Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Characteristics and Appearance

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Characteristics

  • Apartment Living
  • Active Lifestyle
  • Watchdog Ability
  • Child Friendly
  • Dog Friendly
  • Cat Friendly
  • Shedding Level
  • Exercise Needs
  • Social Needs
  • Grooming needs
  • Stranger Friendly
  • Health Issues
  • Trainability
  • Adaptability
  • The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small breed of spaniel that originated in the United Kingdom in the 19th century. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is generally friendly, affectionate and gets along well with both children and other animals, however he demand much owner`s attention. Since 2000, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has grown in popularity in the United States and ranks as the 19th most popular pure-breed in the United States. This dog breed has a silky, smooth coat and commonly a smooth undocked tail. The breed standard recognizes four colors: Blenheim (chestnut and white), tricolor (black/white/tan), black and tan, and ruby.

    Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Appearance

    During the Second World War the vast majority of breeding stock destroyed because of wartime hardship and food shortages. After war, few dogs survived as the new beginning from which all present-day Cavaliers descend.

    In 1945, the Kennel Club first recognized this breed as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

    The history of the breed Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in America is recent. The first recorded dog living in the United States was brought from the United Kingdom in 1956 by W. Lyon Brown, together with Elizabeth Spalding and other enthusiasts. She founded the Cavalier King Charles Club USA which continues to the present day.

    In 1994, the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club was created by a group of breeders to apply for recognition by the American Kennel Club. The Cavalier would go on to be recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1995, and the ACKCSC became the parent club for Cavaliers.

    Origin: Great Britain.

    Utilization: Companion and Toy.

    Classification FCI: Group 9 Companion and Toy Dogs. Section 7 English Toy Spaniels. Without working trial.

    General Appearance: Active, graceful and well balanced, with gentle expression.

    Behavior/Temperament: Sporting, affectionate, absolutely fearless. Friendly, non-aggressive. No tendency towards nervousness.

    Head: Skull almost flat between ears.

    • Stop: Shallow.

    Nose: Nostrils black and well developed without flesh marks.

    Muzzle: Length from base of stop to tip of nose about 1 1/2 ins. (3,8cm). Well tapered. Face well filled below eyes. Any tendency to snippiness undesirable.

    Lips: Well developed and not pendulous.

    Jaws/Teeth: Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite (the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws).

    Eyes: Large, dark, round but not prominent; spaced well apart.

    Ears: Long, set high, with plenty of feather.

    Neck: Moderate length, slightly arched.

    Back: Level.

    Loin: Short-coupled.

    Chest: Moderate; good spring of ribs.

    Tail: Length of tail in balance with body, well set on, carried happily but never much above the level of the back. Docking previously optional when no more than one-third was to be removed.

    Forequarters: Legs moderately boned, straight.

    • Shoulders: Well laid back.

    Hindquarters: Legs with moderate bone.

    • Stifle: Well turned.
    • Hocks: No tendency to cow- or sickle-hocks.

    Feet: Compact, cushioned and well feathered.

    Gait / Movement: Free-moving and elegant in action, plenty of drive from behind. Fore-and hindlegs move parallel when viewed from in front and behind.

    Coat of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Hair is long, silky, and free from curl. Slight wave permissible. Plenty of feathering. Totally free from trimming.

    Weight of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: 13–18 lb. (5.9–8.2 kg). A small, well-balanced dog well within these weights desirable.

    Height of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: 12–13 inches (30–33 cm).

    Lifespan‎ of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: 9 to 14 years.

    Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

    Disqualifying Faults:

    • Aggressive or overly shy dogs.
    • Any dog clearly showing physical of behavioral abnormalities shall be disqualified.


    • Male Cavalier King Charles Spaniel should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

    Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.

    Color of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

    Color of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
    • Black and Tan: raven black with tan markings above the eyes, on cheeks, inside ears, on chest and legs and underside of tail. Tan should be bright. White marks undesirable.
    • Ruby: whole coloured rich red. White markings undesirable.
    • Blenheim: rich chestnut markings well broken up, on pearly white ground. Markings evenly divided on head, leaving room between ears for much valued lozenge mark or spot (a unique characteristic of the breed).
    • Tricolor: black and white well-spaced, broken up, with tan markings over eyes, cheeks, inside ears inside legs, and on underside of tail.

    Any other color or combination of colors highly undesirable.