Dog Breed Profile: The King Charles Spaniel Cavalier

by PetCloud / Breed Search / 13 Jul 2020

happy King Charles Spaniel

Associated with British royalty since the time of Mary I, the aristocratic-minded King Charles Spaniel is a toy dog that was born to be a companion. This charming breed likely originated in Asia, but it's beloved by Aussies. Learn about this charming dog breed here. 

Breed Snapshot: 

  • Size: Weight: 3.6-3.4kg. Height: 23-28cm
  • Coat: Silky, medium length coat that tends to be wavy. Colors include a combination of black, mahogany, red, tan, and white.
  • Energy: Medium energy. They require about 30 minutes of exercise per day.
  • Lifespan: 10-16 years
  • Country of Origin: Asia--mainly Japan, but popularly bred in England since the 16th century.
  • Breed Type: Spaniel
  • Other Names: None, but often confused with Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which is an offshoot of this breed.
  • Great Breed for: Apartment dwellers or companions who are frequently home. This is a dependent dog.  


What Is a King Charles Spaniel?

There is considerable confusion about what King Charles Spaniel actually is. The breed shares a common ancestry with the Pekingese of China and the Japanese Chin of Japan. However, it evolved considerably once it became popular among English royalty during the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries. The breed evolved from a few types of spaniels, including the Blenheim Spaniel, Ruby Spaniel, and Prince Charles Spaniel. It is frequently confused with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, but that is a separate breed derived from the King Charles Spaniel and slightly larger. 

The King Charles Spaniel is a companion dog that is extremely loving and loves to be spoiled. It does not care to be alone and loves to be petted and pampered by its owner, which it will invariably follow along throughout the day. This sweet-tempered breed loves to please and is perfectly comfortable in apartment settings. Because it is not troubled by outdoor dangers like passing cars, it should be leashed or allowed to play in a fenced yard. It is most certainly and indoor breed and prefers to live within the center of its human family. 


What Do King Charles Spaniels Look Like?

King Charles Spaniels feature silky coats of medium length. Coloring can vary. Their coat is frequently wavy and ultra soft to the touch. The dogs have a bit of a pug-like face and short, turned-up nose. They have compact yet graceful bodies and are the smallest of the spaniel family of dogs. Many people recognize them by their long floppy ears adorned with a plush plume of coat. 


What Makes the King Charles Spaniel Special?

Many people are curious about the King Charles Spaniel because of its royal lineage. This toy breed was beloved by royals because of its sweet, dependent nature. A dog born to be a companion, this breed enjoys life as a lapdog. Because of its moderate exercise needs, this breed is content with apartment living and only requires short walks. It loves to follow its owner around and is not happy without human companionship. Although it isn't known for excessive barking, it will provide some watchdog duties and is happy to alert its owners if something seems out of the ordinary. 


How Often Do I Need to Groom My King Charles Spaniel Dog?

The King Charles Spaniel requires a moderate amount of grooming. Owners should set aside about three hours per week to brush their dog's hair, which would otherwise be prone to tangling and matting. The dogs only need to be bathed as necessary. The dogs are average shedders and do not require clipping or special trimming.  


How Often Should I Walk My Keeshond Dog?

This toy breed enjoys playing outdoors so long as its owner is around. It does not require a lot of exercise, however. A few short walks each day and some indoor play may suffice. On the other hand, this breed can be difficult to potty train. More frequent outdoor time may be needed when the dogs are young in order to encourage them to take care of business outside. 


How Do I Train My King Charles Spaniel?

King Charles Spaniels are intelligent in spite of their dependent nature. These dogs like to please their owners, so positive reinforcement training works marvelously with this breed. Pet Cloud features dog training classes in blocks of six-week, one-hour sessions with registered trainers. An experienced trainer will come to your house or apartment and use positive reinforcement techniques as recommended by the RSPCA to teach your King Charles Spaniel puppy.  


Quickfire King Charles Spaniel Questions: 

Can I leave my King Charles Spaniel alone during the day?

The King Charles Spaniel is a highly dependent dog breed. It does best when its owner--or one of its owners--is home all day. It does not do well on its own for long stretches of time. It could develop anxiety or destructive nervous habits. If you work out of the home for long periods, this may not be the ideal breed for your situation. 


Are King Charles Spaniels barkers?

King Charles Spaniels are moderate barkers. They will alert their owner if they note something amiss--or if they want another treat! If you're concerned about their potential for noise-making, train them with silence commands right from the start. Talk to your trainer about helping you reduce their propensity for barking. 


Are King Charles Spaniels prone to health risks I should know about?

As with many other dog breeds, the King Charles Spaniel is associated with certain health conditions--often as a result of unsavory breeding practices. These conditions include: respiratory disorders, metabolic conditions, episodic falling, and mitral valve disease. If you're procuring this dog from a breeder, be sure to choose a reputable breeder before making a purchase. 


Where can I get a King Charles Spaniel Dog?

If you're open to rescuing and adopting a King Charles Spaniel dog, check with area rescue agencies and organizations. You may be able to find a dog who simply needs the right living situation and companion. With the right setting and owners, this breed is likely to thrive. Check out the RSPCA's adoption guide to see if this is the ideal solution for you. If you want to purchase your King Charles Spaniel dog from a reputable breeder, be sure to use this helpful guide for finding the right breeder from the RSPCA. 



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