Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a sweet face with bright, round eyes, his silky and smooth coat combined the gentle gait give this breed a graceful quality. They are highly affectionate, patient, and playful, and they can get along well with both children and other animals, also, they require much human interaction.

Other Names Charlies
Color Black & Tan, Black & White, Blenheim, Ruby
Height Males: 12-13 inches. Females: 12-13 inches.
Weight Males: 11-18 pounds. Females: 11-18 pounds.
Life Span 12-15 years
Personality Affectionate, Gentle, Graceful
Exercise Calm
Popularity #16
Groom Needs Weekly
Kids Friendly Yes
Dog Friendly Yes
Watch Dog
Family Dog Yes
Litter Size 5

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Pictures

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Video


The Cavalier King Charles Spaniels aren’t as intimidating as their long name suggests. They are a small breed of dogs, categorized as toy dogs. They are so diminutive that there’s hardly a perceptible difference in size between a male and a female type if any at all. The standard Cavalier rises to 12-13 inches at the shoulder and is likely to tip the weighing scales somewhere between 14 and 17 pounds. 

The Cavalier wears a beautiful and regal splendor in their smooth, silky and colorful coat which comes in four discrete varieties; Blenheim, Ruby, black and tan, and the tricolor (black, white and tan) variety. Although the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a royal background, they still come around to chasing their own share of squirrels and engaging in the old-fashioned gamboling about the house. They enjoy the company and are friendly with children. A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has an average lifespan of between 11 and 15 years.

Living with Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are fairly easy to maintain, their lustrous, silky coat requires little more than regular brushing and an occasional bath to keep them in beautiful condition. The owner needs to comb or brush their coat three or four times a week and bathe them as necessary. And their feathered hair on the ears and legs is easy to get tangling, so don’t forget to check those areas regularly for mats that need to be combed out. 

Brush your dog’s teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it, the daily brush is better to keep fresh breathe and prevent gum disease. It is recommended to check the ears weekly for signs of infection and trim the nails at least once a month.

Though Cavaliers have been bred as beloved lap dogs, they still need moderate exercise and outdoor activities as they are descended from sporting dogs. Leisurely walks are not quite enough for Cavaliers, it is important to add some high-intensity games of catch or chase in your daily routine to keep your dog in good shape, but, the dog can also enjoy staying at home all day. 

Walks on-leash or a securely fenced yard are musts with this breed. Because of their scenting and hunting instincts, they shouldn’t be allowed off-leash when outside, or your dog may not response when called if he finds an interesting trail to follow or a creature to pursue.

As a toy breed, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel doesn’t have a necessarily large diet compared to other dogs, but it is important to feed your dog with nutritional dog food, meat, and vegetables as supplements.

Generally, it is recommended to feed with a half to one cup of high-quality dry dog food per day, divided into two meals. And there should be clean fresh water at all times. 

Some dogs are easy to get overweight, so you need to watch their calorie consumption and weight level all the time. Treats may be an important aid in training, but excessive intake can lead to obesity. Also, owners need to distinguish which human food is safe for dogs and which are not. If you have any problems with your dog’s weight or diet, just consult from your veterinarian.

The Cavaliers are prone to the following health conditions: hip dysplasia, Chiari-like malformation, patellar luxation, endocardiosis, mitral valve disease, entropion, distichiasis, retinal dysplasia…

Major concerns: syringomelia, CHD, mitral valve insufficiency

Minor concerns: entropion, patellar luxation

Occasionally seen: retinal dysplasia


Cardiac Exam

Patella Evaluation

Hip Evaluation

Ophthalmologist Evaluation 

Total Annual Cost: $2745

Cost is estimated for the first year and may vary depending on many factors, such as dog food, health care, leash, collar, licensing, possible fencing, crates, training and obedience classes, dog-walking, grooming, treats, toys, flea, tick, and heart-worm meds, microchips, etc.

The Cavalier is a sweet, gentle, and affectionate breed, very eager to please their human. And they are intelligent, easy to be trained. But they could be stubborn and difficult to housebreak, persistence, patience, and a regular schedule are very important in the training process. Also, the owner should provide plenty of treats and rewards as encouragement, and keep training sessions short.

Cavaliers are athletic and quick-witted, they can excel in a number of canine sports including obedience, rally, and agility. Besides, they could be great therapy dogs with their sweet nature. Early socialization and puppy training classes will help the young Cavalier to learn good manners and be comfortable with a wide variety of people and situation.


The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that is now a family dog, owned and loved by many in America today wasn’t exactly an à la mode possession in earlier times. Their ancestors were hunter dogs for a major part of their history. These were known as the Small Spaniels to distinguish them from a larger breed of Spaniels of old times. The history of this toy-type spaniels dates back to the beginning of the Common Era, around the 1000s, when Small Spaniels were common as hunting dogs in Europe. 

The original Spaniels began the historical journey in the old-time United Kingdom. Centuries passed and by the 16th century, Small Spaniels had risen to become household dogs for the wealthy who could afford to keep them. One of the earliest predecessors of the small-type Spaniels was King Charles Spaniel, named for King Charles II, during the Restoration. And he was fond of Small Spaniels.

Towards the end of the 19th century, breeders attempted to replicate the King Charles breed, which led to the crossing of toy Spaniels with the Japanese Chins. The result was a flat-faced, dome-skulled hybrid much similar to King Charles’, hence they were named the King Charles Spaniels, also called ‘Charlies’. King Charles Spaniels soon grew in number while the Small Spaniels of old receded into extinction.

The Cavalier Club was founded in 1928, after the death of Roswell Eldridge. Roswell Eldridge was the American who dreamt of rejuvenating the Cavalier-type Spaniels of old-time Blenheim. He tagged a huge money prize for breeders who could recreate these Spaniels which had a longer face and flat skull, in contrast to flat-faced and dome-skulled Charlies. 

The club continued in the light of Eldridge’s objectives and soon Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were back on the show. But World War II so dealt a terrible blow to the fledgling line of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels that by the end of the war there were barely ten of them left, as these dogs were used for food during the period. These survivors are the direct antecedents of present-day Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Helpful Information


Breed Club Link:

Breed Club Rescue: American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Rescue Trust

Breed Club Rescue Link: