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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel posing

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies are happy, gentle, and friendly dogs that love to cuddle, entertain, and impress. These little joy bringers have loving personalities and great devotion towards their owners. They enjoy performing cute puppy stunts and are known for their generous affection and contagiously good mood.  

A member of the Toy group, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is small in stature standing at 12 to 13 inches tall and weighing an average of 12 to 18 pounds. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a slightly rounded face, a small conical muzzle, big round dark eyes, long floppy ears, and a long-feathered tail.  

BREED TYPE / MIX Purebred ENERGY Moderate SHEDDING Regularly TRAINING Responsive TEMPERAMENT Affectionate, Cheerful, Courageous, Gentle, Social ADULT WEIGHT 12-18 lbs ADULT HEIGHT 12-13 in LIFE SPAN 9-14 yrs


  • The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is also commonly referred to as the English Toy Spaniel and is the largest member of the AKC's toy breeds
  • These adorable toy dogs are easy to train and love a good challenge to stimulate their brilliant minds
  • Gentle, playful and cuddly, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are friends to everyone they meet – friendly with children of all ages, dogs, cats, other household pets, and strangers
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are highly adaptable, they are as happy and as comfortable in a small apartment as they are in a big family house
  • Highly affectionate and devoted, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is known to form life long bonds
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are charming, comic, and affectionate little cuddle buddies, they are well-balanced, have an intuitive nature and they make great therapy dogs
  • Well-mannered, with a gentle nature and a sweet disposition, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is best suited for families with or without children, singles, and seniors 
  • The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club was named after the breed
Tricolor Cavalier King Charles Spaniel chewing on a towel


A toy-sized pooch, the cute Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is small in stature, standing at 12 to 13 inches tall with an average weight of 12 to 18 pounds. These perfect little dogs are athletic, strong, and agile. Their appearance is friendly, warm, and kind.  

Elegant and graceful, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs have a small sturdy-built body, a strong flat back, a slightly rounded precious face, a small conical muzzle, big round dark expressive eyes, long floppy ears, and long-feathered tail. Their coats are long, soft, and silky and can come in various colors such as red and white, black, gray, white, red, or cream.

The most common Cavalier King Charles spaniel colors and color combinations are:

Rare Cavalier King Charles spaniel colors are:

  • Black 
  • Brown 
  • Black and white

Although the breed’s popularity has always been high, professional dog breeders have only just begun breeding these dogs down in size. As of 2001, the Cavalier spaniel can be found in 4 size variations:

  • Standard 
  • Mini 
  • Toy 
  • Teacup 


The Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are fun, friendly, and playful dogs that love everyone they meet. They have a gentle, sweet, and affectionate nature. They love to play and cuddle in equal measure, and are fantastic therapy dogs. Loyal and highly devoted with a great deal of love in their big, beautiful hearts, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are known to form lifelong bonds. They love unconditionally and are inseparable from their human family.  

Known to be highly intelligent and easy-going with a great desire to learn, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel finds training sessions just as fun as any canine game. Jolly and always ready to have a good time, these fun-loving dogs are the perfect friends, especially for children. They are patient enough for toddlers and spunky enough to keep older kids entertained. These small dogs also lack aggression and are not jumpy, reactive, or easily scared.  

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a lively, active, and adventurous dog that enjoys outdoor activities such as running, swimming, hiking, and fetching.  

These dogs are athletic, strong, and fast. They are excellent at sporting competitions and dog sports, being especially great at agility, rally, and fly-ball.  


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More Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Insights



Cavalier Spaniels have moderate maintenance requirements when it comes to grooming. The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is a moderately shedding dog breed. Their luxurious long coats need brushing daily in order to avoid tangles and mats. To maintain their coats silky and shiny, a bath is recommended every 4 to 6 weeks. Nail trimming, ear cleaning, and under paw care should also be done regularly, preferably every month. The Cavalier spaniel should also be taken to a professional groomer 3-4 times a year for dental care.

Master Cavalier King Charles spaniel grooming with help from our Home Grooming Guide 

Exercise Needs

Cavalier Spaniels are moderately active dogs. They enjoy activities like hiking, swimming, jogging, playing Frisbee, and fetching. They also like to compete and are known to excel in canine sports. A daily walk or two and some active playtimes indoors are enough to keep them happy and in their best shape.  


As with most small purebred dog breeds, the Cavalier King Charles spaniel breed can develop certain health problems such as hip dysplasia, cataracts, luxating patella, or allergies. A heart failure condition called Mitral Valve disease is also common in Cavalier Spaniels, as is a conditioned called dry eye. 

Life Span

The Cavalier King Charles spaniel lifespan is on average between 9 and 14 years. Cavalier King Charles spaniel life expectancy can increase over 16 years with proper care, regular vet checks, quality dog food, and an exercise routine tailored to their needs. The oldest living Cavalier King Charles spaniel is currently 19 years old.  


Cavalier Spaniels are brilliant dogs. They are fast learning students with eager to please personalities. They rarely need socialization during puppyhood as they are friendly and naturally open to meeting new people.  

Cavalier Spaniels love to be mentally stimulated with canine puzzle games, complex tricks, and commands. They are easy to potty train, leash train, and socialize, and they can also take on more intensive training in agility, rally, and obedience.  

Cavalier Spaniels crave attention and affection. They are highly devoted and loyal and can become overly attached to their owners which can sometimes lead to separation anxiety. It is best to leave them home alone for a few minutes each day when they are still puppies in order to avoid any kind of destructive behavior later on.

Learn more about raising your Cavalier King Charles spaniel puppy from our New Puppy Owner Guide and master training with help from our Puppy Training Guide.


The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, also known as “the Comforter” or “the Spaniel Gentle”, is the biggest member of the American Kennel Club’s Toy group and part of the canine world aristocracy.  For centuries, the breed was recognized by the Kennel Club as a toy spaniel until the Duke of Marlborough furthered the breed and helped it be recognized as a separate breed from toy spaniels.

Having originated in England during the 17th century, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy quickly became the favorite pet of the Royal House of England. A companion pet for kings and queens, aristocrats, and noble families, the sweet gentle Cavalier Spaniel has been associated with a life of luxury for centuries.  

Depicted in paintings, drawings, and goblin tapestries, this gorgeous canine has often been called a “royal dog” adored by the ladies of the court.  

King Charles I was so fascinated by the small-sized Spaniels (one of his favorites being the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel) that the breed was eventually named after him. King Charles II, the heir of King Charles I, was the one who perpetuated the breed, and it is said about him that “His Majesty was seldom seen without his little dogs.”  

The Cavalier King Charles spaniel breed entered the American Kennel Club in 1995 as a member of the Club’s Toy Group.  

Thanks to the breed’s great popularity, professional breeders chose these smart and loving companion pets for a variety of Cavalier King Charles spaniel mixes/crossbreeds such as:

  • Cavapoo 
  • Chilier 
  • Beaglier 
  • Cavamalt 
  • Cava-Tzu 

The most popular Cavalier King Charles spaniel mix is the Cavapoo – a stunning toy-sized hybrid/doodle dog that inherits the Poodle’s hypoallergenic qualities and the Cavalier spaniel’s excellent personality.

Today, the stunning and agile Cavalier spaniels are renowned champions in dog sports as well as adored contestants of the canine show ring. They are ranked as the 18th most popular small dog breed in the United States and one of the favorite companion pets in the United Kingdom. They continue to be one of the most popular breed of dogs and the favorite lap dog in Europe.