Are you thinking of getting a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy? Maybe you’re wondering what the temperament of the breed is like and whether they’ll get on with your kids? Here’s everything you need to know about whether Cavalier King Charles Spaniels make good family dogs!
Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Good Family Dogs? Yes, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels make fantastic family dogs! They’re a loving and affectionate dog breed that thrive on spending time with their family. They’re energetic and fun, making them the perfect playmate for children of all ages.
Read on to find out whether Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are good with babies and how to make them feel more comfortable around children and babies.
Never use the advice in this article as a substitute for professional veterinary advice or treatment. I am NOT a Vet, qualified dog trainer or dog behaviourist. This article is based on research, personal opinion and experience of owning dogs over the last 12+ years.
Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Good With Babies?
Yes, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can be great with babies! They’re a calm and gentle breed that can often deal well with unpredictable loud noises. They’re very adaptable dogs who can adjust well to living with babies.
This is excellent news if you have a new baby in your family!
However, it’s important that you never leave your Cavalier alone with your baby or children, no matter how much you trust them.
Here are some tips to help your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel feel more comfortable around a baby:
Let Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Hear Baby Sounds
Playing sounds babies make to your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can help them get used to those noises before your baby arrives.
Although they’re quite a steady breed that aren’t often scared of loud or sudden noises, it can still be helpful for them to get used to baby sounds in advance.
Play the sounds quietly to start with, and then increase the volume when they’re feeling more comfortable.
Introduce Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel To Babies
Letting your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel spend time with a friend’s baby can help them get used to baby sounds and movements in real life.
If you have friends or family members with babies, this can be a great place to start.
If your Cavalier shows any signs of being uncomfortable, then give them some time away from the baby.
Set Up Your Baby’s Equipment Early
Setting up your baby’s equipment before they arrive, gives your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel a chance to get used to them.
Pushchairs, cots, changing stations, toys, highchairs and anything else your baby will need can be set up.
Let your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel sniff and explore them in their own time.
Doing this in advance will help them get used to the new setup before your new baby arrives.
Reward Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel For Being Calm Around Your Baby
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are often very greedy! They love their food, which can make training them easier.
If you reward them with a tasty treat for behaving calmly around your baby, they’ll be more likely to be calm again in the future.
That’s the basis of how positive reinforcement works!
Make A Den For Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Making a comfortable, safe space for your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can help them feel more secure.
This could be a crate if they’re used to those already, or a comfy dog bed in a quiet spot of the house. Anywhere that’s calm and where they won’t be disturbed.
This gives your Cavalier somewhere to retreat to if they need a break from your baby crying.
Give Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Lots Of Love
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are really loving, affectionate dogs. They love nothing more than spending time with their family.
It’s important they’re still getting lots of love and attention, even when your new baby arrives.
This’ll make sure they don’t feel left out or excluded from the rest of the family.
Exercise Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Regularly
Although they’re relatively small dogs, they still need to be exercised each day. Adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniels need up to an hour of daily exercise.
This gives them a chance to reduce their pent-up energy, keeping them calmer when they’re around your baby.
Do Some Enrichment Activities With Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are an intelligent breed. They have active minds that need to be kept busy.
Giving them enrichment activities such as snuffle mats or searching for hidden treats is great fun.
This gets their noses and brains working, which can help to tire them out mentally.
This is excellent downtime for them when they’re living with a new baby.
Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Good With Children?
Yes, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are great with children! They’re a friendly and sociable breed that often form very strong bonds with the children in their family. They love spending time with the kids and will follow them around all day!
Standing just 12-13 inches to their shoulder, they’re the ideal size for children to play with.
However, there are some rules children should be taught about how to behave around your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel:
Don’t Pull Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s Ears, Fur Or Tail
Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has silky ears which may be tempting for children to grab. Don’t let them pull their ears, fur or tail.
Although they’re generally a patient breed, this will hurt them and they could potentially growl or snap.
Don’t Pick Up Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Although Cavalier King Charles Spaniels only weigh about 13-18 pounds, you shouldn’t let young children try to pick them up.
It’s likely they’ll struggle to do this safely and could hurt your Cavalier or themselves in the process.
Let Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Sleep Peacefully
Don’t let your children disturb your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel when they’re sleeping.
If they’re woken suddenly, it could startle them and they may snap or growl to protect themselves. So leave them to rest quietly while they’re sleeping.
Don’t Disturb Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s Mealtimes
Like all Spaniel breeds, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels love their food! If you try and take their food away when they’re eating, they might get protective over it.
This is even more likely with chewy dog treats, as they’ll value these even more!
Play Gently With Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Although they’re quite a sturdy breed, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can still get injured if you play with them too roughly.
So, children should always play carefully and gently around them.
Don’t Climb Or Sit On Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
If children try to climb or sit on your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, it can really hurt them.
They’re generally very tolerant of children, but can still bite if they get hurt or feel scared.
They’re also be prone to hip dysplasia and other joint conditions, so it’s even more important not to put extra pressure on their joints.
Give Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Space When Anxious
Some Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can feel anxious at times.
If they’re cowering, avoiding eye contact, licking their lips a lot, yawning or have their tail between their legs, then they’re probably feeling overwhelmed.
If ever this happens, you should always give your Cavalier space and let them calm down before play resumes again.
Teaching your children to look for signs of discomfort can be a valuable thing to do.
Don’t Hug Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Too Tightly
Although they’re a very loving breed that love to be cuddled, make sure your children don’t hug your Cavalier too tightly.
This could potentially hurt them or make them feel trapped or uncomfortable.
Only hug them gently, if they’re happy for you to do so. Never force something on them if they don’t want to do it.
Stroke Your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Gently
Never stroke your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel roughly or harshly. This could hurt or frighten them.
Slow, calming strokes with a flat hand are best.
Most Cavaliers prefer being stroked under their chin instead of over the top of their heads.
So there you have it! Cavalier King Charles Spaniels make wonderful family dogs! They’re a very loving and affectionate breed that enjoy being with their family all the time. They make the perfect playmates for children of all ages!
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