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Adopt an English Toy Spaniel

English Toy Spaniel Dog Breed

Picture: Kent and Donna Dannen


spaniel, companion

Area of origin:


Original function:

flushing small birds, lapdog

Average size of male:

Ht: 10-11, Wt: 8-14

Average size of female:

Ht: 10-11, Wt: 8-14

Other names:

King Charles spaniel

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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

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English Toy Spaniel Dog Temperament

The haughty English toy spaniel enjoys a life of leisure, punctuated with rollicking romps. He is a lap dog par excellence, gentle, amiable, calm and quiet, yet he is playful and attentive. He is utterly devoted to his family and reserved with strangers. He can be somewhat stubborn.

English Toy Spaniel Dog Care

Although he enjoys a nice walk on leash or a fun game in the house or yard, the English toy spaniel is not overly active and his exercise needs can be met with minimal effort. He does not do well in heat and is temperamentally unsuited for living outside away from his family. His long coat needs combing twice weekly.

English Toy Spaniel Dog Health

Major concerns: patellar luxation
Minor concerns: early tooth loss, "lazy" tongue (never fully extracts into mouth)
Occasionally seen: PDA
Suggested tests: knee
Life span: 10-12 years
Note: A soft spot in the skull (due to incomplete fontanel closure) sometimes occurs. The breed is sensitive to anesthesia.

Dogs Related to the English Toy Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Japanese Chin

Interested in the history of the English Toy Spaniel dog breed?

The English toy spaniel and the cavalier King Charles spaniel share identical early histories. They began as one breed, probably resulting from crosses of small spaniels with Oriental toy breeds. Some evidence supports the theory that Mary, Queen of Scots, brought the first toy spaniels to Scotland with her from France. These "comforter spaniels" became very popular with the wealthy classes, and served as foot and lap warmers as well as delightful companions. They reached their height of early popularity during the 17th-century reign of King Charles II, who so doted on his dogs that the breed was soon called the King Charles spaniel, the name by which he is still known in England. These early dogs were all black and tan; other colors were developed later, with the first Duke of Marlborough credited with developing the red-and-white "Blenheims," named after his estate. The red-and-white coloration may have come from crosses with Chinese cocker spaniels. The duke's spaniels were said to be good dogs for hunting woodcock. Most proponents of the breed were more interested in having an eye-catching lap dog than a hunting dog, and in the ensuing centuries the King Charles spaniel was bred down in size and selected for a rounder head and flatter nose. In America, the name was changed to English toy spaniel. The breed is shown in two varieties: the red parti-colored Blenheim and black-and-tan parti-colored Prince Charles; and the red solid-colored Ruby and black-and-tan solid-colored King Charles. The breed has continued to find favor with pet parents desiring an aristocratic but fun-loving lap dog.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

Shelters with English Toy Spaniel Dogs

Some animal welfare organizations with English Toy Spaniels ready for adoption:

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