English Toy Spaniel

Type: Companion Dog

Height: 9 - 11 inches.

Weight: 8 - 14 lbs.

Life Span: 10 -12 years.

Litter Size: 2 - 4 puppies.

Country of Origin: Great Britain

Activity: Low

Watch-dog: High

Guard-dog: Very Low. English Toy Spaniels are friendly to nearly everyone.


Description: In the United States and Canada they are known as the English Toy Spaniel. The name "King Charles" is given to the black and tan variety only, while the "Blenheims" are red and white, "Rubys" are solid red, and "Prince Charles'" are the tricolor type. Known throughout English and Scottish history as hot water bottles and excellent companions, they were once used as tiny gundogs. English Toy Spaniels are the ultimate lap dogs, as they love to sit by their owners' side, or on their owner's lap. They are sweet, shy, easygoing and affectionate to their owners and those they are familiar with. They make a wonderful companion for the elderly, as they are rather easy to care for. English Toy Spaniels are small, compact dogs with a very domed skull and a very short muzzle. Their faces resemble that of the Pug, with bodies resembling the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Their tails are naturally short or screwed, often docked by owners. Their demeanor is like that of a normal spaniel, sweet and friendly. They are forgiving dogs, eager and very intelligent in obedience. They are sure to please, as that is their main goal. They are affectionate, laidback and friendly towards all. They get along with children and other animals, and are happy and content to just sit on your lap. The English Toy Spaniel's eyes and ears are sensitive to injury, but otherwise care for the dog is minimal. They are an ideal apartment dog.

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Other Names: King Charles Spaniel

Colors: Black and tan or

Coat: Long to medium length, silky, straight or wavy coat. Slight waviness permissible, fur on the ears is usually wavy. They have a feathering that can reach the ground.

Temperament: English Toy Spaniels are obedient, affectionate and eager to please. They are patient, forgiving and affectionate to their owners. They are happy and content to sit around with you. They do not have a high activity level, making care minimal. English Toy Spaniels are friendly to all, intelligent and very good at learning. They get along with pets and children as long as children are not too rough. They are full of fun and any kind of exercise is sufficient.

With Children: Yes, provided there is no rough-housing.

With Pets: Yes, very social and enjoys other animals.

Special Skills: Family pet and companion.

Care and Training: English Toy Spaniels need regular brushing with a firm bristle brush. Bathe or dry shampoo only when necessary. Check ears, eyes and nails. Keep a watch for ear infections. The English Toy Spaniel will benefit from any amount of exercise, they are very low-key. Training is easy as they are intelligent and quickly grasp what you are expecting of them. They are eager to please.

Learning Rate: Very High. Obedience: High.

Special Needs: Grooming

Living Environment: Apartment is adequate if some form of exercise is provided. Owners should be patient, calm leaders who want to enjoy a lap dog. English Toy Spaniels adapt to places easily, making an apartment or house the best for this breed.

Health Issues: Patellar luxation, cataracts, inguinal or umbilical hernias, and heart murmurs.

History: Small spaniel type dogs have been in existence for hundreds of years in Britain, enjoying their lives as treasured companion dogs. This particular breed is thought to date back as far as 2000BC in Japan. Not until the 16th century did these dogs make a prominent appearance in England and Scotland. Firstly, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel made a large appearance and became quite popular, and following was the trend for flat-faced whelps. This gave rise to the King Charles Spaniel we know today. The English Toy Spaniel is said to have developed from crossing the Pekingese, Japanese Chin or Pug with other spaniel-type dogs at the time. Back in the 1600s the fad for short-nosed dogs carried the breed into royalty enthusiastically. The English Toy Spaniel has appeared in numerous paintings, artworks and literature from the past. They were so popular among English royalty that a law still exists today stating that King Charles Spaniels are able "to go anywhere." So true was this law that Mary, Queen of Scots, had one hidden in the folds of her skirt when she was sent to be executed. At first, all different sizes of spaniels came from the same litter, making no distinction. Later, breeders separated the sizes into different breeding groups and produced the English Toy Spaniel as the smallest of spaniels. Mostly used as very small gundogs or as lap warmers, these little dogs enjoyed free reign of King Charles the Second's palaces. It was even recorded by Samuel Pepys at that time that King Charles II devoted more time and effort to his English Toy Spaniels than to affairs of the state. He wrote, "All I observed there was the silliness of the King playing with his dog all the while and not minding his business." The breed has been used as a companion for over 500 years, bred down to have a shorter face and smaller body with the same personality as that of a regular sized spaniel. While King Charles II was in office, most English Toy Spaniels were black and tan, leading this type to be named "King Charles Spaniels". "Blenheims" took their name after the family estate of the Dukes of Marlborough, who owned and bred most of the red and white type. Tricolor versions of the breed are called "Prince Charles", while the solid red are called "Ruby". Until the early 20th century, all four distinctions were considered separate breeds. Today in America, all are considered one breed with four different types. They are still used as companions and lap dogs to this day.

First Registered by the AKC: 1886

AKC Group: Toy Group

Class: Toy

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 9), KC (GB), UKC