Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dog: Characteristics & Temperament

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog is a small breed of spaniel classed in the toy group of The Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club. It is a very popular breed in the United States, and ranks as the 19th most popular pure-breed in the country since 2000.

The breed was originated in the United Kingdom. The Cavalier King Charles changed dramatically in the late 17th century, when it was interbred with flat-nosed breeds. The Cavalier shared the same history as the smaller King Charles Spaniel until the 1920s.

Breeders attempted to recreate what they considered to be the original configuration of the breed, a dog resembling Charles II’s King Charles Spaniel of the Restoration. Various health issues affect this particular breed.

During the early part of the 18th century, John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, kept red and white King Charles type spaniels for hunting.

The duke recorded that they were able to keep up with a trotting horse. His estate was named Blenheim in honor of his victory at the Battle of Blenheim. Because of this influence, the red and white variety of the King Charles Spaniel and thus the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel became known as the Blenheim.

Attempts were made to recreate the original Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as early as the turn of the 20th century, using the now extinct Toy Trawler Spaniels.

These attempts were documented by Judith Blunt-Lytton, 16th Baroness Wentworth, in the book “Toy Dogs and Their Ancestors Including the History And Management of Toy Spaniels, Pekingese, Japanese and Pomeranians” published under the name of the “Hon. Mrs Neville Lytton” in 1911.[1]

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dog Characteristics

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog is a smaller sized and very beautiful. It has a silky, smooth coat and commonly a smooth undocked tail.

The breed standard recognizes four colors: Blenheim (chestnut and white), tricolor (black/white/tan), black and tan, and ruby.

Historically the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was a lap dog and is small for a spaniel, with fully grown adults comparable in size to adolescents of other larger spaniel breeds.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog is very beautiful but smaller in size. Their average body height is between 12 and 13 inches. And average live body weight of the mature dogs is between 5.9 and 8.2 kg.

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Temperament

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog breed is generally friendly, affectionate and good with both children and other animals. However, they generally require much human interaction.

Since they are family dogs, it is recommended to not leave one alone for long periods at a time.

Like other dogs, these dogs come in a range of personalities, from quiet and sedate to rowdy and rambunctious. They might or might not bark when someone comes to the door, so they are poor choice as watchdog.

Lifespan

Average lifespan of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog is between 9 and 14 years.

Feeding

How much a mature dog eats depends on it’s size, age, build, metabolism and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don’t all need the same amount of food.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs are smaller in size and they are moderately active. So, their diet should be formulated for a smaller sized breed with average exercise needs. Generally, 1/2 to 1 cup of high-quality dry food per day will be enough for them. You can also consult with a vet in your area for better feeding recommendations.

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Caring

Taking good care of the animals is very important for raising Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs. They are moderately active indoors, and a small yard is adequate for their exercise needs.

Daily walks on leash or a securely fenced yard are must for these dogs. They have no street smarts and will run right in front of a car if they catch sight of a bird or other interesting prey.

They will enjoy a daily walk or romp in the yard. Avoid walking him during the heat of the day and never leave him out in a hot yard without access to shade or cool and fresh water.

Health

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs are generally healthy. But like all other dog breeds, they are also prone to certain health conditions. Their common health problems include episodic falling, hip dysplasia, mitral valve disease, syringomyelia, keratoconjunctivitis sicca and patellar luxation. Always try to keep good contact with a vet in your area.

Breed Name Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Other Names None
Breed Size Small
Height 12 to 13 inches at the withers
Weight 5.9 kg to 8.2 kg
Good as Pets Yes
Climate Tolerance All climates
Color Blenheim, Black and Tan, Ruby, and Tri-Colour
Lifespan 9 to 14 years
Good for Children Yes
Rarity Common
Country/Place of Origin United Kingdom