Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCS) date back to 16thcentury England where they were used as lapdogs for the affluent. They helped to keep their owners warm by curling up at their feet or on their lap.

They were given the name “Cavalier King Charles Spaniel” after King Charles II who had favoured this breed since his youth.

Since they were first recognised by the British Kennel Club in the 1920’s they have rose in popularity and are now the most popular breed of dog in the UK and in the top ten most popular breeds in Australia.


  • Gentle
  • Docile
  • Loyal

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Temperament & Size

These dogs have a beautiful temperament and are excellent with children hence they make a fantastic loveable family pet.

They are suitable for apartment living as they are easily house trained are small and unobtrusive.

They have a medium length silky coat that can be found in four colours including Blenheim & white (photo above), ruby, black & tan and tricolour.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Life Span & Health Problems

Average lifespan of 10 – 12 years.

Common Illnesses include;

  • Mitral Valve Disease (MVD) – Degeneration of the heart’s Mitral Valve leading to eventual congestive heart failure.
  • Syringohydromyelia – Disorder of the brain and spinal cord, which cause compulsive scratching, severe head and neck pain and paralysis.
  • Cataracts – Clouding of the lens causing blurred vision to blindness.
  • Retinal Dysplasia – Congenital failure of the retina to develop correctly can cause poor vision.
  •  Corneal Dystropy – Age related change resulting in inflammation of the cornea and possible corneal ulceration.
  •   Distachiasis – Extra eyelashes at eyelid margin which can rub against the corneal surface.
  • Hereditary Cataracts – Inherited condition
  •  Dry Eye – Painful condition resulting from inadequate tear production causing irritated painful eyes and potentially blindness.
  • Entropion – Excess eyelid tissue causing the eyelashes to turn inward and rub against the surface of the eye resulting in corneal ulceration.
  • Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome (BAS) – A combination of anatomical features including narrow nostrils elongated soft palate and deformed throat result in breathing difficulties and require special management and sometimes surgery.

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