AKC Dog Breeds: English Toy Spaniel

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Toy  Group
Height:9-10 inches   Weight: 8-14 pounds  Color: Blenheim (red & white), Prince Charles pattern  (white w/ black patches and tan),  King Charles pattern (black and tan), Ruby (solid red)

The English Toy Spaniel breed began as a small sporting Spaniel highly favored by English royalty and named after King Charles II. Only in North America is the King Charles Spaniel referred to as the English Toy Spaniel. During the 1800's this breed was crossed with Oriental short-nosed dogs to produce the breed of today. The English Toy Spaniel is a compact, cobby and essentially square toy dog possessed of a short-nosed, domed head, a merry and affectionate demeanor and a silky, flowing coat. His compact, sturdy body and charming temperament, together with his rounded head, lustrous dark eye, and well cushioned face, proclaim him a dog of distinction and character. English Toy Spaniel's are the smallest of all Spaniel breeds. The breed was registered with the AKC in 1886.

General Appearance
The English Toy Spaniel has a very sweet and docile appearance, which reflects his personality traits. His sweet face sports a thoughtful expression, and his coat is long and silky, with typical spaniel-type silky ears framing his small face. The English Toy Spaniel is a small, sturdy, square spaniel with a deep, pug nose that is black with very well open nostrils, a well-defined stop, and dome-shaped skull. The teeth should be slightly undershot. The round eyes are large, and dark with a sweet expression. The long feathered ears are pendant and hang along its cheeks. The soft, silky coat is well feathered and comes in four colors varieties.


The English Toy Spaniel is a sweet natured, undemanding, and friendly dog, with an amiable personality, a gentle nature, and a lot of affection to give to his owners. The low demands and sweet nature of this breed has made him a hit amongst the elderly or those that are unable to provide much in the way of exercise for their pet. The English Toy Spaniel is well suited for the inexperienced owner as well as the more experienced, and is a small dog that makes a great companion pet. Although these dogs are playful they are not demanding in terms of exercise requirements, and is in fact the type of dog that prefers to be pampered and loves his creature comforts. If you are looking for an undemanding, sweet, gentle, and friendly companion dog that loves to cuddle up with you, then the English Toy Spaniel could be the ideal pet for you. These dogs will get along okay with older children that are more considerate, but they do not like being teased or handled roughly so are not well suited to younger, boisterous children. These dogs tend to get on well with other pets, but can be reserved when strangers are around. The English Toy Spaniel is a very fast learner and is obedient.


The English Toy Spaniel requires regular brushing to keep shedding to a minimum. English Toy Spaniels are simple to groom, particularly for a long haired dog. 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. Bathing should be done when necessary using a mild shampoo. It is absolutely crucial to daily cleanse the ears and eyes of this breed. Many owners wash their dogs' faces daily, and this breed usually loves this ritual. These dogs are low shedders when properly groomed, and so may prove fine for allergy sufferers.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy

As a short-faced breed they have a tendency to snore and wheeze. They do not do well in hot and humid climates or in being overly-exerted. English Toy Spaniel's are prone to such health issues as heart disease, ear infections, slipped stifle, eye problems, and respiratory problems. This breed must be protected from extreme heat and cold. The life expectancy of the English Toy Spaniel is around 10-12 years.

Activity Level
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.


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english toy spaniel dog featured in dog encyclopedia
English Toy Spaniel profile on dog encyclopedia