The words Dog Breed Info with the letter D inside of a black paw print

The Purebred English Toy Spaniel

Information and Pictures

Bridey the red and white English Toy Spaniel is laying on a stone porch and looking up

Bridey the English Toy Spaniel

Other Names
  • King Charles Spaniel

ING-glish toy SPAN-yuhlspeaker


The English Toy Spaniel is a small, square-shaped spaniel. The round head is large in proportion to the dog. The muzzle is very short, with a pushed back nose and extra skin under the eyes. The stop is deep and well-defined. The black nose is large with wide nostrils. The square jaw is large and deep with a slight underbite. The large eyes are dark brown or black with black eye rims. The ears are very long, hanging close to the head with heavy feathering. The ears should not have a lot of white on them. The tail is either a natural screw, or is docked to about 2 to 4 inches (5-10 cm) in length. Note: docking tails is illegal in most parts of Europe. The long coat is straight or slightly wavy with longer feathering on the ears, body, chest, front and back legs, and feet. Coat colors come in Blenheim (white with red markings), Prince Charles (tricolor, white with black and tan markings), King Charles (black and tan), Ruby (rich mahogany red, sometimes with a few white hairs or small white patch on the chest).


The English Toy Spaniel is gentle, happy, playful, loving and sweet. The breed is intelligent and naturally well-behaved. These dogs will be quiet and laid-back if treated gently, but firmly. They are friendly with other dogs. They will be good with all children if both owners and children are clear pack leaders toward the dog. It is an average barker, and is an okay watchdog. They are, however, considered exclusively a companion dog. Some are known to be picky eaters. The English Toy Spaniel needs to be with people who can provide them with a determined, consistent, loving approach. Do not allow this sweet dog to develop Small Dog Syndrome, human induced behaviors where the dog is led to believe they rule the home. This can cause a wide, varying degree of behavior issues including, but not limited to, acting timid, demanding, willfulness and possible obsessive barking. If you allow things to escalate even higher they may begin to guard objects and/or become untrustworthy with children and/or strange adults.

Height, Weight

Height: about 10 inches (25 cm)
Weight: 9 - 12 pounds (4.1 - 5.4 kg)

Health Problems

Some bloodlines are prone to respiratory problems, heart disease (MVD), slipped stifle, eye problems and ear infections. Keep the eyes and ears clean to avoid infection. Like many other short-faced breeds, the English Toy Spaniel may wheeze and snore and have trouble breathing in hot weather if it overexerts itself, because of its very short muzzle.

Living Conditions

They are good for apartment life, relatively inactive indoors, and will do okay without a yard if they are sufficiently exercised. English Toy Spaniels do not do well in temperature extremes.


This breed needs a daily walk where the dog is made to heel beside or behind the human. Never in front, as in a dog's mind the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the humans and not the dog. Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs, however, as with all breeds, play will not fulfill their primal instinct to walk. Dogs that do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display a wide array of behavior problems. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe open area off-lead, such as a large, fenced-in yard. Don't think that just because he is small he should be confined to a small space.

Life Expectancy

About 10-12 years.

Litter Size

About 2-6 puppies, average of 5


They are average shedders. No trimming or stripping is needed. Regular brushing will do.


In the late 1600s the King Charles Spaniels were interbred with Pugs, which resulted in a smaller dog with flatter noses, upturned faces, rounded heads and protruding eyes. The consequence of this breeding is what we know today as the King Charles Spaniel (English Toy Spaniel). It was developed in the British Isles and was a favorite of British Royalty. The breed was recognized by the AKC in 1886.


Gun Dog, AKC Toy

  • ACA = American Canine Association Inc.
  • ACR = American Canine Registry
  • AKC = American Kennel Club
  • ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club
  • APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc.
  • CKC = Canadian Kennel Club
  • CKC = Continental Kennel Club
  • DKCSC = Deutscher King Charles Spaniel Club--Germany
  • DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
  • FCI = Fédération Cynologique Internationale
  • KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain
  • NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
  • NKC = National Kennel Club
  • NZKC = New Zealand Kennel Club
Bridey the red and white English Toy Spaniel is sitting on a porch in front of a screen door

Bridey the English Toy Spaniel

Right Profile - Beau the black, white with brown English Toy Spaniel is standing on a blue platform. There is a blue backdrop behind it

This is Beau, registered name Ch. Fairoak's Adora-Beau, owner/breeder Barbara Latimer of Fairoak's Kennel.

Close Up - Fern the black, white with tan English Toy Spaniel is looking to the right. There is a purple border around the edge of the image

This very pretty little girl is named Fern. Her full name is Jovan Southdown Fern Windsor. Photo courtesy of Windsor English Toy Spaniels

Close Up - Lola the black, tan and white tricolored English Toy Spaniel Puppy is laying on a dog bed. There is a Greenie chew shaped like a brush in front of her. Lola is looking back

Lola the English Toy Spaniel as a puppy at 6 months old

Lola the black, tan and white tricolored English Toy Spaniel Puppy is standing on a hardwood floor and looking up

Lola the English Toy Spaniel as a puppy at 6 months old

Close Up - Oliver the red and white English Toy Spaniel is wearing a brown leather collar laying on a blanket on top of a person

Oliver the English Toy Spaniel

Close up - Oliver the red with white English Toy Spaniel is laying on top of a plaid pillow in a chair and looking to the right

Oliver English Toy Spaniel