Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Good for First-Time Owners?

Are you thinking about becoming a dog owner? First off, congratulations!

Trust me, getting a dog will be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.

However, picking the right breed as a first-time owner can be tricky. You might have heard that Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are an excellent choice for new pet owners, and now you’re seeking further validation.

Well, you’ve come to the right place. 

In this article, I’ll explore the pros and cons of owning a Cavalier as a first-time owner and help you decide whether this breed is the right fit for you and your lifestyle.

Characteristics of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Before we get into more details, let’s start with the general characteristics of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels:


Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are small dogs that typically weigh between 13-18 pounds and stand about 12-13 inches tall. 

They have a silky coat that can be a variety of colors, including black and tan, ruby, Blenheim (chestnut and white), and tricolor (black, white, and tan). 

Plus, they’ve got short legs, long ears, expressive eyes, and friendly facial expressions that will melt your heart.


Cavaliers are known for their affectionate and gentle nature. They thrive on human interaction and love being part of a family. 

In general, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are good with everyone, including other animals, people, and even strangers, which makes them well-behaved dogs in various social situations.

Exercise and Energy Level

Cavaliers are moderately active dogs; however, they need regular exercise to stay healthy and in good physical condition.

They enjoy daily walks and playtime, but they’re also happy to spend most of the day cuddling up next to you on the couch.

Health Concern

Sadly, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are considered some of the unhealthiest dogs on the planet and prone to several health problems. 

They are also susceptible to obesity, so it’s important to manage their diet and activity levels to prevent weight gain.

Regular veterinary check-ups and weight monitoring are crucial to prevent potential health issues.

While these potential health concerns may seem daunting, it’s worth noting that with proper care, many Cavaliers live long and healthy lives. In fact, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. 

Advantages of Owning a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as a First-Time Owner

Let’s now look at the main advantages of having a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as a first-time dog owner.

The Ultimate Lap Dog

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are the epitome of love and affection. They were bred to be companions, and they took their role very seriously. 

Cavies worship their owners and will follow you literally everywhere just to be near you. They are happy to curl up on your lap for a nap, snuggle up with you on the couch, or lay by your feet. 

This makes them the perfect pets for first-time owners who are looking for a companion that provides comfort and love.

Not only are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels incredibly affectionate, but they also have a calming presence that can soothe even the most anxious of souls. Their silky, warm fur and loving eyes will immediately put you at ease.

In other words, if you opt for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, you’ll get a warm, furry friend to snuggle with. This breed can fill your needs, whether you’re searching for a playmate, travel buddy, or soft cuddler.

Easy to Train

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are intelligent dogs, making them a breeze to train. They have a strong desire to make their owners happy, which makes them highly responsive to positive reinforcement training methods. 

Cavaliers are also known for being an obedient dog breed, which means that with patience and consistency in training, you’ll teach them various tricks and commands in no time.

In addition to being easy, training a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is also super fun. You’ll be astounded at how quickly they pick up new skills due to their desire to please and their ability to learn fast.

Low to Moderate Energy

Thanks to their medium- to low-energy levels, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are a fantastic choice for new owners who are not into intense exercise and play.

This breed is content with a daily walk or play session and doesn’t require a lot of high-intensity exercises. Thirty to forty minutes of activities per day will do the work.

So, if you are a low-energy person – Cavvy might be a great companion.

Also, since they don’t require a lot of space to run around and play, Cavaliers are a suitable option for owners who live in small apartments or condos.

Overall, the combination of their low energy/exercise needs and easy-to-train nature makes Cavalier King Charles Spaniels excellent for those new to pet ownership.

Highly Adaptable

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are highly adaptable and don’t mind living in various environments. 

Whether you live in a one-room apartment or a large house with a big yard, this puppy will be happy as long as it is with you. 

As someone who lives in a small apartment and prefers a low-key lifestyle, I was initially hesitant about getting a dog. Also, I was astonished by their adaptability in terms of lifestyle.

Be sure a Cavalier will always be by your side, a faithful companion ready to join in the fun, whether going for walks in the park, running errands, or simply relaxing at home.

I’m really happy I went with a Cavvy as my first ever pet.

Social Butterflies

Lastly, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are incredibly social creatures and love to be around people. They are enchantingly affectionate and have a friendly personality that makes them a joy to be around. 

As mentioned, these dogs do incredibly well with children and other pets, making them an ideal option for families and households with multiple pets/kids. 

All in all, Cavaliers are the ultimate social butterflies and will always find a way to put themselves at the center of attention.

Potential Challenges of Owning a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as a First-Time Owner

While Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can make wonderful pets for first-time owners, there are some potential challenges to be aware of before bringing one home.

Separation Anxiety

Cavaliers are known for their social nature and can develop separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time, which may be hard for first-time owners.

Why does that matter?

Well, that could be a significant challenge if you are not ready to devote most of your time to a Cavalier and are not prepared to meet its needs. 

In addition to the negative effects on their mental well-being, symptoms of separation anxiety include constant barking, defecting in the home, and destructive chewing.

Health Issues

As stated, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are susceptible to many medical conditions, including hip dysplasia, middle ear infection, patella luxation, syringomyelia, and mitral valve disease, among others.

These health issues can, unfortunately, affect the dog’s longevity and quality of life. 

First-time owners should be aware of these health problems and work with reputable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breeders or rescue organizations to ensure they are getting a healthy dog.

Grooming Needs 

Cavaliers have a long, silky coat that needs to be brushed regularly to prevent matting and tangling. 

In general, you should brush your Cavvy daily and take him to the groomer at least once every four weeks.

They also need to be bathed and have their ears cleaned regularly to prevent infections.  

Related Article: Grooming Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

What Type of First-Time Owner is Well-Suited to a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?


Cavaliers are highly social and require plenty of human attention. Being left alone for extended periods can cause them distress.

So, if you work from home, and have a flexible schedule, or simply love being at home most of the time, rest assured that a Cavalier will be an excellent match for you.

Active but not overly so 

Cavaliers are not high-energy dogs, but they still need some activity to stay healthy and avoid becoming chubby.

A first-time dog owner who enjoys daily walks but isn’t looking for a dog that needs high levels of physical activity would be a good match for a Cavalier.

On the other hand, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel may not be the best companion for an individual who is not often home during the day, such as an 8-to-5 worker.

Your pet will suffer if left alone every day for an extended period of time.

What, then, should you do if you truly desire to own a Cavalier but are busy during the day?

Well, I’d suggest you hire a dog walker or pet sitter to come in and spend time with your dog during the day or enroll your dog in doggy daycare. 

You can also ask a friend or family member to take care of your dog while you are away.

In Summary

Thanks to their many positive qualities, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can make great pets for first-time owners. These lap dogs are well-suited to a low-energy lifestyle, making them ideal for those who may not have the time or energy to keep up with a high-energy breed. 

Cavaliers are also relatively easy to train and very adaptable, which can be a decisive factor for those new to dog ownership. 

Additionally, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are known for their excellent social skills since they get along with every living beings.

While there are certainly some drawbacks to consider, such as potential health issues and separation anxiety, overall, the pros of owning a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel seem to outweigh the cons. 

Thank you for reading. If you liked this article, here’s a recommendation for another popular blog post: Cavapoo vs Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.



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