family cavalier king charles tricolor and blenheim in studio

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Breed Characteristics

Elegant. Needs a lot of attention and affection from his family. Cavaliers have remarkable eyesight and a keen sense of smell. Not a good watchdog. Excellent for first-time owner.

Is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel approved as a pet in a Singapore HDB flat?



England, 1600s. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a descendant of the King Charles Spaniel. In the late 1600s the King Charles Spaniels were interbred with Pugs, which resulted in a smaller dog with flatter noses, upturned faces, rounded heads and protruding eyes. The outcome of this breeding is what we know today as the King Charles Spaniel (English Toy Spaniel). The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed is the work of the American breeders (late 1920s) with special interest for a dog that resembled those appearing in Van Dyck's paintings of King Charles II and his spaniels. This 'modern breed is a closer heir of the royal spaniels of King Charles II. In the 1940s these dogs were given the Cavalier prefix to distinguish them from their predecessors.

Original Purpose

Lap and foot warmers, flushing small birds.

Behaviour and Temperament

Companionable, trusting, friendly, happy, outgoing, sportive, sweet, gentle.

What are some Physical Features of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

30.5 to 33 cm; 5.5 to 8 kg. Colours are ruby or mahogany (solid red); Blenheim (red and white); black-and-tan; tricolour.

Coat Type and Recommended Grooming

Long, silky, straight or slight wave. Fairly high maintenance; brush with a firm bristle brush, and bathe as necessary. The hair between the pads on the feet needs to be trimmed. Pay special attention to the ears as they are prone to tangling and matting. Clean the inside of the ears regularly. Always dry the dog thoroughly after a bath. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an average shedder.

Life Expectancy of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

10 to 14 years.

Have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

Health Concerns

Heart problems (mitral valve insufficiency), patellar luxation (dislocating kneecap), cataracts.

Exercise Needs

Moderate. Although play will satisfy most of their exercise needs, like all dogs, the primeval instinct to walk needs to be fulfilled by daily walks.


Will do well in apartment life, however, they are not suited to kennel life and should not be left alone all day. Moderately active indoors. The Cavalier does not do well in hot climates.


Very good with people, including children and older folks. Delighted to meet any strangers. Naturally well behaved and get along well with other dogs and non-canine pets.



Recommended Activities

Canine freestyle, flyball, tracking.