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Why You Should Get a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (and What You Need to Know First)

As a flexible dog, Cavaliers fit into the lifestyle of many people pretty well. They also have a lot of love to give, despite their size. With all the wonderful traits they have, it is easy to see why many adore them so much.
Why You Should Get a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are a ball of sunshine, brightening up any owner’s life. They extend their love towards other people of all ages and other animals too. This is one of the reasons why they are popular, they bring so much positivity to everyone.

They are also the perfect balance of calmness and playfulness. If you want to watch the sunset or if you want to go on a hike, they are up for it, as long as they are with you. This makes them appealing to people of various interests and lifestyles.

In general, Cavaliers are easygoing and unproblematic if you meet their needs. The good news is that they are not hard to care for apart from grooming and spending time with them.

What Is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a toy dog from the family of spaniels. Cavaliers are wonderful lapdogs with an athletic nature. Although they are a small breed, they are one of the largest toy breeds you can find.

What Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Like?

A Cavalier is outgoing, friendly, and playful. They want to join in on the fun, whether it is with kids or other dogs.

They are also gentle and very affectionate, both of which make them great for a wide variety of people. With this, they tend to be “velcro dogs”, following you around the house.

Despite being toy dogs, they still keep the hunting instincts of their working cousins. Their prey drive may kick in when they see small animals, like rodents. Although this may be annoying to some, it opens more doors for the Cavaliers.

With this, you can train them to be great hunting dogs. A bonus is that Cavaliers are intelligent and are easy to train in general.

With these, it is no wonder why many people adore Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. They fit into many people’s tastes and lifestyles.

You have a cuddly lapdog who is quick to give you unconditional love. This makes them great for families, children, seniors, and even singles.

They also have the athleticism for more active people. Bring your Cavalier with you on a hike and they will enjoy it. They also love dog sports like agility and rally.

And you can turn them into hunting dogs, which some may like.

What Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Known for?

Cavaliers are known for their eyes, coat, and ears. All these work together beautifully to make them look like royalty.

Their eyes are large, round, and dark, giving them a permanent “puppy eyes” look. They also have these long, pendulous ears that frame their face, drawing you into their eyes more.

It only gets better from here, as they have medium-length silky coats that grow long on their ears. This completes their charming look.

With features like these, Cavaliers can not only catch a room’s attention but can also manipulate you into giving them treats.

What Are the Characteristics of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

When talking about their temperament, Cavaliers are sociable, adaptable, and gentle. They love making friends wherever they go and creating bonds with humans and other dogs. A well-socialized Cavalier will not shy away from any interactions.

They make great companions due to their affectionate nature. But also because they are very adaptable dogs.

Cavaliers can be the couch potatoes that doze off beside you while watching TV. Or they can join you as you go on hikes. Both of these they enjoy, as long as they get to spend time with you.

For their physical characteristics, Cavaliers have medium-length lustrous coats that can be wavy. Their hairs are longer on their legs and tails. You can also see feathering on their chest, feet, and ears.

They have doe-like eyes sitting on top of a muzzle. Long, furry ears frame their face to give them a look that can steal anyone’s heart.

Cavaliers are one of the smallest spaniels, with a height of 12 to 13 in (304.8 to 330.2 mm). They also do not weigh much at 13 to 18 lbs (5.9 to 8.2 kg). With this, their short legs bring balance to their build.

This easygoing breed comes in four official colors: black and tan, Blenheim, white and tan, and ruby.

Is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel a Good Family Dog?

Cavaliers make wonderful family pets. They love to be in the company of their humans and do activities with them. If you are looking for one, there may be slight differences between males and females.

In general, if you want a clingier dog who is more active, consider getting a male Cavalier. But if you want a more independent dog who is calmer, get a female Cavalier.

But there is more to these differences. Below you will find more about how they vary in being family dogs. This includes how they interact with children and other animals that you may have.

Male Cavaliers as Family Pets

Males tend to be more affectionate, welcoming, or demanding cuddles all the time. They are more likely to be velcro dogs, following you to the bathroom when you get up in the middle of the night.

But this affection may be stronger towards only one person, the one whom they bond with the most. If you are their favorite person, they will cling to you all the time.

They are also more eager to please their humans. Anything that makes you happy, they will do. Even if you are not offering treats!

But they tend to be very possessive of females, whether they are humans or dogs. So they may get jealous when someone or some other dog goes near their females. With this, you may need to be careful with children or dogs in the house.

Speaking of children, males are better if you want your Cavalier to be their playmate. Males keep their puppy-like energy even after they turn a year old. So they can keep up with your children as they grow up, keeping both active.

With other dogs, male Cavaliers do better with females. This is because they may be aggressive towards other male dogs. But with early socialization and training, they may get along.

Female Cavaliers as Family Pets

Females tend to be more mellow and independent. While males want to be in your face all the time, females are content in being in the same room as you. They will cuddle you on their terms, walking up to you when they want some love.

But do not take this as a sign that they do not love you. They do, but you have to wait for them to be in the mood.

They also give affection to all family members equally, not only one person. So everyone can snuggle up to them, but not all the time. This is because they are more open to people in general, even kids.

Due to their maternal instincts, they are more cautious when dealing with children. Females are also calmer, which makes them better for younger children.

With other dogs, they are less aggressive. But of course, they may not like having another dog of the same sex. The same goes for dogs of other breeds.

Females do not like to fight and this rarely happens. But when they do get into a fight, they are deadlier compared to male fights. They will not stop until they see blood. Sometimes, it can be fatal, needing urgent medical care. With this, you should socialize your them at a very young age.

Is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel a Good Guard Dog?

Because of their size and personalities, Cavaliers may not be good guard dogs. They are very friendly and trusting towards people. So when there is an intruder, they may ask for pets instead of defending your home.

But you may wonder how they fair if ever there is a need for them too. Males and females have their advantages with this. If you want to know what these are, you will find out more below.

Male Cavaliers as Guard Dogs

They are more territorial and may inflict more damage with their stronger bite. It can be easier for them to protect you since they are more eager to please. But males tend to be overprotective over one person only. So they make better personal guard dogs instead.

Female Cavaliers as Guard Dogs

Females give love to all family members, so they are better at being a family guard dog. They are also calmer and more mature, which makes them more trainable. So you can easily teach them commands that you may need.

They also tend to be leaner compared to male Cavaliers. With this, they run faster, catching anyone who dares to threaten their family.

Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels One-Person Dogs?

With their adaptability, Cavaliers can be one-person dogs. If you want one that is fiercely loyal to you, a male Cavalier may be the better option. They tend to attach themselves to their favorite person more than females.

But keep in mind, Cavaliers are very dependent on their owners. You cannot leave them by themselves for more than a few hours. So if you live alone and you need to be away for work a lot, this can make them act out.

When they are alone for long periods, they may develop separation anxiety. This condition puts them in great distress when you are away. Its symptoms range from unwanted behaviors to destructive ones.

So make sure to see if your lifestyle fits this breed first. If you stay at home most of the time, Cavaliers are great companions for you.

Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Good for First-Time Owners?

Cavaliers are always on the list of top dog breeds that are great for first-time dog owners. There are five main reasons for this, which are all explained below.

Cavaliers Are Easy to Train

They are an intelligent breed, learning through positive training quickly. But two other factors have a great contribution to their trainability.

One is that they are very food-driven. Use treats as a reward during training and they will listen to you. They know what awaits them when they are successful, so they will do what they can to get it.

Another factor is that your Cavalier is eager to please you. Whatever makes you happy, they will do it. Sometimes, they may not even need a treat for this.

Keep in mind that Cavaliers love routines, so use this to your advantage! Set training sessions at the same time every day so they will know what to expect.

Cavaliers Are Calm Dogs

All that happy dog energy may be too much for first-time owners. But Cavaliers are a mellow breed who enjoy relaxing as much as playing. Although they may get excited at times, it is just enough for most people to handle.

Cavaliers Get Along With Everyone

Whether they are with kids, seniors, or teens, Cavaliers are friendly towards any age group. They are not picky about whom they interact with as long as they get human attention.

This is especially true for female Cavaliers. Females give the same amount of attention to all members of the family.

Cavaliers Are Adaptable

Like their humans, Cavaliers are also not picky when it comes to their environment. Whether you live in a condo, house, or farm, they take whatever they get.

It is also an advantage that they do not need much space to be happy. Cavaliers need an average amount of exercise, but a small yard will do for them. You can also take them out for a walk in a nearby park if you live in a condo.

Or if you are a more active person, Cavaliers are natural athletes. They are happy to do physical activities with you, like running on a beach. You can even have them try dog sports, such as flyball and agility.

Cavaliers Adore Their Humans

This breed has a lot of love packed in its small bodies. Cavaliers will find ways to show you they love you, following you wherever you go. Especially when you have male Cavaliers, who are more affectionate.

Female Cavaliers may not be as cuddly, but they love you from afar. They still want to be in the same room as you because they enjoy your company.

Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Affectionate?

Cavaliers are extra affectionate towards their humans, this is one of their characteristics. They enjoy giving love as much as they receive it. This warmth can also extend to strangers, dogs, and even cats.

Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Like to Cuddle?

Cuddling is one of a Cavalier’s favorite pastimes and they are excellent at it. It is their way of bonding with you and others while getting warmth. This not only feels good for you but also for them.

When your Cavalier cuddles with you, their brains release oxytocin, the love hormone. This makes them feel good, reinforcing their behavior. So your Cavalier will cuddle you over and over again because they enjoy it!

Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Like Hugs?

Since cuddling includes hugging, your Cavalier may enjoy your warm embrace. But dogs, in general, do not like hugs as it makes them feel trapped. They cannot understand this behavior as this is something they do not do.

But all dogs are different, and your Cavalier may actually like hugs. Some may learn to only tolerate it once they get used to it.

You will never know for sure until you try, though. But if your Cavalier pushes you away, take it as a sign to not hug them too much.

Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Like to Be Held?

Some Cavaliers will welcome or even demand that you hold them. Cavaliers love to be close to you and feel your warmth all the time.

But since this depends on the dog’s personality, others may not enjoy it as much. Male Cavaliers are more open to you holding them since they are more cuddly.

Female Cavaliers are more independent. Sometimes they want you to hold them, other times, they do not. They enjoy their alone time and cuddle time equally.

No matter their gender though, Cavaliers will relish being so close to you. They are one of the most affectionate dog breeds, after all.

Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Lap Dogs?

One of the ways Cavaliers show their love to you is by cuddling on your lap. They are very good at this as they were bred to be lapdogs!

So you will often find your Cavalier on your lap or resting their head on it. These cuddly dogs are never too big for you, and they will find a way to feel your warmth.

There are slight differences between males and females, but the former may be better as a lapdog. Male Cavaliers are more affectionate and attached to one person, the one they bond with the most. They will always seek cuddles from you and even follow you around the house.

This is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. You will always know that you are the apple of their eyes, they love you a lot. But it also breaks your heart to see the panic in their eyes whenever you have to leave.

Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Need a Lot of Attention?

Cavaliers are perfect for homebodies, as they need constant attention from their humans. Wanting to be with you is in their genetics and history. In the past, they were always at the feet of royalty, hence their name.

Their favorite way of cuddling is to relax on your lap. Sometimes, they are content being on your feet or by your head on the pillow.

If you live alone and work long hours, Cavaliers may not be for you. They get very stressed even by the thought of you leaving. This is what makes them prone to developing separation anxiety.

For Cavaliers, this is the root cause of many unwanted behaviors. Separation anxiety manifests itself in various ways, including the following:

  • Potty Accidents: They will poop or pee everywhere in your absence. If they do this with you in the house, this is not caused by separation anxiety.
  • Excessive Barking or Howling: This is only triggered when your Cavalier is alone at home.
  • Destructive Behaviors: This includes chewing on items, digging doors, and more. Your Cavalier may do this to the point of self-injury, such as damaged nails.
  • Escaping Home: Your Cavalier may escape home in a desperate attempt to reunite with you.
  • Pacing Around: They walk in a specific pattern in your absence. Some in a circular pattern, while others back and forth.
  • Coprophagia: Cavaliers may even eat their poop when they are alone.

These are all behaviors that worry any fur parent. But can you leave them alone with someone else?

Cavaliers want human attention and they do not mind who gives it to them. So if they live with a family, they would not mind as much if you are away for work.

They may even do better if they have a canine partner with them. This duo will entertain and exercise each other, so they are never bored.

How Much Attention Does a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Need?

You should not leave your Cavalier alone for two hours or more. They need a lot of frequent attention from you or other family members. If you leave them alone too long, they tend to become destructive.

Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Clingy?

As companion dogs, Cavaliers are fiercely devoted to their owners. Male Cavaliers are often more clingy, following their favorite person around. If they get attached to you, you will always have them by your side.

Why Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels So Needy?

A Cavalier’s neediness has three main factors. Their personality, their intelligence, and their owners.

Cavaliers are very affectionate in nature, so they would love nothing more than to be by your side all the time. This is their personality, so they tend to be needy and dependent on you. If you look into their history, you will understand this more.

They were popular as lapdogs to the English royalty. This breed kept them warm, followed them around, and made them feel loved. Cavaliers are born to be the big snugglers and this is their primary role.

Other than that, their intelligence also plays a part in this. They are smart dogs who need a lot of mental stimulation, otherwise, they get bored.

With boredom, your Cavalier may keep bugging you to do something to keep them occupied. So you need to spend time with them every day, playing with them or taking them out for walks.

You can also give them a variety of toys that get their minds to work. Puzzle toys and interactive toys are great for this. Some dispense food as a reward for your Cavalier, which keeps them motivated.

Another surprising reason for their neediness is that you may have trained them to be like that. There are many ways you may have done this unconsciously.

When they are sweet towards you, you give verbal praises or treats. You may also let them sleep beside you, take them everywhere, and more. These are all with good intentions as you are trying to be a good owner. But this can make your Cavalier dependent in return.

Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Like Other Dogs?

Introduction at a young age will make your Cavalier get along with other dogs. This friendly breed will enjoy their company and they will love to play with them. You should also socialize your them while they are young so that they know how to act around other dogs.

Even if they are friendly, this may not translate in their interactions with other dogs. Like other dog breeds, Cavaliers may not like dogs who are of the same gender.

Male Cavaliers can be aggressive towards other males when a female Cavalier is in heat. But males can also snap at females when the latter ignores their advances for mating.

While female Cavaliers are more open to meeting new canine companions, they still may not go well with other females.

Of course, you can lessen the chances of these if you do your part. Socialization and proper introduction will help you go a long way.

Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Better in Pairs?

Two Cavaliers are better than one, for you and them. Cavaliers love company, even in the form of a canine friend. They may even form a stronger bond with each other than with you.

As a human, you cannot provide the canine pleasure that your Cavalier needs. Having another dog friend enriches their lives and makes both of them happier.

Not only that, it can help to ease your Cavalier’s anxiety too. If you need to be away, they will feel better knowing that they still have someone else to be with.

And although they need average exercise, they need to be active every day. This helps them maintain their weight and avoid unwanted behaviors due to boredom.

A canine companion will help you with this. They can play around and spend their energy on each other. There is not a dull moment between the two playful Cavaliers, who are always up for fun.

This means that you can leave them alone at home for longer periods. Still, you should not leave them too long.

Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Good With Cats?

In general, Cavaliers are great with cats and will happily befriend them. Some may even love felines, cuddling and licking them when they can. But they will only reach this level of friendship with a positive introduction.

Cavaliers still have their hunting instincts intact. They love hunting and chasing little animals, such as rodents. Since cats are usually smaller, your Cavalier may chase your cat.

Cats do not appreciate getting chased by dogs. This stresses them out. Your cat will always find ways to escape and places to hide in. They cannot build a good relationship with this, and that is the issue most cat and dog owners face. This is why introducing them is crucial. Both should feel safe and their interactions should be positive.

But with a Cavalier’s personality, being friends with a cat is possible. They have several traits that make them wonderful with cats, all listed below.

Cavaliers Are Social Butterflies

They enjoy the company of their friends, even if that friend is a cat. Cavaliers do not shy away from showering cats with lots of cuddles and licks. After adjusting, your Cavalier will see your cat as part of the family.

Cavaliers Are Smart

To maintain a good relationship with your cat, they have to know the rules of their interactions. Along with this, your Cavalier also needs to know some commands and obey them.

But since they are intelligent and trainable, your Cavalier will learn fast. This speeds up the process of getting them used to each other.

Cavaliers Are Eager to Please

In connection to the previous point, your Cavalier will do anything to make you happy. When you reward them for being good, they get a high level of satisfaction.

With this, they will want to obey your commands as they know what awaits them. You can use treats to reward them, but this should not be the case all the time. They are just as happy with verbal praises, pets, or any attention from you.

Cavaliers Are Adaptable

This breed learns from their experiences quicker than you may think. With training and rules set, your Cavalier can adjust to their new environment well. This means that they can learn to live with their new feline friend too.

Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Shed?

Like most dogs, Cavaliers also shed. The extent of their shedding may be too much for some, so you need to be ready for this. This is part of the reason why Cavaliers can be high maintenance, as they need frequent grooming.

Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Shed a Lot?

Cavaliers shed quite a lot all year round, so you may find hair everywhere. Other than preventing tangles and mats, this is why they need daily brushing. You can decrease their shedding with this since brushing takes off loose hair that is ready to fall off.

How Much Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Shed?

Cavaliers are moderate shedders, so you will find bits of their hair here and there. But they are not the heaviest shedders, so you can manage this with regular brushing.

Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Hypoallergenic?

While they are wonderful pets, Cavaliers are not a hypoallergenic dog breed. They do not meet the criteria for this, as hypoallergenic dogs have these traits:

  • Must Not Shed
  • Do Not Have Hair
  • Short Coats
  • Single-Layered Coats

Cavaliers are the opposite of these, ruling them out. The main issue with Cavaliers is that they are more likely to spread dander. These dead flakes of skin float in the air and stick to furniture, clothes, and more.

Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Good or Bad for Allergy Sufferers?

If you suffer from allergies, Cavaliers may not be the best furry companion for you. They can shed a lot, spreading dander everywhere. You may need to dust and vacuum your home regularly if you do get one.

Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Allowed Anywhere?

There is an urban myth that says Cavaliers can enter all public buildings in the United Kingdom. Supposedly, Charles II passed this law out of love for the breed. But no, this is not true and Cavaliers do not have any privileged access making it okay for them to go anywhere.

Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Allowed to Fly?

Although Cavaliers make great travel companions, some airlines may not accept them. Cavaliers are snub-nosed dogs which put them at greater risk of heatstroke. The fluctuating temperatures during air travel are also awful for their breathing issues.

But airlines follow different rules when traveling with a four-legged passenger. So you need to look for one that will allow your Cavalier to travel.

They also have rules about a dog’s measurements, including their crate. But Cavaliers are small and light enough that should not cause you to worry about these.

What Size Crate Should I Get for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

Adult Cavaliers should have medium-sized crates, which are around 30 in (762 mm). If you have a puppy, you should get a smaller one that is appropriate for their size.

Your Cavalier’s crate should be big enough for them to stand and turn around in it. But it should not be small enough that it touches their nose and behinds at the same time.

A crate that is too big makes it more likely for them to have potty accidents. So instead of lying down and relaxing in it, they stand up.

But a crate too small will make them feel cramped. This will not give them enough room to feel comfortable.

What Size Bed for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

A rule of thumb is that a Cavalier’s bed should be 21 x 36 in (533 x 914 mm) for rectangular or oval beds. While for round beds, the dimensions you should get one with a 36 in (914 mm) circumference.

But the best thing to do is measure your Cavalier so you get a bed suited for their size. They are going to spend most of their life on their bed. So the least you can do is find a comfortable size for them.

To do this, measure your Cavalier from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail. After this, add 12 in (305 mm) to the measurement. You should base their bed size on the number that you get.

What Is the Best Bed for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

The best bed for your Cavalier depends on their preferences. They may like a basket-type bed, a sofa, or a cafe. You have many options to choose from, but you need to figure out what they like.

But you also need to consider the material of the bed. Each one has pros and cons, but that will depend on your Cavalier and you.

Plastic ones are best for preventing pest infestations. They are also more durable and can withstand their chewing if your Cavalier likes to do this. Although they are less comfortable, you can always add pillows and blankets.

Should I Get a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

You can never go wrong with Cavaliers. They are friendly with people and animals, very loving, and adaptable. This means that they are a great fit for most people and environments.

The bigger question is, are you fit for a Cavalier? They can adjust well for you, but can you do the same for their needs?

In almost all aspects, Cavaliers are lower maintenance compared to other breeds. But they can be high maintenance when it comes to grooming and giving them attention.

You need to brush their hair daily to prevent tangles and mats. They shed quite a lot, so you also need to vacuum and clean your home more often.

Also, Cavaliers are prone to separation anxiety and cannot be alone for more than two hours. Separation anxiety is not only stressful for you because Cavaliers can get destructive. But it is also stressful for them since all they want is to be with you.

If you can provide for their needs, keep up a grooming routine, and spend a lot of time with them, get a Cavalier. They are great for homebodies as there is always someone who gives them attention.

This makes them happy and they are more than willing to repay you with unconditional love. There is never a dull day with this breed and they will always make you feel loved. Whether you want to laze around and watch TV or go to the beach, they will enjoy being with you.

But if you work long hours and live alone, they will lack attention and may become depressed. The once vibrant and outgoing Cavalier you know will fade away.

So, whether you get a Cavalier or not depends if you can provide for their needs. If you are up for the challenge, you can make no mistake with this lovable breed.