Family Pet Guide > Dogs > Toy > Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Quick Checklist
with kids
with seniors
with other animals
with strangers
Energy & Exercise
Training Needs
Grooming Needs
Size: Small (10 to 25 lbs.)
Lifespan: Medium (8 to 12 years)
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The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, also known as the English Toy Spaniel, is a small, elegant, and compact Toy breed dog. Cavaliers are excellent companions and apartment dogs, also known as "comfort spaniels", who were bred specifically to keep British Royals company. King Charles Spaniels have an affinity for snuggling and make great foot warmers, lap dogs, and all-around hot water bottles. These gentle, playful, and affectionate dogs love everyone (kids, pets, seniors, strangers, and all other animals), but, due to their delicate size, are not recommended for families with small children. The Cavalier King Charles needs to be around its people, and, if left alone for long periods of time, will yip for long periods of time.

Former President Ronald Reagan owned a King Charles, as well as Lauren Bacall and Frank Sinatra. Modern-day celebrities fans of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel include Diane Sawyer, Teri Hatcher, and Liv Tyler, just to name a few. On Sex and the City, Charlotte adopted a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which she name Elizabeth Taylor.

General Care

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a long, silky coat that requires frequent brushing--daily brushing is recommended to keep the coat from becoming matted. The King Charles sheds often, and should not be bathed more then twice a week. They also need to be protected from extreme weather conditions, and should be dried thoroughly after exposure to the rain. The King Charles is one of the friendliest of the Toy breeds--likened to a small Golden Retriever in temperament--but should always be kept on leash. Their gentle nature can cause them to try and befriend an aggressive, larger dog and they can also be single-minded in their pursuit of a butterfly or small bird, wandering obliviously into dangers like a busy street. Unfortunately, this breed can be plagued by health problems and should only be bought through a reputable breeder. With proper breeding and health screening, these dogs live to be 10 to 12 years old. Some of the more common health problems are respiratory, cardiac, eye and ear ailments. King Charles Spaniels, along with many Toy breeds, end up in shelters because their owner aren't educated about the amount of care these small dogs require. When lacking attention, affection, or exercise, these Spaniels will misbehave and become Tasmanian Devils of destruction that belie their small size.

For more information on Cavalier King Charles Spaniel ownership and care, check out the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club Rescue.

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