English Toy Spaniel (also called King Charles Spaniel) is a very old breed whose roots probably go back to ancient Japan or China. Some experts believe that he may be related to the Japanese Chin or Pug, or that English Spaniels were crossed with these two breeds to create the round skull and shortened muzzle that all three breeds have. Although much of the breed’s history is unknown, what is known is that this wonderful spaniel has been known in England since the 16th century and, throughout much of history since that introduction, has been a favorite of the English people. For a long time, only royalty was officially allowed to own the breed, although that didn’t stop many breed enthusiasts.
The English Toy Spaniel is a small dog breed, standing 9 to 11 inches tall and weighing 8 to 14 pounds. He is compact and short-bodied, with a domed head and short muzzle. His eyes are large and dark, ears are long, and tail is docked. His coat is straight and silky, with profuse feathering on the ears, body, chest, and legs. The Bleinheim English Toy Spaniel is red and white; the Prince Charles English Toy Spaniel is tricolored; the King Charles English Toy Spaniel is black and tan; and the Ruby is a rich red.
The coat tangles and mats easily, so it should be brushed and combed two or three times per week, and more often if the dog gets wet. Many pet owners keep the ears, feet, and under-the-tail areas trimmed for cleanliness. The wrinkles on the face may also need regular cleaning to remove dirt and food particles and to prevent skin problems.
English Toy Spaniels enjoy daily walks and playtimes, but otherwise this is a breed who will be happy to cuddle and snuggle in the house. His activity level will mirror that of his owner. If you are up and about and active, he will be, too; if you want to relax, he will, too. This is a friendly, affectionate dog. Although not as watchful and wary of strangers as so many breeds are, socialization is still important, as unsocialized dogs can be fearful of new people and situations.
Training will teach English Toy Spaniel puppies household rules. Housetraining can be a challenge, but with persistence and patience, it can be accomplished. The English Toy Spaniel dog breed is happiest when spending time with his owner; he will not be happy spending long hours alone. He is one of the quietest of the toy breeds and does well in an apartment. He is good with children when they have been taught to be gentle with him. He will not tolerate rough handling; he will simply get up and walk away. He is also very tolerant of other pets. Health concerns include knee problems, cataracts, and heart defects.