Cavalier King Charles Spaniels engender both playful, athletic traits, and loving, affectionate ones. Before obtaining a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, be aware that, despite their mild-mannered, sweet nature, this breed is prone to a number of serious health problems, and a potentially short lifespan. According to "Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (Complete Pet Owner's Manual)" by Caroline Coile, up to 50 per cent of these dogs will develop mitral valve disease (an inherited heart condition) by the age of five, and up to 80 per cent will develop it by the age of 10. She also states that Syringomyelia is an inherited neurological disorder which can cause abnormal sensations and behaviours, chronic pain and paralysis, and affects up to half of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
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Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a soft, affectionate nature and make excellent lapdogs. They do, however, also have a playful side, and require a safe area in which they can run and play. These dogs also require two long walks a day to keep them happy and healthy. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a gentle temperament and are naturally inquisitive. She will usually respond well to other pets such as cats and dogs, and stimulation and companionship from other animals can be of great value to your dog.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are social creatures and require human company or the company of other dogs for much of the time, as they do not like being left alone for long periods. Cavaliers can become painfully shy and timid around humans and other animals if not socialised enough when they are puppies.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels do not cope well with being left alone for long periods (some cannot cope with being left alone at all). They often suffer from separation anxiety, which can lead to unwanted behaviour, such as destructive chewing, barking and whining, pulling out their own fur and biting themselves. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels need the company of their human companions or other pets to minimise anxiety.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels often exhibit chasing behaviour. This can be dangerous for the dog, as he will chase small things that spark his interest, including leaves caught in a breeze, butterflies and squirrels. He will often become so engrossed in the thrill of the chase that he is oblivious to danger, running into the road, or entangling himself on wire fences. A lead is recommended for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels at all times, and the garden area should be fenced in and free of hazards.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are easy to train, being naturally intelligent, inquisitive and intuitive, according to Nick Mays, author of “Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: An Owner's Guide (Dog Owners Guide).” These dogs respond well to positive praise and reinforcement, treats and encouragement, but you may find your dog has a mildly independent streak in some areas, which may slow training a little.
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