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English Toy Spaniel

EnglishToySpaniel

An Attentive & Gentle Lap Dog

Affectionate, playful, exuberant

English Toy Spaniels are happy, well-behaved, and lovable, small dogs. Also known as the King Charles Spaniel, they are devoted to their families, but often timid around strangers. These compact-sized spaniels don't like to be left alone and often become bored and destructive.  They make great companions for families, retirees, and people living in the city. Exercising these dogs is easy; all they needs is a short walk or play session each day.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs.

Breed Details

Height:10-11 in. Weight:8-14 lb Lifespan:10-12 years

Size
2

1 = small - 5 = large

Grooming requirements
3

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
1

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
3

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
3

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
3

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: English Toy Spaniels are well suited for apartment living; they will need a short daily walk and regular inside play.

Grooming: Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly to prevent mats.

Dental: English Toy Spaniels often have serious problems with their teeth, so you'll need to brush them at least three times a week!

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Make sure to keep their floppy ears dry. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


English Toy Spaniels are lovers of comfort and dedicated to their families, but they tend to form a deep bond with only one person.

Positive Traits:

  • Intelligent and easy to train

  • Affectionate, easygoing, and lovable

  • Excellent companion

  • People-oriented and eager to please

  • Doesn't need much exercise

  • Compact and does well in small living quarters

Negative Traits:

  • Wary of strangers, with a tendency to vocalize

  • An indoor dog that doesn't do well in the heat

  • Prone to separation anxiety, with associated destructive chewing behaviors

  • Makes a lot of snorting, snuffling, and wheezing noises, and they may snore

  • Can be aggressive, fearful or snappy if not socialized properly

  • Needs frequent attention from their family

Whether you are considering adding a new English Toy Spaniel to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every English Toy Spaniel will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

By exploring the health concerns specific to the English Toy Spaniel you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

Some health issues an English Toy Spaniel could encounter:

The English Toy Spaniel originated in the Far East and was given to the English as gifts where they ultimately developed into the breed seen today. The English Toy Spaniel or King Charles Spaniel was a favorite among English Royalty; King Charles II delivered a royal decree that allowed free access to any court or palace in England to all English Toy Spaniels. They are quiet, gentle, and happy companions that are naturally well behaved and form a strong bond with their master. The English Toy Spaniel is a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 10-12 years.

Consult with a veterinarian if your English Toy Spaniel shows signs of the following:

  • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

  • Cloudiness to eye lens

  • Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

  • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

  • Bumping into objects, startles easily

  • Coughing, especially at night or upon rising after sleeping, rapid breathing at rest

  • Fatigue during exercise, coughing, or shortness of breath

  • General reluctance to run or play

  • Increasing hip pain at less than a year old

  • Soft, non-painful bulge near the belly button

  • Diarrhea

  • Straining to defecate, bleeding, licking of the area around the rectum, or smelly discharge

  • Seizures, dull demeanor, spastic gait

  • Care

    Routine Care: English Toy Spaniels are well suited for apartment living; they will need a short daily walk and regular inside play.

    Grooming: Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly to prevent mats.

    Dental: English Toy Spaniels often have serious problems with their teeth, so you'll need to brush them at least three times a week!

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Make sure to keep their floppy ears dry. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


  • Characteristics

    English Toy Spaniels are lovers of comfort and dedicated to their families, but they tend to form a deep bond with only one person.

    Positive Traits:

    • Intelligent and easy to train

    • Affectionate, easygoing, and lovable

    • Excellent companion

    • People-oriented and eager to please

    • Doesn't need much exercise

    • Compact and does well in small living quarters

    Negative Traits:

    • Wary of strangers, with a tendency to vocalize

    • An indoor dog that doesn't do well in the heat

    • Prone to separation anxiety, with associated destructive chewing behaviors

    • Makes a lot of snorting, snuffling, and wheezing noises, and they may snore

    • Can be aggressive, fearful or snappy if not socialized properly

    • Needs frequent attention from their family

  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new English Toy Spaniel to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every English Toy Spaniel will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the English Toy Spaniel you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some health issues an English Toy Spaniel could encounter:

  • History

    The English Toy Spaniel originated in the Far East and was given to the English as gifts where they ultimately developed into the breed seen today. The English Toy Spaniel or King Charles Spaniel was a favorite among English Royalty; King Charles II delivered a royal decree that allowed free access to any court or palace in England to all English Toy Spaniels. They are quiet, gentle, and happy companions that are naturally well behaved and form a strong bond with their master. The English Toy Spaniel is a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 10-12 years.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your English Toy Spaniel shows signs of the following:

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Squinting, watery eyes, bluing cornea, redness, enlarged eye

    • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

    • Bumping into objects, startles easily

    • Coughing, especially at night or upon rising after sleeping, rapid breathing at rest

    • Fatigue during exercise, coughing, or shortness of breath

    • General reluctance to run or play

    • Increasing hip pain at less than a year old

    • Soft, non-painful bulge near the belly button

    • Diarrhea

    • Straining to defecate, bleeding, licking of the area around the rectum, or smelly discharge

    • Seizures, dull demeanor, spastic gait

English Toy Spaniel Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the English Toy Spaniel breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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