toy dog breed
Cavalier King Charles spaniel – image by Raovan Zierik from Pexels

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog breed still exhibits the athletic traits of its spaniel forebears despite being bred to be a companion.

Nothing makes them happier than to flush a bird and then attempt to retrieve it if they aren’t sitting on a lap or receiving a belly rub.

The largest toy breeds are the Cavaliers. Cavaliers enjoy running on the beach, hiking, and dog sports like agility, flyball, and rally.

They are frequently as athletic as real sporting dogs, and some have even demonstrated their skill as hunting canines. The breed’s more relaxed individuals are successful as family companions and therapy dogs.

Breed Overview Of The Cavaliers

cavalier king charles spaniel
Brown coat Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – image by Pixabay
Breed Group Companion dogs
Height 12 – 13 at the shoulder
Weight 13 – 18 pounds
Life span 9 – 15 years
Trainability Easy to train
Coat Single coat
Coat Colour Ruby, tri-colour, black & tan, Blenheim
Shedding Moderate to high shedders
Temperament Playful, affectionate, sociable, patient, gentle, graceful, fearless, adaptable
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History Of The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The toy Spaniel has existed for centuries as a companion to royalty and aristocracy. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a relatively new breed created less than a century ago.

The toy spaniels portrayed in numerous paintings from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries by well-known artists like Van Dyck and Gainsborough are the ancestors of cavaliers. These paintings depicted spaniels with long noses, high-set ears, and flat heads.

The royal and noble households of England loved these small spaniels dearly. Mary, Queen of Scots, had a toy spaniel that walked with her as she made her way to beheaded.

Her great-grandson Charles I and grandson Charles II, credited with naming the breed, also adored the tiny canines.

King Charles II is rumoured to have always travelled with two or three of these little spaniels.

Personality Of The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The outgoing Cavaliers look up to humorist Will Rogers, known for saying he never met a stranger. The Cavaliers are anxious to meet everyone who comes across them, and the more laps (or treats) they offer, the better.

The temperament of Cavaliers can range from quiet and calm to noisy and raucous, just like any other breed of dog.

They may or may not bark when someone knocks on the door, making them a terrible choice for a watchdog. Unless you want to watch, the thief cart off the silver. However, there are some exceptions.

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Some Cavaliers will alert you to any activity in your neighbourhood and bark whenever a stranger approaches. However, investing in an alarm system is preferable to relying on your Cavalier to warn you of problems.


Mitral Valve Disease

In Cavaliers, this condition is typical. The condition begins with a cardiac murmur and worsens until the dog experiences heart failure.

Older dogs of any breed are prone to heart disease, but Cavaliers are more likely to do so early—sometimes as young as one or two years old. There is continuing research into how to prevent this problem.


In Cavaliers, this condition is typical. The condition begins with a cardiac murmur and worsens until the dog experiences heart failure.

Older dogs of any breed are prone to heart disease, but Cavaliers are more likely to do so early—sometimes as young as one or two years old.

Episodic Falling

Although the dog is conscious during the falling or seizure, this condition is sometimes mistaken for epilepsy. Because the dog’s muscles can’t relax.

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The symptoms might range from brief, minor episodes of falling to prolonged, seizure-like attacks. Symptoms usually begin before five months but may not be observed until later.

Hip Dysplasia

Various factors contribute to this hip joint malformation, including nutrition, environment, and heredity.

Most affected Cavaliers can have regular, healthy lives. Surgery may occasionally be necessary for your dog to have an everyday life.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation is a painful condition in which the knee joint (typically of the back leg) moves in and out of place.

Although it can be crippling, many dogs with this illness lead very normal lives.

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (Dry Eye)

This ailment is typically brought on by an immunological response to the dog’s tear glands, resulting in fewer tears.

Once identified, you can treat this illness with daily eye drops. It can lead to blindness if neglected.

Care For The Cavaliers

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are suitable pets for apartment or condo life due to their size and typically calm temperament. They are moderately active inside, and a little yard serves as their only outdoor space.

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A securely enclosed yard or leash-free walks are essential for this breed. They lack street smarts, and if they see a bird or other interesting prey, they will run directly in front of a moving vehicle.

Your Cavalier will enjoy a daily stroll or playtime in the backyard and adjust his activity level to match yours.

Avoid taking him for a walk in the heat of the day because he is a short-nosed breed, and never leave him in a hot yard without access to shade or cool, fresh water.


Give your dog half a cup of premium dry food twice daily.

Instead of making food available all the time, feed your Cavalier daily with measured portions to keep him healthy.

Grooming The Cavaliers

A feature of cavaliers is a medium-length, velvety-to-the-touch coat that might be somewhat wavy. Furs cover adult Cavaliers’ ears, chests, legs, feet, and tails.

Cavaliers are not too difficult to maintain, and Cavaliers shed on average. You should brush or comb them three to four times weekly and bathe them as necessary.

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That might be once a week for a dog who likes to play outside and spend a lot of time on your bed or other furnishings.

At least twice or three times a week, brush your Cavalier’s teeth to eliminate tartar accumulation and the bacteria that live there. If you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath, daily brushing is even better.

If your dog doesn’t naturally wear down their nails, you should trim them once or twice a month.

Children And Other Pets

These breeds love children who love throwing a ball for them and teaching them tricks. Furthermore, participating in dog sports or having them on their lap while they read or watch television may make Cavalier excellent playmates.

However, because of their small size, they should be monitored when playing with young children who could accidentally hurt them.

As with any breed, you should always teach kids how to interact with and approach dogs. It would be best if you always watched over any interactions between small kids and dogs.

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