Alt Text
Hill’s Brand Horizon

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

dog Breed Profile

The overall appearance of the Cavalier King Charles spaniel is regal and sophisticated, yet charmingly cute.


Long back, floppy ears (naturally)



13-18 lbs.

10-18 lbs.


12 in.

(at withers)

13 in.





Red red and white black and tan tricolor



<20 minutes/day

Energy level



9-14 yrs.












Grooming Needs


Social Needs


Club recognition

AKC Class.


UKC Class.

Companion Dog



The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Dog Breed

The Cavalier King Charles spaniel was bred to warm laps in drafty castles or on chilly carriage rides.

About the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The overall appearance of the Cavalier King Charles spaniel is regal and sophisticated, yet charmingly cute.

- FORM -

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel personality

The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is an enchantingly affectionate, playful, intelligent dog that eagerly indulges its guardians with endearing devotion. Shyness and aggression, fortunately, are not part of this breed's behavioral milieu. These happy little dogs are excellent with children, and their desire to interact with their guardians makes them pleasurable household companions.

What to expect

The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is easy to keep. Ideal as a family dog or as a companion for empty nesters, the Cavalier loves to cuddle and has been described as the perfect lap dog. Although these dogs have a proclivity for noisy greetings, Cavaliers generally are not protective. Regular grooming is key to keeping the Cavalier's coat lustrous. Little more than a thorough weekly brushing is required, in addition to routine bathing and professional trimming as desired. Light shedding, which occurs in the spring and fall, generally arouses little notice.

History of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is the descendant of a small toy spaniel depicted in many 16th, 17th and 18th Century paintings of northern Europe. This dog was originally bred to warm laps in drafty castles and on chilly carriage rides. A prescription written in Olde English for the Queen of England directs her to keep this comforte dog on her lap to treat a cold. The Cavalier's other job was to attract fleas and thereby spare their masters the flea-transmitted bubonic plague.

During Tudor times, toy spaniels were common as ladies' pets and, under the Stuarts, they were given the royal title of King Charles spaniel. King Charles II was seldom seen without two or three Cavaliers at his heels, and he wrote a decree — still in effect today — that his namesake spaniel be accepted in any public place, including the Houses of Parliament, which were generally off-limits to animals.

In the early days, breed standards were not recognized, although toy spaniels generally had flat heads, pointed muzzles and high-set ears. By the mid-19th century, the English fashioned a new look for the toy spaniel and standardized its appearance. These modern King Charles spaniels, also known as Charlies, had flatter faces, undershot jaws and domed skulls. In the early 1900s breeders attempted to recreate the earlier version of the breed they were largely successful and so was born the Cavalier King Charles spaniel. Breeding of the Cavalier King Charles spaniel in the United States took hold on a limited basis in the 1950s, but the breed was not fully recognized by the American Kennel Club until 1996.

Adopt a pet.
Change a life.

Are you prepared to adopt a pet? Use these tools to make sure you’re ready for the commitment.


Need help finding the right food for your dog?

Other breeds you might be interested in