"The Cavalier is lively, pleasant, well-balanced dog with humour and a certain amount of stubbornness. It has a beautiful exterior with a mild expression.” - The Cavalier Society

Brief facts about the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Breed: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Size: 30-35 cm at withers.
Weight: 5.5-8 kg
Characteristics: Loving, playful, eager to learn, responsive and social
Area of ​​use: Companion dog
Common diseases and injuries: Heart and skin problems
Country of origin: England

Are you a perfect match for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel fits in most types of families, from sporty families with children, to the elderly. They love everyone equally, which can be good if there are several in the family. The Cavalier goes along with most things but also settles for lazy days with just walks.

Their endearing looks and lovable personalities make the Cavalier one of the most popular breeds worldwide.

What does a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel look like?

The Cavalier is a small dog with a height at the withers of around 30 - 35 cm. They weigh about 5.5-8 kg, but there are larger and smaller individuals. Males are usually a little bigger and rougher than the females.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel comes in four different colours

  • Blenheim - warm maroon flecks evenly spaced on a pearly white ground
  • Tricolour - black spots evenly distributed on a white background with reddish-brown markings over the eyes, on the cheeks, inside the ears, on the chest, legs and under the tail.
  • Black and tan - raven black with reddish brown markings above the eyes, on the cheeks, inside the ears, on the chest, legs and under the tail
  • Ruby - solid deep red.

What does the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel like?

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is primarily  a companion dog, but one that loves all kinds of activity. The breed is usually easy to train, eager to learn and responsive. Many who have a Cavalier train and enjoy obedience dressage, agility, nosework, freestyle, game tracking, etc. They are also sometimes used as service dogs.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels thrive outdoors and love long walks in the woods or the city.

Loving and soft temperament

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is loving with a soft heart. They are playful and enjoy being active but most of all they love their family and being together. It is important that the family loves to cuddle. This breed needs a lot of love, closeness and it gives at least as much back.

As with most dogs, you need to train Cavaliers to be alone to prevent separation anxiety. Often they don't like to be left alone for too long, they find it boring and long for their family.

As they aren't often trouble-makers, they usually get along well with other dogs.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel health 

Common reasons for veterinary visits for the cavalier are heart or skin problems, including itching. When it comes to the heart, they suffer from symptoms such as murmurs and heart failure, but also from valvular diseases.

Stomach and intestinal problems such as vomiting and diarrhoea are common in many breeds, so also for Cavaliers.

Make fur care a cosy moment 

The coat of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is long, silky and abundant. At least a couple of times a week, their coat must be combed right down to the skin. Tangles form easily behind the ears and in the armpits, where daily combing is good.

Depending on where your lifestyle, Cavaliers should be bathed once every one or two months in a shampoo intended for their coat type. Always finish with conditioner to try and keep their coat tangle-free and easy to manage. You can also blow dry their fur whilst brushing for a beautiful shiny coat.

The Cavalier has drooping ears, so smell, look and clean them to prevent bacteria from forming.

Their eyes are easily wiped with a moistened cotton ball if necessary. Like most small dogs, Cavaliers easily get tartar on their teeth. Teach them how to have their teeth brushed from day 1 and make it part of your daily routine. This can help keep their mouths healthy, and avoid tooth loss and suffering, as well as expensive vet bills.

Expect to spend at least one hour per week grooming your Cavalier. Make it a cuddle time, most cavaliers love to be pampered.

Origin of the breed

The breed originates from England and has a history that goes back several centuries. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel of our time is a direct descendant of the small dwarf spaniel, which can be seen in paintings as early as the 13th century. It was not until 1945 that the Cavalier was recognised as a separate breed by the English Kennel Club.

The breed is now spread all over the world and is a highly valued companion and show dog.

Source: This text was produced in collaboration with The Cavalier Society.