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#5 ENERGY/SPACE Starting off with reason #5 why this toy breed isn't for you, and that's the fact that it is a small dog. While they might enjoy a good long walk, they have short legs, which means their range is limited. They also have a low to moderate energy level and are quite happy to lay on your lap or snooze on the couch all day.  Being a toy breed they can also get underfoot in busy homes or when children are playing. For extremely active households, the Cavalier might not be the best choice. If you want a canine companion that can run, hike, bike, or move quickly with you over a long period, this is not the breed for you. 

 #4 TRAINABILITY/INTELLIGENCE The Cavalier is easy to train thanks to their quiet intellect and willingness to please. They are well mannered and even listen closely to obedience commands in controlled settings, but their hunting instincts come out when off-leash or in open areas. They tend to wander and follow scent trails that catch their attention without regard for roads or boundaries. This breed needs a well-fenced yard if you want to let them explore off-leash without running into the streets or other animals. 

 #3 GROOMING/SIZE Their coats are like their larger Spaniel brethren, luxuriously long and silky with feathering on the ears and along the chest, body, and haunches. They are not heavy shedders but require regular grooming to trim the fur that grows between the pads of their toes and preventing mats from forming on their ears.  Grooming time and costs will be higher with this breed, especially if you like to keep a spotless house. During wet weather, the will get quite wet thanks to all the long whisps of fur, so if you can't handle toweling them off every time they come back in, the little Cavalier isn't the right choice for you. 

 #2 FAMILY/GUARDING Bred to be a companion dog the breed is split on their reactivity as a watchdog. Some owners report that unless someone comes into the home, they don't bark at all. Other owners say that their Cavalier barks if they see out a window and a leaf twitches in the breeze. Both of these extremes aren't what you want if you live in an apartment and want a canine that is a reliable watchdog.  Cavaliers do well with children and can be socialized to be good with other pets like cats. When it comes to other animals, remember they do have hunting instincts despite their small size and love a good game of chase where cats are concerned. Consider your current and potential future living situations carefully before choosing the Cavalier as your next canine companion.

 #1 AFFECTION/INDEPENDENCE The Cavalier's original role was as a comforting lap dog, which is still their primary role today. Their intense devotion to their family and chosen person are part of what makes them successful emotional and service dogs. It also means that they won't be happy in a home where the family is gone all day and comes home too late or too tired to spend quality time with them. They will not do well in homes where they are expected to be alone in the house or the yard for any length of time and do best when they can have near-constant human companionship. This breed is incredibly social and affectionate, so if you're not absolutely sure you, and everyone else in the home, are willing and able to give the Cavalier the attention it needs to thrive, this is not the right breed for your next canine companion. 

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