Medium length, silky and slightly wavy.
Cavaliers come in ruby (rich red), black and tan, tricolor, and Blenheim (rich chestnut on a pearly-white background).
Bright, cheerful, lovable and friendly to a fault, it is the rare Cavalier who does not greet everyone and everything with great joy. Still, he is not a hyper dog at all; rather, he is naturally well behaved and downright adoring, with big expressive eyes and a tail that seems to be constantly wagging. Large enough to handle romps in the great outdoors but small enough to fit snugly in a lap, he is a versatile, endearing dog. In fact, his nickname - "the love sponge" - describes the Cavalier to a tee.
The Cavalier's size and moderate energy and grooming requirements make him a perfect apartment dog. They can do well in the suburbs or in rural areas, but they have a tendency to chase anything that moves, so they must be kept in a securely fenced area or on leash. Because they are so people-oriented, they are not content to spend a lot of time alone. This endearing dog wants nothing more than to be with his owner - especially if it's on his owner's warm lap.
Cavaliers make wonderful therapy dogs. They can also do well at agility, conformation or just about anything that allows them to spend time with their owner.
A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel would probably be content to spend his entire life in his owner's lap, but that kind of life is not healthy. A run in the yard, a game of fetch or a brisk walk around the block will satisfy his exercise needs and keep him from becoming overweight. Cavaliers will also get exercise following you around the house, going where you go and doing what you do. There's no need to carry him when out on jaunts together - he is big enough and capable enough of handling himself, even in a crowd.
Cavaliers have a tendency to gain weight, which should be kept in check by feeding a healthy, nutritious diet. A high-quality canned or dry food twice a day will meet his needs. Don't be tempted to give in to those cute, beseeching eyes when he wants a treat!
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were bred to be companion dogs - their job is to be charming pets, and they therefore lack that built-in desire to obey or work at a job that other breeds possess. This does not mean that they can't or shouldn't be trained, but if you are looking for a competitive obedience dog, Cavaliers are not the right breed. They do want to please and can be trained with patience and reward-based methods. They may need some extra time with housetraining but eagerly respond to positive training.
Cavaliers get along wonderfully with children, but young children must be taught the proper way to handle this small, delicate breed. Most get along well with other dogs, large or small, but occasionally dogs of the same sex do not mix well. They can live harmoniously with cats but may see small pets as prey.
The average life span of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is 12 to 14 years. Health problems associated with the breed include hip dysplasia; mitral valve disease (MVD); patellar luxation; syringomyelia; and a tendency to become obese.
The silky coat of the Cavalier is easy to keep clean and shiny using a firm-bristled brush and wide-toothed comb several times a week.
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