Cavalier King Charles

  • Overview

    The affectionate, lovable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a companion through and through. Their sole purpose in life is to shower their owner with love, attention and devotion. They hate to be separated from their people and their plaintive, friendly expressions welcome everyone they meet.

    The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is generally quite pleased to be around all the new friends he meets. They love spending time with their families, whether curled up in their owner's lap or playing games with their owner's children. Their beautiful feathered coats, gentle eyes and loving expressions make them prized companions.

  • Personality

    Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were bred as companion dogs. They are dependent and affectionate dogs who rely on their owner's approval and praise. They strive to please their owners through their loving, amusing behavior and they bid everyone they meet to stop and show them some love. These dogs do not respond well to harsh treatment or even strenuous training. They are naturally relatively well behaved, but they will need to be housetrained. Reward all positive behaviors as often as possible, because Cavalier King Charles Spaniels like to know when they've done well. They especially appreciate being rewarded with treats and belly rubs.

    Cavalier King Charles Spaniels walk with a slight strut because they are carefree, fearless little dogs who love to show off. They are almost always cheerful and greet new friends with enthusiasm. Although they can adapt to their family's activity level and they can be quite high energy indoors, they spend most of their energy while playing. These small, 1-foot tall dogs are never hyper but always adoring, which makes them ideal companion dogs.

  • Coat Care

    The most popular coat color is Blenheim, a pattern of chestnut and white. The coat comes in three other colors, including solid ruby, tri-color black, white and tan and a black and tan pattern. The coat should be silky and not too dense. There is feathering on the ears, chest, legs, feet and tail that is longer than the medium-length body hair. The hair on the face is short and smooth. The hair is occasionally slightly wavy, but not curly.

Brushing

Although the hair around the ears and legs can tangle, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are not an overly demanding breed to groom. They need to be brushed regularly with a small pin brush and a metal comb to prevent matting and remove tangles. Pay special attention to the hair around the ears.

Bathing

With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your dog avoid many diseases and infections.

Breeds with combination coats should be bathed seasonally, or about every three months. Naturally, it can be done more often if needed. The coat should end up fresh smelling, with no loose or shedding hair. First give the dog a good brushing to remove dead hair and mats. Place a rubber mat in the tub to provide secure footing and fill the tub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Use a spray hose, pitcher or unbreakable cup to wet the dog, taking caution to avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose. Massage in pet shampoo, saving the head for last. Immediately rinse thoroughly, starting with the head to prevent soap from dripping into the eyes. Towel dry. Coat should be fresh smelling, with no loose or shedding hair.

Hair Clipping

The short hair on the underside of the Cavalier's feet can be trimmed to make sure it does not grow too long and become painful.

Nails

Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

Eyes / Ears

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels' long, feathered ears are prone to infection, so they should be checked carefully for hair and debris and brushed out carefully with a metal comb.

Teeth

Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.