The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is a gentle, kind and loving dog. It has been bred over many centuries to be a companion dog for humans. Their sweet gentle expression can melt even the toughest of attitudes even when it comes to sneaking treats from the table.
The breed is highly affectionate, and some have called the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel "the ultimate lap dog" or the "love sponge" of dogs. Most dogs of the breed are playful, extremely patient and eager to please. As such, dogs of the breed are usually good with children and other dogs. A well-socialized Cavalier will not be shy about socializing with much larger dogs. (However, on occasion, this tendency can be dangerous, as many cavaliers will presume all other dogs to be equally friendly, and may attempt to greet and play with aggressive dogs.) Cavaliers will adapt quickly to almost any environment, family, and location. Their ability to bond with larger and smaller dogs make them ideal in houses with more than one breed of dog. Cavaliers are great with children to seniors making them a very versatile dog.
The extremely social nature of the Cavalier KC Spaniel means that they require almost constant companionship from humans or other dogs, and are not suited to spending long periods of time on their own. This breed is one of the friendliest of the toy group. It is important for Cavaliers to have a hand-reared puppyhood to ensure security and friendliness. If bought as mature dogs, they may not be playful or social towards humans.
Some Cavaliers have been known to exhibit traits in common with cats, such as perching in high places (the tops of couches, the highest pillow, etc), cleaning their own paws and can also show some birding qualities. Cavaliers have been seen to catch small birds in mid-flight that are flying too close to the ground. Such behavior is a result of their earlier use as a hunting dog, and as such, they can develop habits that predispose them to chase small animals such as chipmunks, squirrels, birds etc. Because of this, it is recommended that care should be taken when walking a Cavalier off-leash, as they can single-mindedly chase a butterfly or squirrel onto a busy road or other dangerous situation without regard for their own safety if not properly trained. The one downside to the Cavalier is that they have a poor sense of direction, it is highly recommended that when out they be on a leash.