Everything you need to know before getting a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

A bit bigger than their spaniel cousin, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, or more commonly, Cavaliers are cute, cuddly and loveable. But have you wondered why they have the same name as a King? 

Often referred as “comforter breed of dogs”, this particular toy breed was always popular. However, after this breed was seen in “Sex and the City”, it became a household name. If you want to buy or adopt one for yourself, then you are in the right place. Here its long and fascinating lineage and must-know information has been mentioned to make sure you can be the best dog parent:

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel History

Believe it or not, its history dates back to circa CE 1016. Toy spaniels were first seen in Europe (mainly, England), and around that time they were used as a hunter breed. However, during the 1500s, the main purpose of this breed was to act as companions to the rich and noble. 

1600s was the time of King Charles I and King Charles II, and they both loved this breed; so much so that eventually they were renamed as Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. 

This breed was popular indeed. John Churchill was the First Duke of Malborough. He and his wife owned several of this breed, and they all lived with them in Blenheim Palace. Thus, the Blenheim color variant was named so to honor their memory.

Speaking of renowned names, even Queen Victoria owned one.

Sometime in the Victorian era, it was crossed with Japanese Chin and Pugs to produce a new dome-headed breed. People started to prefer this new breed more and as a result the classic toy spaniel almost started to get extinct from this time onwards. 

Now in 1920s, Roswell Eldridge, began to grow an interest to find out if the old, long-skulled Charlies (or he as like to call it “Blenheim Spaniels of the Old World type”) are still left or not. 

The curiosity of this American breed enthusiasts came to be after he saw some old paintings which had long-headed Cavalier in it. He was quite serious about this. In fact, he offered a hefty amount of money as reward to any exhibitor in England’s Crufts dog show who can bring one to show him. And this was the reason why many breeders during this time tried to produce the old (original) style. This led to the development of what we see today. However, it took American Kennel Club many years to recognize the breed officially (1944). 

In todays’ time, this breed happens to be on the top 20 list of most popular dog breeds of the world.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Price

The price of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will vary according to their color. A complete brown-colored one can be anywhere from $1400 to $3700, where as a Blenheim one can be anywhere from $1200 to $2900. The price of an Albino one or a White/Grey will be somewhere between $1000 to $3600. Tri-color ones are quite popular and common, and the price of such breed can be anywhere from $1100 to $3400. Ruby colors ones are the cheapest. The price of one can be anywhere from $1000 to $2800. Black and Tan combination, on the other hand, is expensive and for one you have to pay between $1000 to $3800. 

So, the average price of this breed is $1000 to $3500. Here it is important to mention that the price will also vary depending on whether you buy it from a professional breeder or pet store. There is also the option of adoption as well.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Care

The average weight of this kind of breed can be anywhere from 13 to 18 pounds. And at the shoulder, the height can be anywhere from 12 to 13 inches. Their life expectancy happens to anywhere from 9 to 15 years. If they are not taken well care of and/or fed properly, then the common health problems that Cavalier might face are:

  • Patellar Luxation (dislocation of kneecap)
  • MVD/Mitral Valve Disease (type of heart disease)
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Episodic Falling
  • SM/Syringomyelia (malformation of the skull)
  • Juvenile cataracts
  • Dry eyes
  • Obesity

Thus, routine (annual) check-up like Ophthalmologist evaluation, Hip and Patella evaluation along with Cardiac exam from a trained and qualified vet is a must.

The silky, long coat is this breed’s trademark. However, it is prone to shedding. Thus, use a soft slicker brush or comb to brush their coat several times in a week to get a hold of excessive shedding. This will also help to get rid of mats. 

They are also known for their long ears, and it is prone to infections. Thus, clean them frequently to ensure that there is no earwax or debris build-up.

To control cracking, splitting, overgrowing of nails, frequent grinding and/or trimming of nails is a must for this breed.

Teeth need to be brushed daily, and at least one walk per day as exercise is highly recommended.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Food

According to the dog’s age (senior, adult, puppy) you have to feed this breed. You have the option to feed them according to their size as well. However, as there is a high chance of them getting overweight, you need to feed them only high-quality portion-controlled food which are less in calories.

Treats are undoubtedly the best tools to train Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. However, too much of it can cause obesity. Thus, feed them treats in moderation.

When it comes to human food (table scraps) avoid anything that is high in fat content. 

On contrary to popular beliefs, chicken bones are not at all good for them. So, avoid it as well.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Toy

Based on their temperament, personality and ability, a non-toxic, indoor-outdoor friendly fetch toys will be an ideal toy for Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They love to gnaw as well. Thus, plush toy or any teething/chewer toy will be perfect for them. They are very active and playful, and so you also have the option to get thinker toy like maze and puzzle to keep this breed entertained and healthy both mentally and physically.

You may also be interested in: