Cavalier King Spaniels are popular dogs to own as pets because they are gentle, sweet-natured, yet playful all at the same time. But are they known to bark a lot? Is this the kind of behavior you can expect and is it something to consider with this breed? Here is what you should know.
So, do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels bark a lot? Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are not known to bark a lot. However, some dogs of this breed will bark more frequently depending on their environment and training. Separation anxiety, boredom, fear, or illness/injury can also result in temporarily increased barking.
These dogs crave attention and affection from their owners, so if they are left alone for any length of time, barking is to be expected.
Cavaliers form very close bonds with their owners and love nothing more than cuddling in their owner’s laps – they adore this close intimacy.
For this reason, Cavaliers become distressed and anxious when their owners leave them at home.
Separation anxiety can set in as soon as the owner puts on their shoes or grabs their keys.
If your Cavalier struggles with this, which many do, they are likely to cry, bark, howl, and whine – this could go on for minutes or hours until you return.
You can avoid some of the negative traits of this breed by adopting an adult Cavalier from a shelter or rescue group.
With an adult dog, you can see firsthand what you are getting and they are usually mature and settled down.
You can opt for a puppy Cavalier by choosing a reputable breeder, although you would have no way of knowing your pup’s inherited temperament.
A good breeder can offer help and advice if your puppy turns out to have some negative traits later down the line so all is not lost!
Despite their love of the cozy things in life, they are very energetic and need plenty of exercise.
A fenced yard is a prerequisite for a Cavalier as they tend to run right into the street if something catches their eye.
Aside from this most Cavaliers don’t have undesirable traits as adults. They generally make great family companions.
Let us now take a closer look at the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel when it comes to barking.
We will take a look at those contexts where they are most likely to be more vocal, and some proactive approaches you can take to keep this form of communication at bay.
Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Barkers?
Cavalier King Charles don’t tend to bark excessively; they are generally quiet, docile, and content to be in the company of others.
This dog breed is not shy or nervous like some breeds, and they are very friendly around strangers.
Cavaliers don’t make suitable guard dogs; they are total love bugs; for this reason, there is no reason for them to bark.
Cavaliers are also friendly towards other dogs and don’t normally show any aggression to them.
While this all is true for the breed average, there are of course exceptions to the rule. This is true of any breed of dog.
Some individual Cavaliers might bark more often; even the quietest dog will bark now and again.
One of the primary reasons the otherwise quiet Cavalier might bark is due to what is known as separation anxiety – many dogs are afflicted with this condition.
Essentially, this dog becomes quickly devoted to their owners and actively seek to be with them as much as possible.
There are other reasons King Cavaliers bark (which we will get into in more detail shortly in the following sections), however, Separation is the main reason as reported by owners.
Ultimately, Barking is not a significant concern regarding the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
This breed, unfortunately, does come with many inherited health problems, and it’s the only real major drawback to Cavalier ownership, apart from the expense of veterinary care.
It’s important to consider that any injury or illness can result in an increased tendency to bark.
Barking is a dog’s way of communicating with you, so if they are in pain or distressed they are likely to become more vocal. This often happens or comes on suddenly.
So you are aware, let us look at the common health problems of the breed and those to look out for:
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Illnesses
Heart disease is the number-one killer of this breed. At least half of all Cavaliers will develop heart disease by the age of five, and almost all Cavaliers by the age of ten.
Cavaliers have a short lifespan, and most don’t make it to the age of ten. Expect to pay out a lot of money for ongoing heart treatments by a canine cardiologist.
Syringomyelia (an inherited neurological disorder) affects almost half of all Cavaliers.
Most Cavaliers show symptoms between the ages of 6 months and three years of age. This disorder causes abnormal skin sensations, difficulty walking, and sensitivity to touch or pain.
Some individuals are lucky and are only mildly affected – these dogs manage with daily medication; others must be euthanized; there is no cure for this disease.
Many Cavaliers suffer from inherited epilepsy, hip dysplasia, loose knee joints, itchy allergies, skin conditions, and eye diseases.
These diseases inherent with Cavaliers are heartbreaking but also financially draining.
Common Reasons Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Bark
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels usually are quiet dogs, but even the calmest dogs will express themselves now and again.
Some Cavalier owners report that their dogs bark if they hear barking from other dogs, or if they spot something exciting outside the window.
Cavaliers need lots of exercise, so if they don’t have an opportunity to burn off their energy, it might lead to these dogs barking more than usual.
It’s rare for these dogs to bark excessively; if they do, it’s usually due to separation anxiety – this condition can cause them to cry a lot, as they are dealing with feelings of distress and fear at the thought of their owner having to leave.
Seeing their owner put on his shoes, or grab his coat, etc., will bring on this awful condition.
Aside from the above reasons, Cavaliers might bark for the same reasons other breeds bark, these include:
- Fear of unfamiliar people or dogs – this usually is the result of a dog that has not been socialized appropriately from a young age. Its important for your dog to get used to being in the company with new people, dogs, animals and situations so they gain confidence within different environments and contexts.
- Feeling territorial over their perceived space, or possessions – this could be a room, their food or a toy. Its important to never try to take one of these away from them. Children must be particularly careful.
- Not liking to be approached while they’re eating or chewing a toy or bone – again the possessive instinct kicks in.
- Trying to warn their family of danger – if a dog perceives a threat; whatever it is they will try to alert their owners.
- Boredom – if a dog is not sufficiently mentally or physically stimulated; they can resort to undesirable behaviors. Barking and chewing are the main ones.
- Hunger – any dog not being fed enough will let you know they are hungry. Owners may have missed a meal, not provided enough food or may even have foods lying about the home they desire.
- Illness or injury – any dog in pain will likely let you know. This may be as you attempt to touch the injured, infected or otherwise painful area.
Why Do Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Bark So Much?
The most common reason a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel usually becomes more vocal than usual is if they are feeling isolated or alone.
This condition is known as separation anxiety. If your Cavalier has it, you may notice how he becomes nervous when they watch you getting ready to leave the house.
In your absence, they might howl until you return, he may also claw the door and destroy your shoes.
So what is separation anxiety, you may ask? Separation anxiety occurs when a dog that’s overly attached to its owner gets very distressed when left alone.
It is a severe condition and involves more than just some whining, there are things that you can do to help your Cavalier, which we will look at in the following section, but let’s discuss the signs of this condition:
- Excessively howling, barking, and whining
- Chewing things, scratching at windows and doors, digging up holes in the yard
- Obsessive pacing
- Attempting to escape
- Having indoor accidents despite being housebroken
- Drooling, salivating, or panting more than usual
Your Cavalier may do some of these things, perhaps not all when you are at home. It’s normal for dogs to do this occasionally, but dogs with separation anxiety are likely to do this all the time.
How Do I Get My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel To Stop Barking?
If separation anxiety is the reason your Cavalier barks excessively, some steps could potentially help your dog with this condition.
You should try to understand what is causing your dog to act the way they do – it could be any of the following reasons:
- Recently moved into your home
- They never got used to being alone, or perhaps they are a puppy being left alone for the first few times
- Change of ownership
- Loss of a family member – be it temporarily or permanently.
- Change in routine
Your vet must be the first place you go to seek help; sometimes dogs have accidents due to an infection or hormonal problems, perhaps your Cavalier has a medical condition.
Maybe your dog is not completely housebroken. If your dog is taking medications that can make him have accidents too.
If your dog is healthy, your vet can prescribe medication to help your dog relax in your absence.
It’s also worth consulting with a dog trainer who can give you insight into separation anxiety and advice you on what you can do (and what you should avoid doing) to help your dog relax in your absence.
If separation anxiety is mild, you can try any of the following:
- Provide your dog with a treat every time you leave. You can stuff a puzzle toy (like the amazing Kong Toy on Amazon) with peanut butter. Your cavalier will be kept busy trying to solve the puzzle to get the treat, they shouldn’t have time to bark.
- Do not make a big deal of your comings and goings, don’t encourage your cavalier to greet you. When you get home, ignore your dog for a few minutes, this should diffuse any strong emotions from your Cavalier.
- Leave some of your clothes out, that still have your scent, this should be of some comfort to your dog.
- Natural calming supplements might help your Cavalier to relax, so well worth a try. These all-natural, essential oils from Amazon are an ideal place to start.
Other than separation anxiety, it’s important for you to try and identify the root cause of the barking.
If it is through boredom, for example, then it may mean making your dog’s day more interesting and stimulating. This might be with exercise or it might be through games, puzzles, and toys.
If it’s through fear of other people or dogs, you should look to slowly but safely socialize your dog. Group dog training classes are ideal for this.
Be sure to visit the park regularly from the time your dog is at a young age. Let them interact safely with other people and dogs.
If this is not possible for whatever reason, ensure that your dog meets your neighbors, friends, and family whenever they come to visit.
Other practical solutions to preventing barking include giving your dog more access to the home, shutting the blinds/curtains to stop your dog from observing passers-by, and ensuring your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is well-fed and never teased, or interrupted with food.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a superb companion for any household; they are loving, playful, and gentle. These dogs are not barkers, at least, not to excess.
Cavaliers are dependent dogs, perhaps too dependent on their owners mind you.
They quickly feel abandoned when left alone which makes them anxious – this leads to destructive behavior and a lot of howling and yelping.
You can help your Cavalier feel less anxious when you need to leave the house; if their condition is severe, you are advised to seek professional support.
Generally speaking, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel isn’t a noisy dog, most rarely bark.
Their quiet, docile nature and small size make them ideal for anyone living in an apartment; just don’t expect them to guard you. It’s not in their nature.
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.