How Much Exercise does a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Need?

September 10, 2022

Exercise is important for all dogs. It plays a key role in many areas of your Cavalier's life from making sure they remain healthy, to avoiding excess weight gain, and ensuring your dog doesn't become bored and destructive with too much pent-up energy with no release.

There really is no shortage of reasons to make sure your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is getting enough exercise.

But how much is enough? And how much is too much?

These are very important questions to know the answer to if you have a King Charles Spaniel in your family. In this article, we will answer all of your questions along with offering a few ways to can mix up your dog's exercise regime and keep it interesting for both of you.

How Much Exercise does a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Need a Day?

An adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniel needs between 40 minutes and an hour of exercise per day to stay healthy. Even though this breed is quite small they still need quite a bit of exercise relative to their size.

This can be broken down into two smaller walks or just one larger one, depending on how your day goes. Other activities such as playing at home.

One factor that will affect the amount of exercise your dog needs is their age. Let's take a look at the needs of puppies and senior Cavaliers.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy

Cavalier puppies can't exercise as much as adult dogs, their muscles and bones are still developing and growth plates have not closed, this happens around 12-18 months.

Before this point, you want to reduce the amount of exercise your pup gets. It should be 5 minutes twice a day for every month old your Cavalier is.

Senior Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Senior Cavaliers also have different exercise needs. Similarly to puppies they need less exercise, but no its more about avoiding injury. After your dog is around eight years old you will need to reduce the amount of exercise they get.

This is the time to stop more adventurous sports or running and still to casual walks and gradually to reduce the duration to around 20-30 minutes.

How Far Should a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Walk?

A healthy adult King Charles Spaniel should be able to comfortably walk around five miles, of course, less if they are still puppies or older, or have health problems.

You can take your Cavalier out for longer walks than this but it would but not on a regular basis. Keep in mind they are quite small dogs!

Can Cavalier King Charles Spaniels go Running?

Yes, it is possible to go running with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with proper training and a little patience.

This is something you will want to gradually build up over time and not do too much too quickly as you could injury your Cavalier quite easily by overdoing it. Keep in mind too that you will need to stick to shorter runs as while this dog breed are quite energetic, they still have quite small legs!

Try to stick to shorter runs of around 20 min max, remember this is a more intense form of exercise than a casual walk.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel at Dog Agility
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel at Dog Agility

Four Ways to Exercise your King Charles Spaniel

Now that you have an understanding of how much exercise your Cavalier needs let's run over a few ways you can meet your furry friends needs.


Taking your Cavalier for daily walks is likely the first thing that pops into your head when you think about exercising your dog. It's a staple of any canine exercise regime and an enjoyable, relaxing experience for both of you.

Not to mention a great way to burn off a few calories yourself too!

This is a great way to meet your dogs needs and can be done with Cavaliers of all age, providing pups have had their vaccines.


Cavaliers love water and are natural swimmers. This is a nice way to add a little variety to your dogs adventures and a great way to help your Spaniel cool down on a hot day.

Any body of water will do well for this purpose such as a lake, river (no strong currents!), or even a paddling pool in your back garden.

It's best to introduce your dog to swimming at a young age. Once they get into the water they will love it.


Running is another great way to give your King Charles Spaniel a workout. We've covered this in more detail above so refer to that for more information.

The only think I'll add is that it should be done as part of an exercise schedule and not as the only form every day.

Dog Sports

If you are looking for a more exciting and competitive way to exercise your Cavalier you have the option of dog sports. There are many to choose from such as flyball and dog agility which as both suitable for this Spaniel breed.

Try to search online in your local area for clubs. There is likely to be plenty of options locally for you, and if not you could always make your own dog agility course at home.


Now you know exactly how much exercise your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel needs. There are many canine activities that can give your Cavalier a good workout beyond sticking to basic dog walks.

Just make sure you give your at least one hour a day made up by one or two walks or a combination of the other activities we discussed and you will have a happy and healthy Cavalier.

And keep in mind too much exercise can be just as bad for your Spaniel as too little, especially if they are older or still a pup.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are excellent companion dogs that love spending time with their owners outside, I hope this guide has given you a few ideas on how to best approach it.

Finally, try not to forget about mental stimulation. Physical and mental stimulation are both equally important for your Cavalier. If you are interested in learning more about mental stimulation and its importance for your Spaniel we have a guide on ways to mentally stimulate your dog.

Allan  Noble
Hi, my name is Allan! I am the owner of Spaniel Advisor and I've got over seven years experience of owning Spaniels.  
I hope this article was helpful for you! 
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