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What are the Differences between a Cavalier and a King Charles Spaniel?

There is much confusion, even among experts, about these two dogs. Many dog ​​owners, veterinarians, etc., often confuse a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a King Charles Spaniel. Although they may resemble each other in certain respects, they are not the same.

Not knowing the differences between the two breeds of dogs can be bad not only for owners but also for veterinarians. Many professionals might perform surgical procedures on a King Charles Spaniel, thinking that it is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The result of this operation could be negative.

What are the Differences between a Cavalier and a King Charles Spaniel

For that reason, it is vital to know the differences and similarities between both breeds:

Cavalier King Charles SpanielKing Charles Spaniel
Origin CountryUnited KingdomUnited Kingdom
Height30 cm – 33 cm23 cm – 28 cm
Weight6 kg – 8 kg3 kg – 6 kg
Energy LevelLowLow
Coat TypesStraightHeavy with a Slight Wave
Coat TextureLong and SilkyLong and Silky
Coat ColourRuby, Black and Tan, Tricolour and BlenheimRuby, Black and Tan, Tricolour and Blenheim
Shedding LevelModerateModerate


The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel had its origin in the 16th century, being one of the pets in the United Kingdom and Europe courts. The name of this breed is due to the fact that Charles II put it on the map. For a period of time, many experimented with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s face to make it look similar to that of the Pug.

On the other hand, the King Charles Spaniel had its origin in the late 14th century in Great Britain. They used to be smaller canines and were very famous at the English court until their popularity waned with the appearance of Pekingese, Pugs, and Japanese Spaniels.

Physical Characteristics

The first thing to note is that both dog breeds can have the same coat colours: Ruby, Black and Tan, Tricolour, and Blenheim.

Regarding its size, we can say that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is slightly larger than the King Charles Spaniel. The first one can measure between 30 cm and 33 cm and weigh between 5 kg and 8 kg, while the second one is between 23 cm and 28 cm in height and between 3 kg and 6 kg in weight.

The body of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is elegant and well balanced, with a head that is nearly flat and proportional to the size of the canine. Its snout is conical and approximately 12 cm long. The stop is shallow, and the nose (usually black) has well-developed nostrils. The ears of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel are set high.

A King Charles Spaniel is a compact, square-shaped dog that is characterized by a large, domed head for its size. The muzzle of this breed is very low, and it has a short, upturned nose that is usually black in colour and has large, open nostrils. Among other things, the King Charles Spaniel is also characterized by a well-defined stop, low-set ears, and a deep, broad chest.


Regarding the personality and temperament of these dogs, we can find many similarities since both were raised as lapdogs.

Both the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the King Charles Spaniel are very affectionate, lovable, and friendly pets not only with their owners and members of their human family but are also excellent with children and the elderly. They can also get along with strangers but require some socialisation training.

They are excellent companions to their loved ones. They will always want to spend time with them, play with them, and even sleep with them. They can suffer from separation anxiety when they are left alone for many hours.

Both the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the King Charles Spaniel are very touchy, and their emotions can easily be affected if they are verbally punished.


The first thing we need to know is that both breeds of dogs shed moderately. Therefore you should brush them once or twice a week to reduce the amount of hair that you find scattered throughout the house. Pin brushes are recommended for brushing the fur of these canines as they remove all debris and dead hair.

Many people hate finding hair scattered around the house, and that’s why they decide to shave their pets. That is a huge mistake. You should never shave your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel or King Charles Spaniel as their coat and skin will be negatively affected. In addition, the fur of these canines helps them stay warm during cold weather.

When it comes to exercise, both dogs are very similar. Both the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the King Charles Spaniel were bred as lapdogs, and for that reason, they do not have a high energy level. They only need a little daily exercise to stay healthy.

It should be noted that there is a small difference in energy levels between these two breeds. A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has more energy and can handle exercise routines of just over 45 minutes. In the case of a King Charles Spaniel, its energy is even lower, and a routine of 30 to 45 minutes of exercise will suffice.

Walks in the park are a great way to exercise them and keep them entertained. However, you must be careful as both breeds are brachycephalic. That means they have a flat face that makes them have trouble breathing. Even the heat could affect them more than any other breed. You should always have a bowl of water to hydrate these pets.


Fortunately, both breeds’ size and need for exercise make them ideal for living almost anywhere, whether it’s a house or an apartment. They do not require much physical activity and always prefer to spend time indoors with their loved ones.

However, it is important to keep in mind that you will need to take them out for even half an hour to exercise if you live in an apartment.

Likewise, living in an apartment could bring more problems to owners of a King Charles Spaniel than to a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. That’s because even though the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel hardly ever barks, the King Charles Spaniel may bark moderately.