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King Charles Spaniel
King Charles Spaniel 200.jpg
Other names English Toy Spaniel
Country of origin England

The King Charles Spaniel (also known as the English Toy Spaniel) is a breed of small dog of the Spaniel type. The similar Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a different breed. The Cavalier is slightly larger, has a flat head and a longer nose, while the "Charlie" is smaller, has a domed head and flat face.





The English Toy Spaniel is a compact, cobby and essentially square toy dog possessed of a short-nosed, domed head, a merry and affectionate demeanor and a silky, flowing coat. The ears of the King Charles Spaniel are very long and set low and close to the head, fringed with heavy feathering.


Like its larger cousin, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, the King Charles Spaniel has a silky, often slightly wavy coat. It tends to be shorter than that of Cavaliers.

This breed also comes in the same color varieties as the Cavalier: Blenheim (brown-and-white), Prince Charles (tricolor), King Charles (black-and-tan), and Ruby (solid red).[1] Originally, each of these color patterns was regarded as a separate breed, but in the late 1800s the four varieties were consolidated into a single breed.

The American Kennel Club has two classes: English Toy Spaniel (B/PC) (Blenheim and Prince Charles) and English Toy Spaniel (R/KC).


A close up of the facial features of a King Charles Spaniel

Toy spaniels were a favorite pet lap dog in Europe, with each family having its favorite. Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland (1630 – 1685) was very fond of this type of dog, which is why the dogs of today carry his name, although there is no evidence that today's breed descended from his particular dogs. With the expansion of trade in the 17th and 18th centuries, pugs and other dogs arrived from other parts of the world, and became popular pets; this led to breeding with the spaniel lap dogs. The ancestry of the pug is seen in the shorter muzzle of the King Charles Spaniel.[2] The King Charles Spaniel was recognized in North America as the English Toy Spaniel, in order to prevent confusion with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

In a 19th century book on British Dogs, it is described how during the breed as was then was sometimes called "Melitei", which could imply that they came from Malta. However, the book thoroughly rubbishes any such claim and explains that the name didn't stick.[3]


The King Charles Spaniel may have health problems such as heart defects, eye problems, patellar luxation (kneecap slipping) and fused toes, which can cause incorrectly grown toenails. They tend to live 10 to 12 years.[4]

The King Charles Spaniel and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel have similar health issues. See the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel health section for more information.

See also


External links


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