Square-proportioned, streamlined and cobby, the English toy spaniel is profusely coated with a slick, flowing coat. The jacket may be straight or slightly wavy. It’s heavy fringing, such as feathering on the feet. The hallmarks of this strain, however, is its own head and saying. The mind ought to be domed, with glistening dark eyes and a well-cushioned face, making a gentle, attractive expression.
The haughty English toy spaniel appreciates a life of leisure, punctuated with rollicking romps. It’s a lap dog par excellence — tender, tender, calm and silent — yet it’s lively and careful. It’s utterly dedicated to its loved ones and reserved with strangers. It’s rather uncooperative.
|• Major concerns: patellar luxation
• Minor concerns: early tooth loss, “lazy” tongue (never fully extracts into mouth)
• Occasionally seen: PDA
• Suggested tests: knee
• Life span: 10 – 12 years
• Note: A soft spot in the skull (due to incomplete fontanel closure) sometimes occurs. The breed is sensitive to anesthesia.
|The English toy spaniel and the cavalier King Charles spaniel share equal ancient histories. They started as one strain, likely resulting from spans of little spaniels with Oriental toy strains. Some evidence supports the concept that Mary, Queen of Scots, attracted the very first toy spaniels into Scotland with her from France. All these “comforter spaniels” became very popular with the rich classes, and served as both lap and foot warmers in addition to beautiful companions. They reached their height of premature popularity throughout the 17th-century reign of King Charles II, who so doted on his puppies that the strain was shortly referred to as the King Charles spaniel — the title where it is still known in England. These ancient dogs were all tan and black; additional colours were developed afterwards, together with the first Duke of Marlborough credited with creating the red-and-white “Blenheims,” named after his mansion. The red-and-white coloration could have come from crosses with Chinese cocker spaniels. The duke’s spaniels have been said to be great dogs for hunting woodcock. Many proponents of the strain were more interested in getting an eye popping lap puppy than a hunting dog, and at the ensuing centuries that the King Charles spaniel was consumed in size and picked to get a rounder head and flatter nose. In the us, the title was altered to English toy spaniel. The strain is revealed in 2 varieties: the reddish parti-colored Blenheim and black-and-tan parti-colored Prince Charles; along with the reddish solid-colored Ruby and black-and-tan solid-colored King Charles. The strain has continued to find favor with owners needing an aristocratic but fun-loving lap puppy.|