You’ve made the decision to get a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, you’ve done all the research, you’ve decided that a Cavalier is the best fit for your needs, and you feel that you can give a loving home to a Cavvy. Now you’re asking yourself “Is it better to get a male or female Cavalier?”
As a general rule female Cavaliers have a slightly smaller frame than a male, and males tend to have slightly higher energy levels than females. As a result, males will need moderate exercise whereas females only need low to moderate exercise.
Cavvy’s are loveable whether they are male or female, but there are slight differences between the two sexes, this was something I learned as Lady was growing up and thought it would be good to differentiate between the two.
The energy levels of a female Cavalier are more subdued than that of a male Cavalier, and as a direct result need less exercise than a male. Of course, they still require exercise, but out of the two sexes, the female would tire quicker than the male.
Although the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is not an aggressive dog, this may change in males when they are around females in heat. Due to their increased energy levels during mating season, males can become aggressive with other males when they are in direct competition for the affection of a female. If not kept in check, this aggression can also be turned towards the female. So it is very important to keep an eye on your Cavvy during this time.
Males are also prone to wander off when they can smell a female in heat, so special attention is required during mating season.
To combat the slight increase in aggression during mating season and to quell the fear of your Cavvy wandering off, there is always the option to have your dog neutered. This is a simple procedure, and if completed at a relatively early age shouldn’t pose any problems to your dog. If you need more information regarding this procedure, speak to your local veterinarian.
As with almost every species of animal, males tend to mature more slowly than females. This makes males seem more childlike in their behavior and are more likely to explore new places, whereas females are more likely to be stubborn, and when a female decides she doesn’t want to do anything, she will not do it, no matter how much you try.
Due to the stubborn nature of female Cavaliers, it’s important to incorporate fun activities in training sessions and keep them light-hearted. As soon as a training session becomes anything more than fun, then the stubborn streak starts to show, and they won’t do what you want.
However, as females mature more quickly, this makes it easier to train them as they are less likely to run off, or decide that what you are doing is a big game. Although this is very humorous, it can be frustrating at times.
No matter how frustrating things may get, it’s never acceptable to scold your dog for not performing a particular trick or task. This would have a detrimental effect on the overall progress. He or she will only remember the scolding and will think that this will be the outcome for every eventuality.
Praise, and treats are the best way to train a dog, this includes potty training. To a dog, they associate the treat with the action that it just did. For instance, if they pee in the yard, they get a treat. If they pee in the house, they don’t. It doesn’t take long for them to associate peeing in the yard to be good, and in the house as bad.
However, training with treats can sometimes be troublesome, as your beloved Cavvy may always expect a treat in the future. There are ways to train your doggie without using treats, here are the details for treatless dog training secrets.
Female King Charles Cavaliers are very intelligent, docile dogs and will really focus on new tasks or activities given to them. On the opposite side of the coin, male Cavvy’s are so eager to please that they will be quite happy to perform a trick for you if they get a treat or not. You’d be hard-pressed to get a female to do anything they don’t want to do without a treat.
To show quite how intelligent Cavaliers are, in Stanley Coren’s “The Intelligence of Dogs” they ranked 44th out of 131 breeds that were tested and ranked. Intelligence was tested by teaching the dogs a new command, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were able to learn a first-time command with just 24 to 40 repetitions on average. This was obviously affected by the difficulty of the command and the handler at that time.
Male Cavaliers have a tendency to be very clingy, and if in a family situation will latch onto one person in the family and follow them everywhere. Females are not as clingy and are quite happy to sit on their own. Females in a family situation will share their affection with the whole family and not just one person. However, she will decide when she receives that affection, and will quite often wander off to her own space when you try to pet her.
Although our Lady is a female dog, she can get very clingy. I now work from home, and she mainly sits under the desk waiting for my meetings to finish at lunchtime. She follows me everywhere around the house, like my little shadow.
She also follows me to the most private room in the house, the bathroom. Some people are not keen on this, but I don’t mind, it just shows me how much she loves me.
That all changes when her mommy comes home from work though, she’ll run down the stairs to greet her, and will then curl up on the couch for some cuddles.
My Final Thought
Specific people may favor a male or female Cavvy. For instance, a family may wish to have a female, as they would share their love with the whole family, and a single person may wish to have a male Cavvy to express all their love and affection to them. But whatever your decision may be, you will be the happiest person alive.