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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > English Toy Spaniel

English Toy Spaniel

Origin: England

AKC Group: Toy

Height: 9 - 12 inches (Male)

Weight: 9 - 12 pounds (Male)

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The English Toy Spaniel comes in four color varieties: the King Charles, the Ruby, the Blenheim and the Prince Charles.

Unlike most toy breeds, the English Toy Spaniel isn't demanding; it's very easy to live with. These quiet and calm little dogs adjust well to apartments, and need little, if any, outdoor exercise. English Toy Spaniels are somewhat suspicious of strangers, and they get along well with kids and other pets.

English Toy Spaniels are a toy breed. In general, toy breeds are small companion dogs that were originally bred as pets for wealthy, cultured families. Today, toys are the perfect apartment dogs, since they require little, if any, outdoor exercise.

Despite their small size, many toys are excellent watchdogs. Most get along fine with children, although they'll snap if teased or startled. Some breeds are jealous of other pets.

Longhaired toys need to be brushed frequently, and some breeds need to be professionally groomed every few months.

Male height: 
9 - 12 inches
Male weight: 
9 - 12 pounds
Silky, with longer hair on the ears, chest, stomach, legs and tail. Tail is docked to about one-and-a-half inches; ears hang down.
The King Charles is black with rich tan markings above the eyes; on the muzzle, chest and legs. A few white hairs are allowed on the chest. The Ruby is solid red, sometimes with a few white hairs on the chest. The Blenheim is white with red patches and one dime-sized spot of red on the forehead. The Prince Charles is white with black and tan patches. Eyes are always dark; nose is black.
Special considerations: 
Because of the pushed-in face, this breed sometimes suffers from respiratory difficulties.

Ever since there were spaniels, toy versions have curled up in laps and warmed hearts. In England and Europe, the charming spaniel personality in a tiny package was highly valued in a pet. Existing couching and setting dogs were bred smaller and smaller (and other small dogs may have been used), but these tiny companions were basically miniaturized gundogs. Called simply "comforters" for many years, these toy spaniels were not only exceptional companions but foot- and hand warmers, too! King Charles II was so fond of these happy dogs that Samuel Pepys, writing in the 1600s, commented, "All I observed was the silliness of the King playing with his dog all the while and not minding his business." The King's devotion soon lent his name to the little dogs - King Charles Spaniels - and they are still known by that name, except in North America, where they are called English Toy Spaniels.

This toy spaniel (nicknamed "Charlie" by admirers) shares his bigger namesakes' endearing qualities: an exuberance for life, a truly affectionate nature and a passion for his people. He is naturally well behaved, quiet and sweet. Although merry and gregarious with his owner, he can be shy with those he doesn't know, but this is quickly overcome if he is treated with kindness and respect.
At home: 
Charlies make ideal apartment dogs. They can get much of their exercise following their owner from room to room. Although not as demanding as many toy breeds, Charlies still need and desire human attention and won't do well if left alone for long periods. They don't fare well in extreme temperatures and would much prefer to lounge around the house with their owner than face the cold or wet.
A sociable fellow, the English Toy Spaniel appreciates and looks forward to his outings, although scampering about underfoot suits him fine, too. He is playful and loves to cavort with people of all ages.
Charlies can be picky eaters; they require a high-quality, size-appropriate diet.
Charlies are naturally well behaved and are good listeners, so they pose few training problems. At times they can be willful, and housetraining can be a challenge. To minimize shyness, early socialization is important.
The even-tempered English Toy Spaniel gets along well with all types of people, including children. He does well with other pets, although he doesn't appreciate overly rowdy dogs.
The average life span of the English Toy Spaniel is 10 to 12 years. Breed health concerns may include cataracts; ear infections; glaucoma; mitral valve disease (MVD); patellar luxation; and patent ductus arteriosis (PDA).
Fun fact: 

Some of the colors of the English Toy Spaniel have royal nomenclature: The most popular color, black and tan, is called "King Charles"; tricolors are "Prince Charles"; red and white are "Blenheim" (named after the estate of the Duke of Marlborough); and solid red are "Ruby."

Grooming blurb: 
The Charlies fine, silky coat and feathering nearly reach the ground and must be brushed frequently with a pin brush to prevent matting. The folds of skin around his nose, mouth and eyes need careful attention as well because these warm, moist spots harbor infection.
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.