What do French Bulldogs and King Cavalier Spaniels share in common? They are both small, wiggly, and sweet, capturing the hearts of millions around the world.
With popularity ratings soaring, it was only a matter of time before someone decided to blend the French Bulldog and King Cavalier Spaniel would result in one of the most desirable family pets.
If you knew a Royal Frenchel was a designer dog, you might not associate it with a French Bulldog Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mix.
However, according to iHeartdogs.com and data compiled from pet insurance underwriters, the Royal Frenchel is one of the most popular hybrid dogs as of 2020.
French Bulldog Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mixes are small but outgoing dogs. Inheriting the sweet and people-loving traits of the Cavalier and the endearing personality of the Frenchie, Royalty Frenchels are quickly becoming one of the most sought-after mixed dogs.
They may have a medium-long or smooth coat, drop or upright ears, and large round eyes. Depending on how much French Bulldog she inherits, your dogs may have a broad skull.
What does it mean to be English for a dog?
French Bulldogs originated in Nottingham, a little over 120 miles north of London, England. Primarily a product of the Toy Bulldog, which became prevalent after the UK banned bull-baiting in 1835, the French Bulldog achieved its identity, name, and standard when the lacemakers took it to France in the mid to late 1830s.
Normandy refined French Bulldogs with the infusion of Rat Terrier-type local dogs and possibly Pugs.
As French Bulldogs developed under the care of the working people, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was very much a dog of royalty.
Whether the original spaniel types came from Italy, Malta, or China is a mystery, but England developed King Charles Spaniel from such dogs in the late 1400s.
Taking its name from King Charles II, King Charles Spaniel evolved a flatter face, larger eyes, and a dome-shaped head from Pug infusions in the mid-1800s. The snub-nosed spaniels would become the modern English Toy Spaniel.
In the 1920s Roswell Eldridge took an interest in bringing the old King Charles Spaniel head and face back. He found a show dog, Ann's Son, around 1928 that illustrated the longer nose from the original King Charles Spaniel.
He helped establish the breed standard for the new King Charles Spaniel, which club founders designated Cavalier to distinguish from the roundheaded dogs.
The Cavalier King Charles continued to develop with selection for longer noses that occasionally appeared in the English Toy Spaniel litters along with probable crossbreeding with Cocker Spaniels and Papillons.
Will your Royal Frenchel look more like a Bulldog or a Cavalier?
The Royal Frenchel, like many hybrids, has a type that looks like a fairly even blend of two breeds and variations that look more like one breed or the other.
French Bulldog types may have medium-length hair and tufts around the ears. Even those with more Spaniel evident in the face look much like French Bulldogs because of their signature bat ears. They have bobtails.
King Charles Spaniel types have a broader face than a Spaniel would have but may have rose ears. They often have hair like a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
A dog who receives a balanced blend of traits from her parents will often have a compact body with a bobtail and short, smooth fur. She will have drop ears, large eyes, and a white blaze down the center of her face.
Her muzzle will be shorter than a King Charles with slightly upturned jaws. Royal Frenchels are commonly white with black or red.
This Royal Frenchel is a smooth-coated variant that looks much like a French Bulldog in the body and with the bobtail. You can see the Cavalier in the color pattern and the relatively long nose and sloping forehead.
Other colors are tan with white, tri-color, and pied.
Royal Frenchels, also called Royals in some circles, are usually about nine to twelve inches tall and weigh 21 to 28 pounds.
As of 2017, there are also mini Royals, which are only 6 to 14 pounds and miniature who weigh 15 to 21 pounds.
However, miniature and micro mini Royal Frenchels often have other outcrosses in their ancestry besides just Frenchie and Cavalier.
Why are French Bulldog Cavalier King Charles Mixes great companions?
- Eager to please
- Small size
- Good with kids
- Great with other dogs
- Want to be with you all the time
Many of the same traits that make Royal Frenchels good family pets also mean these French Bulldog mixes are ideal emotional support animals.
Owners often describe French Bulldog Cavalier Spaniels as intuitive and sympathetic. Breeders select dogs to provide emotional support for people and dogs.
Were you aware that pets suffering from grief over a lost one or who are disabled can benefit from a support animal? When it comes to getting along with other pets, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels often slide seamlessly into supportive roles.
Royal Frenchels are typically docile and tolerant. Despite their small size, they retain sturdiness from the French Bulldog.
It is still paramount to watch these Spaniel mixes with young children. Play that is too rough can end in injury to your dog. Royal Frenchels are hardy but are susceptible to people stepping or falling on them.
True to their parents, Royal Frenchels do not know a stranger. Your dog may not even bark much to let you know of a potential threat. French Bulldog Cavalier mixes make neither good guard dogs nor effective watchdogs most of the time.
Owners can often make the mistake of not properly socializing their small dogs. Although your French Bulldog Cavalier King Charles will not be able to inflict the damage of a Rottweiler, you do not want a pet who is timid or antisocial.
Royal Frenchels are naturally confident, but sheltering them from the outside world can create behavioral problems.
With a small dog, always beware of their safety around larger canids. While they are not as fragile as other toy breeds, they are quite vulnerable in altercations with dogs that are taller and heavier than they. Many large dogs like German Shepherds have high prey drives.
Unfamiliar big dogs can pick your Bulldog mix up and shake him, causing catastrophic injury. In communal areas such as dog parks, we always advise owners to seek separate areas for large and small-breed dogs.
What are some health concerns?
Iheartdogs.com quotes a veterinarian who says French Bulldogs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a host of health problems as separate breeds but as a mix are remarkably healthy. Some breeders promise longevity of 16 to 20 years.
Separately, French Bulldogs live only 9 to 12 years according to Thehappypuppysite.com, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels 9 to 14 years.
Despite promises to the contrary, your French Bulldog mix is susceptible to any hereditary problems of either parent. Some hybrids do seem to minimize certain health issues, but many factors like responsible breeding are very influential.
French Bulldog Health Problems
- Brachycephalic syndrome – The flat face of a Frenchie comes with dire consequences that affect their breathing. Generally considered healthier than a standard Bulldog, many French Bulldogs have nostril openings that are too small, a narrow windpipe, an elongated soft palate, and enlarged saccules at the back of the throat that can block airways.
- Obesity – Being overweight exacerbates breathing difficulties.
- Skin issues – Where they have folds or rolls, Frenchies can experience bacterial and yeast infections, especially around their faces and tails.
- Diarrhea – An extremely short tail can disrupt the muscles around the anus.
- Heatstroke – French Bulldogs cannot tolerate the heat nor can they exercise for prolonged periods. Their short snouts prevent a natural cooling mechanism and narrow airways increases discomfort and distress.
- IVDD – Intervertebral disc disease is prevalent in all Bulldogs, potentially causing pain and life-threatening paralysis
- Hemivertebrae – Deformities of the spinal vertebrae associated with a corkscrew tail and may or may not cause symptoms including weakness and paralysis in the rear end.
- Difficult birth – Abnormal size of the head.
According to Americanveterinarian.com, over 70% of Frenchies have at least one breed-specific disorder.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel health problems
- Heart disease – Specifically, the mitral valve in Cavaliers degenerates progressively, leading to heart murmurs and eventual heart failure. Some spaniels will develop symptoms as early as a year of age. Similarly to hip dysplasia, heart disease in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels is carried on multiple genes.
- Hip dysplasia – Developmental abnormality of the hips.
- Patellar luxation – Kneecap is unstable
- Retinal dysplasia – Not a common problem of the retina but it can cause blindness.
- Lockjaw – Immune disorder that causes inflammation of the nerves and muscles of the jaws; affected dogs may not be able to open their mouths.
Most common health problems of Royal Frenchels
- Cherry eye
- Patellar luxation
Breeders do report rare issues with lockjaw, heart disease, and hemivertebrae.
Your French Bulldog mix will be easy to groom
French Bulldog Cavalier mixes usually have one or two types of coats. Longer-coated dogs are called silkies and are extremely soft. Smooth-coated dogs have fur that is slightly denser than a Frenchie's and softer.
Whatever type of coat your Royal Frenchie has, you should brush her at least weekly. If she has allergies, you may need to also bathe her regularly with a medicated shampoo.
Otherwise, Frenchie mixes should only require a bath every six to eight weeks along with nail trim.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mixes have good points in training
Your Royal Frenchel will likely inherit a cooperative and willingness to please from the Cavalier. However, he may also inherit some stubbornness from the Frenchie.
Most of the hybrids are obedient and eager to learn. Stanley Coren, per Petrix.com, ranks 131 dogs based on factors like the ability to learn and follow commands and puts French Bulldogs at No. 58 and Cavaliers at No. 44.
How much exercise will your dog require?
Royal Frenchels require moderate exercise. They are not nearly as exercise-intolerant as purebred French Bulldogs. Therefore, your Frenchie Cavalier mix will thrive on 45 to 60 minutes of exercise daily.
If your dog happens to inherit a short muzzle, you will not be able to exercise as much in one session, and you will need to avoid hot conditions even more so than for normal dogs with more moderate snouts.
As a freelance pet writer and blogger, Shannon is passionate about crafting knowledge-based, science-supported articles that foster healthy bonds of love and respect between people and animals. But her first and very most important job is as a dog auntie and cockatiel, tortoise, and box turtle mama.