Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dog Breed Information

Quick Facts – Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

  • Weight: 13-18 Pounds
  • Height: 12-13 Inches
  • Life Span: 12-15 years
  • Nature: Loving, Kind, Elegant

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is the American Kennel Club’s 19th most popular dog breed. A member of the Toy Group, this breed features characteristics of sporting spaniels and toy breeds alike. If you think a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel might be right for you, here’s what you need to know.

A Little History

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, or Cavalier for short, was a symbol of European nobility for generations. In the 1700s, small spaniels were cross-bred with Tibetan Spaniels and the Japanese Chin, eventually yielding the Cavalier. King Charles II of England became so fond of the breed that it is rumored he never went anywhere without one. He even went as far as to issue a decree that the breed should be permitted to enter any public place. Cavaliers remained closely guarded by wealthy families for generations, but eventually became more popular among the public. While there is some evidence that the breed made its way to the U.S. in the early 1900s, it wasn’t until 1996 that the AKC formally recognized this breed. Today, the Cavalier is one of the most popular dog breeds, and is widely regarded as one of the friendliest.

What are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Like?

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are among the friendliest of all dog breeds, getting along well with their pet parents, family, children, other pets, and even strangers. They are a bit adventurous by nature, and love to explore outdoors. Their owners often describe them as kind and gentle, with a genuine affection for their masters. Even their expression is docile and sweet. Their coats are normally black and tan, ruby, parti-colors Blehheim, or tri-color, with medium-length and somewhat wavy hair. Long tufts of hair around their feet distinguish the Cavalier from other breeds, and compliment their elegant and free gait. Their kind and accepting nature makes them excellent therapy dogs, and perhaps the most desirable house pet.

Caring for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels require daily physical activity, but given their size, this can normally be achieved with a supervised romp or walk. You should brush their coats every other day to promote good health and prevent tangling. Check their ears at least once weekly, and talk to your veterinarian if you see any signs of an infection. They prefer the company of their humans indoors, and are otherwise not suited for outdoor living. Don’t forget to stimulate their minds with games and play time, as this will promote socialization to reduce the risk of frustration. An occasional bath will help to keep their coats healthy and vibrant, and twice-monthly nail trimming will keep their paws pain-free. Last but not least, remember to brush your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s teeth routinely to avoid dental disease.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are prone to conditions such as patellar luxation, entropion, and canine hip dysplasia (CHD)1. You should visit your veterinarian routinely to monitor for warning signs of a serious issue.

The Cost

Most breeders charge between $1,800 and $3,500 for Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies. Pet parents will also need another $500 for supplies and initial veterinary expenses. Each year after that, expect to spend another $400-$800 on veterinary care.

Diagnostic imaging to properly assess CHD can cost between $1,200-$2,500, while surgical intervention for CHD and Patellar Luxation cost more than $4,000 each. A pet insurance policy with 4Paws Insurance helps pet parents worry less about the cost of critical veterinary care.

Sandy Says: Comments from the Chief Pet Officer
I fell in love with this dog breed after playing with a close friend’s Cavalier. Her name was Angel, which perfectly described her personality. At the time, I thought she was the exception to the rule, but soon learned that this breed is outgoing, sweet, and extremely affectionate to all. I now own a Cavalier; his name is Buddy. He is a true lapdog that always welcomes me when I get home. His deep chocolate eyes twinkle as soon as he sees his mom, and he will do back flips to let me know how much he missed me.  I would highly recommend this breed, but only if you have the time to devote as they do not like to be left alone.