If you have a Cavalier King Charles spaniel then you will have noticed that as well as being a cute and playful dog, he has loads of energy and will play and stay active for most of the day.
You may wonder if he will ever calm down and, if so, when this will be.
It is important to remember that a Cavalier King Charles is a spaniel. His heritage is that of a dog that has been bred for hunting and long periods of high energy work, so, like all of the other spaniel breeds, he can keep going for hour upon hour and will only calm down when he has expended all of his energy.
Do Cavalier King Charles spaniels ever calm down?
Yes, they do calm down, but if you are asking when this occurs then the answer is that that will depend on the individual dog.
The key thing to remember with a Cavalier King Charles is that he is a spaniel and, as such, he has a love for life that exceeds that of many other dogs.
Simply put he enjoys life so much that, like every other spaniel breed, he will live it at full throttle, day after day after day.
As he becomes older then, just like a human being, he will slow down physically, so, yes, he will calm down.
The real question is probably more one of how do you help your Cavalier King Charles to control his love of life and become calm.
What things can calm a Cavalier King Charles spaniel down?
Almost all dogs love day to day life and will spend each day living it as though it is their last.
Every breed of spaniel has masses of energy which, when combined with their high levels of intelligence, results in a dog that needs daily challenges.
When you share your life with a Cavalier King Charles then he will want to be included in all of the things that you do each day.
If this is to work well for everyone involved then it is important that you make sure that his daily activities challenge him and provide him with opportunities to use up all of his physical energy.
If he only has the opportunity to exercise indoors then he may not calm down.
It is important that you give him time to run around outside even if this is only for a few minutes each day.
If you want to have a Cavalier King Charles that is a good companion then you really should think about:
Training – this does not need to be an ordeal. Some basic spaniel training activities are easy, will be enjoyed by your dog and, once you realise that you can do them will be good fun for you too.
Playtime – spaniels love to play. Games that involve finding things when he can use his incredible sense of smell, are great activities for all breeds of spaniels. Play fetch with your Cavalier – he will love it.
Walks – Cavalier King Charles are often viewed as armchair spaniels that sit in peoples’ laps and rarely get any exercise.
The reality is very different.
Your Cavalier will love getting out and about. Let him off his lead and allow him to sniff, explore and run free. Remember that spaniels are hunting dogs and they love to follow their noses – let your Cavalier explore.
Do Cavalier King Charles spaniels have lots of energy?
Yes they do and the important thing to remember is that if your dog is not given the opportunity to use this energy, it is possible that he will become destructive, hyperactive and difficult to live with.
If these things happen then it will be your fault, as an owner, for not providing your dog with the chances to learn and use up his day to day energy levels.
Do all spaniels calm down with age?
Most dogs do slow down at some point. This is particularly true of larger breeds of dog that are not as fast on their feet when they get older.
However there are also some smaller breeds that may never appear to be anything other than hyperactive little bundles of energy throughout their entire lives.
The question to ask yourself is whether you are willing to adapt your lifestyle so that it matches up with the energy levels of your dog?
If you need a low key, calm dog then think about choosing a breed of dog that fits this description – don’t go for an active spaniel-type if you want something different.
How do you calm down a Cavalier King Charles spaniel?
As with any dog, it is important that they are given the correct amount of exercise each day.
This does not need to be excessively strenuous but it should provide your dog with an outlet for their energy levels.
If your cavalier is becoming hyperactive then you should look at the amount of time that he has for activity each day. If this is not enough then you need to find some activities that he can take part in.
How long should you walk a Cavalier King Charles spaniel?
It has been found that a 20-30 minute walk each day will be beneficial for your spaniel.
However, if you find that he is becoming hyperactive or you are finding it difficult to cope with his boundless energy levels then this length of walk may not be enough.
If this is the case then looking at how often you walk him each day is probably more useful.
How often should you exercise a Cavalier King Charles spaniel?
Ideally you should be giving your dog regular opportunities to run around and use up his energy.
If he has been inside for much of the day then this might not be possible each day though.
In this case, it is good to have a couple of activities that he can take part in.
Maybe one day you will walk him twice, another day you could play with him in the garden.
How else can you calm a Cavalier down?
There are lots of things you can do to help your dog calm down. Here are a few suggestions:
– No attention seeking behaviour – some dogs find it difficult to cope with being ignored by their owners and this can lead to bad temperaments.
If your dog is constantly moping around the house, looking sad or waiting for you then he will become bored and hyperactive – he wants your attention.
Make sure that you spend time with your dog each day, just chilling out together. If he is not getting enough attention then maybe try adding in some extra one to one time with him each day – e.g. playtime after work?
– Exercise before feeding – feed your dog at least an hour before bed so that any chance of him getting up in the middle of the night is minimised. Exercise before bedtime can work wonders for your little one and help with settling time.
– Watch what you say – not all words are good for a dog. If he has been naughty then make sure you let him know about it but try to avoid using words like ‘bad’ or ‘naughty’. These will only appear to confirm that he is doing something wrong.
– Create rest time – some dogs find it difficult to settle for their rest during the day and constantly want to play. You can try creating a den somewhere around your home (under a table, behind a sofa etc.) and encourage your dog to go there and sleep.
– Watch him carefully – it is vitally important that you keep an eye on your dog when he is hyperactive.
Dogs with behavioural problems such as this can find themselves chewing everything they come across or causing chaos by running about everywhere.
If you notice him getting out of control then it is important that you take him away from the situation and try to calm him down.
How can I encourage my dog to play more?
Playing with your Cavalier is one of the best ways to keep him healthy, happy and entertained. Here are some ideas for what you could do:
– Hide & Seek – hide some treats around the house for your dog to find then call him over and encourage him to get them.
– Chase games – you can play chase with your dog using anything that he is happy to run after (a ball, a toy, his lead?), make sure you are both having fun!
– Action Games – try working your dog on some tricks to make the time even more fun, use verbal commands and clicker training.
– Find it – you can play this game with toys or food; give your dog the toy/treat then throw it across the room for him to find (you can throw it under or behind things).
If you are playing with food then you will need to put it in something that will only release the pieces slowly.
– Exercise – use any opportunity during the day when your dog is most hyperactive to encourage him to run about, chase games are great for this. If he goes crazy at feeding time then you can try playing with him afterwards instead of just feeding him straight away.
– Obedience Games – use some of your everyday tasks as ‘games’ to keep the fun alive and improve his training such as working on ‘sit’ or ‘down’.
– Bug hunting – if you have any items around the house that rattle then shake them about and let him chase after them to help tire him out.
– ‘Exercise’ your brain – you can do this by taking him to interesting places around the house, encouraging him to find things or looking for his favourite toy.
You can also encourage problem solving in younger dogs using items such as Kongs stuffed with food, these need your dog to roll them about and manipulate them in order to get the treats out.
Remember that, even though he is a small dog that might not do the work that other spaniels do, your Cavalier King Charles has the same instincts, desires and energy levels of those breeds, and, he needs to put that energy to good use.
Help him to get rid of that energy through training, play and exercise.
He will be a calmer dog and more pleasant, biddable companion as a result.