Cavalier King Charles spaniels are toy dogs with gorgeous, soft medium-length fur and adorable floppy years. They’re also known for their iconic two-toned coats, although the American Kennel Club (AKC) lists Blenheim and ruby as standard single colors. Most weigh less than 18 pounds and are less than 13 inches at the shoulder. They have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
The ancestors of these dogs were bred by King Charles II back in the 17th century. The king’s tiny dogs gained popularity among the British upper classes during the 19th century. The breed received a boost during the 1920s after a wealthy dog fancier offered money to breeders able to produce toy spaniels with a traditional look. They’re known for their laid-back personalities and don’t tend to bark all that much.
Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Have a Strong Prey Drive?
Yes. Given a chance, these dogs will chase small mammals such as squirrels, but most don’t seem interested in doing much other than cuddling with cats. Keeping these adorable dogs leashed minimizes chasing incidents in public places.
Keep in mind that unlike some smaller breeds, like toy poodles, these dogs don’t have a reputation for getting overly excited or easily stressed. They were bred as companion lap dogs, which explains why they’re so calm and devoted.
Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Easy to Care for?
Absolutely. Adults require two walks per day, along with high-quality dog food. But the breed has a limited number of specific nutritional needs.
The breed isn’t known for being prone to separation anxiety, but these dogs do best in environments where they can regularly engage with humans. Cavalier King Charles spaniels must spend plenty of time engaging with people and playing to keep them from becoming anxious and stressed.
The breed needs a bit more grooming than your average short-haired dog. Adult Cavalier King Charles spaniels require daily brushing and once-monthly baths to keep those soft silky coats under control. And these adorable dogs also need to have their nails regularly trimmed and their teeth brushed.
Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Make Good Family Dogs?
Absolutely. These sweet dogs make wonderful family dogs. They’re incredibly adaptable and just as happy cuddling as they are hanging out at the park. Cavalier King Charles spaniels are kind, gentle, and super cuddly. Because they’re so patient and laid-back, they’re great around kids and other pets. They often work as therapy dogs due to their sweet natures and small sizes.
Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Make Good Apartment Dogs?
Yes. They make lovely apartment dogs due to their size. Most don’t weigh more than 18 pounds, and that’s on the heavy side for this breed. The dogs are incredibly mellow, and they’re not inclined to become scared and begin barking out of anxiety, like poodles and other stress-prone breeds.
They’re also not big barkers, with most simply not interested in sustained territorial barking. Those that bark when someone comes to the front door can be trained to stop vocalizing on command.
Why Do Cavalier King Chalres Spaniels Tend to Bark?
Most Cavalier King Charles spaniels bark less than other dogs, but they still bark! It’s a normal and natural part of being a dog. While some breeds, such as beagles and Cairn terriers, are known for their predilection for barking, others, like Cavalier King Charles spaniels, have the exact opposite reputation—the dogs are predisposed not to bark that much.
When they do, it’s for pretty predictable reasons. They’ll often let off a bark or two to let you know someone’s approaching the front door, but they’re not inclined to excessive stress or excitement-induced vocalization.
How Do You Train a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Not to Bark?
These people-pleasing dogs love praise and rewards. They don’t respond well to raised voices or harsh tones, doing best when encouraged with positive reinforcement. Begin by saying the command, “Quiet,” when your dog begins barking inappropriately. Don’t engage with your dog while they’re barking. Offer them a treat and tons of praise when they stop. Keep this up until your dog stops barking as soon as you give the “Quiet” command.
It’s essential not to react to your dog’s barking. Negative responses are just as problematic as kisses when training your dog to reign in the noise. Any response you come up with serves as proof that barking results in attention.
If your dog is barking out of boredom, food puzzles provide a great way to keep your pet mentally engaged as they have to use their smarts and paws to “free” treats. Exercise, even just a few extra minutes outside during daily walks, can also help reduce boredom and increase your dog’s overall well-being. And if a specific sound drives your pet into fits, it’s often possible to reduce their reactivity with the help of a canine behavioral specialist.
Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Make Good Guard Dogs
Not really. These loving dogs bond deeply with their human companions. But while some can be protective, Cavalier King Charles spaniels aren’t usually terribly aggressive, limiting their usefulness in personal protection. They can be trained to bark when someone approaches the home, but these sweet dogs aren’t cut out for serious guard duty.
Cavalier King Charles spaniels are loving and adaptable. They do well in apartments and around lively families. These sweet pint-sized spaniels enjoy interacting with humans and don’t tend to be aggressive or shy. Most happily engage with new people and animals and enjoy exploring new environments.
They love being on the receiving end of human affection, enjoying nothing more than snuggling up in their favorite human’s lap. And as a breed, they’re just not inclined to bark excessively, with most barking substantially less than the average dog.
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