The cavalier king charles spaniel (CKCS) is an endearing breed of dog that is beloved by his owners.   He is a small fearless pooch, recognized for his darling round-eyed facial expression, and loveable personality.  His affection, devotion, playful and social nature make him a wonderful companion for families, an individual, and seniors.  

The cavalier king charles spaniel has existed since at least the 16th century and is a descendant of toy spaniels.  Before and during the time of King Charles II reign, these spaniels were extremely popular among English royals in the court.  The King himself, for whom the dogs are named, was frequently seen with many of these canines wherever he went.  Although the cavaliers we know today look slightly different than the original breed, they still maintain similar attributes such as their friendly and affectionate personality, their good-humored nature, and charming appearance.

Some fast facts about the cavalier king charles spaniel include:

  • Dog group – He is part of the Toy group. 
  • Height – On average, he stands between 12-13 inches at the shoulders.
  • Weight – Typically ranges from 13-18 pounds.
  • Life expectancy – The average life span of a cavalier is between 9 – 14 years but may be longer
  • Coat– CKCS are average shedders and their coat, though easy to care for, does require a daily brushing.  They are available in three coat colors including:
    • Blenheim – Red chestnut markings on a white coat
    • Tricolor – Mostly black markings on a white coat with a few tan marks over the eyes, on cheeks and underside of tail.
    • Ruby – Sold rich mahogany red
    • Black and Tan – Primarily black with tan markings over eyes, inside ears, on cheeks, chest, legs and underside of tail.
  • Living space – Is suitable to both apartment and house living.
  • Training – The cavalier king charles spaniel is a smart dog, has an eagerness to learn and is easy to train.  They excel at competitive obedience training, and will need gentle dominance training so they know where they fit in your family pack.
  • Exercise needs – These canines require a daily walk, and can burn plenty of their energy through play.  However, daily exercise through walking is necessary to ensure the cavalier maintains a healthy body weight.
  • Compatibility with children – These toy spaniels adore children of all ages and will enjoy playing with them.  However, children ages 5 and under should be supervised with the dog, as CKCS are small and could be accidentally hurt by kids who play too rough.
  • Health problems – Generally a healthy breed, but cavaliers have been known to be prone to certain illnesses including: syringomeyelia (injury in spinal cord), patellar luxation (dislocated knees), cataracts, mitral valve heart disease, otitis externa (type of ear infection), and hearing loss.
  • Additional precautions – Cavalier king charles spaniels love to play, and are inclined to chase everything and anything that moves.  Therefore, they cannot be off the leash during walks, because they will run after any rodent, bird, leaf, etc. they see moving.  Additionally, though they can live happily with other cats and dogs, the king charles is not compatible with rodent family pets.

A cavalier king charles spaniel is a wonderful addition to any family, and is ideal for first time dog owners.  His pleasant temperament, loving disposition, and doe-eyed look, have charmed people for centuries, and continues to do so.