50 Things to Know About Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

I have loved cavaliers as I met my very first one at my friends Aunts House.  Many years later we got Charlie a Blenheim cavalier.  Reader more about Cavalier King Charles Spaniels here. I also have a blog called Charlie The Cavalier

1. They are elegant.

2. They are energetic.

3. They are in the  toy breed.

4. They are good for city, suburb or country life.

5. Cavaliers can do obedience and agility training.

6. Cavaliers make wonderful therapy dogs.

7. Cavaliers are sweet.

8. Cavaliers are gentle.

9. The breed also became a TV star when featured on "Sex and the City" as Charlotte York's dog.

10. Their silky coats come in four colors - Blenheim (chestnut and white), Tricolor (black, white, and tan), Ruby (solid red) and Black and Tan.

11. Cavaliers are named after King Charles II of Britain.

12. Cavaliers have been recorded in paintings and tapestries together with their aristocratic families.

13. Though used successfully for shooting small game, the Cavalier's true purpose has always been that of companion.

14. Cavaliers are friendly.

15. Cavaliers are easy to train.

16. Cavaliers are great with children.

17.  The cavaliers coat requires weekly brushing.

18. You do not need to trim the hair of cavaliers, but doing so will make caring for them easier.

19.  The average height for a cavalier is 12 to 13 inches tall at the shoulder.

20.  The average weight is between 13 and 18 pounds.  But Charlie weights more!

21. One of the physical hallmarks of the breed is his ‘royal’ appearance, with large dark soulful eyes and glamorous feathering and coat.

22.  Cavaliers not at aggressive with dogs or man.

23. Cavaliers cannot always be relied upon to come when he is called if he is chasing a butterfly or following the flight of a bird.

24.  Many cavaliers have mitral valve disease of the heart.

25. Cavaliers can have eye conditions including retinal problems & cataracts, slipping patellas, hip dysplasia, and SM (syringomyelia, a neurological condition). 

26. Cavaliers can be screened for all these health concerns.

27.  Cavaliers which have rich chestnut markings on a pearly white background are known as Blenheim in honour of Blenheim Palace, where John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, raised the predecessors to the Cavalier breed in this particular color.

28. Black and Tan are dogs with black bodies with tan highlights, particularly eyebrows, cheeks, legs and beneath the tail.

29. Black and Tan is referred to as "King Charles" in the King Charles Spaniel.

30. Ruby Cavaliers should be entirely chestnut all over,although some can have some white in their coats which is considered a fault under American Kennel Club conformation show rules.

31. The fourth color is known as Tricolor, which is black and white with tan markings on cheeks, inside ears, on eyebrows, inside legs, and on underside of tail.

32. Tri color is referred to as "Prince Charles" in the King Charles Spaniel.

33. According to statistics released by The Kennel Club, Cavaliers were the sixth most popular dog in the United Kingdom in 2007 with 11,422 registrations in a single year. 

34. Their popularity is on the rise in America; in 1998 they were the 56th most popular breed but in both 2007 and 2008 they were the 25th most popular.

35. They ranked higher in some individual US cities in the 2008 statistics, being eighth in both Nashville and Minneapolis-St.Paul,[15] seventh in Boston, Atlanta[16] and Washington D.C.,[17] and sixth in both New York City[15] and San Francisco.[17] 

36. In 2009, the Cavalier was the fourth most popular breed in Australia with 3,196 registrations behind only Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherd Dogs and Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

37. There are also national breed clubs in Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Spain and Sweden.

38. In some dogs there is a chestnut spot in the middle of the forehead: this is called the "blenheim" spot.[10]  Charlie is a blehneim Cavalier.

39. In the show ring, NO trimming is allowed, as it is considered essential that the breed be left in its natural state.

40. Cavaliers love to interact with their owners and enjoy activity and play, making them especially close friends and confidants for children.

41. Cavalier puppies are so small, many breeders will not sell young puppies to families with children under the age of five. All children, of course, need supervision to ensure they do not hurt the dog.

42. Retirees and empty nesters find the companionship, temperament, small size, and easy maintenance of Cavaliers ideal.

43. Cavaliers are the ultimate groupies and are usually delighted to have the company of cats and dogs of any size.

44. Cavaliers are indoor dogs.

45. People who travel find it easy and pleasant to take their Cavaliers along. Their strong desire to be with their owners makes them willing travelers. Their size and personality contribute to their welcome at “dogs allowed” hotels, marinas, and campgrounds.

46.  As of January 1996, Cavaliers are fully recognized by the AKC. This recognition has resulted in two national breed clubs, the original CKCSC, USA and the AKC-recognized American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club.

47. Cavalier ears need particular attention and should be checked and given a quick combing every few days, daily in shedding season.

48. Cavaliers do shed, particularly in spring and fall, but a little all the time.
49. Their nails should be clipped and the hair between their pads trimmed once a month. No other trimming is necessary (or allowed) in the show ring.

50.Cavaliers are naturally clean dogs. Because too much bathing dries out the skin and haircoat, they should not be bathed more than once a week. All knots and tangles should be brushed out before a Cavalier is bathed. Many owners find that bathing their pets every two months is quite adequate.

Info from

Charlie Update.  We had Charlie for 13 years. He passed on his own. 

I grew up with a red cocker spaniel, and other family cocker spaniels. I met my friend Heather's Aunts dogs and they were like them, but smaller, softer and had beautiful tails. I fell in love with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed. At the time we were really not allowed to have dogs in the residence halls, but the rules just changed. We bought Charlie a few weeks before George went to his Bachelor party in Vegas, and then I would not be alone while he was gone.
Since we raised Charlie in a residence hall, we started really early on training. He knew how to sit, paw, roll over, speak, beg and heel. I started a blog about Charlie (http://charlie-the-cavalier.blogspot.com) before blogging was popular around 2008. He was the only thing I knew to write about at the time. I then created the Charlie the Cavalier 5 book series based on him and my daughter to teach kids they are loved.
Charlie traveled really well 3-hours to my parents and Georges. We had so many friends watch him while we were on vacation, which we always appreciated. He was there when each of the girls came home from the hospital and loved all the food that was left on the floor. Charlie was there to hold for sad events in our life. He definitely acted more like a cat sometimes and would love to sit on your lap or feet.
My Sister and now my Parents now have Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. They have been easy for us to train, will stop barking when told, and just want to please you. They are happy with the breed too. I will admit though that the relationship with Charlie and I was never the same after my first child. He was always jealous and made sure that I gave him attention even with the exhaustion of a new child. He did great with little kids and his tail was always wagging.
After years of life, he started to slow down. He was not interested in walks or sitting next to you. He always snored when he slept and liked to sleep closer to our room. He did have lyme disease, and would have good days and bad with that. Some days he would bark to get on the couch but others he jumped onto a step to get up and down. He was with us being home every day for almost a year during the pandemic.
The last couple times we left for vacation I brought him to a kennel instead of keeping him at home because I knew he was slowing down. He still knew all of his hand signals for tricks and would do them for treats. His eyes were dry so we put in drops. We had more trouble grooming him because of pains. We brought him to a great place that treated him well. He got to play with big dogs there which was one of his favorite things to do. We were happy to have Charlie around for many big life events and he will be missed.
Thank you for all your nice comments and memories of Charlie.

About Lisa Rusczyk
Lisa Rusczyk is the founder of Charlie The Cavalier (a blog about Charlie her dog, and her friends, family and home) and founder of 50ThingsToKnow.com. Lisa is a Doctoral student in Educational Leadership who happened to start writing her first book 50 Things to Know Before Having a Baby after her little girl was born. Her book sold over 1,000 copies in the first year. Today, she has over 10 books and helps others self-publish. Further, she shares this information with the public via this blog, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, and recently on a local television station. Lisa knows that like her, there are a lot of people who would like concise information on a topic in a digital location. She's known for her simple and effective tips.

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  1. Lily, our 12 year old Blenheim Cavalier weighs 24 lbs and has CHF for two years now. She just gets smarter and mor particular with age. Lots of meds am and pm keep her with us and she is always a chow hound. One item that is a little unusual is that the only time she gets territorial and “guards the house” is when she spots any animal on the big screen and especially other dogs. She digs her feet into the rug and runs up and barks big time at the intruder on the screen. Anywhere else, another dog is always a potential buddy. She is good friends with a feral cat who had made our outside covered porch his home and become domesticated but remains an outside cat here in Florida. We cherish every moment we have left with Lily and will be enjoying her company as long as we can.
    The breeder in Pasadena has spotted breeding Cavaliers because Of the overbreeding health issues that have emerged since we got her in 2008 and recommends a Papillon as an alternative but it’s hard to imagine. We have been spoiled with such a wonderful family member who will be missed greatly one day.

  2. We got a cocker spaniel. The people we got him from did not have papers for the parents so we're not sure if he's a cavalier. He is white with tan markings

  3. I have a 6 month old Cavalier and people need to be prepared for their extreme separation anxiety as well as their extreme bonding with only ONE person. It’s as extreme as I’ve ever seen in a dog. I helped raise our Cavalier, but my partner is his favorite and I might as well not exist. He will whimper when he’s with me and my partner isn’t in the room, I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve had Samoyed’s and Shelties and Bulldogs and I’ve never had a dog I helped raise and nurture sort or treat me like a nuisance. As much as I love him, I’m not thrilled about his showing such extreme favoritism. As I’ve read and spoken to people, it seems a hallmark of the breed. Be prepared if you’re not deemed the favorite it can be shocking and a bit hurtful. Read up a lot before choosing this breed.


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