warmer regions. While this breed does shed, it does not do so in an overwhelming amount.


This kind of dog is known for its eagerness to please and desire a treat. As a result, positive reinforcement training techniques will work well with them, and they will be very simple to teach. These dogs excel in agility and obedience competitions.

Read also: How to Breed Maltipoo Puppies? Information & Characteristics

A spaniel’s hunting tendencies may sometimes appear in this breed. It is important to ensure that your dog has a strong recall and is not permitted to pursue tiny hairy creatures such as sheep.

Common Health Problems

Like any other breed, Cavaliers are susceptible to a variety of health issues. If you’re contemplating getting a Cavalier, you should know that not all of these ailments will affect your pet.

Find a reputable breeder who can show you the health clearances for both of your dog’s parents before acquiring a puppy. It is important to note that a dog’s health clearance proves that it has been checked and cleared of a specific illness. Health clearances for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand’s disease from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) are expected in Cavaliers, as are clearances for thrombophilia from Auburn University and normal eyes from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF). The OFA website is a good resource for verifying medical certifications (

cavalier king charles dog

A frequent problem in Cavaliers is mitral valve disease (MVD). There is a murmur in the dog’s heart, which worsens over time and eventually leads to heart failure. More than any other breed, Cavaliers are predisposed to the development of MVD at a young age, as soon as one or two years old. The hunt for a cure for this ailment continues. Responsible breeders get their breeding dogs examined by veterinary cardiologists on a regular basis in an effort to prevent this problem from spreading to future generations.

Read also: Dog’s Kennel Nose: A Best Guide To Treat It Efficiently at Home

For whatever reason, the brain and spine are both affected by the disease known as ‘Syringomyelia’ (SM). Mild discomfort to excruciating pain and even partial paralysis are all possible symptoms. Malformation of the skull is to blame, since it lowers the amount of room in the head for the brain. This disease usually manifests its symptoms between the ages of six months and four years.

As the disease progresses, you may notice a dog that is more easily irritated and prone to whining or clawing at his neck or shoulders, generally on one side of his body, without really making physical contact with them (“air scratching”). While walking, they may attempt to scrape at the ground with their claws or nails. So, if your Cavalier is scratching, you should take him to the vet and rule out SM. Visit Syringomyelia for additional details.

It’s easy to mistake episodic falling for epilepsy since the dog is still awake and aware when it falls or has a seizure. It occurs as a result of the dog’s inability to calm his muscles. Symptoms might be as modest as a few slips and trips, or as severe as long-lasting seizures. Preliminary symptoms may not be seen until adolescence or adulthood.

Hip Dysplasia: This malformation of the hip joint is considered to be caused by a combination of genetics, environment, and food. Cavaliers who are affected by this condition frequently go on to enjoy healthy, normal lives. Occasionally, a person may need surgery in order to live a regular life.

Patellar luxation: The patella is the kneecap. Dislocation of an anatomical component is referred to as “luxation” (as a bone at a joint). One of the most common causes of knee discomfort is patellar luxation, or a knee joint that moves in and out of alignment. However, many dogs with this illness may enjoy very normal lives.

An autoimmune response to the dog’s tear glands generally causes keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye), which is characterized by less tears. Drops may be administered to the eyes every day to treat this problem after it has been identified. Blindness might occur if the disease is not properly diagnosed and treated.

Cavalier King Charles Dog Personality

The affable Cavalier looks up to comedian Will Rogers, who reportedly said he never met a stranger, as a role model. To the Cavalier, meeting new people is a joy in itself, so if you’re willing to sit down and give him some attention, all the better.

Cavaliers come in a variety of temperaments, from calm and docile to energetic and unruly. In general, they’re not a good option for a watchdog, except when it comes to protecting your valuables from burglars. Some Cavaliers may bark furiously when outsiders approach, but you’re better off purchasing an alarm system than relying on your Cavalier to warn you of any potential dangers in your area.

Diet and Nutrition

When feeding your cavalier King Charles dog, like with any dog, you should choose food that is specifically designed for tiny or toy breeds. Avoid overfeeding your dog, no matter how much he or she looks at you with puppy dog eyes. You could want to give them part of their meals from a slow-feed dish or an interactive reward toy if they gulp them down and are continually eager for more.

Children And Other Pets

A Cavalier would be an ideal friend if you have a child who enjoys playing with a ball, teaching the dog tricks, participating in dog sports, or just sitting on your lap while you read or watch television. Smaller children may hurt them by mistake if they play with them, thus they should be monitored while playing with them.

Read also: The Most Common Sickness in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatment

It is important to educate youngsters how to deal with dogs, as well as oversee any interactions between dogs and young people so that there are no incidents of one side biting the other. It would help if you taught your youngster the importance of respecting dogs’ privacy and not to disturb them when they are having a meal or napping. Regardless of how nice a dog is, it should never be left alone with a kid without supervision.

cavalier king charles dog

In the early stages of life, they’re able to get along well with other dogs and other animals. Because a Cavalier likes a good chase, it helps if the cat is willing to stand up for herself. They get a kick out of it even if the cat runs back after them. Pet birds can live peacefully with certain Cavaliers, while some may attempt to devour them or at the least, tug their tails when they see one. Keep an eye on your Cavalier’s interactions with birds and other small animals since they might have a strong desire to hunt.

Pictures of Cavalier King Charles Dogs

cavalier king charles dog

Rescue Organizations

Cavaliers are often acquired by people who have no idea what they’re getting themselves into. Many Cavaliers are available for adoption or foster care. We have not included all of the rescues that have taken place. If you don’t see a Cavalier rescue listed in your area, contact the national or local breed group and they will help you find a rescue.

The Cavalier Rescue USA


Breed Organizations

You may learn more about the Cavalier King Charles Dog by visiting the organizations and groups listed below.

The American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club, Inc.


Are Cavalier King Charles Dog Aggressive?

This kind of dog isn’t renowned for being abrasive. If this dog is in pain or if it has been left alone for too long, it will become aggressive. If screamed at or otherwise treated cruelly, a cavalier may seem to be pouting. This is a great breed to have in a home with other animals, including cats.

Is This Breed a Good Dog for Apartment Living?

The answer is unequivocal. The cavalier is great for apartment life because of its modest size and quiet nature. The Cavalier is a happy dog, even if it has to live in a small area since it just requires modest outside activity.

Is the Cavalier King Charles Dog a Good Choice for First-time Dog Owners?

First-time dog owners should consider this breed. A cavalier is a fantastic dog for a first-time dog owner because of its gentle demeanor and easygoing disposition. Additionally, this breed requires a lot of time spent with its owner in order to avoid developing a fear of being apart from them.

Leave a Comment