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About English Toy Spaniels

The English Toy Spaniel is a square, snub-nosed toy weighing no more than 14 pounds. The large, domed head—with its long and lush ears, dark melting eyes, and chubby cheeks (described by fans as “well-cushioned”)— is a famous breed trait. Another is a coat that comes in four varieties, each with its own proper name: red and white (Blenheim); black and tan (King Charles); white, black, and tan (Prince Charles); and a solid red (Ruby). Blenheims often have a red mark, the “Blenheim Spot,” on top of the head.

English Toys can be stubborn during training, but ‘Charlies’ are easy going dogs and make excellent companions for city-dwellers who can provide the dogs regular walks on lead. They are good as family companions and play well with children. Their small size makes them ideal for an apartment or small home. These dogs do not like the hot weather and should not be left outdoors on hot days.

Most authorities agree that the English Toy has its origins in the East, namely Japan (traveling to Europe as part of royal presents). All English Toys seem to have been Black and Tan up to the time of King Charles II (these were later called the King Charles); the different colors emerged much later. Celebrated professor and physician to Queen Elizabeth refers to the English Toys as "Spaniell Gentle, otherwise called the Comforter." Evidence that the English Toy was a favorite of Mary Queen of Scots, where it is said that her favorite refused to leave her, even on the scaffold.  English Toys still possess the natural hunting instinct.

In the U.S. the breed has appeared in the AKC's records since the club was founded. Before 1903 all four colors were classified as separate breeds for show purposes, but were permitted to intermix for breeding. But in 1904 the AKC ruled that they should be combined into one breed, the English Toy Spaniel, and shown in two color varieties: King Charles and Ruby; and Prince Charles and Blenheim.


Approved 06/13/1989
Effective 08/01/1989





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