Dog breeds: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dog

Dog breeds: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog is classified as a toy dog by the American Kennel Club. As a spaniel he is, he is very sporty and likes to play a lot. This is a very popular family dog that loves to be around his humans. 


The modern Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog is a relatively new breed. It originated in the United Kingdom and is a very popular breed in many countries. The toy spaniel, his prototype, has existed as a companion to royalty and nobility for centuries, though. These toy spaniels are depicted in work of art of the 16th, 17th, and 18th century and are the ancestors of today´s Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

There are countless stories about this dog and many royal owners, like Mary, Queen of Scots who took one with her on her walk to be beheaded. King Charles II once decreed that the spaniels should be allowed in any public building

The AKC officially recognized it as a breed in 1995.

Physical characteristics

Standards for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog state that he must be between 12 and 13 inches tall and weigh between 10 to 18 pounds. His coat is silky and with a moderate length. They have four recognized colors: chestnut markings on a pearly white background, black and tan with black bodies, entirely chestnut, and tricolor (black and white with tan markings).


The Cavalier does pretty well with strangers. He would even sit on their lap if they offer a nice rubbing. Their personalities can range from very quiet to very rowdy. They make a poor choice for a watchdog as they will bark only sometimes when a stranger comes near.

Caring for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog

Due to their size and almost quiet nature, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog makes a good apartment dog. Indoors, they are moderately active and a small yard would be enough for them. You do need to take him for walks around the neighborhood. Always do this with a leash, not that he will attack and kill, but he is not street smart and will walk straight into a running car.  


In general, this is an intelligent dog and will not be hard to train. He should pick up on his name, and the basic commands fairly easily. 


The most common cause of death for this breed is mitral valve disease, which is a heart disease. Make sure your breeder has tested both the sire and dam for any inherited eye condition. 

Fun facts

  • King Charles II’s decree apparently still holds in England, but nobody has dared to prove it. 
  • A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog featured in HBO’s “Sex and the City” as Charlotte York´s dog. 
  • The popularity of the dog dropped when the Stuart house fell, and pugs became more popular (The Tudors favored them) and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs became rare. 

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