$500 – $3,000
Available in these colours:
Recognised colours of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel include Black & Tan, Red, Blenheim (rich chestnut markings on white) and Tri-colour.
Characteristics & Tendencies:
TENDENCY TO DIG10%
About the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier is a comfort-loving dog and one of Australia’s favourite breeds! Their soft, floppy-eared appearance matches their sweet-tempered and gentle temperament, making them the perfect playmate for young children. Because of their loving nature, they also are often used as therapy dogs as well.The breed is small, and loves snuggling up to their owner’s laps and receiving lots of cuddles and affection.
Traditionally, this breed was developed by cross breeding King Charles Spaniels with Pugs, giving them their signature short and stubby nose. They were popular pets for many royal and noble English families dating back to the 16th century, and even used to warm laps during long carriage trips.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels possess a strong prey drive, and therefore enjoy chasing small moving objects and animals, including low-flying birds and even butterflies. They are best suited to homes with a fenced yard, and enjoy a couple of long daily walks to keep their energy levels up. Because of their sporting nature, they are often successful in conformation shows, excelling in obedience and agility.
Cavaliers come in a range of colours, donning a medium-long coat requiring moderate levels of maintenance and grooming. They are expected to life until 9-14 years, and unfortunately are more prone to health issues compared to other dog breeds.
Top health issues
What are the most common health issues for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels?
- Mitral Valve Disease
- Episodic Falling
- Hip Dysplasia
- Patellar Luxation
- Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (Dry Eye)
Common Cavalier King Charles Spaniel diseases & conditions, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment in detail:
Mitral valve disease is a common cardiac disease affecting smaller dogs, although larger breeds may also be affected. It occurs when the valve between the two left chambers of the heart (the “mitral” valve) fails to form a tight seal, resulting in regurgitation of the blood back into the atrium. Breeds that are most susceptible include Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Dachshunds, among other breeds. Development of mitral valve disease is usually evidence by a heart murmur of a low-grade severity, as well as exercise intolerance, increased respiratory rate and a cough over time. Treatment of this condition will depend on its severity – mild leakage with minimal to no heart enlargement may generally be monitored regularly without treatment. Dogs with heart enlargement require medication to delay the onset of the condition.
Syringomyelia, also known as caudal occipital malformation syndrome, COMS or Chiari-like malformation, is a developmental abnormality whereby there is a difference in growth between the brain size (too large) and the skull cavity (too short). This causes a partial blocking of the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) along the spinal cord, causing both pain and the collection of fluid in pockets in the spinal cord. Syringomyelia is an extremely serious condition, and is commonly reported in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Affenpinschers, Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, French Bulldogs and Pugs. Symptoms include intermittent neck pain, and reluctance in affected dogs to jump and climb. The condition may result in other neurological deficits such as weakness and poor coordination. Diagnosis is carried out with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and medical therapy is generally the treatment of choice. Other available medications include anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids.
Episodic falling syndrome (EFS) is an inherited disorder unique to Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. It is characterised by episodic movement disorders, and is often mistaken as epileptic seizures. It causes increased muscle tone and muscle spasticity, resulting in limbs that seem “locked” in an extended position. Episodes usually occur between 14 weeks nad 4 years of age, and are generally provoked by exercise, stress or excitement. Symptoms of EFS vary, but are predominantly attributed to the dog’s inability to relax their muscles. The EFS-affected dog remains conscious during these episodes, and will rarely experience pain or discomfort. Treatment for the disorder is through medication, with the aim of relaxing the muscle to prevent future episodes. Recovery for affected dogs is often positive with treatment.
Cruciate disease is a very common orthopaedic disorder of the knee ( stifle) of dogs. Inside the canine knee, there are two crossing ligaments that join the tibia and the femur. These are known as the cranial and caudal cruciate ligaments in dogs. The cranial cruciate ligament, in particular, is an important stabilizer of the knee joint. The cranial cruciate ligament prevents the movement of the tibia forward out from underneath the femur. A complete or partial rupture of the cranial ligament leads to joint instability and lameness. If left untreated this will result in progressive degenerative arthritis, as unnatural movement damages protective joint cartilage and the special spacers in the knee, the menisci.
Canine keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), commonly referred to as dry eye, is a disease characterised by inflammation of the cornea and surrounding tissues from drying. It is usually due to a decrease of tears, which causes the eyes to become irritated, where the cornea will turn brown and gooey, yellow discharge forms. Dry eye is caused by a range of factors, such as canine distemper infections, trauma, or a side-effect of a medication prescribed for other conditions. Breeds prone to dry eye include West Highland White Terriers, Yorkshire Terriers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Cocker Spaniels and Bulldogs. KCS is diagnosed most commonly through the Schirmer tear test (STT), and treated with ophthalmic medications designed to stimulate tear production and replace tear film.
(Extra eyelashes irritating the eye in dogs) Distichiasis is a condition in which small eyelashes abnormally grow on the inner surface or the very edge of the eyelids. Both upper and lower lids may be involved. Some breeds are affected more commonly than others, suggesting that it is an inherited trait and unfortunately it affects the staffordshire bull terrier.
The abnormal eyelashes are best removed through the use of surgery or electroepilation. With electroepilation, a fine needle is passed into the hair follicle and an electric current destroys the hair and its roots. This procedure may need to be repeated after several months. This is because all of the abnormal hairs may not have developed at the time of the first treatment. When these follicles do start to produce hairs, they will need to be treated.
If surgery is performed, the lid is actually split and the areas where the abnormal hairs grow are removed. Both procedures require anesthesia and a full recovery is expected. Antibiotic eye drops may be used following surgery to eliminate infections.
Other tests are not necessary, but are a plus. They are OFA heart, thyroid and hearing evaluations.
Remember that after you’ve taken a new puppy into your home, you have the power to protect him from one of the most common health problems: obesity. Keeping a Stafford at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways to extend his life. Make the most of your preventive abilities to help ensure a healthier dog for life.
Responsible breeders screen their stock for health conditions such as elbow and hip dysplasia, patellar luxation and eye anomalies including hereditary juvenile cataracts, persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous (PHPV), and posterior polar subcapsular cataracts (PPSC). SBTs can develop several forms of skin allergies, some of which may be genetic. The DNA test for L-2-HGA, a metabolic condition, allows breeders to identify carriers and avoid producing affected offspring. Be an informed owner, and discuss any health questions or concerns with your dog’s breeder and your veterinarian.
How much does a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel eat?
The Cavalier should be fed a high-quality dog food appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some Cavaliers are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. If you choose to give your dog treats, do so in moderation. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Give table scraps sparingly, if at all, especially avoiding cooked bones and foods with high fat content. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.
How often does the fur fall off?
Shedding level for Cavaliers is average due to their beautiful, silky coat and they tend to shed most in the spring and fall months. Regular brushing two or three times a week can remove dead hairs so they don’t collect on your floor, furniture, and clothing. However, if having any amount of dog hair in the house bothers you, this breed may not be for you since they are definitely a house dog.
Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels high maintenance?
Cavaliers are fairly easy to groom and maintain. Aside from regular brushing 3 or 4 times a week, they will also need bathing every 2 weeks or as necessary. Be sure to brush carefully around their ears and behind their legs as this is generally where tangles and mats form due to the feathering. Although some owners like to take this breed to get their feathering trimmed, it is also perfectly fine to let it grow out and take form naturally.
Check your Cavalier’s ears regularly and wipe them out with a cotton ball to prevent any buildup. Brush his teeth daily to best avoid tartar buildup and gum disease. Trim his nails if he doesn’t wear them down himself. And get into the habit of checking him each time you groom for sores, rashes, tender spots, infections, etc. It’s best to catch these things early before they become too serious.
How much exercise does a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel need?
Although the Cavalier was bred to be a beloved lap dog, this breed descends from sporting dogs and does enjoy moderate exercise and outdoor activities. He will happily go on walks with his owner and also performs well in a number of canine sports, but he’s just as glad to stay on the sofa all day. Cavaliers should not be allowed off leash because they retain scenting and hunting instincts, and they may not come when called if they’ve found an interesting trail to follow or a creature to pursue. A fenced yard is recommended.
Your Cavalier will enjoy a daily walk or romp in the yard and will tailor his activity level to your own. They will adapt to whatever amount of exercise you feel able to give but do need some regular exercise or they will put on the pounds.
How often should a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel visit the vet?
Veterinary care is essential to a dog’s health and wellbeing, however the frequency of treatment and checkups will depend on the dog.
Scheduled six-monthly health check visits with your vet are important to ensure your Cavalier is healthy and happy throughout all life stages. In these annual visits, your vet will complete a physical examination, take your dog’s temperature and check his heartbeat, among other things. Routine maintenance for your dog gives you a chance to track your dog’s growth and development and discuss any concerns with your vet, and forms a key part of preventative care.
Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels kid-friendly and sociable with humans?
Cavaliers are an ideal family dog because they are so versatile. They love sitting on your lap for hours, but are always willing to jump up and play with anyone who’s ready for some fun. They do especially well with older children, but will need supervision with toddlers to be sure both the dog and child play nicely. Keep in mind that Cavaliers don’t like to be left alone for long hours, so be sure that someone is always in the house to keep them company.
Cavaliers are extremely loving, especially to their owners who they will grow a strong attachment to, but also to any and all strangers! They generally have a calm nature which makes them a good choice for apartment living. They love the opportunity to cuddle on your lap but are also always up for a good adventure. They are smart and athletic and especially good at bird flushing. They have large, dark puppy-dog eyes, and they definitely know how to work them to get what they want, so be careful not to spoil them too much. They will likely follow you all around the house and don’t do well if left alone, so make sure there is always someone there to keep them company.
Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels difficult to train?
Training the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels is not troublesome. They respond well to mild obedience training, but for best results they need a dominant and obvious pack leader.
When it comes to training, Cavaliers are generally intelligent and willing to try whatever it is you’d like them to do. Food rewards and positive reinforcement help ensure that training goes smoothly. Cavaliers have a soft personality, so yelling at them is counterproductive and likely to send these sweeties into the sulks or into hiding. Instead, reward them every time you see them doing something you like, whether it’s chewing on a toy instead of your Prada pumps or not barking in response when the dog next door barks. They’ll fall all over themselves to find more things that you like.
They are smart and train easily, and Cavaliers excel in a number of canine sports including obedience, rally, and agility.
Compatibility with other pets
Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels get along with other dogs or cats?
Cavaliers are known to play well with cats, especially if the cat doesn’t mind a little bit of rough play. However, Cavaliers tend to have a strong prey instinct and should not be left alone with cats or other pets, particularly without supervision. Make sure you begin socialising your Cavalier and cat from a young age to be sure both learn to play nicely. Their ability to bond with larger and smaller dogs makes them ideal in houses with more than one breed of dog as long as the other dog is trained. Overall, they are quite tolerant of other pets in the home.
Need for company
How often do they need to be around humans?
Cavaliers love to be with people and shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time. They are highly affectionate and thrive on companionship.They will likely follow you all around the house and don’t do well if left alone, so make sure there is always someone there to keep them company. If left alone for too long, they may become stressed and experience separation anxiety. This may lead to undesirable behaviours such as barking, whining or chewing destructively.
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