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      Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Facts and Info

      Size
      Small
      Energy
      Moderate
      Coat
      Long, silky, straight, or wavy with feathering.
      Weight
      13-18 lbs
      • Size

        Small

      • Energy

        Moderate

      • Weight

        13-18 lbs

      • Coat

        Long, silky, straight, or wavy with feathering.

      Special Travel Accommodations

      Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are amazing dogs and have special travel requirements. Our dedicated travel team will work with both you and your puppy's breeder to schedule the best accommodations for your puppy's needs.

      About Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

      Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are the quintessential lap dog: sweet, gentle and affectionate. These dogs gained their popularity as a pet to royalty in Scotland in the 1500’s, and are today among the most popular breeds by the AKC. Their dark, expressive eyes are characteristic of the breed, just as their calm and loving nature. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are known for being wonderful with children and making excellent family pets. Because they are so eager to please, training is generally easy for these dogs. They will weigh between 13-18 lbs. on average when fully grown.

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      • Overview

        As the name suggests, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a piece of British history. “Cavs” are descended from the Toy Spaniels that were popular in Britain in the late 17th century. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were originally bred as lap dogs for the upper crust of British society, a feature that has changed little since the late 17th century.

        Too small to be a reliable hunting companion, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were bred as lap dogs and become quite popular with royals. The breed is named for King Charles II who was rarely seen without his Toy Spaniels.

        Like many characters from British history, Cavalier Spaniels exhibits many noble characteristics, namely a friendly and affectionate personality, and a silky-smooth coat. Today, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels remain incredibly popular in Britain, and are considered the 19th most popular purebred in the United States.

        The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is so popular around the globe because the silky canine incorporates the best of two worlds; toy-size pooch, and affectionate canine companion.

        Renowned for their friendly disposition and affectionate demeanor, Cavalier Spaniels make terrific family pets, they even get along with well with other dogs and children. Cavaliers are hardly considered the best watchdogs due to their abundance of affection and incredibly friendly temperament.

      • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppies

        Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies are a lovely addition to any family and well on their way to becoming one of the world's most popular pets. Incredible friendliness and an overabundance of affection are defining characteristics of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies.

        Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies are adorable, curious, and behave surprisingly similar to a human baby; they require near constant supervision and crave your love and attention. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies are born in litters of two to six, and in a range of different colors and markings.

        New Cavalier puppies are inquisitive, and full of energy. New owners should take steps to puppy-proof their home to prevent curious puppies from exploring where they shouldn’t.

        Cav puppies are full of energy and require at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. They are very social and should not be away from their family for too long.

        In fact, many Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies are prone to separation anxiety and may chew furniture, or break excessively if left alone and not adequately exercised.

        Cavalier puppies also exhibit a strong hunting instinct and behavior, which means they won’t hesitate to sprint off in pursuit of an interesting scent or animal that peaks its interest. Fenced in yards, leashes and a watchful eye are always recommended.

      • Breed Group

        Cavalier King Charles Spaniels belong to the Toy breed group of canines. Toy dogs are traditionally bred for their diminutive size, which places the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel among the largest breeds in the Toy breed group.

        Toy dogs are traditionally very small, and include breeds that have been bred down in size such as Spaniels, Pinschers and some Terriers. The Toy breed group is not to be confused with “Teacup” dogs which are smaller, and not officially recognized by international kennels clubs as an official breed group.

      • Breed Standard

        A breed standard details the appearance and temperament of an officially recognized breed. The pedigree of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is formally recognized by all breed experts and kennel clubs and is therefore subject to a detailed breed standard.

        General Appearance

        King Charles Cavalier Spaniels are an active, well-balanced toy spaniel. KCC Spaniels are fearless in character, yet surprisingly affectionate. It’s temperament and elegant appearance are exceptionally important to the breed standard.

        Head

        The King Charles Cavalier Spaniel head is proportionate to the size of dog, neither too large nor too small. Its expression is gentle, sweet and often described as “heat melting.” Its eyes are large, round and set well apart. Eye color is very dark brown.

        Ears are set high on top of the head, with plenty of feathering. Its skull is rounded, but not domed or peaked The Muzzle of the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel is full and slightly tapered.

        Body

        The King Charles Cavalier Spaniels neck is long, and well-muscled; forming a slight arch at the crest. Its shoulders are set smoothly which provides an elegant appearance. Ribs are well sprung but not barreled. Its chest is moderately deep and extends to the elbows allowing ample heart room.

        Legs and Feet

        The King Charles Cavalier Spaniel forelegs are straight and close to the sides. Feet are compact with well-cushioned pads. Hind Legs are parallel from hock to heel.

        Tail and Hindquarters

        The King Charles Cavalier Spaniel’s tail is carried happily, but never above the back, and always in motion when the dog is in motion. Docking is optional. Hindquarters descend from a broad, moderately muscled pelvis.

        Coat and Colors

        The coat of the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel is unique and quite distinguishable from other toy spaniels. Its coat is moderate in length, silky and rather straight. The Cavaliers coat is shown in four distinct color patterns; Blenheim, King Charles, Ruby, and Tricolor.

        Blenheim coated Cavaliers are pearly white with chestnut markings. The King Charles color pattern on the other hand refers to a black silky coat with likewise chestnut markings.

        Ruby Cavaliers are chestnut all over, while Tricolor dogs are black and white with tan markings on their cheeks, inner ears, eyebrows, inside legs, and on the underside of tail.

        Height and Weight

        As toy dogs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are small when compared to most breed groups; standing 12 to 13 inches at the withers; weight traditionally falls between 13 and 18 pounds. However, when compared to other breeds within its own breed group, Cavalier Spaniels are larger than most.

        Temperament and Personality

        Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s personality is arguably its best feature; friendly, affectionate with no tendency towards nervousness, shyness or aggression.

        Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are friendly with other pets, children and even strangers. Cavaliers love their owners who describe them as playful, gentle, quiet, and very affectionate.

        Cavaliers are generally calm which makes them a great choice for apartment living. They love to cuddle but are also always down for an energetic adventure. Cavaliers are also smart with large dark puppy-dog eyes that they use to get food and affection from their owners.

        Health

        Like many toy dog breeds, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are susceptible to a number of medical issues. Prospective owners should be aware of the common health issues inherent to the breed and be prepared to care for the veterinary needs of their new pet.

      • Life Expectancy

        With a healthy diet, a loving family, and a safe environment to live and play owners can expect their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to live approximately 9 - 14 years on average.

      • Care

        Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are affectionate, friendly and completely adore their owners, which makes caring for a Cavalier an incredibly rewarding experience.

        Though Cavalier Spaniels are generally considered “low-maintenance” there are a few breed-specific characteristics that owners should be aware of.

        Avoid Injury - Toy dog breeds, such as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are susceptible to back, hip and joint issues which can cause pain, bladder and bowel control problems, and even partial paralysis. To avoid future spinal issues, it’s best to prevent your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel from leaping off furniture or stairs.

        Barking - Cavalier Spaniels have a tendency to bark when left alone for extended periods. Regular socialization and exercise can reduce stress and a Cavalier Spaniels urge to bark.

        Ear Care - The Cavalier Spaniel’s ears are floppy, silky and adorable, but they are also a potential breeding ground for a bacterial infection. For this reason, it is important for owners to regularly clean their Cavalier Spaniel’s ears. Don’t worry, the process is easy.

        Simply groom away any hair long enough to make contact with the ground when the dog moves. Cavaliers also commonly grow hair in the inner ear which can cause discomfort. These hairs should be plucked, never cut.

        Dog ear-cleaning solution should be used to clean the inside of the ear. Gently use a cotton ball to wipe the ear-cleaning solution into the inside ear to remove any waxy-build up. Don’t forget to look for signs of infection.

      • Nutrition

        Like all dogs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels require a nutritious diet that consists primarily of high-quality animal protein and fat.

        A canine diet rich in healthy proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins will produce a more luxurious coat, healthier skin and greater quality of life for your Cavalier. Vets recommend a diet consisting of 22% protein, a healthy fat content of 5%-8% and foods rich in healthy, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

        Be sure to carefully monitor your Cavaliers caloric intake. Cavaliers, like many toy breeds are prone to obesity, which can assert extra strain on its back and joints.  Avoid feeding your puppy from the table, and people food in general.

        Puppies rarely shy away from a snack, so it’s best to avoid free feeding. Instead, implement a feeding schedule.

        Weaning Age Puppies (4-7 weeks) should be free-fed through the entire weaning process until they reach the appropriate weight to be fed a structured diet. Free-feeding refers to the practice of leaving food out and available for your Cavalier King Charles Spaniels puppy to eat whenever they get hungry.

        Starting at 6 to 8 weeks, gradually transition your Cavalier from their mother’s milk to solid food over a period of 3 weeks. From 8 weeks on, it’s essential that Cavalier puppies learn that food will no longer be provided constantly throughout the day.

        Start your Cavalier on moistened dry puppy food, 3 to 5 times per day for no longer than 10 minutes per feeding. After 10 minutes remove their food even if they haven't finished. Puppies between the ages of 3 months and 1 year should be fed according to a structured diet, consisting of 3-4 meals of high-quality dog food, free of artificial ingredients.

      • Grooming

        The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s coat is not hypoallergenic, which means they will shed; however, owners describe the shedding as minimal. In fact, when compared to other toy breeds, the cavaliers coat is fairly low-maintenance.

        To groom a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel simply trim the fluffy, feathered fur on their feet. No other clipping or cutting of the coat is required. However, to keep your Cavaliers coat looking silky and smooth, we recommend a daily brushing regimen.

        The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s coat is water resistant due to oils imbedded in their undercoat. These oils are essential to the dog's skin health. Frequent bathing, harsh soaps and shampoos can remove these oils; therefore, we recommend bathing your Cavalier only once per month.

        To bathe your Cavalier Spaniel simply lather up their coat using lukewarm water and dog shampoo. Rinse their coat thoroughly and repeat. We recommend applying dog conditioner after the second wash.

      • Exercise

        Inactivity can lead a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to obesity, which can have a devastating effect on the dog's overall health. To ward off canine diabetes, stroke, and cancer it is essential that Cavaliers receive at least a two 15-minute walks per day.

        Exercise also improves circulation and provides opportunities for your Cavalier to socialize and explore its environment, which is critical to proper socialization.

        Though your Cavalier Spaniel may seem like a couch-potato, they are energetic, athletic and never turn down a chance to play outside. The Cavaliers prey drive is strong; it will jump at a chance to chase birds and rabbits, so it is always important to keep them on a leash when outdoors.

      • Training

        As your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel grows, it will enter several developmental stages, in which it will exhibit certain behaviors. Though puppies typically grow out of these behaviors, other behaviors may be present for the dog's entire life. Therefore, it’s essential that bad behavior is addressed early in the puppy's life with regular and consistent training.

        The key to training any puppy is consistency, reward and lots of patience. Cavaliers King Charles Spaniels respond best to positive, reward-based training methods, not fear of punishment. Housebreaking and obedience training are also essential to instilling proper behavior.

        Housebreaking

        As with most puppies, the earlier you begin housebreaking your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, the better. We recommend housebreaking begin as soon as the puppy is brought home.

        Cavalier King Charles puppy parents should spend as much time as possible with their Cav puppy, especially for the first three weeks. Housebreaking a puppy requires patience, praise, and consistency.

        Start by walking the puppy to the area where in you would like it to do its business. Consistency is key, so bring the puppy to the same spot every time it shows sign that it needs to go.

        Be sure to reward the desired behavior. Most importantly, new owners should understand that accidents are bound to happen and to avoid punishing your Cavalier puppy when they occur.

        Crate Training - Training your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy to sleep in a crate at night ensures it won't find trouble while you sleep, or when you are away from the house. Crate training should be done in conjunction with potty training and other housebreaking lessons.

        Socialization

        Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are incredibly social, affectionate and friendly. However, if not socialized early Cavaliers may develop a number of undesired behaviors. It’s important to socialize a Cavalier Spaniel so that it can experience positive social interactions with other pets, new family members and strangers.

        We recommend assembling the family on the floor and letting the puppy come up to them. Treats ensure a positive experience for the puppy, but it's best to introduce any other pets, quietly and slowly.

        Then move on to household objects like umbrellas, vacuum cleaners and anything else that is likely to scare or excite the puppy. The key to socializing any dog is ensuring it feels safe in its environment. If a puppy does not feel safe it will be prone to defensive behavior when presented with new situations, people, or pets.

        Obedience Training

        Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are smart, gentle and eager to please, as such they are also comparatively easy to train, and adapt well to new situations.

        To train a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to obey your commands use the same words and phrases to indicate when, where and how you want your puppy to execute a command. Issue your command. Pause. Then reward them with a snack when they get it right.

        Do not punish your Cavalier if, and when they fail a command. Simply regain their focus and try again until they are successful. Remember, it can take up to 6 months to fully housebreak a puppy.

      • Frequently Asked Questions

        What is the difference between a King Charles Spaniel and a Cavalier? Though the breeds are very similar, the primary difference between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Cavalier is in the shape of the skull.

        The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s head is proportionate, with a notably shorter muzzle than the Cavalier.

        Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels bark a lot? Like most dogs, Cavalier Spaniels tend to bark when left alone for extended periods. Regular socialization and exercise can reduce stress and a Cavalier Spaniels urge to bark.

        Are King Charles Cavaliers good family dogs? Yes. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels make great family dogs. They are affectionate, kind and exceptionally gentle. As with all dogs, it is important the young children know and practice dog safety when interacting with any dog.

        Are King Charles Cavaliers easy to train? Comparatively yes. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are intelligent, gentle and very eager to please their owners, which makes training a fairly simple experience.

        Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels smell bad? Cavalier King Charles Spaniels to not smell for any reason specific to their breed. If your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel smells bad, it is most likely because it is dirty, and could do with a good bath.

        How much sleep does a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel need? Cavalier King Charles Spaniel generally sleep as much as 40 to 50 percent of the day, with the other 50 to 60 percent playing and relaxing around the house.

        What is the best dog food for Cavalier King Charles Spaniel? Vets recommend a diet consisting of 22% protein, a healthy fat content of 5%-8% and foods rich in healthy, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

        Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels make good pets? Yes. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s affectionate demeanor and gentle temperament make it an excellent pet. In fact, they are often described as one of the most affectionate canine companions around.

        Are King Charles Cavalier Spaniels smart? Yes. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are considered of “average” canine intelligence and show a remarkable awareness to the emotions of their owners.

        Can King Charles Spaniels be left alone? Yes. However, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels grow very attached to their families and will often suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long a period.

        How much should a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel eat? All nutritional choices should be made in consultation with your vet; though Cavalier King Charles Spaniels generally require 2-3 meals of high-quality dog food appropriate to their stage of life.

        Weaning Age Puppies (4-7 weeks) should be free-fed through the entire weaning process until they reach the appropriate weight to be fed a structured diet. Free-feeding refers to the practice of leaving food out and available for your Cavalier King Charles Spaniels puppy to eat whenever they get hungry.

        Puppies between the ages of 3 months and 1 year should be fed according to a structured diet, consisting of 3-4 meals of high-quality dog food, free of artificial ingredients. Adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniels between the ages of 1 and 8 years should be fed a regular diet consisting of high-quality dog food two times per day.

        Senior Cavalier King Charles Spaniels require a different level of nutrition than younger dogs. Speak with your veterinarian to establish a diet rich in nutrients that support joint, bone and digestive health.

        Are King Charles Cavaliers hypoallergenic? No. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s coat is not hypoallergenic, which means they will shed; however, owners describe the shedding as minimal.

      • History

        The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is descended from the Toy Spaniels that were popular in Britain in the late 17th century. Too small to be a reliable hunting companion, Toy Spaniels were bred as lap dogs and become quite popular with royals, and the aristocracy of 17th century British society. The breed is named for King Charles II who was rarely seen without his Toy Spaniels.

        Another such royal was John Churchill, the First Duke of Marlborough who is credited with influencing the red and white variety of the King Charles Spaniel, the Blenheim Spaniel; named for his home Blenheim Estate. Blenheim Estate itself was named for Churchill’s victory over the Franco-Bavarian army at the Battle of Blenheim.

        Many paintings from that era of British history depict the diminutive canine in the laps of royals, aristocrats and the very wealthy. The early paintings of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel are inseparable from the history of the breed itself.

        In 1926, intrigued by early paintings of the small spaniel, an American breeder named Roswell Eldridge offered a dog show class prize (25 pounds of sterling silver) to the breeder who could produce the “old-type” depicted in 16th, 17th, and 18th century paintings - “Blenheim Spaniels” with flat heads, high set ears, almond eyes, and pointed noses.

        Few breeders accepted his challenge however, and at the end of five years little had been achieved. Finally, in 1928 a Spaniel named Ann's Son was awarded the prize, and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as we know it today was born.

      • Did You Know

        King Charles II was rarely seen in public without his Toy Spaniels, and even brought them into parliament, where no animals are allowed.

        King Charles II was such a big fan of the breed that he prohibited every building in Britain from barring the dogs’ access, a law that is still in place today.

        The look of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is influenced by the short-nosed pug, which was also popular in Britain at the time.

        Cavalier King Charles Spaniels helped their owners avoid the plague. Fleas were common in early Britain, and often carried plague. Owners would sleep with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniels hoping that fleas would be more attracted to the dog, than to them.

        Ronald and Nancy Reagan owned a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, He was trained to turn on the White House Christmas lights with his paw.

        The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel ranks among the twenty most popular dog breeds in the world.

        The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has existed since the late 16th century, but only gained official breed recognition in 1995.

        The patriarch of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a dog by the name of Ann’s Son, owned by Miss Mostyn Walker.

        Despite its Spaniel heritage, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is officially recognized as a Toy breed.

        A team of scientists recently declared the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel the furthest removed physically from the wolf. In addition, the breed was found to be the most removed characteristically from the wolf; showing only two of nine aggressive behaviour patterns.

      • Related Breeds

        • Cav-A-Jack = King Charles Cavalier Spaniel + Jack Russell Terrier
        • Cav-A-Malt = King Charles Cavalier Spaniel + Maltese
        • Cava-Chin = King Charles Cavalier Spaniel + Japanese Chin
        • Cava-Lon = King Charles Cavalier Spaniel + Papillon
        • Cava-Tzu = King Charles Cavalier Spaniel + Shih Tzu
        • Chilier = King Charles Cavalier Spaniel + Chihuahua
        • Cavachon = King Charles Cavalier Spaniel + Bichon Frise
        • Cavador = King Charles Cavalier Spaniel + Labrador Retriever
        • Cavapom = King Charles Cavalier Spaniel + Pomeranian
        • Cavapoo = King Charles Cavalier Spaniel + Poodle
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