Cavalier King Charles Spaniel review

Negative reviews

Christine Snyder

I've had 5 Cavaliers, and not one of them was healthy. The ARE very sweet, but they have serious heart and neurological issues. They have the worst hearts of any dog breed, by far. Most will die of heart failure. They also have problems related to poor correlation of brain and skull size. The brain is too large for their skulls, so it herniates down into the spinal canal, and that causes lots of painful problems for them. Most breeders will not perform the health checks needed to get these conditions under control. Before you buy a Cavalier, please insist on seeing that health checks were done on breeding pairs, to include heart, eyes, and patellas, and most important, MRIs to look for the presence of syringomyelia, or the malformation that leads to it.

Neutral reviews


Often called a "sporting toy breed" because of his combination of spaniel and toy traits, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is sweet-tempered, playful, and gentle.


Cavaliers should not be trusted off-leash if you're anywhere near a road. They have more spaniel (hunting dog) instincts than you might think and can take off after anything that runs or flutters past.... even a bird or butterfly. Their enthusiastic dash can take them right under the wheels of a car.


More than most other breeds, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels need a great deal of companionship and do not like being left alone for more than a few hours. They are very dependent dogs – often too dependent. When they feel abandoned, they become anxious, which they express by chewing destructively and barking. If you work all day, this is not the breed for you.


The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is eager, affectionate, and playful. They are lively, outgoing, and they constantly aim to please. They are intelligent enough to be responsive to commands, and they are usually easy to train. They are naturally well behaved and almost always get along well with other pets and animals. This breed needs lots of companionship and they need to be around people to feel happy. They sometimes possess a chasing instinct, and they shouldn’t be left off a leash out in the open. They do best with older, more considerate children, and they can sometimes be leery of strangers. They make excellent companions and they perform well in competitive obedience. They have a great sense of smell and sight, and they can be utilized in short hunts over open country.


The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is susceptible to hereditary eye disease, dislocated kneecaps, back troubles, ear infections, hearing problems, and syringomyelia. Hip dysplasia is also occasionally seen. This breed should not be overfed because of their propensity to put on weight. Some lines of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are genetically disposed to the early onset of a serious heart problem that can sometimes cause early death. It’s important for owners to check the medical history of specimens before selecting a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. This breed typically lives for 9 to 14 years.


The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is well-suited for life in a small household or apartment. They are comparatively active indoors and will do fine with just a small yard. They do not particularly like warm weather conditions. Whatever exercise owners can provide will be appreciated, but it is not necessary to provide a rigorous physical routine. They enjoy going for brisk walks and romps in the park.


Best living indoors, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is prone to developing breathing problems in the extreme heat. They aren’t really suited to hot Australian summers, so early morning walks or after the sun goes down is the best way to keep your King Charles happy and healthy.


My Cavalier loves to cuddle too and will be between me and my husband at night when were relaxing. I'm also a light sleeper though so I let my cavalier cuddle with me till I'm ready to go to sleep and then after that she is kenneled for the night. So my suggestion to all new cavalier owners is to kennel train your cavalier! Its easier if you start from the beginning and if trained properly, they love their kennels and are happy to get in them if it's a routine they have. I started kennel training my puppy on day one. It was essential to potty training. She is still kenneled every time we leave the house so she can't get into mischief as well as at bedtime. It's the best thing you can do!


My Cav is 7, here are my personal experiences.


Incredibly friendly with everyone

Loves people


Not the smartest dog ever but he's clever, especially with food


Good temperament

Loves going for walks


He is a bit territorial, he will bark at dogs he sees outside despite the fact that Cavaliers are not supposed to be big barkers

He can get a little mouthy and starts guarding toys/food

He is a little TOO excited, meaning that if someone comes in the house or if he's getting a treat he will go crazy and not calm down

Training him was hard at times. Like I said he's not super smart. This is also because of his excitability and a lack of consistency in my family (dad is very lenient with him, will let him get away with anything)

Becomes more of a hound outside. Barks at anything that moves, sniffs constantly, etc.

He hates when people leave, as in he will howl and cry and scream. He is better when he is in his crate but if one person leaves the house and he sees them leave he gets very upset.

He also hates being in the car.

Smelly, but he goes for 3 walks a day.

Will run if off the leash

Every dog is different, even if they're in the same breed. I love my dog and would not trade him for anything. He has his quirks but he is sweet and funny and loveable. If you do go for a Cav, make sure you find a reputable breeder. Personally I advocate for adopting a shelter dog any day, but if you are set on a Cav they really are sweet, loving dogs.


Their size and generally quiet nature make Cavalier King Charles Spaniels good candidates for apartment or condo living. They are moderately active indoors, and a small yard is adequate for their exercise needs.

Walks on leash or a securely fenced yard are musts with this breed. They have no street smarts and will run right in front of a car if they catch sight of a bird or other interesting prey. Your Cavalier will enjoy a daily walk or romp in the yard and will tailor his activity level to your own. Because he's a rather short-nosed breed, avoid walking him during the heat of the day and never leave him out in a hot yard without access to shade or cool, fresh water.


I have a cavalier, and they really are the perfect dog,but they do like to run away,Especially after birds.

Positive reviews


This comfort-loving breed adores cuddling in laps and snuggling on soft pillows, but he also has more athletic instincts than you might think. Indeed, he can be a runner and chaser. A fenced yard or a leash are musts at all times, because many Cavaliers will pursue squirrels, chipmunks, low-flying birds, even butterflies, right into the street.


The Cavalier has a very friendly personality. The breed is highly affectionate, extremely patient, and eager to please. As such, dogs of the breed are good with children and other dogs. Cavaliers are not shy about socializing with much larger dogs. They will adapt quickly to almost any environment, family, and location and suit city and country life, but they do require a lot of human interaction. Their nature also makes them suited for older people who are interested in owning a dog. Overall the King Charles Spaniel is a great dog that will sure to be a hit among family and friends alike, but you could end up paying a lot for in health bills. That is the only negative aspect about this breed so I would recommend this dog to anyone who is seeking a small, easy-going companion.


Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were a fond favourite of King Charles II of England. He took his dogs out hunting, claiming the little dogs could keep up with a trotting horse.


The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an active, graceful, well-balanced toy spaniel, very gay and free in action; fearless and sporting in character, yet at the same time gentle and affectionate. It is this typical gay temperament, combined with true elegance and royal appearance which are of paramount importance in the breed. Natural appearance with no trimming, sculpting or artificial alteration is essential to breed type.

Eliwood Starlaf

These are the most adorable beings on Planet Earth, literally. A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog cannot even hurt an ant. They are smart, very sweet, and good looking, to say the least. My Lovely Sammy was my best Friend. Sadly so he passed away due to severe illness. It was quite tragic, not to mention traumatic to say fairwell to my lovely Sam, and my hope is that the day will come that conditions will be right for me to raise another Cavalier or two, Amen.

Ellie C

Best Dogs Ever!❤

Julia Barner

My little tricolor Cavalier, Sophie, died over a year ago. Now I get comfort realizing that I am thankful for her in my life. She was full of love and very cherished every day. Also, she led a great life and was very healthy for 16 years. When her heart weakened I had to put her down! I could never let my sweet girl suffer. It was so hard!!! I miss her every day.