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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dog Breed Information

Size 12-13 inches (30-33 cm)
Weight 11-18 lbs (5-8 kg)
Origin England
Color Black and tan, ruby, white and chestnut; tricolor
Lifespan 9-14 years
Suitable As Companion dog, lap dog, family dog
Personality Gentle, calm, obedient, friendly, playful

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Photo: AnnaFotyma/

Breed Characteristics

Small package, big heart. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are friendly, loving and playful dogs. They are wonderful for families as they love kids. Outside, they are more than happy to explore and spend time investigating, sniffing and snuffling everything around them. Most of all, they like spending time with their masters. So they shouldn’t be left alone all day long. This will frustrate them and make them sad.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Photo: AnnaFotyma/


Pros and Cons


  • Easy to train
  • Polite, with good manners
  • Good stamina
  • Manages well in apartments
  • Friendly with other pets


  • Not a “beginner” dog
  • Lots of energy
  • Needs lots of exercise
  • Needs good training
  • Barks often
  • Sheds a lot
  • Extensive grooming
  • Strong prey drive

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Photo: AnnaFotyma/


The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel makes training a breeze. So it’s ideal for beginners that are ready to train a dog but don’t have years of experience to fall back on. People often wonder if they're suitable for agility. The answer is: it depends on the dog. There are very calm and cuddly Cavaliers, but also very active and energy-packed ones.

Exercise Needs

This isn’t a dog that should be kept outside. But it’s important that they get a lot of exercise, as they are real spaniels. They’re known for enjoying long walks.

Top Activities

Agility, Trick Training, Obedience

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Photo: AnnaFotyma/


Health and Care

Their long, fine fur should be combed several times a week, as it knots easily.


You could fall in love with this dog at first sight. They have big, sweet eyes, move in a lovely elegant way and have a friendly expression and long, silky fur - even on their paws. When they trot along animatedly, with their ears bounding with them, they look funny and yet regal at the same time. Because they don’t get especially big, they’re considered lap dogs. They’re different to King Charles Spaniels (without the “cavalier”). These have a much shorter nose. 

History and Origin

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has Spanish roots. But it really “got started” in England. King Charles I and King Charles II were smitten with this breed, which meant they became quite famous. At that time, these dogs still had very short snouts because breeds such as the pug and Japanese Chin had been crossed into the breed. Because a longer nose became more popular, this characteristic was bred out. The breed was named after King Charles. The “cavalier” was added because King Charles I’s troops were called the cavaliers.

Fun Facts

Even today, there is a law in place that allows people to take a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel into British Parliament. It dates back to the time of Charles II - and his love of dogs.

Comparable Breeds

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Photo: Waldemar Dabrowski/Shutterstock


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