The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Weight: 13 — 18 lbs
Height: 12” — 13”
AKC Rank 2008 #25
Lifespan: 9—14 yrs
Group Toy
Origin England

Dog Breed Info -- King Charles Spaniel

King Charles Spanial with a stick relaxing at the beach
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Breed Overview

The Cavalier King Charles is an elegant Toy Spaniel with a gentle, sweet, melting expression. Origin, 1600’s used for flushing small birds and as a lap dog. Today, companion dog.

Cavalier King Charles' were probably the result of breeding Oriental toy breeds such as the Japanese Chin and the Tibetan Spaniel. By the late 1900’s the few dogs that resembled the early dogs of the breed were considered to be inferior. Breeders bred their old type dogs together in an effort to get the best possible companion dog but the public appreciated the old type. By 1996 the American Kennel Club registered the Cavalier King Charles'. The breeds popularity continued in America. The dog is known for it’s mild, sweet expression.

-----------------------------------------------"You want me to WHAT?"
descriptive textTrainability

The King Charles is intelligent, easy to train, eager to please.This dog will respond extremely well to clicker training and it is so easy to use. Stop by a pet store and pick up a clicker for around $3. Very simple to use and the dog will love it.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your King Charles Spaniel? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy is notably easy to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.

A young girl and her spaniel
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The Cavalier King Charles' is an ideal house dog. He is sweet, gentle, willing to please, playful, affectionate, and a quiet little fellow. He is friendly toward other dogs, pets and strangers. When outdoors, the “spaniel” in him shows up and the dog loves to explore and roam and sniff. However...

Small dogs like the King Charles have a natural problem in that they often want to dominate the house and everyone in it. Small dogs must be heavily socialized starting very young and continued on. They need an owner and family that understands dogs and how to exert a firm but kind "pack leader" (alpha dog) dominance role over them. It is very important not to let the dog think he's "boss!"

If you happen to get a Spaniel with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Likes other dogs as a rule. Friendly little fellow.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Yes. Gets along with household pets.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Yes, very friendly. Bring on the relatives and neighbors.


Yes. The King Charles Spaniel is very playful.


Yes. Exceptionally affectionate little dog.

Good with children

Not really. Older children, okay… 10 and up if they are educated in behaving around small dogs. This breed does not have a lot of patience for very young kids and their antics.

Good with Seniors over 65?

Yes. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel would be excellent for a senior. Moderate exercise, light weight, happy little lap dog, the Spaniel is perfect for a senior. Check your King Charles Rescue groups for an older dog if longevity is a problem.

Living environment

Apartment, farm, big city, all OK. Needs to live indoors with family. This is a family dog.

The 'Cavalier Spaniel would like a large yard where she could play fetch and run around chasing balls and maybe a Frisbee. If a big yard is not available, that's okay as long as she gets her walks and play time in somewhere.

An apartment is fine as long as the King Charles Spaniel gets a little outdoor exercise.

Energy level


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Exercise needs, daily

Moderate. A walk on leash twice daily or some backyard play is enough for the Cavalier.



Moderate. Will alert when someone is at the door.

Guard dog

No. Too friendly. Too small.




Must be brushed 3 to 4 times a week. A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel's long flowing coat gets tangled and matted quite easily. The long ear flaps require frequent cleaning of accumulated debris and dirt.



Suggested Reading - King Charles

The book on the right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog illness, emergencies and injuries. It's a valuable reference manual for all dog owners. Vol 2, 2008, includes a DVD.


King Charles Spaniel Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for King Charles puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training.
King Charles Spaniel Breeders with puppies for sale.

King Charles Spaniel Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of a Spaniel and are looking for a King Charles Spaniel Rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - King Charles Spaniel Rescue - (Nationwide) Before you adopt, be sure to read the dog breed info above and below and when you adopt, be sure dog health is a priority.
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site that may give you some ideas. Look for King Charles Rescue groups locally too.

Dog Health Issues - The King Charles Spaniel
Below: The dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog health and medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

Other problems could occur with your King Charles Spaniel. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.

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