There are may interesting facts about the English Toy Spaniel. This dog is commonly referred to as the "Charlie".
It is believed through evidence that the Charlie was a favorite of Mary Queen of Scots. It is said that her favorite English Toy Spaniel refused to leave her when she was executed. The executioner is said to have found the blood stained dog within the folds of her skirt.
All English Toy Spaniels were said to have been black and tan up to the time of King Charles II. The different colors of the Charlie were said to have emerged much later.
The English Toy Spaniel became known as simply the "Charlie" after both King Charles I and King Charles II. They were said to be extremely fond of these dogs. King Charles II was said to have gotten into trouble many times for playing with his dogs all the time and neglecting his duties. King Charles even declared by royal decree that all English Toy Spaniels be permitted entry everywhere within the British Empire! This included all shops, offices, pubs, and cafes. This decree is still in force to this day!
The brother of King Charles, King James II, was once shipwrecked off of the coast of Scotland in 1613. He was compelled to abandon ship and he ordered the crew to "Save the dogs!" Almost as an afterthought he finally added, "And Colonel Churchill."
The English Toy Spaniel was a favorite of the ladies of the court. There are many Charlies that can bee seen in oil portraits dated as early as the 1400's. They can be seen sitting in the laps of queens and princesses. They are also featured romping on the lawns and through the gardens.
Many, if not most, authorities believe that the Charlie has its origins in the East. It is believed that it began in Japan with the cross-breeding of a pug, Japanese chin, and a bulldog. This would account for its round head and flat face. It is believed that the dogs traveled to Europe as part of gifts that were presented to royalty.
In the United States, the Charlie has appeared in the records of the AKC since the organization was founded. Prior to 1903, the four different colors were separated into separate and distinct breeds. The AKC ruled in 1904, that they should be combined into a single breed and shown in two different color classifications. They were to be shown as the King Charles and the Ruby, and the Prince Charles and the Blenheim.
The celebrated physician to Queen Elizabeth referred to the Charlie as "Spaniel Gentle, otherwise called the comforter." It is also believed that the English Toy Spaniel still possesses its natural instinct to hunt.
The English Toy has a fantastic memory. It will remember any seemed injustices it deems to have occurred. It will also remember any kindnesses shown to it and will act accordingly.
It is fascinating to learn about such an aristocratic and regal animal. A person could get lost for hours just reading the history of this amazing animal.