The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is the largest of the toy dog breeds. They are very affectionate and eager to please, which has made them a firm favourite.
The European toy dogs were probably a result of breeding small spaniels to Oriental toy breeds. Tudor lapdogs, aka 'comforter spaniels' served as lap and foot warmers, and even as surrogate 'hot water bottles'. These toy dog breeds also fulfilled the vital role of attracting the fleas from their owner's bodies.
In the 1700's King Charles II was so captivated by the breed that he was accused of ignoring matters of state in favor of his dogs. The dogs were so closely associated with him that they became known as King Charles spaniels.
The breed is highly affectionate, and some have called the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel "the ultimate lap dog". Most dogs of the breed are playful, extremely patient and eager to please. As such, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel are usually good with children and other dogs.
However the extremely social nature of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel means that they require almost constant companionship from humans or other dogs and are not suited to spending long periods of time on their own. This breed is the friendliest of the toy dog breeds.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel requires a fair amount of exercise either as a walk on a leash or as a run in a safe area. This is a breed that should not live outside and its long coat needs to be brushed every second day or so.
- Group: Toy
- Size: small
- Height: male: 33cm, female: 30cm
- Color(s): Black and Tan, Ruby, Blenheim, Tricolour
- Lifespan: 9 - 14 years
- Exercise: moderate
- Grooming: moderate
- Trainability: high
- Watchdog ability: moderate
- Protection ability: very low
- Area of Origin: England
- Date of Origin: 1600’s
- Other Names: none
- Original Function: flushing small birds, lapdog