Cavalier King Charles Spaniel got its name as the favourite pet of Britain’s King Charles I, but the breed itself has been around for even longer. Many old portraits show dogs that look like today’s Cavaliers. The Cavalier is an adorable, friendly toy spaniel.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel stands between 12 and 13 inches tall and weighs 13 to 18 pounds. He has a rounded skull, large dark eyes, and a full muzzle. The ears are long and dropped, and the tail is long. His coat is silky and is medium to long, with feathering on the ears, legs, and tail. The Cavalier may be black and tan, red (ruby), white with chestnut markings (Blenheim), or tricoloured (black, red, and white).
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel does require regular grooming, as the long, silky coat can mat. He should be brushed and then combed every other day. Daily grooming is needed if he runs through wet grass or brush. This breed enjoys daily walks and playtimes but is also willing to cuddle. He is adaptable; if you are active and enjoy dog sports, he will do them with you. If you are more sedate, he can do that, too. All exercise should be on leash or in a fenced yard, as Cavaliers are still spaniels; if a bird or rabbit is flushed, they will be off in a flash!
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed is friendly and affectionate but needs early socialisation; without it, some dogs can be shy. Training is needed, too, as housetraining can be a challenge. Training is also important for the owner, as this breed is easy to spoil yet needs the same guidance and rules that other breeds require.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel needs a gentle, affectionate owner. He does not tolerate rough handling well, and as a companion breed will not thrive when left alone for many hours. Most breeders will not sell a puppy to a family with very young children. The breed is good with other dogs and is usually trustworthy with other pets. Health issues include deafness; heart, eye, and knee problems; and hip dysplasia.