Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Characteristics, History, Care Tips and Helpful Information for Pet Owners

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the world. Though the breed has been officially been recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1995, the dogs of this breed have a distinguished lineage.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels love human company. They love snuggling, playing games, and sticking to their masters like glue. Dogs of this breed are therefore a perfect companion for humans. To be sure that a dog of this breed is the right one for you, you need to know the characteristics of  this breed well. Some of them are mentioned below-


The roots of dogs of this breed are believed to be in Asia. They were presented to European royal families as gifts and gradually gained popularity. Pups of this breed were featured in many paintings of the 16th century. There is a painting of King Phillip and Queen Mary I which is the first documentation of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels in England.

Three cavalier king charles spaniel dogs together

This breed received their name from King Charles II of England who was very fond of them. They were also known as Bleinheim since they were kept in the estate of John Churchill in the 18th century. They were hardly used for anything apart from companionship. They are friendly, loving, and always stay by the owner’s side. Their popularity increased as they became fashionable among the affluent sections of society. Women loved these lap dogs, they could be carried anywhere and were used as emotional comforters.

The dogs of this breed were badly affected during the Second World War and their numbers went down severely. Two male pups were first brought to the US in the 1940s. In 1957, Pysche was the first Cavalier which was officially documented in the US. The Black and Tan Pup was brought from the UK by Elizabeth Spalding. She later established the Cavalier King Charles Club USA.


This friendly dog breed has long been associated with the aristocracy in Europe, especially England since the 17th century. In the 17th century, they were referred to as Toy Spaniels and looked a bit different from what they do now. King Charles I as well as his son King Charles II were very fond of them and the name of the breed has been derived from them. King Charles II was said to be so fond of the dogs of this breed that he decreed that these dogs would be allowed inside public buildings, including the Parliament.


The Bleinheim color variant was named due to the passion that the First Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill, and his wife, had for these dogs. They had plenty of spaniels in Bleinheim Palace, their home. Queen Victoria was also fond of dogs of this breed. Dash, her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, was her favorite companion in childhood. During the Victorian period, these dogs were crossed with dogs that had a flatter face and were of Asian breeds, such as Pug and Japanese Chin. This lead to the development of the breed now known as the English Toy Spaniel.

During the 1920s, dog enthusiasts began to work on the look of these dogs from the time of Prince Charles and the Duke of Marlborough, leading to the evolution of the breed which we know today. In 2010, this breed was ranked 18 as the most popular breed by the American Kennel Club.


The dogs of this breed have a long, silky coat with feathering around their ears, chest, tail, and feet. These dogs usually have four types of colors-ruby, black, tricolor, and blenheim. They have a life span of 12-14 years. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are very friendly and affectionate to kids and can be trained easily. They are also known for their intelligence.



A pup of this breed can grow up to 12 to 13 inches in height by adulthood.




An adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can weigh between 13-18 pounds.




Cavaliers are one of the most friendly breeds of dogs you may come across. They can make friends quickly and show love to everyone they come across. So, if you are looking for a watchdog, it would be wise for you to look somewhere else. A dog of this breed won’t alert you if he sees something wrong happening. If there is a lap on which he can sit, the dog will claim it immediately. They don’t like to stay alone and so if you want to shower your love and affection on a pet, this breed is the ideal one for you.


Level of Intelligence



Puppies of this breed are highly intelligent and can be easily trained. So, if you are owning a dog for the first time, then you won’t face too many issues while training your pet. Training a dog of this breed will be easy if you are positive, focused, and are affectionate to him.

Average Lifespan

The normal lifespan of dogs of this breed is between 12-15 years.

Best Methods of Training Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Cavalier king charles spaniel jumping over hurdle in agility competition

To get the best results, start training your pet from an early age. Ensure that there is little or no distraction while you are training the dog. This will ensure that the dog can focus on the task which you have assigned him to do. Keep one thing in mind. These dogs are sensitive to negativity. To get the desired behavior, offer positive verbal reinforcement to your spaniel. Treats are a great source of motivation because the pups of this breed love food. Though they are friendly to everyone, early socialization at a young age is a wise thing to do.

How to Take Care of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppies?

Spaniels are known to be affectionate, happy go lucky, and sociable. They love to be in the company of humans and other dogs. So, they are suitable for those homes where they won’t be left alone. They are not very demanding or hyperactive and get along well with the elderly. Though they love being cuddled, this doesn’t mean the spaniels are couch potatoes. They are highly motivated by food and always eager to please their masters. So, they are more likely to respond to positive, force-free methods of training and can be easily trained. They do well in competitive sports and are known to be agile and obedient. The hunting instincts of this dog sometimes resurfaces. Therefore, you need to ensure that your pet doesn’t chase livestock or dogs of smaller size.

Cavalier-king-charles-spaniel-They Are Fond of Cats

If you want to have a dog that doesn’t require a high level of care, this is not the right dog for you. The feathered ears and feet require regular maintenance to ensure that they do not get entangled. They will have to be combed a few times every week. They do shed their coat, but not excessively. 

Diet and Nutrition

Cavaliers Love Food

As in the case of every other dog, you need to feed a spaniel with a high-quality diet. They are prone to obesity, and therefore ensure that your pet is not overfed. If he gobbles up food and looks for more, then give him meals from a slow feed bowl.

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