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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel - Appearance & Grooming

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel


Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are small, beautiful eyes with a distinctly gentle expression. It is the cushioning under their eyes that creates the uniquely soft look of the face. They have long, feathered ears, silky, often wavy coats and they come in shades of solid ruby, black and tan, tricolor and Blenheim, which is chestnut on a white background. They also sport feathering on their chest, legs and feet. The tail is sometimes docked, but the practice is becoming less frequent, especially in family dogs.

Size and Weight

The Cavalier King Charles stands from 12 to 13 inches at the withers and weights between 13 and 18 pounds. Household male spaniels may weigh as much as 25 pounds, but show dogs should not be that large. They are slightly longer than they are tall, but some may be more square in proportion.

Coat and Color

Cavaliers have medium-length coats that are wavy and silky to the touch, but should never be curly. They sport feathering on the ears, chest, feet, legs and tail. The most common color is Blenheim, which is a rich chestnut on a pearly white background. Blenheims usually have a small dot on their foreheads which is called a lozenge. They also come in tricolor (black on white with tan markings on the face and tail), black and tan and solid ruby.

Grooming Needs

The wavy, silky coat of the Cavalier King Charles may appear to be high-maintenance, but this breed is fairly easy to maintain. They need to be brushed a few times per week to remove loose hair, keep tangles from forming and keep the coat shiny. They only need to be bathed as necessary, but active, outdoorsy Cavaliers will require more frequent bathing than others. They don't require trimming, but some owners prefer to trim the feet for neatness sake.

The long ears of the Cavalier should be checked weekly for signs of redness or infection. Veterinarians can recommend a solution to use on a weekly basis that will keep harmful bacteria at bay. Weekly brushing of the teeth will keep gums healthy and stop bad breath from forming.

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