The English Toy Spaniel was imported from England in 1886 and was registered the same year by the American Kennel Club (AKC) to Susannah Roberts (Mrs. B. F. Wilson) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was the third toy breed to be recognized by the AKC, preceded by the Yorkshire Terrier and Pug. There are four colors, which are tan and black (English Toy, previously King Charles); white, tan, and black (Prince Charles); red and white (Blenheim); and red (Ruby). They a have long, glossy coat, a square head, and short legs with a compact body. This breed only gets to about 10 inches tall and weighs about 12 pounds on average.
Although they were first noted in England, it is thought that this breed originated in Asia. Most experts agree that they were given to royalty as gifts from Japan. Prior to 1903, all four of the color combinations of English Toy Spaniels were classed as separate breeds for showing but mixed for breeding. These four colors were tan and black (King Charles); white, tan, and black (Prince Charles); red and white (Blenheim); and red (Ruby). These names have their own bit of history to them such as the King Charles, which was named for their association with King Charles II of England. The Blenheim was named after John Churchill’s estate, which was named for his victory at the Battle of Blenheim. Other famous owners of English Toy Spaniels include Queen Mary I, Queen Elizabeth II, and the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia. However, in 1904, it was ruled by the AKC that all four colors should be combined into one breed, which was the English Toy Spaniel. These dogs were supposedly bred with Pugs in the early 1900s, giving them their short muzzle and smaller size. It is reported that during the 20th century, some tried to restore the King Charles Spaniels with the Toy Trawler Spaniel, which did not last, and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which is very popular today. Although these dogs were originally bred for hunting, they were not very good at it because of their small size. However, they still have good hunting instincts but prefer to be lap dogs.
The English Toy Spaniel is a small, square, dog with a large but flat nose, domed head, and affectionate and friendly appearance. Their long, silky fur is usually straight but may be a bit wavy in some dogs. The compact size and sturdiness gives the English Toy Spaniel a well-built look and with the beautiful dark eyes and fluffy face, she has a distinct character and pleasant demeanor. The English Toy Spaniel has a large head with a chubby look, and low, pendulous, long-haired ears. They are short, compact, and have a broad back with a sturdy frame. The legs are well-muscled but short and the feet are small and furry with fused toes. The colors of the coat can include black and tan, which was previously considered a King Charles; white, tan, and black, once called a Prince Charles; red and white, previously referred to as a Blenheim; and red, which used to be called a Ruby.
Your English Toy Spaniel needs to be brushed every day or every other day with a firm bristle brush and a metal comb if needed to remove mats. With the long, silky hair, the hair of your English Toy Spaniel can get matted and will need to be carefully untangled by hand, using your fingers to gently separate the tangled fur. Bathing is only necessary every few months or if your dog gets especially dirty. In these conditions, use a mild dog shampoo and conditioner recommended by your veterinary care provider. Make sure you check your dog’s nails, eyes, and ears at this time for dirt or debris and clean as recommended by your veterinarian. Although the English Toy Spaniel would rather lay on the couch than exercise, it is important to take her out for a walk every day. However, extreme weather (too hot or too cold) can be bad for your dog and you should always provide plenty of water if she is going to be outside for a while. They are great for apartment living due to their small size and infrequent, quiet bark.