Cavalier King Charles Spaniel - Origin, Characteristics and Behavior

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a dog famous for...

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The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a dog famous for its many appearances in many films. It has also gained popularity thanks to all the celebrities, like Coco Chanel, Oscar Wilde or Frank Sinatra, who have adopted one. This breed is also highly prized for its sleek appearance and silky, delicate coat. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is very gentle and affectionate, but it should be remembered that it is also a delicate breed that can suffer from many hereditary he alth problems.

If you want to know more about the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog breed, you will find in this PlanèteAnimal breed sheet all the essential information about it!

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  • Europe
  • United Kingdom

FCI Nomenclature

  • Group IX

Physical Characteristics

  • End
  • Proportional
  • Short ears


  • Little


  • 15-35

Adult Weight

  • 3-10

Life expectancy

  • 10-12

Recommended physical activity

  • Average


  • Balanced
  • Society
  • Smart
  • Affectionate
  • Docile

Ideal for

  • Children
  • Apartment
  • House
  • Therapy
  • Elderly people

Recommended climate

  • Temperate

Hair type

  • Long
  • Smooth
  • End

Origin of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

There are many stories and legends that surround this fascinating breed, which reached the height of its popularity during the reigns of Charles I of England and Scotland and Charles II of England.It appears in several paintings of the 16th and 17th centuries, where we can observe certain differences with respect to the current standard, mainly at the level of the level, which is slightly more elongated, as well as at the level of the body, which is more slender.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a breed originating from England and the first specimens date back to the time of Elizabeth I of England. It is likely that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was born from a cross between Pekingese and Japanese spaniels. From 1600, they began to be appreciated by the English nobility.

" He owes part of his name, Charles, to Charles II, who loved these dogs. Historians report that his dog was part of his entourage and was never separated from him, even at state meetings. This is why he is also called Cavalier. Other members of the British royal family were also big fans of this breed."

In recent years, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has spread around the world and is considered one of the most popular and beloved English dog breeds.

Characteristics of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small, well proportioned and elegant dog. Its weight is between 5.4 and 8 kilograms and its height at the withers is between 30 and 33 cm. It belongs to group IX of the FCI, the group of companion dogs.

Its head is small and it has a slightly elongated muzzle and an almost flat forehead, which shows a very obvious frontal depression. Its muzzle tapers towards the end. Its teeth are powerful and they have a typical scissor joint, that is, the upper teeth perfectly cover the lower teeth.

His eyes are round, dark and wide apart. His ears are characteristic of the breed and they slightly resemble those of the English Cocker Spaniel. However, in the case of the Cavalier King Charles they are high inserts.

His tail is proportionate to the rest of the body, it is well furnished and it never exceeds the level of the line of the back. His back is straight and horizontal and his rib cage is moderate. Its legs are thin and its feet are covered with abundant hair.

The Cavalier King Charles coat is long and silky, with abundant fringes, and can be of different shades: black and cinnamon, ruby, blenheim or tricolor.

Character of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a docile and affable dog, which makes it one of the most suitable breeds for living with children and the elderly. His character is cheerful and, if he is well socialized, he will not develop fear or anxiety.

It is particularly easy-going and, thanks to its small size, it adapts easily to living in an apartment. It can live with any type of family, however, as with all other dog breeds, a particularly sedentary lifestyle should never be encouraged.

Finally, with proper socialization, this dog can interact wonderfully with all kinds of people and animals, which also makes it an ideal breed for animal-assisted therapy.

Caring for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

When focusing on the care of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, special attention should be paid to:

  • The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel's diet: it must be balanced. When we choose their food, whether it is based on kibble or homemade recipes, we must ensure that it is of high quality. Likewise, it is necessary to respect the quantities to guarantee an adequate weight and avoid overweight. The daily amount can be divided between 2 or 3 meals. Also, you must not forget that a dog's diet must always be adapted to its age, its specific needs and its state of he alth.
  • Exercise: This is another fundamental aspect, as we have already mentioned, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an active dog. It is recommended to take him for at least 3 walks a day. Similarly, the importance of mental stimulation to keep your mind active should also not be overlooked.
  • Grooming: for his coat to be silky and in good condition, it must be brushed 2 or 3 times a week. You should pay special attention to the formation of possible knots and tangles in the area of the ears and limbs. Regular brushing will have a positive influence on its he alth, not only to keep its coat shiny, but also to detect the presence of parasites or injuries early on. It should only be washed once a month at most.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Education

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an intelligent dog that learns easily, however, it is important to educate it through positive training and avoid punishment that can generate stress and frustration. anxiety.This type of training is not only recommended for this breed, but for all dogs. Indeed, the use of positive reinforcement in training promotes learning and a good relationship with the tutor.

Another fundamental aspect of education is the socialization of the puppy, an essential process for our dog to learn to relate to other individuals, environments and people, such as children, adults, cats , dogs or ambulances. Lack of or poor socialization can lead to the appearance of fears and other behavioral problems. The Cavalier King Charles must also learn to urinate in the street.

To end with his basic education, we will pay attention to obedience orders, which, in addition to strengthening our bond, will allow us to stimulate him mentally and improve his response to our requests.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel He alth

The life expectancy of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is between 9 and 14 years, but since it is a small breed dog, it is highly predisposed to suffer from various hereditary diseases, including syringomyelia , a particularly painful and serious condition. It is estimated that around 33% of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel population suffers from it. It is mainly due to an excessive growth of the brain mass, which does not have enough space in the skull to be able to develop there quietly.

Other common diseases of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel are:

  • Mitral valve dysplasia
  • Cataracts
  • Corneal dystrophy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Microphthalmos
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Retinal dysplasia
  • Brachycephalic dog syndrome
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Idiopathic Epilepsy
  • Ichthyosis
  • Urolithiasis

It is very important to go to the veterinarian regularly, every 6 to 12 months, to try to prevent these pathologies and to detect them early if they appear. It is also essential to follow the vaccination and deworming schedule.

Where to adopt a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

Now that you know all the characteristics of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, you may be considering adopting one. At PlanèteAnimal, we would first like to mention that, regardless of their characteristics, all dogs deserve a chance to be adopted and to have the best life possible.

As a small dog breed, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is highly sought after. Therefore, one of the options for adopting this dog is to visit a breed club or animal shelter near you to see if there is one up for adoption.

Pictures of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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