The origin of toy spaniels is very old and it is believed that the first toy spaniels, that were the first ancestors of the King Charles Spaniel originated in Japan and they were most likely brought to europe in 13th century. Later, in 18th and 19th century, this breed was crossed with the Pug to reduce the size of the muzzle.
This breed is known under two names. The first one is the English Toy Spaniel which is very descriptive and pretty much self explaining. The other, mostly used in Great Britain, is the King Charles Spaniel after the King Charles I, who was a big lover of this breed. Overall, the Brittis royalty loved King Charles Spaniels. They also have cute nicknames, Charlies and ETs.
3) Not a Cavalier
It is very common that this breed is mistaken with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and i am not surprised, they look very similar. But, those are two separated breeds, even though, closely related breeds. When the English Toy Spaniel was crossbred with the Pug to get smaller muzzle, many people loved it, but not all of them and some English Toy Spaniel breeders took some of their long-nosed throwbacks and created what is now known as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. So the Cavaliers have longer nose, a flat head, and ears that hang from higher on the head. The Cavalier is also slightly bigger.
The King Charles Spaniel comes in four different color variations and each one has its own name. The black and tan dogs are known as King Charles, the tricoloured dogs are known as Prince Charles, Red and White English Toy Spaniels are called Blenheim Spaniels and the single coloured rich red dogs are named as Ruby Spaniels.
The English Toy Spaniel is the perfect lap dog and companion. They have pretty laid back personality and they do not require tons of exercise. They are very affectionate and loyal to its owner and family and they want to spend their time next to them. On the other hand, they will hate if you will leave them alone for long periods of time. Because of those personality traits, they make excellent companions for older retired people.
This is a small lap dog with average height between 23-28 cm, which is 9-11 inches and weight is typically between 4-7 kg, which is 8-14 pounds. There are no extreme differences between males and females.
In the UK, there is rule, that no dog except guide dogs can enter establishement building. There is an urban legend saying, that Charles II issued a special decree granting King Charles Spaniels this permision. But it is probably only a myth, because even the UK parliament say on its website, that Contrary to popular rumour, there is no Act of Parliament referring to King Charles spaniels being allowed anywhere in the Palace of Westminster. We are often asked this question and have thoroughly researched it.
8) Hot weather
Because of the shorter muzzle, the King Charles Spaniel does not enjoy heat and they need to be monitored on hot days to ensure that they do not overexert themselves. In hot summer, make longer walks early in the morning and late in the evening. Those dogs can overheat themselves easily.
English Toy Spaniels are considered to be average shedders and it is recommended to brush their coat few times a week to minimize the shedding and to prevent matting and tangling. Overall, the grooming is fairly easy. Just like with all dogs you should regularly check the dogs ears, eyes and nails and clip them or clean them if needed.
The average lifespan of this breed is between 11-14 years. Just like all dogs, they can suffer from some health issues. This breed is especially prone to eye problems such as entropion, cataracts and corneal dystrophy and to heart problems like mitral valve disease. They are also very sensitive to anesthesia. And just like all the brachycephalic breeds, they can have troubles with breathing when they get older.