Characteristics of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

By Kimberly Sharpe
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was named after the childhood dog of King Charles II of Britain. The small dogs are affectionate, intelligent and devoted. The breed is considered to be a toy in size. The dog's height ranges from 12 to 13 inches when fully grown. Its weight averages from 13 to 18 lbs. Through history, the breed has been used when shooting small game but, nowadays, this type of dog is predominately a simple companion.


The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a coat that is easy to manage. It requires no clipping or cutting. The coat rarely suffers from mats or snarls. The breed requires a once a week brushing. The breed does shed in the fall and spring. Brushing requirements during shedding may loosen the hair more and lead it to fall out. The dogs should not be bathed more then once a week or they can suffer from dry hair and skin. Many Cavalier King Charles Spaniels suffer tear stains under their eyes. This is a characteristic of the breed that often cannot be avoided. Many solutions are sold at pet stores that remove tear stains. The breed comes in four distinct colors–Blenheim (chestnut and white), tricolor (black, white, and tan), ruby (solid red) and black with tan.

Therapy Dog

One of the endearing characteristics of the breed is its love of humans. The dogs adore being held and stroked. According to the American Kennel Club, their laid-back, gentle, sweet and loving temperament makes them excellent therapy dogs.

Children's Companion

The American Kennel Club considers the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to be an ideal and trustworthy children's companion. Their personality is non-aggressive. The breed is commonly shown in the obedience ring and is considered naturally suited for agility competition.

Historic Breed

The breed has been favored as a lap dog throughout history. They are one of the most widely painted dog breeds. Many notables in the Renaissance period, especially among European nobility and royal families, owned the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. King Charles II adored his little dogs so much that he made a decree in Britain that allowed dogs entry into any public place, including Parliament. The decree is still in effect today for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in Britain.
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