Сavalier king charles spaniel

A popular decorative dog breed. It is a result of crossbreeding a Japanese Chin and a Tibetan Spaniel. It is a close relative of King Charles Spaniel. It is an active and affectionate dog with long hair.

Energy level
Level of affection
Level of friendliness
female: 5—6 kg
male: 6—8 kg
female: 32 cm
male: 32 cm
require average time
Gives birth to
Gives birth to:
2—4 puppy
United Kingdom
in 17 century
Life span
Life span:
11—13 years


Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are faithful companions. It is important to realize that dogs of this breed were developed for living with people. Such habit has been formed for centuries. Without interaction with people, Spaniels develop depression. It is important for these dogs not to simply be close by, but to get their portion of affection: these pets like being petted and held in hands. It is not recommended to leave your dog without these signs of love. If Spaniels do not get enough attention, they will try to drive it by damaging furniture and wallpapers, as well as chewing on shoes. This breed is not for people looking for a calm and a self-sufficient pet.

Charles Spaniels are curios dogs that will not sit in one place. They like investigating everything around. These dogs are always open for communication. They see a friend in everyone. Showing aggression is not about dogs of this breed. That is why they can be kept with other cats and dogs. The only thing you should take into consideration is your pet`s hunter instincts, which are in its blood. For that reason, it is not recommended to keep Spaniels together with birds. These pets are affectionate with children. They like active games with balls and other toys.


Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are intelligent dogs. Just like any other decorative breed, they need to be trained and taught basic commands. However, it is crucial to choose a right way of training. If you do not make your pet interested in the process, it will be bored. Because of it, Cavalier Spaniels are thought to be not that intelligent. However, it is not true. People, who said that, simply had not managed to get on well with the dog. Games with portions of affection are the best way to work with Spaniels. They do not accept rudeness and seriousness, which only damage their psyche.

Right after its purchase, the dog needs to accept house rules. It is crucial not to let the dog manipulate you with its cute appearance. If you let the pet do everything it wants, it will grow into an uncontrollable animal. Start working on dog`s socialization when it is 2,5–3 months old. Take it outside so that it gets used to the street and other animals. At first, walk it for 15 minutes. Increase walking time with each new week until you reach a 60-minute-long walk.

Start training your pet right after its socialization. It is enough for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to learn 2 commands: «no» and «stay close». They are important, so that the dog behaves obediently during street walks. If you want your dog to participate in shows, you need to teach it to stay in a showing pose. Then, teach it commands like «sit down» and «stay». It is important to give your dog treats for successfully completing commands. That is how your pet will learn something new more quickly.


Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are small dogs. They look similar to King Charles Spaniels, but are bigger in size. Cavalier Spaniels can weight 8 kg, King Spaniels — 6 kg. Apart from weight, the two breeds differ in form of the skull and length of the nose.
Long and silky.
Acceptable colors include: blenheim - white with chestnut spots, tricolor — black with white and red patches, ruby and black-and-tan.
Of medium size, with a stop that is not deep.
Big, oval-shaped, not prominent, always of dark color.
Long, high-set, covered with silky hair.
Of medium length, with fluffy nape.
Proportional to body length. They are parallel and straight. Hind legs are more muscular.
Long, it is held at the same level as the back. ⅓ of it used to be docked. Now, tails of these dogs do not get docked.

Basic Care

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels do not require much time to be groomed. Despite the fact that their hair is long, it does not get mated because of its silky structure. It needs to be brushed once a week. During the molting period — in spring and fall — three times a week, using a massage brush. Then pet your dog with wet hands to take off left hairs. Apart from brushing, it is recommended to take your dog to a professional groomer.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels need to be given a bath once a month. If your pet participates in shows — wash its hair once a week, using special shampoos and conditioners for hair`s softness and shine. It is important that water temperature needs to be 39°С. After the bath, wipe your pet with a towel and use a hairdryer. Its paws need to be wiped after each walk. Dog`s ears require special attention. They need to be checked every day and cleaned when needed, using a cotton sponge soaked in a special solution. Clean your pet`s eyes once a week, also using a cotton sponge. You should clean your Spaniel`s teeth twice a week, using a zoo-paste and a special brush. Trim its claws once a month.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can be fed with either high-quality dry or natural food. Dry food of premium quality contains vitamins and minerals, needed for your dog`s health. However, natural food is more preferable. You should take into consideration the fact that Spaniels are prone to obesity. Such natural ingredients can be given to the dog: not greasy meat — beef, turkey and rabbit meat; offals; grains — rice and oatmeal; fresh vegetables; fruits — except citrus and pomegranate; fat free dairy products — cottage cheese, yogurt, sour cream and kefir. Dry and natural food can change one another. However, it is important not to mix them into one portion. A puppy under the age of 4 months needs to eat 4 times a day; under 6 months — 3 times a day; then — twice a day (in the morning and in the evening). Some pets might even eat once a day.

For comfortable life, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels need constant interaction with people and active walks. These pets can live only inside because they are sensitive to heat and coldness. Dogs of this breed have to be walked for 20–30 minutes twice a day. It is important to check long ears of Spaniels after street walks. Ticks, fleas and lice often get in them.

Health and Illnesses

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can live up to 13 years if treated well. Their health is strong. However, because of incorrect breeding work, some hereditary health problems appeared.

Mitral valve disease if a congenital disorder that leads to heart failure. Most dogs, especially Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, are prone to this disease. 

Syringomyelia forms cysts in dog`s spinal cord. Because of it, nervous tissues get damaged, and the dog starts feeling pain. Cysts can be surgically removed. If the disorder is not cured in time, dog`s neck will get curled.

Episodic falling syndrome is a congenital pathology of the nervous system. The dog suffers from muscle stiffness in hind or front legs. It happens mainly when the dog runs or feels stress. Frequency of seizures depends on stage of the disorder.

Hip dysplasia is a hereditary health issue that is common among a lot of dogs. It develops because of disrupted formation of the acetabulum. Because it becomes flat, the femoral bone, that is located in the acetabulum, rubs against the joint. It leads to change of its structure or its destruction. The pet starts feeling pain while moving. It is impossible to cure dysplasia.

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is a pathology that disrupts functioning of the tear film. It leads to lack of tears. Because of it, dog`s cornea becomes too dry. Tears perform important functions: they moisturize the cornea, take away dirt and dust, protect the eye from germs. The dog feels discomfort when not enough tears are produced. If the disorder is not cured, the pet might become blind. For that reason, if Spaniel`s eyes have become red, you should take it to a vet.

History of the Breed

Histories of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and King Charles Spaniels are closely connected. However, the latter breed appeared a century earlier. The two breeds have common ancestors: a Japanese Chin and a Tibetan Spaniel. Dogs of these breeds differ only in appearance due to different breeding works. 

It is unknown, when and how Asian Spaniels appeared in Europe. However, it was them who set a start for the era of European Toy Spaniels. In the 9th century, European wealth became interested in these dogs. Spaniels became favourite pets of duchesses, writers and poets. Henry VIII of England, one of the harshest governors of the country, kept Spaniels in his palace.

Italian, German, French, Dutch and Spanish painters depicted Spaniels on their works of art in the 15th—16th centuries. These pets lived in palaces of different governors. Toy Spaniels were very popular in England, especially when country was governed by the House of Stuart. Charles II of England was a big fan of Spaniels. The breed was named in his honor.

After Charles II of England, country was governed by William III of England. He liked Pugs, and it affected the level of Spaniels` popularity. He created a new tendency for the breed, and Englishmen started keeping Pugs instead of King Charles Spaniels. Breeders of Spaniels found their way out of the problem. In order to save the breed, they started crossbreeding Spaniels with Pugs and Japanese Chins. However, it affected appearance of Spaniels. Their snout became shorter, the skull got a shape of a dome. 

At the beginning of the 20th century, dog owners decided to bring back the initial appearance of King Charles Spaniels: a long snout and a flat skull. British Kennel Club started a competition. They promised a monetary reward to those who would be able to develop a classic appearance of the breed. In 1928, first pets were shown to the judges. Modern Spaniels look just like those dogs. In order to avoid confusions, dog handlers divided Spaniels into two separate breeds. New pets were called Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. In 1945, the breed was officially recognized.