I get a lot of emails from Cavalier owners asking how come their Cavalier has wild and crazy hair while most of our dogs have nice, straight, sleek hair. There are a few answers. First of all, you need to make sure you are feeding a good diet to your dog - no fillers, supermarket foods, etc. Next, it is quite common for spayed and neutered dogs to grow a longer, fluffier coat. But, the main reason our dogs coats lay flat and straight is because we train them to be that way.
A MUST HAVE for a Cavalier owner is a drying coat. I can't even imagine life without one. This is why I own half a dozen. My favorite drying coat on the market is made by Savannah Sue. They come in all sorts of patterns and colors. They fit great and work super. Plus, I think the price is quite reasonable. (Visit her online at: www.savannahsue.com) You can take a measurement of your Cavalier to get an exact fit. Most of my Cavaliers wear her small size.
If you have a wild haired Cavalier and want to get that smooth coated look, here are some basics - start out by brushing your dog thoroughly (use a detangler spray) giving your dog a nice bath. Use a dog shampoo and then use a good quality dog conditioner. Towel dry your dog and you can use the detangler spray again if there are lots of tangles. Brush the coat out and begin blow drying. Get the ears 100% dry. If you leave them damp, it can promote ear infections and they will kink up and most likely have an odor to them. Then dry the fringe on the legs, belly, tail and chest. By now the back has probably dried a little on it's own. You can dry it a little more, or leave it as is.
Now take some leave in conditioner. I like Plush Puppy Reviva Coat foam. Put it down the top of the back, the side and over the rump area. Use a greyhound type comb and brush the hair down totally flat and smooth.
Put the drying coat on, taking care to keep that hair flat as you put it on. Try to tuck the hair on the neck down in neatly, so it doesn't form a ridge.
I recommend putting the dog in a crate now. Otherwise like like to exhibit "Wet Dog Syndrome" and will start rolling and rubbing on everything. Leave them in their crate for a few hours. You can even do this at bedtime and leave them in overnight. Make sure they are totally dry before removing the coat. Remove the coat, brush the hair and VOILA! Your dog will look great.
However, if your dog has had this poofy coat for a long time, it may take several baths to get the hair tamed and trained to lay down. To begin with, I recommend bathing them every 7-10 days. Once the coat is staying flat for longer periods, you can extend the time in between your grooming sessions.
Below is a picture of Gigi in her Savannah Sue's drying coat: