Male vs Female Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: 6 Key Differences

Written by Em Thomas
Published: December 10, 2023
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Cavalier King Charles spaniels are one of the most beautiful breeds of small dogs in existence. If you’re considering taking one of these sweethearts home, you might be curious to learn the differences between male and female Cavalier King Charles spaniels.

As is the case with all dog breeds, the differences between genders are observational. Scientific studies haven’t shown significant gendered differences in dogs, but there are some subtle differences that can be observed. Keep in mind, as well, that there is more variation between individual dogs, so the best way to know if you’re picking the right pup is to get to know their personality before bringing them home.

There are six categories of differences between male and female Cavalier King Charles spaniels, including size, personality, reproductive care, energy level, training difficulty, and health concerns. Read on to learn more about the breed’s gendered differences.

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CharacteristicMale Cavalier King Charles SpanielsFemale Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
SizeSlightly heavier and tallerSlightly thinner and shorter
PersonalityMore energetic and clingy, can be territorialAffectionate and stubborn, can be moody
Reproductive CareNeuterSpay
Energy LevelModerate to highModerate
Training DifficultyMore difficult than females due to energy levelEasier than males due to earlier maturation
Health ConcernsAt risk for two types of male-only cancersNot at risk of gender-specific health issues

1. Size

cavalier King Charles spaniels are prone to obesity.

While there are some observed differences in size, it’s totally possible to have a female wind up a bit larger than a male. The differences are not substantial.


Generally, male spaniels are a bit larger than females. They both fall within the same range, though males are generally 13 inches in height and 13-18 pounds, while females are generally between 10-12 inches tall and a little bit lighter, ranging from 10-18 pounds. The size differences will vary from dog to dog, but all Cavalier King Charles spaniels are small dogs.

2. Personality

There are a few observed personality differences between male and female Cavalier King Charles spaniels, as well. Generally, males are a bit clingier and more hyper, maturing later than females. Females, on the other hand, tend to be more mellow and mature, but exhibit some stubbornness.

However, if the dogs go unspayed or unneutered, they each have a few more negative traits. Males exhibit territorial traits when unneutered, while females demonstrate some more consistent moodiness when they aren’t spayed. If you don’t intend to breed your pup, it’s highly recommended to spay or neuter them for both reproductive and behavioral reasons.

3. Reproductive Care

The little dog Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is lying on the floor. Beautiful Purebred Cavalier King Charles Cavalier Spaniel Dog

Neutering and spaying are common procedures. Neutering a dog tends to be a little bit cheaper than spaying, so if cost is a concern, keep that in mind. Call your local veterinarian to understand the surgeries and costs associated with spaying and neutering your pet.

©Aksana Zavadskaya/iStock via Getty Images

A more obvious difference between male and female Cavalier King Charles spaniels is the required reproductive care. Males who are not intended to be bred should be neutered, while females should be spayed. This has behavioral benefits and prevents overpopulation concerns for families not equipped to have puppies.

4. Energy Level

Related to personality trait differences are energy level differences. Males tend to have moderate to high energy levels, while females max out around the moderate level. If you’re looking for a super playful pup, a male may be the right choice. If you’re looking for a more laid-back energy level, consider bringing home a female. However, keep in mind that individual dogs will have varied energy levels.

5. Training Difficulty

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Canis familiaris) - running with stick in mouth

Regardless of gender, Cavalier King Charles spaniels love to run and play.

©Martin Mehes/

Another subtle difference between male and female Cavalier King Charles spaniels is trainability. While both genders are smart and trainable, the maturity level of females can make them easier to train. Males are more hyper and harder to contain, so training can be more difficult.

6. Health Concerns

There are a few breed-specific health concerns for Cavalier King Charles spaniels, but males have a few potential health concerns of their own. It’s possible for males to develop prostate and testicular cancer, which are two types of cancers that females are not at risk of developing. However, there aren’t a ton of differences in health concerns between the two genders.

When you’re bringing home a pup, you never know what health issues they will develop in their lifetime. Be prepared to maneuver the ups and downs of your dog’s health, regardless of gender.

Summary of Differences

While the differences between male and female Cavalier King Charles spaniels are somewhat subtle, they’re certainly something to take into consideration when you’re bringing home a pup. Both genders are small, affectionate, and smart, but males and females have a few key differences in personality, energy level, and trainability.

If you’re bringing home a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, the best thing you can do is take the time to familiarize yourself with available puppies. While there are gendered differences, the best way to select the right fit for your household is by getting to know individual pups.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Liudmila Bohush/

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About the Author

Em Thomas is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering places, travel, and chili peppers! She's an MBA student with a passion for storytelling. Though she's a Michigan native, she presently resides in Denver, Colorado. While she doesn't currently have any pets of her own, she's an avid dogsitter with an affinity for big dogs!

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