Dog Breeds

Cavalier King Charles spaniel

Cavalier king charles spaniel is a nice, non-aggressive, affectionate companion dog. Small, covered with silky hair, with dangling ears and large, dark, beautiful eyes. He is a cheerful, pleasant creature who likes company of people.


Cavalier king charles spaniel is a nice family dog. He has a moderate temperament, is cheerful, lively and totally free of aggression. He likes to be pampered. He is usually open and confident, but there are also shy individuals (they cannot be overly shy or nervous, however). Trust and a friendly attitude to the world can get him in trouble, so you need to make sure that he is not harmed, e.g. by a foreign dog.

These small, extremely gentle, patient and playful quadrupeds are considered the perfect companions of children. However, they are better for slightly older children. Toddlers who are several years old must first be taught how to handle them gently.

Cavalier is sensitive, strongly attached and hates loneliness. If the owner spends a lot of time outside the home, he should provide company – preferably a dog of the same breed. Although this quadruped can also live in harmony with a cat, rabbit or parrot.

The undoubted advantage of these small dogs is the ease with which they adapt to new conditions – you can take them anywhere with you. They will be happy, leading both an active and peaceful life. They are full of energy on walks, and they are happy to lie on the sofa at home. Cavaliers are not very noisy, but if they have a garden at their disposal, they usually show a stronger territorial instinct and bark more often.


In the olden days, miniature spaniels were used for hunting small birds – they served as retrievers and fluffers. Thanks to their nice disposition and attractive appearance, they have also become aristocrats’ favorites. Contemporary representatives of the breed are mainly companion dogs, although they have not lost their hunting instinct completely.

They are suitable for some sports – they are great at the agility track, you can practice obedience with them or dance with a dog. They work well in dogotherapy – they can work with children with a small degree of disability and as visiting dogs in hospitals, hospices or nursing homes.

Training and education

Cavalier is a clever student, if only he is gentle with him and the exercises give him pleasure. You should be consistent, be patient and do not expect immediate results or absolute obedience in any situation.

For this breed, the clicker works great – you can use it to teach a dog not only basic obedience, but also tricks. Cavaliers are greedy, so their favorite delicacy will be an additional incentive for them.

Harsh treatment can cause the cavalier to lose the proper joy of life. This does not mean, however, that he should be allowed everything. Although he is submissive by nature, he will quickly take advantage of his leniency.

In busy places, a dog of this breed should be led on a leash, because a young, unruly or something scared may run ahead and not respond to the call.

Who is this race for?

Even a novice owner can handle the cavalier. This dog knows how to adapt to all conditions and will accept the amount of movement that we will be able to provide. It is suitable both for people who like active but not too much rest, as well as for families with children or for the elderly.

Advantages and disadvantages


  • requires systematic care
  • he sometimes collects waste
  • over-trusting sometimes causes him trouble


  • sympathetic, very attached to the owner
  • gets along well with children
  • gentle to humans and animals
  • you can do some dog sports with him
  • easily adapts to all conditions
  • generally not very noisy


Puppies should be bought only in proven kennels. Many diseases manifest themselves at a later age, so the older the parents of the litter, the greater the chance that their children will enjoy good health (of course, you need to check current research results).

A serious late disorder of the breed is mitral valve regurgitation (MVD). In this connection, it is important to test especially breeding dogs every year. The doctor should listen to the heart and, if disturbing murmurs appear, refer them to further diagnostics.

The large, shallow eyes of cavaliers are exposed to mechanical injuries (e.g. while playing with long-mates). Dogs of this breed have a predisposition to cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), corneal dystrophy, retinal dystrophy, distichiasis (eyelash duplicity – developmental defect involving the presence of an additional row of eyelashes at the inner edge of the eyelid edge), entropium (eyelid curl), dry eye syndrome or excessive tearing. Ophthalmologic examinations should be performed every year.

Thrombocytopenia is typical for the breed, but usually does not cause sequelae of blood clotting disorders. There are tendencies to fall out of the patella, rarely dysplasia of the hip joints, as well as allergies of various grounds.

A genetic disease called Arnold-Chiari syndrome (with spinal cord cavity – syringomyelia) is becoming more common. Due to the insufficient capacity of the skull, the cerebellum moves through the occipital opening to the spinal canal. This hinders the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, which increases intracranial pressure, and this leads to neurological disorders (the so-called pseudo-pruritus of the neck). Diagnostics are a little widespread and expensive. The disease manifests itself quite late, so it is recommended not to use too young animals inbreeding (this applies mainly to sires).

Cavaliers are more exposed to overheating than other breeds due to their relatively short mouth. During the summer heat, they should not be in full sun, and for longer walks, it is best to take them in the morning or evening. They tolerate lower temperatures better, although autumn moisture may not serve them.

Dogs of this breed tend to build up tartar, so you should get your pet used to brush your teeth or give them special teethers. You also need to check your ears and check the perianal glands.


Cavaliers have a tendency to gain weight, so do not overfeed them. We adapt the diet to the pet’s lifestyle. Active quadrupeds can get higher energy foods, we give older and less mobile dogs food with lower protein and fat content.

You can use high-quality ready-made foods or prepare food yourself, but you need to supplement with vitamin and mineral preparations. We divide the daily portion into two meals.


Care for a cavalier is not difficult, but it must be systematic. His robe is supposed to look natural, so he doesn’t cut or trim her. The representative of this breed loses small amounts of hair all the time, but because it is soft, it is easy to clean.

We comb the dog at least once a week with a powder brush and a metal comb; you can also use a natural bristle brush. It is necessary to pay attention to the hair under the arms, in the groin and on the ears, where smuggles are easily formed. We separate them with our fingers (we do not cut them) and comb them gently. After a walk outside the city, remember to remove Velcro, seeds and sticks from the garment.

Where necessary, we bathe Cavalier in dog shampoos with long, silky hair. Depending on its condition, we use the right conditioner or balm. After rinsing, squeeze the hair into a towel and dry it with a medium temperature dryer, combine it with the brush in the direction of hair growth (it should be straight and shiny).

The representative of this breed does not require special preparation for the exhibition. We bathe it the day before and comb it out on the day of the exhibition. We cut the hair between the tips and level the headdress on the paws (it should not be removed completely, because it is a characteristic feature of the breed).

We present it on a ring matching the color of the coat. He must be able to walk freely at the owner’s leg and stand in the exhibition position. It’s best to exhibit it from the so-called freehand, i.e. without touching.


For feeding, the best are metal or ceramic bowls (there are contact allergies to plastic), high and narrow, so that the animal does not get dirty on the ears (you can also put on a special sleeve on the head, so-called snoods).

In the case of cavaliers, soft mascots, not very hard balls, cotton strings work well for fun. For the sake of biting, it’s better not to drag on with them. If you often travel or go to exhibitions, it’s a good idea to get your pet used to the transporter.


The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel belongs to the group of companion dogs, although its roots should be sought among small hunting dogs maintained by the aristocracy. His ancestors could have been white and red spaniels from Malta or Italy, which at the beginning of the 13th century were crossed with dogs from the Far East. There are also proponents of the theory that the progenitor of the King Charles Spaniel – from which the cavalier comes – was a black Spanish truffle dog, which left the king a curly hair.

In the 16th century, little dogs became extremely popular among the English nobility. They accompanied ladies traveling in carriages and warmed their hands and knees with their own bodies. Little spaniels appeared on the 15th-century tapestry “Gift of the Heart” and on the painting of Titian “Venus of Urbino”, and later in the paintings of Rubens, Rembrandt, van Dyck, Landseer and Gainsborough.

King Charles Spaniels are particularly closely associated with the Stuart dynasty. Apparently, a representative of this breed named Rouge was in exile with Charles I. Queen Maria Stuart on her way to the scaffold was accompanied by her favorite black and white dog. After the execution, he was found hidden in the folds of her dress.

King Karol II was a great fan of the breed (her name comes from his name), who had to spend more time playing with his pets than talking about the fate of the state. He also issued an edict that is binding until today, allowing dogs of this breed access to all public places, including the British Parliament.

The King Charles Spaniels at the time differed from each other because each aristocrat bred their own type. Larger dogs were used for hunting, smaller ones accompanied their owners in everyday life. One of the breeders was John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough, who specialized in the white-red variety. Apparently, his favorite dog accompanied him during the Battle of Blenheim in 1704. As a reward for his victory over the French, the prince received a castle near Woodstock called Blenheim House (hence the name of the white-red variety).

During the Orian rule, miniature spaniels ceased to be popular because pugs and Pekingese became fashionable. The association with representatives of these breeds caused that the King Charles Spaniel lost its typical appearance – his head rounded, his eyes widened, his muzzle became flattered and his muzzle upturned.

In the 1920s, the American Roswell Eldrige began looking for old spaniels with a longer muzzle that he saw in the paintings of old masters. He funded a £ 25 award at the Crufts show for the best old type Blenheim dog and bitch (awarded for five years). In 1926, it was received by Ann’s Son, whose appearance was used to develop the first template.

In 1928, the breeds were separated – the spaniel with a short muzzle retained the name king charles, and the word cavalier was added to the name of the restored breed. The English Kennel Club recognized the cavalier in 1945. In 1948, the first English champion was Daywell Roger (blenheim), who can be found in the lines of all modern cavaliers. A big event in the history of the breed was the Best in Show title of the white-and-red dog Alansmere Aquarius at the Crufts exhibition in 1973.


Cavalier king charles spaniel – group IX FCI, section 7, reference number 136

  • Country of origin: Great Britain
  • Size: weight 5.4-8 kg; small, proportional
  • Coat: long, silky, without curls, slight wavy allowed; profuse tassels on the ears, feathers on the limbs and on the tail; non-trimmed hair
  • Color: blenheim (white and red), tricolor, black and tan and ruby ​​(red)
  • Maturity: 2 years
  • Lifespan: 10-12 years
  • Weather resistance: medium

Interesting facts

The breeding should be associated separately: single-leafed (black and tan and ruby) and spotted (tricolor and Blenheim). Combining all the colors causes puppies to be born with incorrect meanings, and once introduced, the spotted gene can appear in the lines of single-dog dogs for many generations.

The length of the coat and ears often corresponds to the color of the coat. Black and tan dogs and tricolor have more abundant hair and long ears, although there are exceptions to this rule.

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