A Guide to the Noble Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Reading Time: 4 minutes

A Guide to the Noble Cavalier King Charles SpanielOh, those puppy dog eyes! The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is one those pups that personify that saying to a T! You can see their feelings from the expression in their eyes in an instant (and they yours!). The Cavalier King Charles toy spaniel is a small breed that has spent at least a few hundred years as a companion to humans, so it’s little wonder why.

A Royal Pup! Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Breed History

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels truly are noble little dogs with an aristocratic background.

This puppy breed originates from British royalty’s small King Charles English toy spaniel breed named after, you got it, King Charles II.  King Charles toy spaniel dogs were crossed with Pugs from the late nineteenth century. The UK Kennel Club officially acknowledged Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs as a breed in the mid-1940s, around the same time the first of the breed is said to have been brought to the United States. The American Kennel Club (AKC) registered this small breed in 1995.

5 Facts You Need To Know About the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel

  1. They are true companion dogs. King Charles Cavalier Spaniel’s need people nearby in their daily lives. They are best with someone at home during the day and will follow you around.
  2. They are active and agile. Being part Spaniel these dogs love to sniff out things and will enjoy playing with a ball in your yard, at the park or beach.
  3. This is not a small puppy breed that should be clipped or cropped for fashion or to meet the breed standard of the AKC. The natural look is not only in for these dogs, it’s the norm! With regular grooming and brushing to prevent tangles and knots, you’re good to go!
  4. They are a breed with a hunting instinct, so when outside will leap at the opportunity to chase seemingly random flying or fluttering things and get distracted! For their safety as small dogs, they need to be walked on a leash and only ever allowed loose in a fenced yard.
  5. They are indoor dogs, so need to be kept and housed inside. They are a breed that will sleep with you, if they can and you are keen, otherwise like their own comfy bed or couch.

Appearance and Personality of the King Cavalier Charles Spaniel

This breed of cuddly and carefree canines is small but evenly proportioned sturdy toy dogs. They’ve got big floppy ears, a silky coat, and warm brown eyes.  As very friendly and affectionate dogs who adore people, you’ll find their forte is not one of a guard dog!

Height: From foot to shoulder King Charles Cavalier Spaniel dogs measure 12-13 inches (30-33 centimeters).

Weight: The weight of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs is 13-18 pounds (5.9-8 kilograms).

Coat: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s coats are medium length with feathering on the edges. The texture of the fur in this breed is silky, and irresistible to stroke!

Colors: There are four coat colors in Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs Blenheim, tri-color, black and tan and ruby:

  • Blenheim: The colors of a Blenheim dog are chestnut and white with chestnut colored ears and a white spot between their ears and their eyes.
  • Tri-color: Black, white and tan. The tan markings are on their cheeks, inside their ears, over their eyes, and underneath their tail.
  • Black and Tan: Black and tan with markings on their chest, legs, cheeks, over their eyes, inside their ears, and underneath their tail.
  • Ruby: Full solid red or rich chestnut colored coat.

What Is The Ruby Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

The Ruby Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is the gorgeous redhead in the family, and one of the official four colors of Cavalier dogs recognized under the AKC breed standard.  The name ‘ruby’ refers to their red or chestnut colored coat.

A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy Lying Down on Grass

The Health of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This puppy breed is susceptible to a few hereditary health problems common to their pedigree and small dogs.

These include a heart condition known as mitral valve disease, a neurological condition known as syringomyelia, luxation patella, hip dysplasia and some eye and ear problems. As one of the brachycephalic dogs with compressed faces, Cavaliers can also have respiratory problems.

  • Mitral Valve Disease: This is a heart condition that occurs when the mitral valve that pumps blood out from the heart degenerates and doesn’t close properly. Changes to the mitral valve resulting in leakage, which leads to heart or mitral valve disease.
  • Syringomyelia (SM): This condition affects the brain and spine. Syringomyelia is caused by what is known as a Chiari-like malformation in the base of their skull at the opening, or foramen magnum in the occipital bone at the craniocervical junction. This means the brain in a dog with SM drops lower than the skull and onto the spinal cord. The flow of cerebral spinal fluid is blocked and forms fluid-filled cavities called syrinx. Dogs with SM may show signs of neuropathic pain such as scratching, yelping or a wobbly position or walk. Syringomyelia may be treated medically by a veterinary neurologist with non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, or surgery.
  • Life Expectancy: The average lifespan of this breed is 10-15 years.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Mix

This adorable breed is often mixed with other small toy breeds by design and default. As with any mixed breed, the appearance and temperament of either parent’s genealogy may come out in their offspring.

The Energetic Pooch! Cava-A-Jack

The Cava-A-Jack combines a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a Jack Russell Terrier. Cavajack bodies and coats are small but usually built like their Jack Russell parents and energetic bundles of fun.

The Cuddle Bug! Maltese & Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Aka a Maltalier, the mix of a Maltese with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel usually results in a small puppy with the most soulful eyes, and one very happy and attentive dog.

Grooming and Maintenance Requirements of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs are relatively low maintenance. This small breed does require regular brushing and/or combing to keep their silky locks looking great, and not become a safe haven for harboring any biting insects.  They are also a puppy breed that needs regular health checks for conditions common to their pedigree and/or small dogs.

  • Grooming: Brushing and/or combing at least 2-3 times a week.
  • Bathing: Every 2-4 weeks.
  • Nail trimming: Once a month.
  • Tooth brushing/ear checking: Regularly, especially their ears. Dogs with floppy ears have a tendency for damp and moist conditions in which bacteria thrive in.

Small Dogs Deserve Lots Of Walks Too! Exercise Needs of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

A daily walk is a good for Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs, particularly if they do not have a secure backyard where they can occasionally run around. Although small indoor dogs, they are descended from sporting dogs so have the energy to burn, and like to get out in the fresh air. And, as with a human, for this breed, a gentle walk every day helps with a healthy heart!

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppies!

With a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in your life, you can expect a small gentle indoor dog breed, that also loves going for exploratory walks outside. This puppy adapts well to apartment living and loves curling up on a warm lap.

A Price Fit for the Queen! Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Price

Purebred Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs sell in the range of $1,800 to $3,500 from breeders.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppies for Sale

When you’re looking for any dog breed, always do your homework on your breeder. Ask for recommendations so you know you’re going to breeders or rescue organization that has taken care of your dog with good hands.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Breeders

A good place to start your search for reputable breeders of Cavaliers puppies is with the breeders listed with the American Kennel Club’s Marketplace or the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club.  Good breeders will let you visit their kennels beforehand so you can see their Cavalier King Charles puppies, their Cavalier King Charles parents (unless they use a stud service), and the conditions they have been brought up in with other dogs. Ask breeders for evidence of health checks and screening for genetic issues, and papers detailing their pedigree line.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Rescue

If you want to give a Cavalier puppy a second chance, The American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Rescue Trust, also listed on the American Kennel Club (AKC) website helps with rehoming lost, abandoned and unwanted dogs and puppies nationwide.  Many breeders also often assist, and list rescue dogs on their website.

5 Tips for First Time Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy Owners

A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog on a park

  1. Make sure you have plenty of time to be in their company during the day.
  2. Give this small puppy a lot of positive reinforcement while you train them to use the toilet, and basic manners and obedience.
  3. Watch for early signs of illness, especially any of the potential hereditary health conditions. A good vet will help you keep their health in check and advise you on clinical signs.
  4. Get a good brush to keep their coat silky and smooth.
  5. Have a leash ready for a good walk every day, or set aside some time for puppy play.

These Pups Are Truly Fit for the Queen!

The love King Charles II had for his English toy spaniel dogs is so celebrated, their Cavalier descendants bear his name. Before that, these dogs were also a popular ladies breed for British and Spanish and European nobility. These days, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs will take great delight to make anyone their king or queen!

All product and Company names are Trademarks™ or Registered® trademarks of their respective holders.

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase CertaPet.com may earn a commission. Keep in mind that we link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission we receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

    >