May 21, 2019

Breed Profile: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

A dog that keeps fleas away? Sounds like an oxymoron, but it is this unusual myth that made the ancestors of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels so popular with British nobility during the 16th century. Whether the belief is fact or fiction, Cavaliers have graced the laps of many a queen and have been the constant companion to many kings, and is still one of the most popular dog breeds in Great Britain today. Fairly new to the US, Cavaliers are gaining popularity with Americans who love their affable personalities and sweet dispositions.

Physical Traits

Size & Weight: Cavaliers are small dogs, standing at 12-13 inches at the shoulders, and weighing between 13 and 18 pounds.

Coat & Color: Cavaliers come in four different colors: Blenheim (chestnut and white), tricolor (black, white, and tan), ruby (solid red), and black and tan. Their coats are medium-length and silky, and they have feathering on their ears, chest, legs, tails, and feet.

Life Expectancy: 9-14 years


As pets of royalty, the Cavalier’s true purpose has always been that of a companion, and for this they have the perfect personalities. Extremely affectionate, playful, eager to please, patient—all of these traits make Cavaliers the perfect addition to any kind of family. A stranger to no one, Cavaliers love making new friends, human and canine alike.

Something to Bark About: Cavalier King Charles Spaniels literally make great lap dogs—as companions to nobility, ladies taking carriage rides would often keep a Cavalier on their lap to keep them warm in cold weather.


  • Cavaliers are very adaptable, and will do well in almost any environment or location, with all types of families.
  • Cavaliers bond well with other dogs, and so adjust well to households that already have a dog.
  • Cavaliers can live happily in the country or city, and are good dogs for apartment-dwellers.


  • Cavaliers do have hunting instincts, and should be properly socialized to other small animals and pets.
  • Various health issues affect Cavaliers, but the most common is mitral valve disease, which affects most Cavaliers at some point in their lives. This disease leads to heart failure, the most common cause of death.

Think the jovial Cavalier King Charles Spaniel would make a great addition to your family? Visit to find an adoptable Cavalier in your area.

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