Is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel a Good Family Dog?

Let’s paint a picture, you and your partner have a child or even children, and you are considering the notion of a dog to complete the family unit, but which breed of dog do you choose? Is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel a good family dog?

Cavaliers are small dogs that have big personalities. They are kind, loyal, intelligent, and good with children which is why they make great family dogs.

If you’re considering adopting one of these adorable doggies into your family, it’s important to know their temperament and abilities. At we are heavily biased toward Cavaliers, as they are amazing dogs, but if you need to learn more about them, you’re in the right place.


Cavaliers are beautiful dogs, both inside and out, and have a heart that is bigger than their entire body. They are bursting with love and affection, their soul existence on this planet is to love and be loved in abundance. As they radiate so much love toward you, you give it back, and if you are anything like all the Cavalier owners I know, this will be tenfold.

Here are 5 signs of a Cavaliers love, that make Cavaliers the perfect family dog:

Wagging Tail

Look at a Cavalier, and you will normally see their tail wagging. Now, not all tail wagging means contentment, but if it’s a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, it usually does. They will wag their tails standing, lying down, and even whilst running.

My Cavvy, Lady will wag her tail if you just look at her, it will be a casual one or two wags at first, but if you then start to speak to her, it’ll wag like crazy, and if she is laying down she’ll get up and come over to you.


Cavaliers lick for many reasons, sometimes, if you are not paying them much attention, they may just lick you to say ‘hey, I am here you know!’ But they mainly lick you because they love you and this is just one of their ways of showing you their affection.

Lady isn’t a licky dog, but we know other Cavaliers that love to lick you. I’m sure that many dog lovers out there will see it as we do, like a small kiss on the hand to let you know that they love you.


Sometimes I will be sat down on the couch typing on my laptop, reading, or simply watching TV and I will get a feeling that someone is watching me. As I turn my head, I’ll see Lady staring at me. She isn’t in need of anything, nor want anything (although if I offered a treat, she would never turn it down) but she just sits there staring at me with soft eyes.

I needed to find out what this meant, so I looked it up. It’s trust, they 100% trust you as their pack leader, and they adore you for it, isn’t that the most amazing thing ever?


Each morning when I wake up and every evening when I return home from work, Lady will greet me as if she has not seen me for years. She is absolutely overwhelmed with happiness to see me that her entire body wags with her tail. This pure happiness to see you is obviously a sign of love and affection.

But it doesn’t just stop with me, she will do this with my wife and my daughter too. Sarah, my wife, walked down to the post box a few weeks ago, which is a 2 minute round trip if you are just having a casual stroll. Lady watched her the entire time, and Sarah was only out of sight for around 20 seconds, as soon as she came back into view and was walking back Lady’s entire body started to wag in excitement.


When watching TV in the evening, I like to lay down on the floor and prop my head up with my hand, and my elbow on the floor (I’ve always done it since I was a child, and yes, everyone thinks it is strange). As soon as I am on the floor Lady will stroll over and lean on me, wanting me to pet her. Then when she is sufficiently satisfied, she will curl up next to me for a nap.

Leaning is also a sign of love and affection, as it is their way of telling you that they want to be closer to you. It’s a bit like when humans hug each other, but dogs are not that keen on being hugged. Like most animals, a hug is restrictive and can be seen as a threat.

So when your Cavvy leans on you, think of this as a hug from them, and give them back their affection, they will love you even more for it.

Gentle Nature

If you’re looking for a dog that will be gentle with the whole family, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an excellent choice. According to Treehugger, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is the 8th most gentle dog breed, obviously, I don’t agree, and I think they should be first, but I would say that as almost all my life is dedicated to Cavaliers (sorry Treehugger, your posts are still amazing though).

In all seriousness though, they are truly a gentle breed, and if they are loved and integrated into the family home correctly, there isn’t a vicious bone in their bodies.

Clever Cavvy’s

Although some would disagree, we believe that Cavaliers are super clever, there are times when I am super shocked at how intelligent Lady actually is. First of all, she understands human speech, how many people (apart from Cesar Millan – The Dog Whisperer) can say that they understand dog speech, not very many I’ll bet.

Another thing that makes Cavaliers clever, in fact, all dogs do this, is their sixth sense of illness, or if you are upset. It doesn’t matter which person in the family is sick, or feeling blue, Lady will lay down beside you, or on your lap, and watch over you, which in turn makes you feel better.

It’s not only illness, one time my Mom was looking after Lady whilst we were away for a couple of days, and she had a fall in the kitchen while my Dad was upstairs, Lady lay on her to keep her warm and barked until my Dad came to see what all the fuss was about.

Luckily my Mom wasn’t injured, but if she had been, Lady would have looked after her, I am totally convinced of it.


Did you know that Cavaliers are regarded as comfort dogs? In the history books, it has been recorded that Lords and Ladies in 16th Century England, used to have them around because their calming nature used to keep them relaxed.

This is still true today, as Cavaliers are quite often used as therapy dogs for people suffering from depression, bipolar, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It has been scientifically proven that petting and being around dogs increases your oxytocin levels (which is the mood-boosting hormone), and decreases your cortisone levels (which is the stress hormone).

At Peaceful Garden Cavaliers Laura breeds Cavaliers, that live an excellent life on her very own farm, and she is helping people in need by allowing her certified therapy dogs to spread love and joy. They have a better diet than me consisting of goat’s milk, grass-fed beef, eggs, and garden vegetables, all from her very own farm, which keeps them fit and healthy and ready to assist people in need.

You can read more about Laura, and her rare colored Cavaliers in one of my other posts here.


Each Cavalier has their own sense of humor, I am convinced that Cavaliers are heavenly angels put on this planet to cheer us all up. The world can be a rough old place, so looking into their big brown eyes and watching them do something that makes you laugh, sends you to a joyful place.

Lady will have us in stitches some evenings, sitting in the kitchen and staring at the joint of beef or pork, or even a chicken resting on the side after it has come out of the oven. She would literally sit there for hours until we gave her some, and if we don’t succumb to her wishes, she will let out a little half cry, half bark sound to make us feel guilty.

Lady waiting for us to give her some roast beef

She will also take it up a gear if it’s chicken, her favorite. She will wait there until Sarah finally caves in and gives her a bit of chicken, blowing it until it’s cool enough for her to eat. Then she will wait until I enter the kitchen, and the big soulful eyes will stare at me while she is pawing gently at my leg. I too cave in and give her some, at this point Sarah will announce that she’s already had some, but it’s too late. She has gulped it down and moved on to her next victim, my daughter Olivia.


So you see, Cavaliers are great companions, no, the best companions for families with children, families without children, the young, elderly, in fact, anyone. They’re loving, loyal, kind, witty, and gentle which makes them a perfect fit for any family.

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