Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Aggressive?


When you’re planning on adopting a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, a logical question you may ask is “Are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels aggressive?”

Typically, Cavaliers are not aggressive. In fact, they love the family and their owner. Do note, however, that they can be aggressive when they feel like they need to be. Also, a Cavalier may get aggressive if it has a disease like rabies. Make sure you know how to deal with an aggressive dog just in case you they do become aggressive so you can know exactly what to do.

Brown and white cavalier king charles behind a green blurred background (likely grass or trees)
Image by Alexa from Pixabay

Why Is My Cavalier Acting Aggressive?

Okay, now we know that Cavaliers aren’t typically aggressive, though they can be for various reasons. So, why is my Cavalier acting aggressive?

Let’s find out.

They Are In Pain or Discomfort

One of the reasons why your Cavalier is acting aggressive is because they are in pain or discomfort.

Think about one time when you were in pain. Were you nice or did you get irritated a lot? You probably didn’t feel very friendly. The same goes for dogs.

They Have A Health Condition

Your dog may also have an illness that is making them this aggressive. One health condition that comes to mind is rabies.

Other examples could be arthritis, lacerations, tumors, bone fractures, and internal injuries.

They See Something That Looks Like A Threat


Can Cavaliers Be With Children? 

Yes, the Cavaliers love children. Because these dogs are small and gentle, they shouldn’t hurt children.

However, what you may have to worry about is your children hurting your Cavalier. The fact is, young children typically don’t know the proper way to hold a dog and can hurt your Cavalier even if they don’t mean to.

Can Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Be With Babies? 

I don’t think your Cavalier would hurt a baby, though I recommend that there be adult supervision.

Cavaliers can hurt your baby on accident, however. The same goes for the baby as well. Even though the baby may not mean to hurt them, the baby can accidently be too rough with the dog or knock something over that can scare and hurt your Cavalier.

Can Cavaliers Be With Other Dogs?

Yes, Cavaliers can be with other dogs. Because these dogs are affectionate, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about them being mean to the other dog.

However, they can still be aggressive, and the other dog could be as well. So, make sure that the dogs are introduced carefully.

Can Cavaliers Be With Other Pets?

Personally, I would be more hesitant to have a Cavalier and another pet in the same house together.

The fact is, Cavaliers have hunting instincts and may even hurt another pet like a rabbit.

Are Cavaliers Aggressive To Strangers?

Fortunately, no. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are not aggressive towards strangers, though I recommend that you always be careful when they are meeting new people.

Do note, however, that dogs with small dog syndrome (a behavior problem where the dog thinks he is the “leader of the pack” and will typically be aggressive to other people) will likely be aggressive to strangers.

Do Cavaliers Like To Be Held?

Cavaliers enjoy being held and being on their owner’s lap. Just make sure you know how to properly handle your Cavalier.

To properly hold a dog with one arm, put your dominant arm on their chest and tuck your hand between their two front legs. Then, tuck their bottom between your arm and torso.

To hold a dog with two hands, take your non-dominant hand under their chest and then hold their hand on their bottom so they aren’t hanging. Keep them close to your chest to help keep them from wiggling.

What To Do With An Aggressive Cavalier

While Cavaliers are nice dogs, it is possible for them to get mad. Now, what do you do if your Cavalier gets mad?

Typically, you’re going to want to do these 4 things: relax, back away, speak quietly, and give the dog some time to calm down.

Back Away

First, back away. The last thing you want to do is confront your dog and make him feel threatened.

Backing away will also give it some some space to calm down and relax. Making him feeling cramped will do nothing but make the situation worse.


Second, relax. If you’re nervous and make a lot of sudden movements, all this will do is make your dog feel nervous and likely more aggressive.

Take a deep breath and make small, slow movements. This should make your Cavalier less aggressive and assist you in making sound decisions.

Speak Quietly

Next, speak to it quietly. If you speak loudly, this won’t help anything. In fact, it can make the situation much worse than it already is.

Talk to it in a gentle and kind way. If you do this, your Cavalier should begin to calm down eventually.

Stop The Source

Lastly, make sure you understand what the source of your Cavalier’s anger is and stop it.

The source could be a dog, a cat, another animal, or perhaps even you if you’ve been irritating it.

If it’s a cat or another dog, try to distract your Cavalier. Also, if your Cavalier is on a leash, this will help give you some more control over it.

Your Cavalier may also have a health condition. Health conditions that may cause aggression include rabies, hypothyroidism, cognitive dysfunction, and brain disease.

Can Cavaliers Be Around Elders?

Another question you may ask is “Can Cavaliers be around elderly people?” The answer is yes.

These are very affectionate dogs, and they will love all people of all ages.


So, are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels aggressive? Fortunately, they usually aren’t. Just make sure you know what to do in case they ever get aggressive.

Do you have a Cavalier? If so, does it like to cuddle? Let us know in the comment section below!

Featured Image Attirbution: Image by Hamsterfreund from Pixabay 

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