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Cavaliers are considered kings among Spaniel types of canines because of their historic background and beautiful, long coat that makes them look royal. However, is there such a thing as a short-hair Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

If you’re fond of these doggies, I’m sure you have asked yourself this question at least once.

The answer to this question might not be as simple as it seems, which is why it’s not possible to give an explanation in a single sentence.

However, before we discover whether there are short-hair Cavalier King Charles Spaniels or not, it’s important to discuss what kind of pups they are.

What is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

two cavalier king charles spaniel dogs sitting together on the lawntwo cavalier king charles spaniel dogs sitting together on the lawn

This small doggie with a beautiful coat has been stealing hearts for centuries with its irresistible appearance. The majority of small dog lovers consider them to be among the cutest pets because of their characteristic long hair, sweet face, and tiny little paws.

Although they’re not as tiny as Yorkies, unless they’re teacup Cavaliers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies are considered a toy breed because of their size.

Many think of them as companion dogs because they were often royal pets (hence, the King Charles in their name).

We do generally agree with this categorization, even though it might be better to define them as lap dogs since they were among the favorite pets of the English royalty.

In general, the relatives of King Charles Spaniels were bred for hunting, but Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are rather tender and gentle, even though they can be quite fast and agile.

What’s the difference between a King Charles and a Cavalier King Charles?

A common misconception is that these two dog breeds are the same, considering that they have almost the same name and a lot of similarities.

However, the differences in their appearance and origin separate them into two types of canines.

First of all, these two canines come in different sizes. King Charles Spaniels (also called English Toy Spaniels by some) usually grow up to 11 inches at most, and weigh around 13 to 16 lbs.

On the other hand, Cavaliers are a bit bigger as they can be 13 inches tall, and weigh up to 20 lbs.

These two pups have different types of fur as well. Cavaliers usually come with straight and thick fur, and a docked tail, while King Charles pups have a rather wavy-textured coat. However, these two breeds sport the same shade combinations.

The difference between them can be visible from the shape of their head or, better to say, the shape of their muzzle. The muzzle of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels is generally longer than the muzzle of their relatives.

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Cavaliers have a shorter lifespan as they generally live up to 14 years, while English Toy Spaniels can live up to 16 years.

Now that we solved the mystery of the almost-the-same-but-not-the-same dog, we can move on to find out whether Cavaliers can appear with short hair or not.

Can You Get A Short-Hair Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?

cavalier king charles spaniel at grooming saloncavalier king charles spaniel at grooming salon

The answer to this question could easily be both yes and no. If there are plenty of Cavalier pups in your neighborhood, I’m sure you have noticed at least one pooch with short hair.

That probably left you wondering if it was possible to get a short-hair Cavalier King Charles Spaniel at that time.

Well, the answer would be yes if you give a short haircut to the dog, but that’s only acceptable if you’re not planning to own a Cavalier as a show dog, but as a family pet.

One of the rules regarding the appearance of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels at conformation events and dog competitions is that they have longer hair (at least medium-length). This basically means that short-hair Cavalier King Charles Spaniels aren’t welcome at such events.

However, if you plan to own a Cavalier as a family dog, you’re more than free to give your pup whatever haircut you want.

Still, I wouldn’t recommend trimming your pup’s fur under at least one inch of length as the fur protects the dog’s skin from mud, bacteria, water, and other external factors that might impact its health.

Are There Short-Haired Cavaliers?

cavalier king charles spaniel dog near the blooming treecavalier king charles spaniel dog near the blooming tree

Technically, yes. By looking at a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, you can probably notice that it has fur of different lengths all over its body.

It is generally considered that their fur is of medium length, but these pooches can have long hair over their ears, which makes them look like they have long ears.

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However, the rest of their head is covered with a short type of fur, which accentuates their ears even more.

Longer hair also appears on their back and tail, but it’s usually a bit shorter on their chest, stomach, and leg area (depending on the individual dog).

It’s highly unlikely to find a completely short-haired Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, so if you find one, make sure that you’re getting a purebred doggo from a reputable Cavalier breeder and not a crossbreed of unknown origin.

King Charles Spaniels and their Cavalier relatives have almost the same type of coat if we exclude the texture of their hair. There might be slight differences in terms of length, but that’s rather based on an individual pup rather than the whole breed.

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What Are The Coat Types Of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels?

cavalier king charles spanie lying on the grasscavalier king charles spanie lying on the grass

This type of Spaniel dog indeed deserves the title of “king” among Spaniels because of its royal history and utmost beauty.

It is believed that this canine breed is one of the most popular dogs in the United Kingdom, and it’s slowly, but surely becoming famous in the USA as well.

Their soft coat is essentially one of the reasons why they are known as one of the cutest small fluffy breeds, too.

Considering that they often appear with slight changes in their coat, there is a reason for many to wonder how many types of coats the Cavaliers have.

Well, in terms of length, it can be said that these pups have only one type of fur.

However, a classification can be made regarding the shades of their fur. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can appear in one of the four hue combinations, including:

• Blenheim

• Tri-color

• Ruby

• Black and tan

Their silky fur can be colored in any of the shades mentioned above. Some people believe that these types of shades could actually reveal which royal family they were a part of.

How To Groom A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

dog owner brushes her dog at homedog owner brushes her dog at home

Now that we know that short-hair Cavalier King Charles Spaniels exist only if you cut down their long parts, it’s time to discuss the grooming requirements of these pups.

Keep in mind that show dogs and family pets don’t have exactly the same grooming requirements, especially when it comes to trimming their fur.

However, brushing and bathing needs are quite the same as they possess the same quality of fur.


Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have beautiful and fluffy fur that feels like you’re touching heaven, so it’s no surprise that they’re considered one of the cuddliest pets.

But, if you’d like to keep their hair very silky and wonderful, you will need to take good care of it.

The best way to do this is to brush their coat on a daily basis. Dog grooming is an important part of keeping your pet both healthy and good-looking.

If you take just a little bit of your time every day to brush the dog’s coat, you will save them from tangles, dander, and dirt. Also, considering that these pups shed quite a lot, you’re saving yourself from piles of dead hair around the house.

A great number of groomers and experienced dog owners will agree that a medium bristle brush is more than enough to do the job as it’s small enough for a pup of the Cavalier’s size, and strong enough to get the dirt and excess hair out of their coat.

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Brushing is also important for the distribution of natural oils from the canine’s skin, which makes their fur look even more silky and shiny.

Also, remember to go through the feathering on your pup’s feet, which often gets overlooked because it’s usually not as long as the hair on their ears and back.


Cavaliers are double-coated canines, with a water-resistant feature, which comes from the fact that these pups have plenty of natural oil kept in their undercoat.

These oils keep the water away from the bottom part of the coat, which protects their skin.

Considering that they’re double-coated pups with longer fur, you might have thought they’d need to be bathed at least every two weeks.

However, that’s not the case with Cavaliers. If these doggies are brushed regularly, you won’t need to bathe them more than once a month.

Even though bathing is considered a healthy practice, for the majority of canines, it shouldn’t be performed more than once every four to six weeks.

The main reason for this is the fact that the dog loses its natural oils each time you bathe him, which can dry out his skin, and cause certain skin issues and fur damage.

Once you get your pup into the bathtub, it’s time to give them a proper wash. Professional groomers and dog experts suggest double shampooing in order to remove all the residuals of dander, dirt, and oils that have built up in the dog’s coat.

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Also, don’t forget to use conditioner to soften the hair and make it easier to brush.


cavalier king charles spaniel during grooming at saloncavalier king charles spaniel during grooming at salon

As we mentioned above, shaving or trimming show canines isn’t allowed, so if you want to make a champ out of your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, I wouldn’t exactly recommend any noticeable haircut.

According to the United States Cavalier King Charles Club, these doggies shouldn’t get any haircut, except for short trimming between the pads of the paws, so your pup can walk without any problems.

But, if you’re not interested in dog competitions, and you are getting the doggie as a family pet, then you can try out some of these cute haircuts for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Short Cut

If you’re looking for a short-hair Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, the pup with this haircut is one of the shortest cuts you can get.

This type of hairstyle is suitable for hot weather (spring and summer) as it will enable the pet to cool down.

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However, trimming the canine’s hair doesn’t mean that it can be shaved as this will burn their skin rather than make them cooler.

Experienced dog owners don’t find it difficult to trim a canine by itself. Still, the majority of owners prefer to take their pups to professional groomers in order to get a precise cut for their pets.

If you’re confident enough, then all you need are good clippers and a high-quality comb to give your pooch a new haircut.

Natural Haircut

This is one of the simplest haircuts that can be done even by first-time dog owners at home. All you need to do is get a pair of scissors and a clipper. But, don’t expect to get a short-hair Cavalier King Charles Spaniel after trimming.

This hairstyle is similar to the one that is approved by the breed standard as the owner is supposed to trim only the excess fur from the dog’s feet.

Sometimes, a trim between the paw pads isn’t enough to keep the fur on the Cavalier’s feet clean. Instead of washing their feet all the time, you can shorten the hair and make it easier to upkeep.

Modified Cocker Spaniel Haircut

This hairstyle is another good option if you’d like to have a short-hair Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

The hairstyle includes fur that is significantly shorter on the back and the head, and slightly trimmed along the legs, stomach, ears, and chest for a cleaner look.

The modified Cocker Spaniel haircut will keep your dog cool, and it will also help you keep it clean and healthy without having to put in too much work.

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Puppy Cut

This is one of the most popular haircuts, not only among Cavaliers, but other canine breeds as well. Pooches with this type of fur are considered low maintenance if we compare them to other types of Spaniels.

Besides the Cavalier’s trademark ears, which are often maintained longer than the rest of their fur, the hair is kept at the same short length all over, and is around an inch or two in length.

However, they’re still prone to matting and tangling, so a trim doesn’t mean that you won’t have to groom them regularly.


This is an equally important step during grooming sessions as bathing and brushing for the health of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

After bathing, you should take a softer towel and wipe the canine thoroughly to remove all of the excess water.

It is important not to wipe the hair too vigorously since doing so might result in the formation of knots.

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Dry the fur using the lowest heat level on a hairdryer while brushing the fur of the canine with a brush that has medium-sized bristles.

This drying procedure puffs up the fur, particularly feathery regions, such as the ears, and helps avoid skin conditions that can be caused by residual wetness. The coat is fluffed notably in the ear area where the hair is the longest.

Can The Length Of The Cavalier’s Coat Affect Its Health?

Unfortunately, yes… the length of the Cavalier’s fur can have a certain impact on its health.

Ear infections are among the most common health issues of these canines as the fur on the ears is longer and more susceptible to bacteria, especially if the area remains wet after a bath.

Some of the most common signs of infection you can notice in your pet are redness, itchiness (dog rubbing its ear), a strange discharge from the ears, or a strange odor coming from this part of the body.

One of the most important grooming tips that will prevent this type of infection is drying the canine’s fur with a hairdryer after each bath.

Make sure that you dry the area around and inside the canine’s ears and other parts of the body that are usually folded in order to prevent moisture and bacteria.

Other Health Issues

An ear infection is a common issue, but not the only health condition that both long- and short-hair Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are prone to.

Other health problems might not be directly related to the type and length of fur, but they do have a great impact on the Cavalier’s quality of life.

Syringomyelia – This is one of the conditions that affect the neurological system of Cavaliers, and it causes great pain, along with other symptoms.

Canines that have Syringomyelia can develop symptoms such as excessive licking, coordination issues, lethargy, and phantom scratching.

This health problem can be treated in various ways depending on the current stage and overall progress of the disease.

Elbow and hip dysplasia – Although Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are on the smaller side, they’re still prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, just like the majority of other breeds.

Heavier and larger canines might be at greater risk of getting these conditions because of pressure on the joints, but “lighter” pups might just as well develop such a health issue.

In case you notice that your pup is limping, refusing to go for walks, or making noises while trying to walk, it’s time to pay a visit to the vet and check whether your pup has chronic joint issues or a current injury.

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Unfortunately, Cavaliers aren’t the healthiest dog breed as they can develop a number of medical conditions related to vision, heart, or breathing issues.

However, this doesn’t mean that they can’t be great family pets, so don’t let that stop you from experiencing a love so big that it can move mountains.

How To Train A Short-Hair Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

cute cavalier king charles spaniel in the parkcute cavalier king charles spaniel in the park

There is no difference between training long- and short-hair Cavalier King Charles Spaniels as the latter ones are usually just trimmed versions of the long-haired pooches.

Dog training is crucial for every canine breed, including Cavaliers. If you’d like to own a well-behaved doggie, you should start with puppy training as soon as possible.

These pups have medium energy levels, so they won’t require as intense of training as canines with high energy levels.

However, when it comes to socialization and obedience, the sooner you begin with the training, the better your interaction with other people and animals will be later in life.

Although they’re not fiercely energetic pups, keep in mind that Cavaliers possess a tiny bit of “hunting genes”, which is why they shouldn’t be taken on walks off-leash.

That is exactly the same reason why you shouldn’t let your pup outside without a leash if you don’t have a fenced yard.

If you’re not sure whether you’ll be able to train your pup by yourself, you can take it to a professional trainer a couple of times to get some training tips and tricks that will help you in the later stages of the pup’s life.

Every canine, including Cavaliers, loves to be rewarded, so make sure that you include positive reinforcement during training.

You can reward your pup with a few bits of their favorite dog food, a delicious snack, or even peanut butter (if they’re fond of it).

Final Thoughts

The mystery is finally solved! As you can see, technically, there is no short-hair Cavalier King Charles Spaniel unless you give it a short haircut.

However, it also depends on what someone implies as “short-haired” as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have certain parts of their fur shorter than others.

Keep in mind that you’re not supposed to change the appearance of your Cavalier if you want to take it to dog shows and competitions.

However, if you are not interested in competitions, then you’re more than free to choose whichever haircut you find suitable for your family pooch!


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By Andy Marcus

Hello, my name is Andy Marcus, and I am a passionate dog lover and enthusiast. For me, there is nothing quite like the joy and love that a furry friend can bring into our lives. I have spent years studying and learning about dogs, and have made it my mission to share my knowledge and expertise with others through my website. Through my website, I aim to provide comprehensive information and resources for dog owners and enthusiasts. Whether it's training tips, health and nutrition advice, or insights into dog behavior, I strive to create a platform that is accessible and useful to everyone who loves dogs.

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