Temperament: Affectionate, Gentle, Graceful
- Height: 12-13 inches
- Weight: 13-18 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
- Group: Toy Group
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel wears his connection to British history in his breed’s name. Cavaliers are the best of two worlds, combining the gentle attentiveness of a toy breed with the verve and athleticism of a sporting spaniel.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an active, graceful, well-balanced toy spaniel, very gay and free in action; fearless and sporting in character, yet at the same time gentle and affectionate. It is this typical gay temperament, combined with true elegance and royal appearance which are of paramount importance in the breed. Natural appearance with no trimming, sculpting or artificial alteration is essential to breed type
About the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier’s all-around beauty, regal grace, and even temper mark him as one of dogdom’s noblemen. A toy spaniel no more than 13 inches high, the Cavalier draws you in with his face: The sweet, gentle, melting expression emanating from large, round eyes is a breed hallmark. Another is the silky, richly-coloured coat that can be one of four distinct varieties.
Cavaliers may be aristocrats, but they gladly descend from their royal high horse for a backyard frolic or a squirrel chase. They get along nicely with children and other dogs. Adaptable Cavaliers do equally well with active owners and homebodies—they can be upbeat athletes or shameless couch potatoes, depending on an owner’s lifestyle.
NUTRITION The Cavalier should be fed a high-quality dog food appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some Cavaliers are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. If you choose to give your dog treats, do so in moderation. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Give table scraps sparingly, if at all, especially avoiding cooked bones and foods with high fat content. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.
GROOMING The Cavalier’s lustrous, silky coat requires little more than regular brushing and an occasional bath to keep him in beautiful condition. Brushing not only helps to keep the coat shiny and tangle-free but also serves as a full-body massage that the dog enjoys. grooming sessions enhance the dog-owner bond and provide an opportunity to inspect the dog’s whole body for any new or unusual bumps or other issues. The ears should be checked weekly for signs of infection, and the nails should be trimmed at least once a month, as overgrown nails can cause pain and structural problems.
EXERCISE Although the Cavalier was bred to be a beloved lap dog, he is descended from sporting dogs and does enjoy moderate exercise and outdoor activities. He will happily go on walks with his owner and also performs well in a number of canine sports, but he’s just as glad to stay on the sofa all day. Cavaliers should not be allowed off leash because they retain scenting and hunting instincts, and they may not come when called if they’ve found an interesting trail to follow or a creature to pursue. A fenced yard is recommended.
TRAINING The Cavalier is a sweet, gentle, and affectionate breed, very eager to please their human. They are friendly with strangers and with other animals, and they can do very well with children. They are smart and train easily, and Cavaliers excel in a number of canine sports including obedience, rally, and agility. With their sweet nature they also make fantastic therapy dogs. As with all breeds, early socialisation and puppy training classes will help the young Cavalier to learn good manners and be comfortable with a wide variety of people and situations.
HEALTH There are several health issues that Cavaliers are prone to. These include certain eye conditions (including retinal problems and cataracts), patella luxation, hip dysplasia, middle ear infections, mitral valve heart disease, and a neurological condition called syringomyelia. Cavaliers can be screened for all these conditions, and most live comfortably into old age. Owners should discuss any potential health issues with their dog’s breeder. A responsible breeder will health-test all potential breeding stock.
Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:
- Hip Evaluation
- Patella Evaluation
- Cardiac Exam
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation