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Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Everything You Need to Know

The Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a miniature version of a friendly and attentive dog. It can be a great lap dog, although it retains the sporty nature of the Cavalier Spaniel. 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are the biggest among toy breeds, and the teacup dog will work for you if you want a tiny version. It’s considered too active for its size and will enjoy playing with its family for hours. Keep reading to learn more about this dog. 

History of the Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Mary, Queen of Scots, had her Spaniel accompany her until she was beheaded. This breed is named after her grandson Charles I and great-grandson Charles II, who never went anywhere without at least a couple of his cute Spaniels to accompany him. 

Breeders later bred new dogs that had flat faces. So, finding dogs that look like the ones shown in paintings created during the reign of King Charles II was challenging. In 1954, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club, USA, was founded, and in 1995, AKC finally recognized the breed as a pure breed. 

Miniature teacups were bred over the years to be the perfect lap dogs. The AKC doesn’t recognize the Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as a separate breed. Instead, it’s considered a mini version of the original toy breed. 

Also known as the Teacup Cavs or Teacup Cavie, this dog has been specifically bred to be small. There are actually several ways in which the Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was bred. 

Breeding From Runts

Runts are underweight puppies, and breeders breed them together to produce smaller-than-usual teacup dogs. Unfortunately, these puppies usually suffer from various health issues

Introducing the Dwarfism Gene

The dwarfism gene happens because of random genetic mutation. Dogs that carry this gene are prone to heart complications, spinal deformities, and underdeveloped muscles. Reputable breeders avoid this method because the litter produced will contain many sick puppies. 

Mixed With Other Breeds

Some breeders will breed the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with another smaller dog to produce a Teacup Cavie. One of the pros of using this method is that there will be a bigger genetic pool, so the puppies will be able to avoid genetic abnormalities. Nevertheless, this method will lead to the creation of mixed-breed dogs

Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Facts

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a highly athletic toy dog, so you might see it running, hiking, or participating in agility competitions. A Teacup Cavie will share the same love for outdoor activities and exercises, but it’s a bit weaker


This mini dog will look like a miniature version of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel unless you’re getting a mixed-breed dog. It’s a beautiful happy dog, known to wag its tail to show its enthusiasm all the time. 

The Tea Cavie can be about 10 inches tall, while the original dog stands between 11 and 13 inches tall. A miniature dog can weigh as little as half the weight of the original Cavalier. So, it usually weighs less than 10 pounds

It has a compact body, a deep chest, and a fairly long neck and sloping shoulders. This dog’s small size makes it an excellent choice for apartments and condos. But it’s important to understand that this little dog has a fragile body and should be handled with care. 

Overall, this dog has a cute yet sophisticated face with front-facing large, wide-set brown eyes and a gentle facial expression. The Teacup Cavie has a rounded skull and a full but slightly tapered muzzle. The feathery ears are high and crown the dog’s face when it’s alert. 


The Teacup Cavie has a medium-length silky coat that can be smooth or slightly wavy. As the dog gets older, the ears, chest, and tail become feathery. 

This dog is a frequent shedder, and regular combing and bathing might be necessary, especially if the dog likes playing outside. Some people trim the hair on their feet to keep them clean. Yet, most people prefer to leave the coat to be naturally feathery. 

Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniels’ coats come in four colors. The Blenheim pattern is the most common one; a rich chestnut-red coat with a pearly white background. People bred these dogs at the Blenheim Palace by breeding white and red Spaniels. These dogs also have a lozenge, which is a chestnut-red dot on the forehead. 

The tricolor coat is white with black markings over the body and tan markings around the eyes and on the cheeks. The black and tan coat is black with tan markings on several parts of the face and body. The ruby is a solid reddish-brown color. 

Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Behavior and Temperament

If you want a dog who is affectionate towards everyone, then the Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will be the right dog for you. It’s a happy dog and loves playing with its family, so it’s not the kind of dog you can leave alone for long periods. As a people pleaser, this dog is a good choice for a novice owner as long as you give it time and attention. 


The Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a cuddly lap dog. It’s quite friendly towards strangers, and if someone offers them a treat or allows them to sit in their lap, they immediately become friends. 

Dogs’ personalities vary from being shy and quiet to noisy and disorderly. Early house training is essential to help this dog understand boundaries. 

The Teacup Cavie isn’t a good choice if you need an alert watchdog, as it doesn’t bark much. However, some dogs will bark to alert you of everything going on around you. Some can also be wary of strangers. 

If you live in a small apartment or condo, this dog will work for you. But it still loves to exercise, so don’t expect it to spend most of its time lounging. It can also have a lot of fun chasing birds and small animals in the backyard. Being a teacup size doesn’t represent a problem for the Teacup Cavie. It’s a small dog with a big personality

Due to the friendly and loving nature of this dog, it can be a great family dog. Some dogs also work as therapy dogs. It’s a people pleaser and will either cuddle with its favorite human or a soft pillow. Some dogs can get too clingy and easily develop separation anxiety if left alone. 

This dog is the perfect choice for a small family, a retiree, or a big family with children. It’s essential to make sure that there’s at least one person who can spend time with this cute and affectionate dog because it has a dependent personality


The tiny Teacup Cavie needs at least two hours of exercise to stay healthy. A playpen with enough toys is essential to make this dog happy. Cavaliers can enjoy running and hunting, but Teacup Cavies can easily get exhausted. So, it can play outside in the backyard under the family’s supervision. 

Instead of long exercise sessions, multiple short play and exercise sessions will be better for this dog. Spending about 20 minutes or 30 minutes playing is enough for this little dog. 

Yet, remember that this is a house dog who will follow you wherever you go. So, you should never leave this dog alone in the backyard. Owls and hawks in the area can represent a real threat to this tiny cute dog. 

With Family

If you want a loyal and affectionate dog, then the Teacup Cavie is definitely the right dog for you. It’s a suitable dog for a family, and having someone to watch it is essential

The dog is relatively easy to train because it’s intelligent and eager to please. To guarantee its safety, a small house with small or no stairs will be suitable for this cute dog. In the right family, this dog will show its playful and cheerful side, keeping a smile on everyone’s faces. 

The Teacup Cavie is fond of children and will spend the best time of its life playing with them. But because of its tiny size, you need to keep an eye on it because they can easily hurt it. Rough play can cause severe damage to this tiny dog, so supervision is essential. 

With Other Pets

The dog is quite friendly towards other dogs and pets in the house. It will unlikely attack any, although it might chase small pets, not kill them. Caution is recommended if there are bigger dogs in the house as they might easily harm this dog. 

The Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is happy around cats and smaller pets, despite having a hunting instinct. Early socialization will help this dog get along with other pets in the house. 

Behavioral Issues

This dog has a dependent personality, so it can get clingy. It shouldn’t be left alone because it’s prone to separation anxiety. This can lead to destructive behavior like chewing on stuff or non-stop barking

In typical situations, this dog won’t bark much to alert you. Yet, some dogs bark more frequently, especially when left alone for long periods. 

If you don’t like having your face licked, you might get annoyed with this little dog. But it will lick your face whenever it has a chance to show you how much it loves you. 

Despite its small size, it can have a strong prey and chasing drive. It is common to chase animals in the backyard unless you use a harness. It can also chase cars and bikes, and leaving the house can be too dangerous for this tiny dog. 

Early socialization is essential for this dog to help it get along with other people and pets. A dog that doesn’t get socialized from an early age will get too nervous when it meets new people

Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Socialization and Training

This is an intelligent, easy-to-train dog, and even a young child will be able to train it. However, it’s essential to think of the dog’s timid and affectionate nature, so you should be assertive without being too harsh

Positive reinforcement and using the Teacup Cavie’s favorite treats work best. Loud voices will scare this dog and make it less eager to learn new tricks. But, with enough patience, you can teach your little dog to shake hands

Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Grooming

Brushing the hair daily or at least four times a week is essential to prevent tangling. If your Teacup Cavie enjoys playing outside, you’ll have to bathe it more often. 

Some people prefer trimming the hair between the foot pads to allow dogs to walk more comfortably. Weekly inspection of the skin will help you detect any sores or infections. 

These dogs are moderate shedders. But because this is a lap dog, you could use a wireless vacuum cleaner to clean your couch regularly. 

Dogs with floppy ears require more attention, so you should inspect them for infections every week. Trim the dog’s nails regularly, as walking can become uncomfortable if the nails are too long. 

You should brush your dog’s teeth at least four times a week. If it’s a licker, brush them daily to prevent the buildup of bacteria and bad breath.

Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Prices and Expenses

The Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an expensive dog, so you can expect to pay between $2000 and $14,000 to get a puppy. However, if you get it from a reputable breeder, you should spend about $4000. More expensive puppies come from a well-known champion bloodline and can come in rare colors. 

Several factors affect the price you pay for this cute little dog. These include the bloodline, breeder’s reputation, coat color, location, official papers, and vaccines. Yet, you can adopt a puppy from a shelter for about $600.

Some one-time purchases include food and water bowls, a crate, a bed, a collar, treats, chew toys, a playpen, a brush, and shampoo. It will unlikely use a leash, but you might have to pay for a harness. These purchases can cost between $300 and $400.

This little dog has a tiny tummy, so it needs to eat frequently in small amounts. You should expect to pay around $80 for high-quality toy dog food per month. 

Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Rarity

These dogs are quite rare, and this explains why they cost. The black and tan coat color is the rarest and will cost more. 

Cavaliers aren’t that common, and Teacup Cavies can be quite rare. So, you might not be able to find them easily, but you might find an abandoned dog at the local shelter because people don’t know how to take care of them. 

Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Life Expectancy

Teacup dogs usually live between nine to 15 years, depending on the breed. Cavaliers live between nine and 14 years, so your teacup dog will have a similar life expectancy. 

Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Health

Teacup Cavies are prone to several health issues that they inherit from their parents, especially if they’re bred from runts or dwarf dogs

Overfeeding and obesity are problems if you leave food around all day long. It’s best to feed this dog several times a day, providing a small amount of food every time to keep it healthy. More active dogs will need more food. 

Getting a puppy from a reputable breeder guarantees that your dog will be healthy by seeing clearances for several health conditions. These include mitral valve disease or MVD, hip and elbow dysplasia, and syringomyelia. SM is quite common in Teacup Cavies because of the small size of the skull, putting pressure on the brain. 

Patellar luxation or the dislocation of the kneecaps is also common in these dogs. They also suffer from episodic falling and vision problems. 

Wrap Up

The Teacup Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small dog with a big personality. It’s an active, loving dog that enjoys spending time with its family. Short sessions of exercise and play are essential to keep it happy and healthy. So, if you spend a lot of time away from home, this won’t be the right dog for you.