Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are good-natured dogs. As a result, it isn’t hard to see why people like them. Unfortunately, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are also prone to health problems, so much so that USA Today says Norway has banned their breeding in that country. If you are concerned by the same issue, you should check out dogs similar to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for alternatives.
1. Basset Hound
Bassets are scenthounds with shorter-than-normal legs. Reputedly, people bred them that way so that interested individuals could keep up when hunting on foot rather than from horseback. Most recognized Bassets are French. However, there are recognized Bassets that came into existence elsewhere. For instance, the Basset Hound has French roots. Even so, it is a British dog breed because the modern version came into existence in Great Britain.
Appearance-wise, the Basset Hound is very easy to recognize. It has a long, bigger-than-normal nose, which makes sense because The Spruce Pets includes it in its list of the dog breeds with the strongest sense of smell. Otherwise, the Basset Hound is recognizable because of its hanging skin, its shorter-than-normal legs, and its bi-colored or tri-colored coat.
If you want a calm but affectionate dog, you could do much worse than choosing a Basset Hound. Be warned that it is a stubborn, independent-minded animal because of its origin as a scenthound. As a result, if you can’t work around that, you should choose a different dog breed.
Beagles are also scenthounds. Even so, they are quite different from Basset Hounds. For instance, Beagles have a weight of 22 to 25 pounds for males and 20 to 23 pounds for females, thus making them much smaller than Basset Hounds with a weight of 55 to 75 pounds for males and 45 to 65 pounds for females. That makes sense because Dogtime states people bred these dogs for hunting rabbits and other kinds of small game.
Even though Beagles are so much smaller than Basset Hounds, they have some of the same pros and cons. On the plus side, Beagles are capable creatures with a great deal of fondness for humans. On the minus side, Beagles are just as single-minded, which isn’t helped by their excitable nature. Please note that people intended Beagles to hunt in packs. Thanks to that, they are prone to suffering from separation anxiety. Another issue that these dogs share with Basset Hounds.
If you want a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel without getting a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, you can always get a dog descended from Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. After all, the overwhelming majority of dogs are mixed-breed dogs, which is a somewhat misleading term because purebred dogs emerged out of mixed-breed dogs rather than the other way around. One option would be seeking out a mixed-breed dog descended from Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Another option would be seeking out a designer dog that is half-Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and half something else.
For those unfamiliar, Time describes designer dogs as intentional mixed-breed dogs. Essentially, people breed them because people want to combine the best characteristics of two dog breeds in the same dog. As a result, if you want a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel without getting a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, you should consider getting a Cavapoo. That would be a designer dog descended from the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Poodle. Unsurprisingly, Cavapoos are popular. That means these designer dogs are expensive.
Of course, you should keep some things in mind if you are thinking about getting a designer dog. For instance, you must familiarize yourself with the exact Cavapoo you are thinking about bringing home before you finalize everything. Designer dogs are even less predictable than purebred dogs because they haven’t undergone generation after generation of breeding for consistency. Thanks to that, you could regret it if you make assumptions about what your Cavapoo will be like without confirming it. On top of this, the high demand for designer dogs means a wide range of people is now involved in the business. Some are trustworthy. Others are not. Scrutiny is a good way to avoid physical and behavioral issues in a potential companion dog.
4. Cocker Spaniel
Cocker Spaniels aren’t a single dog breed. Instead, the term refers to two closely related dog breeds called the American Cocker Spaniel and the English Cocker Spaniel. Country Living states that the main difference between them is that American Cocker Spaniels are quite a bit smaller than their English counterparts. Otherwise, they are very similar, which makes sense because the two dog breeds weren’t considered separate until the 1930s.
Originally, Cocker Spaniels were just gundogs. Nowadays, they are companion dogs at least as much as gundogs. That is possible because Cocker Spaniels are cheerful, gentle-mannered, and trustworthy around humans. Still, if you want a Cocker Spaniel, you should expect to put a fair amount of effort into maintenance. Some of that is the coat that requires daily grooming. Cocker Spaniels are also every bit as energetic as you would expect from gundogs, meaning you need to give them at least an hour of daily exercise. Remember to choose something interesting so that they can get their mental stimulation at the same time that they get their physical exercise.
5. English Toy Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a rather awkward name. Obviously, the dog breed got its name from a monarch. However, having “Cavalier” at the front doesn’t make much sense. Knowing the context makes things even more confusing. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel got its name from King Charles II of England, who headed up a hedonistic era after the country’s republican experiment. That means the “Cavalier” must refer to the period’s royalists, which supported him but wouldn’t have included him. Under these circumstances, it is natural for people to wonder whether there is a King Charles Spaniel that existed before interested individuals came up with the variant called the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
They are right to do so because there is indeed a King Charles Spaniel. Interested individuals might be more familiar with it under the name of English Toy Spaniel. These dogs are very personable. Better still, they are a quiet, low-energy dog breed, so they are a good choice for people with more sedate lifestyles. English Toy Spaniels do have their fair share of issues. One would be their hunting instincts, which can make their reactions to smaller animals very chancy. Another would be their flat faces. WebMD states that said feature can interfere with their breathing, which makes them poorly suited to either high temperatures or low temperatures.
The Havanese is a companion dog. Despite that, it is on the studier end of things, which can be a good thing for people concerned about the well-being of their pets. That isn’t to say the dog breed suffers no health complications whatsoever. If you get one, you should still visit your veterinarian for regular check-ups because it has a higher chance of getting heart disease, liver disease, cataracts, retinal dysplasia, and trick knees. Still, if you can provide it with a nutritious diet, a moderate amount of regular exercise, and the other foundations of canine health, you should know it has an average lifespan of 14 to 16 years.
Moving on, the Havanese is well-suited for being a companion dog. One of its most notable features is its long coat, which is so soft and light that it invites frequent comparisons with the feel of silk. That is a product of the dog breed’s adaptation to Cuba’s warm climate, though there is a trade-off in that it doesn’t handle the cold weather in other places very well. People should be careful about letting it stay outdoors during cold weather for too long, particularly since it often enjoys running around. They might have to run around themselves, seeing as how the Havanese sometimes latches onto a single individual. There is a reason why these dogs are one of the dog breeds nicknamed Velcro dogs.
7. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
There are two kinds of Corgis. One is the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, while the other is the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Even though both are Corgis, there are different theories for how they came into existence. There is a theory saying the two dog breeds descend from a common ancestor. The AKC mentions another theory in which the Pembroke Welsh Corgi descends from Central European dogs while the Cardigan Welsh Corgi descends from Northern European dogs.
Whatever the case, the two Corgis are said to have different personalities. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is the livelier, more eager-to-please dog. In contrast, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi has a less outgoing personality. Nonetheless, both Corgis are highly-capable animals that are versatile enough to serve as companion dogs rather than herding dogs.
8. Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu is famous for its long coat. Unsurprisingly, that means these dogs have increased grooming needs compared to a lot of their counterparts. Even if you choose to have your Shih Tzu’s coat clipped for convenience, you will still need to provide daily brushing. Furthermore, these dogs have fast-growing hair, so maintaining a clipped coat can mean a fair amount of maintenance in its own right. Besides this, the popularity of the Shih Tzu means people aren’t always as careful as they should be when breeding these dogs. As a result, you need to know that you can trust the source before you bring one of these dogs home.
In exchange for these complications, you can expect a happy, confident dog that tends to get along with everyone. The Shih Tzu loves humans. Simultaneously, the Shih Tzu gets along well with dogs and other animals, particularly with the proper training and socialization.
9. Tibetan Spaniel
Tibetan Spaniels aren’t true spaniels. After all, they are companion dogs rather than gun dogs turned companion dogs. Instead, Tibetan Spaniels became known as Tibetan Spaniels because Europeans thought they looked like the true spaniels that served more as companion dogs than anything else. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are one of those true spaniels, so Tibetan Spaniels are an excellent substitute from the perspective of pure visuals.
The story is quite different when it comes to their personalities. Yes, Tibetan Spaniels like their humans, so much so that the chances of complications shoot up when they are on their own for too long. There are a couple of critical differences. First, these dogs are independent-minded creatures. Second, these dogs are much more reserved around strangers. Tibetan Spaniels are surprisingly loving creatures. They just reserve that for their family members rather than radiate goodwill towards everyone.
Whippets are Greyhound relatives. Certainly, they look the part, seeing as how they are effectively a medium-sized version of said dog breed. Regardless, Whippets are well-known in their own right, not least because their characteristic speed as sighthounds made them a popular choice for several dog sports. Coursing is one of them, though interested individuals should remember that there is a considerable difference between lure coursing and its bloodier counterparts.
In any case, Whippets have a lot of the same upsides as their bigger cousins. As a rule, these dogs are quiet, peace-loving, and gentle-mannered, thus making them a great choice for companion dogs that stay at home for the most part. However, it is also easy for interested individuals to coax a more playful side out of these dogs. Whippets form very strong bonds with their human family members. Thanks to that, they are yet another dog breed that can suffer from separation anxiety when they spend too long away from the latter’s company.