Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels bark a lot?
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel are the 19th most popular dog in USA (Photo: Adobe Stock)
helloBARK! staff
By helloBARK! staff
Updated on April 18, 2019
Fact Checked This article was fact checked by one of our writers on March 08, 2019.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are one of the most popular family pets in the world.

These docile dogs are affectionate and loving, which makes them ideal companions at home.

They get along well with children when handled with the appropriate care and love.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels make great pets for the elderly given they require moderate exercise.

However, one of the big concerns of any prospective dog owner is whether a canine is likely to bark a lot.

In this article, we will take a look at the history of the Cavalier, their personality traits and whether these dogs make a lot of noise.

A brief introduction to Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Whenever you consider adopting a dog, it is a good idea to learn about the breed’s history (or breeds should it be a mix or rescue).

This way, dog owners can get an idea of what behaviours certain dogs are predisposed to or if there are health conditions to be aware of.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is thought to have its origins in Asia but made it to Scotland from France around 15th century.

Mary Queen of Scots was thought to have brought the dogs to England where they were a hit with the nobility.

King Charles I and King Charles II were particular fans of these pooches and were rarely seen without them in their palaces.

As you’ve probably worked out by now, these toy-sized dogs get their names from the British monarchs.

Their popularity took a hit after Charles II died in 1670s and the influx of Asian dogs such as the Pug and Japanese Chin started to alter their appearance.

These English Toy Spaniels started to develop domed heads and stunted muzzles, reflecting their interbreeding with Asian dogs.

However, American Roswell Elridge offered a cash reward for breeders who could develop these dogs in the old English style.

It led to a split between the King Charles Spaniel and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel traits

Boris the Cavalier (Photo: boris.king.charles / Instagram)
Boris the Cavalier (Photo: boris.king.charles / Instagram)

The Cavalier is considered to be a great option if you’re looking for a family pet.

The AKC state on their website that these dogs should be “friendly, non-aggressive with no tendency towards nervousness or shyness”.

These little dogs crave human attention and love to show their owners plenty of affection.

Often described as the quintessential lapdogs, they love nothing more than to curl up next to their human companions on the bed or the sofa.

They’re often likened to shadows because the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will follow your every step around the house.

These lapdogs don’t need a lot of exercise. Experts recommended an hour a day, which could be split up into multiple short walks.

Given the AKC’s breed standard doesn’t allow for nervousness or shyness, you can probably figure out these dogs like to interact with people.

They don’t make good guard dogs because they’re inclined to be affectionate towards strangers.

However, it is important to note that you’ll need to socialise a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel from a young age to prevent shyness.

Do Cavalier King Charles spaniels bark a lot?

Some breeds such as the Beagle and the Corgi are considered to bark quite a bit.

Generally speaking, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel doesn’t bark a lot. They’re docile nature makes such a behaviour uncharacteristic for these dogs.

Given these dogs enjoy the company of others, they usually don’t show any aggression or bark at new people or dogs.

Of course, they are dogs so dog owners can expect these dogs to bark from time to time. For instance, if they spot something of particular interest out the window.

Alternatively, some Cavalier owners admit these dogs may bark if they hear other dogs barking. Again, understandable given they’re animals after all.

There is one condition that can cause the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to bark persistently: separation anxiety.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel separation anxiety

While the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel don’t have a reputation for being excessive barkers, members of this breed can struggle with separation anxiety.

In fact, the CKCS is often listed as one of the top 10 dog breeds to be affected by this condition.

Separation anxiety occurs when a dog becomes extremely anxious or distressed when their human leaves them at home alone.

It can start as soon as you put your shoes on (or perform another ritual that your dog associates with you’re imminent departure).

Dogs that suffer with separation anxiety can persistently bark, cry, howl or whine for minutes, hours or until your return.

Other symptoms include destructive chewing and digging and in some extreme cases defecting inside the home.

Most dog owners who’ve owned a pooch with separation anxiety can attest to their dog’s persistent barking.

So Cavalier King Charles Spaniels may not bark a lot day-to-day, but it could be a different story if you leave them at home alone.

Indeed, breeders of these adorable toy dogs suggest that they may not be suited to people who have to leave them for more than four hours a day.

Persistent barking can get you in trouble with neighbours or managers at your residence, while it can be very upsetting to see your dog distressed.

Ways to help dogs with separation anxiety

Louie the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Photo: heylittlelouie / Instagram)
Louie the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Photo: heylittlelouie / Instagram)

There are a number of steps that could potentially help a dog with separation anxiety.

1) Your local vet could provide medication to calm your dog’s nerves, although this isn’t considered to be a long-term fix.
2) Hire a local dog trainer to help educate you on separation anxiety and how your behaviour could be exacerbating the issue.
3) Purchase a dog camera that will allow you to hear and speak to your dog, while some provide the option to reward with treats or play laser games.

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4) Aromatherapy can help with some dogs. This involves using essentials oils and a diffuser to prove a gentle scent that can relax an anxious pup.
5) Leaving the radio or TV on to provide some background nice and an illusion of company can in some cases be a simple fix.
6) Hire the services of a dog sitter or dog walker to provide some companionship during those hours of separation.
7) Don’t get a dog, especially a breed known to suffer from seperation anxiety, if you have a 9-5 job or have to leave your pup alone for more than four hours a day.