The English Toy Spaniel comes in four color varieties:
The Blenheim is a red and white dog. The coat is pearly white with deep red or chestnut markings in large, evenly distributed patches. Ears and cheeks are red, and there should be red markings around both eyes. They will have a blaze of white that extends from the nose up the forehead and ending between the ears. The Blenheim often carries a thumb mark or "Blenheim Spot" placed on the top and the center of the skull.
The Prince Charles pattern is a tricolor dog with a pearly white background and black patches. They have solid black ears and black markings on their faces. They typically have black markings around the eyes, as well. They also have rich tan markings on the face, over their eyes, in the lining of the ears and under their tails.
The King Charles pattern is a black and tan dog. They have a glossy black background with mahogany tan marks on the cheeks, in the linings of the ears, over their eyes, on their legs and underneath their tails. There can be a small chest patch of white or a few white hairs on the chest. Otherwise, this dog should have no white markings.
The Ruby English Toy Spaniel is colored a rich dark red. There will often be a white patch of hair about the size of a quarter or a few white hairs on their chests, but otherwise, this dog has no other coloring is a self-colored, rich mahogany red.
8-14 pounds for males
8-14 pounds for males
These are indoor dogs. They don't need a great deal of exercise, and they don't tolerate temperature extremes or pollution very well. They are perfect for apartment life. They should never be left outdoors in an unfenced yard. They are prone to chase after birds and could well leave the yard. Plus, at their small size they could easily be hurt by larger animals.
English Toy Spaniels do not eat a great deal. They will eat between 1/4 and 1 cup of dog food each day, preferably fed in two meals. They are sometimes prone to being picky eaters, and feeding a little canned dog food mixed with their dry kibble can help them to be more willing to eat. However, since they are prone to dental problems, they should not be fed canned food exclusively.
The English Toy Spaniel is a small dog with a square build. They are sturdy and cobby. They are designed to be companion dogs and are quite intelligent. Though they are a toy sized dog, they are actually quite hardy. They have a black pug nose on a very short muzzle and a dome shaped skull, and their heads and cheeks look somewhat chubby.
Their teeth are slightly undershot. They have round eyes that are quite large and dark. Their ears are long and hang down in a pendant fashion. They have a medium long silky coat. Their tails are typically docked to two to four inches and are carried at or just slightly above the level of the back. Their tails should be feathered with silky hair that is 3-4 inches in length.
Their legs are short but well muscled with small compact feet. They have a lively and elegant gait, with a long stride for their size.
There are many confusing names for this dog and its cousins. English Toy Spaniels (also known as the King Charles Spaniel) are affectionately referred to as E.T.s' or Charlies'.
These are not to be confused with their cousins, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels who are usually called Cavaliers. They are two entirely separate breeds, though they are quite similar. In addition, the names King Charles and Prince Charles are be used to describe color patterns within the breed. Charlies' noses are more pushed in than the Cavalier, who resembles the pug far less, and their ears are set lower. Cavaliers' ears are set quite high, accentuating the flat skull. The tails of Charlies' are docked, but the tails of a Cavalier are left long. It is said that Charlies' most closely resemble pugs and Cavaliers most closely resemble spaniels. Both breeds are available in the same colors.
The English Toy Spaniel has a long and heavy coat with feathering on the ears and on both the front and hind legs. Their coats are very silky and shiny and are straight or with just the slightest hint of wave. Different colors of this breed obtain different lengths and thicknesses of coat, with the Prince Charles and King Charles having thicker and longer coats than the Blenheim and Rubies. Their coats should not be significantly trimmed.
It is believed that English Toy Spaniels date back to Asian spaniels and pugs. The breed was developed in the British Isles. The breed was originally developed as a woodcock dog. However, they quickly became a favorite of British royalty, and soon became primarily used as companion dogs. In fact, the term King Charles Spaniel came from King Charles II of England, who owned several of these dogs. This breed is still a favorite pet in England.
Breeding programs began in the nineteenth century to breed the dogs down and give them a flatter and more upturned face. Their eyes were also bred to be more protruding, leading to the breed as it is today. These breeding programs are also thought to be how the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel came about.
English Toy Spaniels are very loving and sweet dogs. They can sometimes be timid, especially with strangers, but once they get to know someone they are happy, gentle and playful. They are very affectionate with their families, but typically have one person in the family that they prefer to all others. If mistreated or hurt, they will sometimes bite in their defense. However, as long as they are treated properly, they are not at all prone to aggression.
They are well behaved overall, but are sometimes willful. They are quiet, and don't do well in loud rowdy households, though they love being with people. They are good with children, so long as they know to be gentle, and they are good with other animals. They don't enjoy being alone for long periods of time, but they are fairly inactive overall, so just having you around is all they really require. They are ideally suited to a single person or a very small family, perhaps where the children are older. They make the perfect companion dog for an older person, since they don't require much exercise or space and since they're very easy to care for.
Once your dominance is established, this breed is very eager to please. They will be happy to obey and be your best friend, as this dog is primarily bred to be a companion dog. Many English Toy Spaniels love learning to do little tricks to amuse their families. They will love little games of fetch and hide and seek in the house, particularly while they are young.
Some English Toy Spaniels are prone to respiratory ailments, and like other Pug nosed dogs, they may wheeze, snore and have trouble breathing, especially in the heat. Their eyes and ears are prone to infections, and so must be cleaned regularly.
Some are prone to slipped knees. In addition, English Toy Spaniels sometimes suffer from hereditary eye problems, like Glaucoma and Cataracts. They are occasionally shown to have retinal dysplasia, as well.
In some lines, you'll find hanging tongue syndrome, which is not a cause for medical concern, but these animals should not be bred.
English Toy Spaniels sometimes suffer from mitral valve heart disease, a life threatening heart abnormality. When dogs suffer from this disease, the mitral valve of the heart ages and shrinks, failing to completely close off the area on the left side of the heart between the two chambers as blood is pumped. This causes a portion of the blood backward into the left atrium with each heartbeat. The pressure of blood within a normally functioning heart is highest in the left ventricle, as it is required to move the blood throughout the entire body. When blood flows backwards into the atrium, it elevates the blood pressure in that chamber and even further back into the lung field.
English Toy Spaniels also sometimes have trouble with their teeth, particularly as they age. It's important with this breed that you brush their teeth regularly at home and that they have veterinary care for their teeth, as well.
Since this breed has been shown to have a number of problems, many of them genetic and hereditary, it is extremely important to choose a reputable breeder when you're ready to buy and English Toy Spaniel. Reputable breeders will work hard to breed out deficiencies by not Breeding any dog that has shown signs of genetic or Health Problems. Breeders that are not reputable, however, will breed any dog, and are more likely to replicate genetic problems in their puppies. Before you purchase a puppy, ask questions about the lineage of the puppy.
English Toy Spaniels are simple to groom, particularly for a long haired dog. You will need to give them regular brushing to prevent mats and tangles, particularly behind the ears, elbows and between the back legs. Brushing and combing should once a week will usually be enough to keep them mat and tangle free, but occasionally you may have to cut out a mat. They should be bathed, using a mild shampoo made especially for dogs, once or twice a month. Many owners wash their dogs' faces daily, and this breed usually loves this ritual.
Of course, if you'll be showing this breed they will require more grooming. However, even for show dogs, this breed's hair should never be excessively clipped. They should have a natural appearance.
This is a very sedentary dog. They need very little exercise and are known to be quite inactive. An occasional short walk is all the exercise they'll need. If you're a regular walker and wish to have this breed be your walking companion, they should be introduced to long walks gradually. They are not suitable as running companions because their legs are short and they tire easily. Because of their tendency to have respiratory ailments, they should not be exercised for long periods of time during hot weather, even if they are accustomed to exercise.
English Toy Spaniels are intelligent and eager to please their owners, once dominance is established. They can be willful, so it's important to establish yourself as the Alpha dog early on.
Because the English Toy Spaniel can sometimes be timid with strangers, it's very important that they be socialized very early on to prevent them from being fearful of your family's visitors. If you are planning to show this breed, introducing them to the life of the show ring early will prevent them from being fearful of the events that will take place in the ring. If they are properly exposed to the ring, however, their naturally sunny personalities are sure to be favorite.
Crate training works well for housebreaking this breed. Since they are so small, they can find many places in your home to go to the bathroom unnoticed, and once the habit is started it is very difficult to break. However, because of the dog's intolerance of extreme temperatures, many owners choose to paper train this breed, so that they are not required to go outside to go to the bathroom when it is very cold or very hot outside. This also works well for high rise apartment dwellers who don't want to make frequent trips outdoors.
English Toy Spaniels are known for being difficult to leash train, so it's important to begin this task early and to be patient. They have a bit of a hunting instinct, and will usually chase after any bird around, so it's important that they not be left off their leads.