Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dogs

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are endearing, lovable companions. Affectionate without being jealous, energetic without being frenzied, they are superb pals for playing around the house, cuddling on the sofa and tossing a ball in the yard.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Pictures

  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog named Izzy Adorable
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog named Charlie Girl
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog named Finn Doherty
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog named diana
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog named Emma
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog named Tammy
see Cavalier King Charles Spaniel pictures »

Quick Facts

  • 10 - 18 pounds
  • 12 - 13 inches

Ideal Human Companions

    • Singles
    • Seniors
    • Families
    • Outdoorsy types

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Trademark Traits

    • Graceful
    • Lively and energetic
    • Eager to please
    • Affectionate
    • Bold
    • Intelligent

What They Are Like to Live With

These dogs get along with everybody—cats and other pets included. They are very good playmates for children, being patient and playful, and make a good first impression with strangers. Some can be a little reserved with new people, but they quickly warm up. For this reason, the King Charles is probably not the best choice for a watchdog.

Things You Should Know

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels may look like adorable lapdogs that want nothing more than a comfy couch, but they descend from a long line of hunters. Therefore, they might not be the best choice for apartment living. Give them room to run—preferably in a fenced back yard—and take them for a jaunt in the woods now and then. However, don’t forget the leash: They love to chase cars and small critters.

Being people-oriented dogs, King Charles Spaniels crave companionship and attention, rewarding their owners with equal amounts of affection. Don’t ignore them or leave them alone for too long: They can get depressed, lonely and sometimes batty.

A healthy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can live as long as 14 years. Common health problems include a heart condition called mitral valve disease, hip dysplasia and ear infections. They need daily brushing, ear cleaning and occasional grooming.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel History

The original King Charles Spaniels were popular dogs during the reign of Charles II, who adored small dogs. In many17th-century paintings, these elegant canines sit on the laps of princes and princesses. Over the years, the breed evolved, creating a diversity of types that did not resemble the original. An American dog breeder named Roswell Eldridge went to England in the1920s to find several of the classic King Charles Spaniels. Finding few options, he offered a prize for the best female and male breeds shown at the annual Crufts show. This sparked a new interest in King Charles Spaniels, but they did not receive AKC recognition until 1996.

The Look of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have small, well-proportioned frames with silky, wavy coats. Their rounded heads are in proportion to their bodies with conical muzzles and dark, well-developed noses. Their pendant (hanging) ears are set high and slightly feathered. They have long necks, sloping shoulders and straight forelegs. Their wagging tails are covered in fur and are not carried too high. They come in black & tan, tri-color, red, and chestnut on white. Overall, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have an elegant and noble posture.

Talk About Cavalier King Charles Spaniels 

So easy to train!

My favorite breed is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I would recommend this breed dog to anyone who would love a lovable, smart dog that is easy to train. These dogs are so very smart! They learn commands very quickly because they are so anxious to please their human. Their small size makes them a wonderful dog for people with children or folks in apartments. The only pitfall is that you'll want more than one...they are a joy in every way!

~Caren H., owner of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

No one is a stranger to these dogs!

My favorite breed is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The reason for this is that they are beautiful, yes, but they are such happy, sweet, loving dogs that never meet a stranger. They love life, people and other dogs of all kinds. And smart? they are VERY smart!

If I knew someone considering getting a Cavalier King Charles, I would tell them it is so very important to do your homework and research the serious health problems this breed can have, then find a good, ethical breeder that follows all the protocols for breeding these terrific dogs. The only down side to having Cavaliers is that you can't take them anywhere without being mobbed like a rock-star by people wanting to pet and hold your little K9 friend.

~Veesha, owner of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

A loyal lapdog

These dogs are such good friends. They are small enough to be a great lapdog, but big enough to go to my horse barn and even go on trail rides on my property. Mine also rides in my horse-drawn cart with me.

I have owned several dogs, and my Cavs have been by far the most loyal. You need to be sure you have time to spend with them -- they are "people" dogs and do not do well if ignored.

They also require some grooming, as their coat will mat if not brushed. But mine goes to the barn, pond, and pasture daily and I just rinse her off and do a good brushing once a week.

~Janet B., owner of a Cavalier King Charles Spa

A lap-warming spaniel that also enjoys the outdoors

My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has never met a person she doesn't like nor a person who doesn't like her. The laughing face and melting expression draw young and old alike.

Loving and sweet, Cavaliers MUST be with their people and will become despondent if they are left alone too often. Small enough to serve the purpose they were bred for, lap warming, they are still a Spaniel and will enjoy the outdoors and agility as well.

Prospective worshippers ... um ... owners should be aware of the possibility of heart issues and knee problems as well as a neurological problem that can occur. Check the breedlines to make sure parents are heart clear. These dogs can live good, long lives and every day with them is a joy! I couldn't be owned by any other breed.

~MaryAnne W., owner of a Cavalier King Charles Spa

There is no sweeter face to win your heart

Lucy is the most loving, gentle dog we have ever had. She is very smart, and a great traveler in the car. We just completed over 3,000 miles in 12 days and she did wonderfully, with breaks to stretch and relieve herself. She has done marvelously in hotels that allow dogs as well.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels need moderate brushing, but shedding is greatly reduced by the brushing, fish oil in her food three times a week, and a high-quality diet.

This breed is in the toy category but is very substantial. She loves to chase and play but settles down nicely in the house. The Cav does best in an environment with adults or older children. Toddlers and young children make the dog a bit nervous since children can be so unpredictable.

I love love love this breed. There is no sweeter face to win your heart. Mine is cuddled alongside me right now while I write this testimonial!

~Ginger Barthel, owner of a Cavalier King Charles Spa

Amazing dogs

I love these dogs. I own two, and they get along incredibly well. They have their distinct personalities, so there is an interesting dynamic to their relationship. They tend to stick together all day long, and usually sleep in the same room.

These are some of the most amazing dogs I've ever met, and when I leave home for more than a few days I miss them terribly. They're incredibly loyal, and very sensitive to their owners' emotions. When someone in the house is upset, they come running to cuddle!

They're not only amazingly adorable, they're also quite smart. We taught our first dog several things, which he learned quickly. We never had to train our second dog; she picked up the behaviors and responses to commands straight from our first one!

~Laura S., owner of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

These are great dogs!

I have a Cavalier, Cricket, and she's a joy. Active, but not too much and always eager to please. She has very soft fur and loves to snuggle. I can count on one hand how many times I've heard Cricket bark. Almost perfect - but I hate how she always gets into things that tangle in her hair.

~Suzie R, owner of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel