Breed Spotlight: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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Life Expectancy:  9 - 15 years
Dog Breed Group: Companion Dogs
Weight:  10 - 18 lbs.
Height: 12 - 14 inches

Where Does the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Rank?

See where this beloved breed ranks in comparison to other breeds in 7 key categories.


Training a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is often a fairly simple task. While training though, remember to be very careful with her feelings as they are hurt easily. This breed responds extremely well to positive reinforcement.

Shedding Friendliness

The Cavalier does not shed excessively except for two times throughout the year.

Ease of Grooming

The Cavalier is relatively easy to groom. Brush several times per week and check the feathering for tangles or mats.


Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is prone to several significant issues including heart disease. This breed also suffers from luxating patellas, allergies, hip dysplasia, cataracts and syringomyelia.

Exercise Needs

With the Cavalier, exercise needs vary based on each individual dog. You can average your Cavalier to need a minimum of 30-60 minutes of activity per day to remain behavior-free. This could be playing a game of fetch or going for a walk.

Good with Children

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is very good with children and quickly becomes part of the family.

Barking Restraint

Barking is generally not a problem with this breed.

What You Need to Know About Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dogs


The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is not a simple breed to ‘generalize’ due to each individual dog being completely unique. Some Cavaliers are extremely quiet and lazy whereas others may be overly energetic and mischievous. The only generalization which may be made is they are all attention-seekers and they are all extremely affectionate.


The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an intelligent breed and responds well to training. Positive reinforcement ensures the training process goes smoothly. Cavaliers are very sensitive so be sure not to hurt their feelings throughout the training process.

Cavaliers sometimes have trouble with housetraining; however, if you are consistent in their routine they become housetrained fairly easily.


Cavaliers have medium-length coats which are fairly simple to maintain. They simply need brushed three to four times per week. The feathering on their ears and legs is prone to tangles so there may be mats which develop that need brushed out.

Health Problems

Mitral Valve Disease (MVD) - MVD is a common health condition found in Cavaliers. MVD begins as a heart murmur and progresses into heart failure. Cavaliers may begin developing this health condition as early as two years of age.

Syringomyelia (SM) - SM is a common health condition found in Cavaliers which affects the brain and spine. Symptoms include mild discomfort, severe pain and/or partial paralysis. Symptoms of SM often occur between 6 months and 4 years of age.

Hip Dysplasia - Many Cavaliers with hip dysplasia continue to lead normal, happy lives.

Common Health Issues for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

  • Otitis - middle ear infection
  • Conjunctivitis - pink eye
  • UTI - urinary tract infection
  • Periodontal Disease
  • Colitis
  • Dermatitis
  • Gastritis - inflammation, irritation, or erosion of the stomach lining
  • Soft Tissue Trauma
  • Foreign Body Ingestion
  • Heart Murmur

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

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