‘Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’ is their full name, and they come from a toy group of dogs. But, being a lap dog doesn’t mean they don’t have the need to run around. As a matter of fact, CKCs are descended from hunting dogs, which means they do need their walkies.
But, how often should we walk them, and for how long?
It all comes down to their health because unfortunately, Cavalier King Charles dogs can have a lot of health issues that can interfere with their daily activities.
Some health issues have an impact during a walk and others after a walk. Have you ever heard of Episodic Falling Syndrome or EFS?
Well, you should read about it because 30% of CKCs carry this gene, and it can be very frightening to see your dog affected by this health issue.
From puppies to seniors, let’s see the proper amount of walks a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel needs.
How Often Should You Walk A CKC?
First, let’s learn a thing or two about this amazing dog breed.
The CKC is up to 13 inches tall, and can weigh from 12 to 18 pounds. Both males and females are of similar sizes, although a female is a bit smaller than a male.
Why is it important to mention they are Spaniels? Because Spaniel dogs are hunting dogs, especially good bird-hunting dogs that are quite energetic.
Those are the genes your silky furry friend will inherit as well.
Now, let’s divide the Cavs into four categories: puppy, adult, senior, and those with health issues. They all have different exercise needs, and as such, their walking schedule will vary.
1. Puppy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cav puppies will be just like any other puppies. As they grow, they will explore and learn about the world around them through their senses. For dogs, and for hunting dogs, especially, this means exploring through their sense of smell.
CKC owners will tell you that no matter the breed description when they are puppies, they can act in different ways. Some CKC puppies will be active and extroverted, while others will be shy and more reserved.
This is all normal because every dog is unique. You can fit them under one huge purebred CKC umbrella, but they have their own little umbrellas, which make each dog different.
Very important: you shouldn’t walk your puppy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel until the puppy is 6 months old.
Why? Because they haven’t finished their growth process before the sixth month, and any type of excessive exercise, such as long walks can impact their bone and joint development.
Some dogs finish their growing phase when they reach their 5th month. However, it is better to be safe than sorry, and wait for one more month.
Until then, keep the play either inside your home or a fenced yard. There is no need for long walks a few times a day until they are fully grown.
2. Adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
If you have an adult CKC, then you can, and definitely should, take your dog on daily walks. You should do it at least once a day for 35 to 40 minutes.
However, it would be best if you could do it two times a day for 30 minutes.
Once again, the best information is the one we get from actual CKC owners, and they recommend daily walks divided into 30-minute sessions – one in the morning and one in the evening.
Because they have hunting dog genes, you can slowly build them up to go on longer hikes or walks with you. However, don’t push your dog. They are still small-sized dogs with paw pads not used to rough terrain.
Also, be careful when you go out into the woods because some big birds might mistake your dog for delicious prey.
And, keep your dog on the leash. As you already know, they have hunting instincts, and they will bolt after a squirrel or anything else they think it’s worth investigating.
Calling them back is the difficult part.
3. Senior Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
First of all, a CKCs average lifespan is from 9 to 14 years. As they get older, they won’t need as much daily exercise and walks as when they were young-adult dogs.
By now, you should have gotten used to your dog’s daily exercise needs. This means you can notice when they get tired and when to stop and go back home.
This will be easier to see when they get into their senior years. They’ll simply get tired faster, and they won’t be as quick and agile as they used to be.
So, while it is individual, you can cut down the walks to half an hour once a day. That should be enough for your old CKC.
Of course, if you notice your dog needs more or less exercise, feel free to adjust according to your dog’s needs.
4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel With Health Issues
As I already said, CKCs are not the healthiest dog breed. They can develop a lot of health problems, and some of them can greatly impact their daily activities.
Health problems that cause the most issues to the number of daily walks are:
- Mitral valve heart disease (MVD)
- Episodic Falling Syndrome (EFS)
- Patella luxation
- Hip dysplasia
The symptoms you will notice if your dog has MVD are that he gets tired easily, and develops coughs from an early age. These coughs are not related to bacterial or viral infections. They are a symptom of heart disease.
Hip and patella problems are joint problems, and they will cause obvious movement problems in CKC dogs no matter their age. They will exhibit symptoms such as limping, bunny hop, problems going up and down the stairs, etc.
Syringomyelia is a problem with the spinal cord, and it causes idiopathic pain in dogs. This means even a touch can make these dogs uncomfortable, make them scratch themselves, or yelp in pain in more severe cases.
And, finally, EFS is the most shocking health issue that CKCs have because it is so dramatic, and it happens after exercising or a walk.
The dog goes rigid and falls down.
You should walk your CKC with these health issues according to your vet’s instructions.
When you think about how much exercise or daily walks your dog needs, think about your dog as an individual. You can listen to other dog owners or your vet, but the bottom line is that you will have to pay attention to your dog’s behavior and adjust accordingly.
There are rules that should be followed if your dog has health issues. In that case, you should stick to the tips your vet told you.
After all, some health issues can be provoked by exercise or walking so it is better to listen to the professional and minimize the time your dog is highly active.
However, if you have a healthy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, you can listen to the advice of other CKC owners, and walk your dog two times a day for about 30 minutes.
Or, slowly exercise your dog so that you can go on longer walks or hikes with him.
Whatever you choose, it is certain your dog will love it, and will love spending time with you.