Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

29 August 2023

Let’s talk about… Cavalier King Charles Spaniels: what are they?

  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are a beloved small dog breed that originated in the United Kingdom.
  • They were initially bred as companion dogs and were favoured by royalty, including King Charles II, which is where their name comes from.
  • Cavaliers have a distinctive, charming appearance with expressive eyes, long, silky coats, and feathered ears.
  • ​​Cavaliers are known for their friendly and affectionate nature
  • They have an average height of 30-33 cm and weigh between 5.4 and 8.2 kg.
  • The life expectancy of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels is typically between 10 and 14 years.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel  Exercise Needs 3/5 Grooming Ease 3/5 Trainability 4/5

What is the temperament of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels like?

  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a gentle and affectionate temperament, making them excellent companion dogs.
  • They are known for their love of people and their desire to be close to their family members.
  • Cavaliers are typically good-natured, patient, and get along well with children and other pets.
  • They have a friendly and outgoing disposition, often approaching strangers with a wagging tail.
  • Cavaliers are also known for their adaptability and are generally well-suited to different living situations.
  • They can thrive in apartments or houses, as long as they receive proper attention, outdoor exercise, and mental stimulation.
Alfie, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Alfie, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

How much exercise do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels need?

  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have moderate exercise needs and require at least 1 hour of exercise per day.
  • This can be achieved through daily walks, playtime in a securely fenced yard, or interactive games.
  • Cavaliers enjoy exploring their surroundings and benefit from mental stimulation, so incorporating puzzle toys or training sessions into their routine can be beneficial.
  • When it comes to Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies, it's important to provide age-appropriate exercise.
  • Puppies have developing joints and muscles and should not be overexerted.
  • Short, controlled play sessions and brief walks are suitable for young Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies.
  • As they grow older and their bodies develop, their exercise levels can gradually increase until full levels usually at between 12 and 18 months.
  • Your vet can advise on the exercise needs of your individual pooch.
Barney, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Barney, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels need a lot of grooming?

  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a long, silky coat that requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and tangle-free.
  • They should be brushed at least a few times a week to remove any mats or tangles and to keep their coat looking its best.
  • Cavaliers may require professional grooming every few months to maintain their coat length and overall appearance. A professional groomer can advise.
  • Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Eddie, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Eddie, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels easy to train?

  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are generally eager to please and respond well to positive reinforcement training methods.
  • They are intelligent and enjoy learning new commands and tricks.
  • Cavaliers thrive on praise, treats, and rewards, making training sessions enjoyable for both the dog and the owner.
  • Early socialisation and consistent, positive training from a young age are essential for Cavaliers to develop into well-behaved and obedient dogs.
  • With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, Cavaliers can excel in obedience training and even participate in dog sports such as agility or obedience trials.
Pip, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Pip, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

What do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels eat?

  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels should be fed a balanced and nutritious diet suitable for their age, size, and activity level.
  • High-quality commercial dog food formulated for small breeds is generally a good choice given twice daily.
  • The recommended amount of food will depend on factors such as their age, weight, metabolism, and exercise routine.
  • It's important to monitor their weight and adjust the portion sizes accordingly to prevent overfeeding and obesity.
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies have specific dietary needs for growth and development.
  • They should be fed a specially formulated small-breed puppy food until they reach approximately 12 months of age.
  • The puppy food provides the necessary nutrients and calories to support their rapid growth.
  • Consult with your vet for specific dietary recommendations for your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels healthy?

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels like any breed, may be prone to certain health conditions. It's important to be aware of these potential health concerns and take proactive measures to keep your Cavalier in good health. Some of the health issues that may affect Cavaliers include:

Bones and Joints

  • Hip Dysplasia - a condition where the thigh bone and pelvis do not sit together properly at the hip joint, which can lead to discomfort and arthritis
  • Luxating patella - this is when a dog’s kneecap moves out of where it should normally be


  • Cataracts - a common cause of blindness due to a clouding of the lens of the eye
  • Dry eye - an ongoing condition where the tear glands in the eyes don’t produce enough protective tear film, which can lead to discomfort, infections and damage of the eye


  • Mitral Valve Disease (MVD) - a common heart condition in small breed dogs that affects the heart's valves, leading to progressive heart failure.


  • Syringomyelia - where fluid-filled cavities develop in the spinal cord, which can cause pain and neurological signs.

This list is by no means comprehensive. If you have any concerns about the health of your dog or if you want to discuss further if a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is right for you, consult with your vet.

BorrowMyDoggy loves Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

BorrowMyDoggy has 8431 Cavaliers

Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian.  Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive.  If you ever have any concerns about your dog’s health contact your local vet.

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