Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Character, Attitude, Care

A particularly good-natured and peaceful character slumbers in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Read everything about the character, attitude, and care of the little cavaliers here.

Anyone with a name as long and elegant as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel simply has to be adorable.

And indeed, an extremely good-natured and peaceful being slumbers in the dogs, which showers its people with a lot of love and joy. No wonder the breed was already in great demand as a companion dog for European nobility in the Middle Ages and is still one of the most popular pets around the world today.

In our breed portrait, learn all the important aspects of the small dog, how its appearance has changed over the course of history, how it is optimally trained and cared for, and how it differs from the original King Charles Spaniel.

How big is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

The dogs belong to the small dog breeds with a height at the withers between 30 and 33 cm. The size differences between males and females are rather minimal in the breed.

By the way: The dog breed is not to be confused with King Charles Spaniel, from which the Cavalier descends, but which is smaller and lighter and is considered a separate dog breed.

How heavy is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

The small spaniels weigh on average between 5 kg and 8 kg, with hardly any differences between males and females.

What does a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel look like?

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is its beautiful, glossy, medium-length coat that looks and feels silky. According to the FCI standard, it is possible in four color variants:

  • Blenheim, a white base color with maroon markings
  • Tricolor, a white base color with black markings and tan markings, particularly on the face
  • Ruby, solid red
  • Black and tan, a black base color with tan markings.

Typical of spaniels, the dog has long, high-set floppy ears that hang over its lower jaw.

The Cavalier is distinguished from King Charles Spaniel primarily by its more compact size and its longer and larger snout. This “long nose” is based on the original appearance of the King Charles Spaniels in the Middle Ages before their snout and body were bred down for “beauty ideals”.

The Cavalier thus corresponds to the attempt to restore the original appearance of King Charles Spaniels.

How old does a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel get?

Compared to other small dog breeds, the Cavalier’s life expectancy is relatively short. While the average age of small dog breeds is around 15 years, long-nosed dogs only live up to ten years on average. But with good health, care and education, the little cavaliers can live up to 15 years.

What is the character or nature of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

If you want to describe the character of the Cavalier, you can’t stop raving. Of all dog breeds, the big floppy-eared dogs are some of the friendliest, most affectionate, and most good-natured pets one could ask for. The little cavalier is one of the particularly cuddly dog ​​breeds.

Dogs usually get along with people and other animals straight away. Aggressive or threatening gestures towards strangers are completely unknown in the breed. The dog is considered very affectionate, obedient, willing to learn, and always wants to please its owner.

Due to its centuries-old career as a companion dog, the Cavalier has almost no hunting instinct and its urge to move is not particularly pronounced. However, the dog is always available for games and sporting activities, provided it can take a long nap afterward. He likes to do that next to his mistress and master on the couch.

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Where does the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel come from?

The name already gives it away: The history of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel goes back a long way in history and has its origins in European royal courts.

In the Middle Ages, the King Charles Spaniels were bred from toy spaniels, which were initially used as hunting companions and then became increasingly popular with the European nobility as companion dogs.

Records of similar-looking dogs date back to the 16th century, and there are numerous paintings of nobles with their little spaniels from the 17th century. King Charles II of England in particular was considered an outspoken fan of the little dogs, which is how they later got his name.

Unfortunately, the rise of the pug as a new animal status symbol in the 18th century also had an impact on King Charles’ favorite dogs. In order to adapt to the pug’s “ideal of beauty” with its small size and flat muzzle, breeders have changed the appearance of the breed over time in such a way that today’s King Charles Spaniel has hardly anything in common with its original appearance.

In the early 1900s, enthusiasts and breeders attempted to restore the dogs’ original appearance with a longer, more natural nose and larger body again.

In 1928 the first development club was formed in England and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel began to explore the world.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Proper Keeping and Training

Due to their extraordinarily loving and well-tolerated character, the dogs are considered to be very good and easy to train. As with all other dog breeds, the most important thing in training is a balanced mix of consistency and love.

The dog definitely wants to please its caregivers. And the more love you give back to him, the closer the relationship is to each other.

Education should start with the puppies. They like to test their limits, because who can resist a puppy with fluffy jug ears and big saucer eyes?

Outdoor fun long walks and sporting activities are the best attitude for the dog. At the same time, he also loves to lie indoors on the couch, take long afternoon naps and cuddle with his family. It doesn’t take up much space as long as it gets out into the green every day.

The breed is known to be very sociable, which is why you should take your puppy to a dog school to ensure that he is well socialized from the start.

The dog does not like to be alone, his people mean everything to him.

Due to its small size and its calm, friendly character, the dog is very well suited as an office dog, as it rarely barks and will get along well with human and animal colleagues.

What Grooming Does the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Need?

The Cavalier is one of the rather undemanding candidates when it comes to grooming. Of course, regular brushing of the fur and checking of the ears is also a matter of course here.

What are the typical diseases of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

Unfortunately, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is also a prime example of how the health of small companion dogs in particular has been enormously impaired due to fashion ideals and exaggerated breeding.

Although the Cavalier is considered a reverse breed that was intended to reverse the major changes in King Charles Spaniel, the new dog breed of all things is now struggling with a variety of hereditary diseases. They are mainly due to the very small original breeding at that time. In fact, the small cavaliers are among the dog breeds with the most common hereditary diseases.

These health, breed-specific impairments include, for example, the Episodic Falling Syndrome. With this neurological disease, dogs suffer from severe muscle cramps after physical exertion.

Other possible diseases are endocarditis, in which the heart valves degenerate more and more, and syringomyelia, in which the spine and brain can be neurologically damaged.

In addition, the Cavalier is one of those dogs that have been bred to have a short nose for far too long. This affects the dogs when breathing and inevitably leads to animal suffering. An important decision has therefore been made in the Netherlands: there, short-nosed dogs of all breeds (including mixed breeds) may not be bred if the length of the nose is not at least one-third of the length of the head. Everything else is considered torture and is forbidden there.

How much does a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel cost?

The cost of a puppy from a registered breeder in Germany is between 1,200 and 1,500 euros. However, special representatives of this breed can also be much more expensive, because the Cavalier is one of the most expensive dog breeds in general.

If you have decided on a Cavalier Kind Charles Spaniel, only buy the puppy from a recognized breeder. As mentioned, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is particularly susceptible to hereditary diseases, which often only manifest themselves in young or adulthood.

For example, if you buy a puppy from dubious sources on the Internet or from “intermediaries” from abroad, there is a high risk that your beloved fur nose will suddenly have serious health problems after a year. These can make the dog very painful in the years to come and also put a strain on your wallet due to the numerous veterinary costs. Without dog insurance, many owners then get into great financial difficulties.

In Germany, on the other hand, breeders must be able to prove and document the health of the puppies (and their parent animals) before they can be sold.

We wish you all the best and a wonderful time with this dream dog!

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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