The Personality of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: February 25, 2022

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs probably evoke feelings of happiness when you think of or see them. They tend to have large, fluffy ears and curly fur that just seems to beg to be pet and loved. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs are part of the “Toy” breed of dogs. Don’t let that description fool you though, they tend to be on the larger side of the toy breed spectrum. If you are currently interested in or considering purchasing or adopting a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog, or if you are just interested in learning a little more about their personality, then you have most definitely come to the right place. This article will detail exactly what it is like to have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog as a pet and what to expect in terms of their personality.

Lap Dogs

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs were truly born to be companion dogs. As mentioned above, they have curly, fluffy fur and big, beautiful ears. They tend to be incredibly happy and content to hop up in the laps of their owners to get a nice pat, have their belly rubbed, and receive lots of love. They can tend to be the true definition of a “lap dog” at times. This affection shown from Cavalier King Charles dogs seems to be a typical trait amongst most of this breed of dog. Simply put, they truly love to love their owners and also receive that love in return. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs have been described by many owners as incredibly perfect lap dogs.

Interaction with Children

Due to the affection shown from Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs, they tend to be excellent pets for families with children. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs are incredibly child-friendly and are great companions for small children. They do not discriminate when it comes to the love they give and they freely show this affection towards children as well. Their smaller size (around thirteen to eighteen pounds) is also a great factor to consider when choosing a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog to live with you if you have children in the home.

Interaction with Other Dogs

You might be wondering if the affection Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs show towards others such as adults and kids may also be true of their love and affection towards other dogs. You should be happy to learn that this is very true. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs are great for multiple dog households, as long as the other dog or dogs also tend to be receptive to sharing their home and humans with other dogs. It is important that dogs, including Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs, are raised with littermates and then are around other dogs throughout their young lives to cultivate social skills with other dogs.

Interaction with Cats

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were once bred for help in hunting small game. Their natural instinct is to chase after small game that they come across. This means that there is the potential for them to chase cats if they come into contact with or see them. Due to this, it could potentially be an issue to introduce Cavalier King Charles Spaniels into homes that have cats as pets. If you choose to integrate these pet types in a household, please be prepared for the dog to chase the cat or cats at times. It is best to introduce them before moving them in together to see if you think that the situation will work out well for all pets involved.

Interaction with Strangers

When people walk their dogs or take their dogs for outings in public spaces, it is quite common for strangers to ask to pet them. When it comes to Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs, they welcome this affection from strangers as well. They are very open and receptive to being pet by humans that they have not seen before, as long as the people have a friendly, welcoming demeanor towards them. Therefore, you should not be concerned or worried when it comes to strangers desiring to pet or interact with your dog when you have them in new or public places.

Apartment Life

Due to their smaller size, people who live in apartments tend to choose Cavalier King Charles Spaniels to cohabitate with them in their apartments. This is generally fine to do as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels usually adapt to apartment living quite easily and very well. Apartment dwellers also usually utilize dog crates and crate training for their dogs and it is important to note that Cavalier King Charles Spaniels adapt to crate training generally well so this is acceptable to attempt with these dogs, especially when in a smaller apartment.

Toleration for Being Alone

In relation to crate training, however, it is incredibly important to know that Cavalier King Charles Spaniels should not be left alone other than for very short periods at a time. These dogs crave receiving love, attention, and adoration from their owners as well as giving this love in return, therefore, they do not do well being alone at all. Before you choose a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to welcome into your home, please make sure that you will be able to give him or her the full attention, time, and love that they very much require. If you believe that you will be unable to be with your dog for the majority of the time, it is recommended that you probably find a dog breed more suited to that amount of time that can be given to them.


Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were originally and historically bred to be used as hunting dogs. More specifically, they were bred to be bird and small game hunting dogs. Due to this, you might find that Cavalier King Charles Spaniels will possibly want to chase birds or small animals such as squirrels, rabbits, or chipmunks. However, you should not be too worried as they are not quite as sporting-inclined as their historic ancestors. Due to this historical background, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels tend to be a fairly intelligent breed of dog and tend to learn and catch on to new things fairly quickly.

Ease of Training

When you are thinking of adding a new dog to the family, you probably begin to wonder if your new pet will be easily trainable. When it comes to Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, it should be fairly easy to train them. It would probably be most beneficial to incorporate treats, toys, and other positive associations and reinforcements with the desired behavior that you are trying to train your dog for. With these tips and a patient, kind attitude towards them, you should not find it difficult to train your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.


Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are at the height of the playfulness scale when it comes to dog breeds. You will find that your dog is nearly always up for a game or two. If you choose to invite a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to be a member of your family, please keep in mind that they will be nearly constantly wanting to play with you, a child, a toy, or another pet. Please do not choose this breed of dog as a pet if you are unwilling or unable to provide this attention to them.

Energy Level

While they tend to always be ready to play, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels tend to have a moderate energy level. While not sedate and lethargic, they are neither rambunctious nor energetic 100% of the time either. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are very mid-level on the energetic scale. While they do love to play, at times they are also incredibly content to lay in a lap on the couch or in a recliner and enjoy a little quiet time with their family.

Barking Frequency

While barking is a natural instinct for dogs, you might be wondering just how often your dog might tend to bark. When it comes to Cavalier King Charles Spaniels you should expect them to bark a low amount compared to other dogs. They tend to be incredibly docile which does not translate to a great deal of barking for them. As mentioned earlier, they also love people, children, and other dogs so they tend to want to play instead of bark.


When it comes to Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, drooling is not an issue that you should typically need to have a concern about. You should not have to worry about having huge drops of saliva dripping from you at any point. Drooling is a very low occurrence for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels on a regular or daily basis.

Potential to Wander Away

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are not prone to wandering away regularly. While some dogs have a strong sense of wanderlust, that does not tend to happen when it comes to Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. They do have the tendency to chase after small game animals and that is usually the extent to which they will run or wander off.

Weather Toleration

Some dogs are intolerant to heat while others are intolerant to cold. Some dogs tend to be intolerant to both and need a fairly neutral temperature range to live in. When it comes to Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, they are not incredibly intolerant to one temperature range versus the other. They do not have incredibly thick fur with a thick undercoat such as dogs like Huskies, nor do they have very little fur such as Greyhounds. This means that they relatively can live in most climates that are not to the extreme in either temperature direction.


Cavalier King Charles Spaniels tend to be incredibly sensitive dogs. This is especially important to know if you are considering adding one to your family. They do not do well with very stern punishment or reprimands and are very sensitive to this type of thing. They are very intuitive dogs and take stern commands, discipline, and even dirty looks very much to heart and it can greatly affect them and their demeanor, causing them to become sad or depressed. This sensitivity also means that they do not do very well with chaotic, loud, or hectic households or lifestyles. They would be much happier and do a lot better in calmer, more easygoing households.

Desire for Exercise

When it comes to Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, they do tend to enjoy regular exercise. A brisk walk outside daily is ideal for these dogs. Due to their sporty roots, they love to walk, run, and explore during their exercise each day. Their “jobs” historically were to hunt and this innate desire for exercise and walks stems from these original roots.

Great for First-Time Dog Owners

Purchasing or adopting your first dog can be an extremely overwhelming experience. When you are thinking of getting a dog, it is truly adding a new member to your family. It is important that you find the right fit in terms of family and home for both yourself and your new dog. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are an excellent choice for first-time dog owners. They are incredibly easygoing and fairly easy to train which makes it a little easier on first-time dog owners. They are very loving towards their owners, which is an incredible first experience with your very first dog.

Overall, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are an incredible choice of pet for pretty much anyone. They are kind, gentle, intelligent, easier to train, and have a plethora of other positive aspects that could be found in a dog breed. They have incredible personalities that make everyone around them absolutely love and adore them. Given the opportunity, they will love others just as much in return. They are the most perfect lap dog and love nothing more than to snuggle up with their loved ones very regularly. They truly are members of the family for everyone who has one.