English Toy Spaniels are small, compact, square-bodied dogs. Their beautiful coat has been compared to a royal cloak, and the breed comes in four varieties based on coat color: ruby (mahogany red), Blenheim (mahogany red and white), Prince Charles (white with black and tan), and King Charles (black and tan). There's heavy fringing on the chest, body, and ears, and feathering on the font and hind legs. These dogs have dark eyes, very long and low-set ears, and a broad and square jaw. English Toy Spaniels measure 10 inches at the shoulder and weigh 8 to 14 pounds.
English Toy Spaniels are happy, playful, and intelligent dogs that are naturally well behaved and get along great with everyone.
This very merry and affectionate breed is both well behaved and highly intelligent. English Toy Spaniels get along very well with children and make excellent companion animals for families. Because of their small size, they are ideally suited to apartment life.
An impressive looking and much-loved breed, the English Toy Spaniel has appeared in many noble portraits over the years, especially during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries.
English Toy Spaniels are happy, playful, and intelligent dogs that are naturally well behaved and get along great with everyone. They make excellent family companions and play gently with children. These dogs enjoy a leisurely life and tend to be lap dogs, although they have a great time occasionally romping or rollicking around in the backyard.
Generally calm, quiet, and amiable, English Toy Spaniels are suited to life in most environments, even urban apartments. They are devoted to their loved ones, but somewhat reserved around strangers. These dogs need near-constant attention and companionship to remain healthy and happy. They are definitely people-oriented dogs, and they will quickly become lonely and depressed without sufficient affection and time from their human family members.
English Toy Spaniels need room to run occasionally, whether in a securely fenced backyard or at a dog park. They also enjoy playing fetch, going for leash walks, and hunting for prey outdoors. When outside, they need constant supervision. This breed tends to run into traffic or tangle with neighborhood animals if not kept on a tight leash.
Generally healthy dogs, English Toy Spaniels suffer from a few conditions that can interfere with quality or length of life. Some common health problems in the breed include patellar luxation, which causes the kneecaps to slip out of place, early tooth loss, hip dysplasia, ear infections, and "lazy" tongue, in which the tongue protrudes a little from the mouth. The breed is also prone to mitral valve disease, a heart condition.
English Toy Spaniels are also prone to various eye diseases, including entropion, glaucoma, and progressive retinal atrophy, a condition that results in blindness. These dogs may also have a soft spot in their skull that makes them vulnerable to certain injuries. This is due to incomplete fontanel closure. Additionally, English Toy Spaniels are sensitive to anesthesia.
With routine veterinary care, quality nutrition, and regular exercise, English Toy Spaniels can live as long as 13 years.
English Toy Spaniels are fairly easy to train, as long as they believe everything they are doing is their idea. They respond best to positive reinforcement techniques, such as praise and play rewards, and they tend to shut down when criticized or treated harshly.
These dogs don't make friends easily and they may come across as aloof to strangers. Early socialization will prevent shyness and improve tolerance of unfamiliar people and animals. When young, these dogs may tremble and become clingy in new situations, but this behavior typically fades as the breed matures.
If their feelings become hurt or they feel ignored, these dogs may act out and misbehave. Usually, this can be easily remedied with a little extra attention. Training can help minimize these behaviors. Generally, English Toy Spaniels are well-mannered and well-behaved dogs.
English Toy Spaniels are low-maintenance when it comes to grooming. Twice-weekly brushing and combing is usually enough to maintain a neat appearance and keep tangles and mats under control. Extra attention should be given to the area behind the ears, back legs, and elbows, though, as this is where most tangling occurs in the breed.
Bathing is only needed every two to four weeks to keep the English Toy Spaniel's coat manageable and fresh smelling. Washing the face daily is a good idea to keep these dogs from rubbing themselves clean on furniture and pant legs. To prevent skin dryness and irritation, only a pH-balanced canine shampoo should be used during bathing.
The ears need attention every week. It's important to check for excess wax accumulation and signs of infection, such as redness, pain, discharge, and offensive odor. Dental care is key when it comes to English Toy Spaniels, as the breed is prone to dental disease. Brushing should be done as often as possible, and dental treats and drinking water additives should be used between brushings to prevent tartar buildup. The nails need trimming every few weeks or so.
Although exact details of the breed's origin are unknown, experts agree that the English Toy Spaniel originally developed in the Far East and only later appeared in England. The English Toy Spaniel began as the same breed as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and these two dogs share identical histories.
Once the breed made its way from England to the United States, its name was changed to English Toy Spaniel. It continued to be loved for the same reasons that made the breed so popular with Mary, Queen of Scots and other royals back in England; these dogs make excellent lap and foot warmers and even better companions.
The English Toy Spaniel breed is now shown in two varieties and is a huge favorite among pet parents who want an aristocratic dog that is also fun and family-friendly.
The American Kennel Club officially recognized the English Toy Spaniel in 1886.