They are considered comfort dogs and have a calm, friendly demeanor. They make good lap-sitters, chair-warmers, treat-beggers, doggie-greeters, and child-occupiers. They are also playful and, unfortunately, adept little hunters. I’ve rescued a variety of creatures from small canine jaws and disposed of several as well.
With with all the creating and breeding, several genetic health problems proliferate, among them, early onset mitral valve disease. Our first Cavalier, Sunshine, died before his tenth birthday from MVD.
Litter-mates Rex and Max are eleven now and are still "heart clear", which is amazing for Cavaliers and a wonderful thing for us humans who love them dearly. When we bought them, the references said their life expectancy was 10 years, though there is an 18-year-old on record. What I’ve read recently is more generous, predicting 10 to 14 years. No matter, I tell them, “Be careful. Your warranty has expired.”
Rexy is getting real slow, unless there is a duck, cat, another dog, or little kid in sight. He is also decidedly quirky. On walks, he pokes along, ten paces behind, then stops and seems to contemplate what direction to go--or maybe if he should go at all. He, having become downright nosey, pretends to pee so he can spy on someone or something. He also has developed severe food aggression, which has earned him a private dining suite—the bathroom, with door secure.
I always said when comparing the two dogs that Rex was shorter, fatter, more hairy, more cuddly, more friendly, and a good deal dumber. He doesn’t get consequences and will bring a stick inside to chew ten times in a row. I take it away each time. Repeat. Max—he just chews the stick outside where I can’t see him. Rex will balance a toy on the edge of the sofa to chew it. It will drop and Max grabs it. Repeat. Rex doesn’t catch on. Max knows immediately what will happen and positions himself for the snatch and run.
Oh, a parting shot. Getting two puppies at the same time wasn’t my smartest move.