Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

17 Mar




This is a small dog and the smallest of the Spaniels. Both males and females reach 12 to 13 inches in height and weight 5 to 8 kgs (10 to 18 pounds).  The head is slightly rounded and the teeth meet in a scissor bite. They have expressive eyes, usually dark in colour and round in shape. They are set well apart and quite large, though not prominent. The nose is black with wide nostrils. Like other spaniel breeds, they have long ears which are covered in hair and feathering. Occasionally the tail can be docked but is more commonly left natural. It has a silky, medium length coat with lots of feathering and come in a variety of colours.




Health problems:

Can be prone to syringomyelia, hereditary eye disease, dislocating kneecaps (patella), back troubles, ear infections, early onset of deafness or hearing trouble. Sometime’s hip dysplasia. Don’t over feed. This breed tends to gain weight easily. When selecting one of these dogs, it is extremely important to check the medical history of several previous generations.



In the late 1600s the King Charles Spaniels were interbred with pugs, which resulted in a smaller dog with flatter noses, upturned faces, rounded heads and protruding eyes. This breed was once  known as a ‘comforte dog’ and doctors even wrote prescriptions with this little dog as the remedy for various sicknesses. The royal name, ‘King Charles Spaniel’ was bestowed during the reign of King Charles II, who was so fond of his spaniels he could not be parted from them. He made a decree that King Charles Spaniels must be allowed in any public place, including the House of Parliament. This decree is still in the law books today.



Like the other spaniel breeds, this little dog seems to always have a wagging tail, he is affectionate and eager to please. Despite their small size, these dogs are very outgoing and fearless in most situations. They are fairly intelligent and so are relatively easy to train, often doing well at obedience. This is a dog that will usually get on with other animals, whether it be another dog or other family pets. They also do well with children, but must be socialized young like any other breed. They do have strong instincts to chase due to their hunting background and so it is important that they are trained well for recall if they are going to be let off leash. Like many small dog breeds (and all dogs in general) these dogs need to know who is boss. They need consistency and rules to follow.




Living conditions:

As a small dog, they do well in apartment life, but are fairly active indoors and do well with a small yard. You should note that they do not do well in very warm conditions. All dogs need a daily walk to fulfil their walking instincts, and this small dog is no exception. Play will take care of most of their exercise needs and they love nothing more than a good play off leash in a big yard or park.


Life expectancy:

9 to 15 years.


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