The King Charles Spaniel is a refined dog with a compact and cobby body, weighing 8 to 14 pounds and standing 23 to 28 centimetres at the withers. This royal dog is often compared to its Cavalier Charles cousin but aside from the similarity of coat colours, they actually have varying breed standards. The first major difference is the distinctive dome-shape head of the King Charles. It has a well-defined stop, a wide and deep muzzle and a neat lower jaw with a slightly undershot jaw. It has large dark eyes that give off a kind and appealing expression. Its ears are long and well feathered, which are set low and hang neatly flat to its cheeks.
The coat of the King Charles Spaniel is silky, straight and long. While a slight wave is allowed, the coat should never be curly. Its ears, legs, and tails have profuse feathering but there are some dogs born with a naturally bobbed tail, which is also acceptable. According to KC standards, the accepted colours are the following:
- Black and tan with bright mahogany-tan
- Tricolour of ground pearly white with black and tan
- Blenheim composed of pearly white with chestnut-red patches
The King Charles Spaniel is high maintenance in the grooming front. Having fine and silky hair, it needs to be brushed daily to avoid tangles and knots. It sheds all year round, more heavily during the spring and autumn so brushing should be done more. This breed would require regular professional grooming to keep its coat in top shape and would make grooming at home more manageable. While grooming this breed, it is important to check its ears for moisture and wax build-up. Brush its teeth at least twice a week to avoid tooth decay and gum disease, which are common among toy breeds. Lastly, trim its nails as overgrowth can be uncomfortable and cause scratches on people, furniture and floors.