English Toy Spaniel Profile: Loyal With a Playful Spark

Published March 8, 2021
English toy spaniel

The English toy spaniel is also known as the King Charles spaniel. This breed is known as devoted and makes a wonderful dog for pet parents living in an apartment. Many of these canines work as therapy dogs and are residents of nursing homes, hospitals, and therapy facilities.

English Toy Spaniel Breed Overview

There are four varieties, and each of them is beautiful. This dog is well-behaved, affectionate, and eager to please. The English toy spaniel is frequently confused with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, a separate breed with a longer muzzle.

Origin and History

The breed's ancestors were called "comforter" spaniels! The English toy spaniel originated in Japan or China. A Japanese spaniel originally from ancient Korea may have been among the ancestors. This dog was known in England at least 100 years before King Charles I's reign, which ended in 1649.

  • In the late eighteenth century, the dogs were crossed with a pug.
  • At the end of the nineteenth century, there were four varieties.
  • In 1903, all four varieties were reclassified as one breed.

Popular Pets Among British Royalty

The English toy spaniel was primarily a small companion dog seen living among royalty, courts of kings, and noblemen. Oriental aristocracy presented this toy spaniel to European heads of state.

King charles spaniel wearing leafs wreath on head


The English toy spaniel is typically calm with a quiet demeanor and an excellent family pet. This intelligent little breed is known for his obedience work.


This breed is not known for his hardiness in extreme cold, and the long coat makes hot temperatures difficult. The coat is long, silken, and wavy, and there are feathers on the ears, legs, and chest.

  • Height: The tiny spaniel is between 10 and 11 inches tall.
  • Weight: The English toy spaniel weighs between eight and 14 pounds.

Four Varieties

The Toy Spaniel Club of England recognized four different varieties, but since 1923, all four types in Great Britain are King Charles Spaniels.

  • King Charles: Black and tan
  • Prince Charles: Tri-color, which includes black, tan, and white
  • Ruby: Red chestnut
  • Blenheim: Red and white

High-Maintenance Grooming

Pet parents need to brush this dog's coat every few days. This little companion may get tangles and mats, so this is an essential weekly task.

Grooming english toy spaniel

Health Issues

The English toy spaniel is a generally healthy breed, and breeders screen this dog for a few possible health issues.

  • Cardiac exam
  • Ophthalmologist evaluation


The English toy spaniel only needs one daily walk. He is always ready for a short play session in the yard with family members.

Small Breed Diet

Pet parents need to look for high-quality ingredients in small breed kibble brands or canned formulas. Many diets are specially formulated for smaller dogs, including toy breeds. Do not let your spaniel become obese.

Two Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies sitting on a meadow

Caring for Your Senior English Toy Spaniel

The lifespan of this breed is over 12 years. Your small senior breed needs to see the vet at least twice a year. Any aging canine benefits from a vet visit as the dog may need lab work or a wellness exam. Small breeds are also known to get arthritis and may require a vet to help with pain management.

Toy Group

The breed was known and admired in the U.S. throughout the nineteenth century and among the earliest breeds shown in shows after the American Kennel Club's (AKC) inception in 1885. The AKC recognized the English Toy Spaniel in 1886. The Yorkshire terrier and the pug were the only toy breeds recognized earlier, in 1885.

Modern English Toy Spaniel Is a Playful Dog

The modern English toy spaniel is quiet and playful. Pet parents need to groom the little dog's coat every few days to ensure there are no tangles and mats. This delightful dog breed is an excellent family pet and perfect for a smaller home.

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English Toy Spaniel Profile: Loyal With a Playful Spark