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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Photo
Cavaliers are very sweet natured.
They are a sensitive breed who should be
taught with gentle training and positive reinforcement.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Breed Traits

Quick Facts:
  • Toy breed, weighing 10-18 pounds.
  • Affectionate, sweet natured companion lap dog
  • Sensitive, must be trained gently with positive reinforcement
  • Intelligent, trains easily and excels in obedience
  • Moderately active indoor dog, enjoys indoor play and outdoor walks by leash.
  • Very social, thrives on companionship of humans and other pets
  • Should not be left alone all day, or for long periods of time
  • Playful, Cavaliers love to romp outdoors in safely enclosed yard
  • Beware of Cavalier's chasing instinct that it doesn't get hit by car or get lost
  • Average shedder, life expextancy 7-14 years
Physical Traits:
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Photo
"The sweet, gentle, melting expression
is an important breed characteristic."
-AKC standard

The Cavalier is perhaps the largest toy breed: though historically a lap dog, modern day fully-grown adults tend to fill a lap rather amply. Breed standards call for a height between 12-13 inches with a weight between 10 and 18 pounds.

Unlike most other spaniels, the Cavalier has a full-length tail, well-feathered with long hair, which is usually not docked, which is typically carried aloft when walking. The Cavalier's head is nearly flat between the ears and has a well defined nose, its eyes are large and round and this gives the dog its characteristic endearing look. Its neck is strong and is slightly arched and its ears are long and drooping and have plenty of feathering. The body of the Cavalier is small but well balanced, this dog moves with a somewhat elegant and royal gait.

Physical Traits:
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Photo
Cavaliers need to have their coat brushed regularly,
to keep it silky smooth and free of matting.

The breed naturally grows a substantial silky coat of moderate length. Breed standards call for it to be free from curl, with a slight wave permissible. In adulthood, Cavaliers grow lengthy feathering on their ears, chest, legs, feet and tail; breed standards demand this be kept long, with the feathering on the feet cited as a particularly important feature of the breed.

A Cavalier's coat may be beautiful, but, because it can be long, it is very important to keep it well groomed. Daily brushing is recommended to ensure that the coat does not get matted and that foreign objects, such as grass and sticks, do not become entangled in the feathering. It also should not be bathed more than once a week otherwise it may cause skin irritation. Fur on the feet and on the hind legs should be trimmed regularly. In hot climates, the hair in the ears should be thinned.

Physical Traits:
Breed Colors
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Photo
Cavaliers come in four colors:
Blenheim, Tricolor, Ruby, and Black and Tan

The breed has four recognized colors:

  • Blenheim (rich chestnut on pearly white background)
  • Tricolor (black and white with tan markings on cheeks, inside ears, on eyebrows, inside legs, and on underside of tail)
  • Ruby (rich reddish-brown all over)
  • Black and Tan (black with tan markings)

  • Parti-colors are the colors that include white: Blenheim and Tricolor. Whole-colors have no white: Black and Tan, and Ruby. The Blenheim is the most common color.

    Personality Traits
    Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Photo
    Cavaliers are great with people of all ages

    The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a highly affectionate breed, and nicknamed "the ultimate lap dog" or the "love sponge" of dogs. Most dogs of the breed are playful, extremely patient and eager to please. As such, dogs of the breed are usually good with children and other dogs.

    Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Photo
    They love the company of other pets

    A well-socialized Cavalier will not be shy about socializing with much larger dogs. (However, on occasion, this tendency can be dangerous, as many cavaliers will presume all other dogs to be equally friendly, and may attempt to greet and play with aggressive dogs.) Cavaliers will adapt quickly to almost any environment, family, and location. Their ability to bond with larger and smaller dogs make them ideal in houses with more than one breed of dog. Cavaliers are great with people of all ages, from children to seniors, making them a very versatile dog.

    Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Photo
    Cavaliers are very sweet natured,
    and are very in tune with their owner's feelings

    The extremely social nature of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel means that they require almost constant companionship from humans or other dogs, and are not suited to spending long periods of time on their own. This breed is one of the friendliest of the toy group. Cavaliers make wonderful therapy dogs because of their sweet, gentle and patient nature.

    Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Photo
    Cavaliers make excellent therapy dogs,
    warming the hearts of all who meet them.

    It is important for Cavaliers to have a hand-reared puppyhood to ensure security and friendliness. When they greet somebody they tend to lick them on the hand. They connect with their owners almost immediately, but are a little delayed with strangers. Cavaliers are a very sensitve breed, who are aware of their owner's feelings. Training must be done using gentle, positive reinforcement.

    Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Photo
    Considered the "ultimate lap dog",
    Cavaliers are happiest in your lap!

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
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