This adorable spaniel breed has true blue royal blood going back to the 1600′s. They are descended from the spaniels King Charles II kept. Not to be confused with King Charles Spaniels–also called English Toy Spaniels. That breed involved taking the original King’s spaniels and crossing them with Pugs, a couple of hundred years ago, to create a separate breed.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a direct descendent of the original spaniels and the “Cavalier” prefix was added in the 1920′s when American breeders began developing the dog as an AKC breed.
All that said, these are delightful little dogs. Bred for centuries to be royal lap dogs, they have stayed true to their heritage. This dog will lounge about on cushions all day and then settle into your lap at night. These spaniels have low-medium energy so a great amount of exercise is not necessary to keep them happy. But they are a “big enough” little dog to enjoy long walks and lotsof play if you want to offer it.
As with any dog, they can be naughty but most of this can be brought under control with some simple obedience and training. Because the Cavalier is such a loyal and willing companion, they take to training very easily and happily and require only gentle corrections and discipline.
Some people say the Cavalier is a naturally well-behaved dog and to some extent I think that is true. However, being “well-behaved” has a lot to do with lower energy than some more boisterous breeds and less of a prey drive or desire to roam. Due to their lovable, laid back nature Cavaliers are an excellent choice for first time dog owners or owners who don’t have a lot of time to invest to train and exercise and just want an “easy” dog.
Cavaliers in general have no temperament issues, and are good with people, children and other pets. Unfortunately, like with a lot of purebred dogs–especially smaller ones, the Cavalier has a host of medical issues it is predisposed to. Among these are eye and heart problems so it’s a good idea to do annual checkups with your vet to catch anything early.
If you have a family, or live alone and want a loyal companion and you want a laid back, easy going dog, then the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel could be for you.