These small, elegant dogs have many endearing qualities: they’re kid friendly, easy to train and don’t shed much. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can be great companions–just make sure you watch them around smaller animals, as their sporting instincts may take over and things could get…well…ugly.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are a good choice for those who can’t commit to multiple walks or runs every day. While all dogs need their daily exercise, a good 30-45 minutes should suffice for this breed. Just make sure to keep them leashed at all times, because Cavs are easily distracted and might unknowingly run into the street if a bird catches their attention.
This breed won’t pose much of a threat to neat freaks. You will have to be prepared for some shedding, but nothing that will push you over the edge.
Barking and Volume:
Most Cavs are fairly low-key with their barking. However, they are social dogs, so they will bark if you leave them alone outside for long periods of time. Make sure your dog is an integrated part of the family, and you’ll be fine.
This breed is known to be easy to train and responds best to gentle obedience training methods. Within a short time, your dog should be able to respond to the basic commands. A puppy class is recommended.
Health Factors: Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are prone to some health concerns including heart disease (specifically mitral valve disease), syringomyelia (a disease affecting the dog’s nervous system) and episodic falling (often misdiagnosed as epilepsy). *A responsible breeder can help minimize the risk of genetic disorders.
Grooming: Home grooming is adequate.
Training: Basic training. A puppy class will do.
Brushing your Cav’s coat three or four times a week will keep it shiny and reduce the amount of hair around the house. Add the occasional nail trim and bath, and you’ll be good to go.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels love to get belly rubs and play games. They make wonderful companions for children. However, since they are such small dogs, children will have to play gently to avoid hurting the pup. You may want to wait until your children are past toddlerhood, if you think this will be a problem.
Friendliness: Towards Animals
This breed will happily make friends with other dogs and can be socialized to get along with cats and other small animals. However, keep in mind that Cavs have a hunting instinct, and may go after a pet bird, so it’s best not to leave them unsupervised.
Friendliness: Towards People
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels make a wonderful, affectionate lap dog for the family. They love to be included and will become upset (and may chew up the cushions) if you leave them alone for too long. They also get along well with strangers, though it helps to engage them in early socialization so they get used to all kinds of people.
BE PREPARED FOR: A loving, playful family dog who may use your favorite shoes as a chew toy if you leave him along for too long.