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English Toy Spaniel Dog Breed…  Everything that You Need to Know at a Glance!

The English Toy Spaniel is one of our favorite “toy” dog breeds here at IndulgeYourPet because while they are a “small” dog, they’re not SO small that they can’t handle there “business” so to speak.

And while…

We don’t want to mention any names, we’ve all seen folks walking around with those “tiny little dogs” that always seem to be shaking and look as if they just seem “lost” any time someone isn’t holding them in their arms.

But that’s…

Not the only reason why we like the English Toy Spaniel, because we also like him because he is very closely related to another one of our favorites, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  Only the English Toy is a much healthier breed making him a much better choice for some families.

This is why…

We wanted to take a moment and discuss what it might be like to own an English Toy Spaniel so that if you are currently in the process of trying to determine what kind of dog you want to get you’ll have a better idea if the English Toy Spaniel might be right for you.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

English Toy Spaniel Dog Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin:  England

Original Purpose:  Bird flushing and companionship

Height:  10 to 11 inches

Weight:  8 to 14 pounds

Dog Breed Classification:  Toy Group

Lifespan:  12 to 14 years

Origin of the English Toy Spaniel dog breed

Both the English Toy Spaniel and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog breed both have King Charles the II to thank for their existence today.

This is because…

He was a HUGE fan of these little guys during his reign as king during the mid-1600’s.

In fact…

During his time as king, these little even managed to become the symbols of the House of Stuart and were the ONLY dog breed that was allowed to enter into the House of Parliament.

Now it important…

To understand that back in King Charles’ day, the English Toy and the Cavalier King weren’t two separate breeds as of yet.  During King Charles’ day, there was just the Cavalier King dog breed which only consisted of a black and tan version.

Later on…

Other colors of these dogs were developed by the first Duke of Marlborough including the now very popular red-and-white version that we often refer to as the “Blenheims” version which is named after the Dukes estate where these little guys were first created.


Folks began to develop certain “preferences” within the Cavalier King Charles dog breed that became “significant” enough for folks to eventually start to consider the Cavalier King as a separate breed from what would eventually become the English Toy.


Those favoring a “smaller” sized dog with a “rounder” head and a flatter nose tended to lean towards what would become known as the Cavalier King breed while others who preferred a larger dog went with what would become the English Toy.

It is this “preference”…

That is largely responsible for why the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have so many health-related issues today, and why we’ll often recommend the English Toy Spaniel over a Cavalier King in many situations.

(For more information about the health concerns for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog breed, be sure to check out our complete review on them).

English Toy Spaniel Physical Characteristics

If you haven’t already guessed, the English Toy Spaniel is a small and compact square-bodied little dog.  That unlike many other “toy” dog breeds “tends” to be a bit “tougher” than the rest.

This is probably because…

In addition to having been breed to be a companion animal, these little guys were also breed for a practical reason as well.  You see, these little guys also made great hunting companions for those looking for a dog that could dive into the bush and flush out small game and birds.

Which means…

That in addition to being cute and friendly, they also needed to be a bit “rugged” and tough as well.

Now physically…

What you’re going to find is that the English Toy Spaniel is going to have a “doomed head” which will be rather small (but not as small as the Cavalier King Spaniel) as well as a short face.

They’ll also…

Have long fringed ears, big dark eyes and a smooth and silky coat that can come in several colors including:

  • Black and tan,
  • White and black,
  • White and red,

And a wide variety of these three-color patterns as well.

They should also have…

A short “docked” tail as well that willy typically only be about 2 to 4 inches long.

Personality and Temperament of the English Toy Spaniel

One of the main reasons why King Charles the II and millions like him since have found the English Toy Spaniel such a great dog to own is because they are companion animals.

Ones that…

Are quite playful, and attentive to their owners yet quietly reserved with strangers and don’t require a ton of exercise which makes them particularly good pets for those living in urban setting or apartments where having access to areas where your dog can run free is limited.

These little guys are also…

Tolerate of other pets, good with children and don’t excessively bark a lot which is why we often find ourselves recommending this dog breed to those who already have a full house of other critters (including kids)!

There also…

Pretty easy to train, which makes life a whole lot easier particularly if you’re adoption an English Toy Spaniel puppy vs an adult rescue dog.  You’ll just want to be sure to mix in plenty of positive reinforcement techniques and… always have a treat on hand to ensure you get quick results.

But be warned…

These little guys do tend to pick a “favorite” in the family (usually the one who feeds him or her).  Now this doesn’t mean that he or she won’t love the family as a whole, it just means that there is probably going to be one person in the household that he or she will listen to more than others!

Health Issues of the English Toy Spaniel

As a general rule of thumb, any time you decide to adopt a pure breed dog, you should expect that he or she may be at a higher risk for developing an inheritable genetic disorder associated with that particular breed.

This is because…

Most pure breed dogs have been bred to “exhibit” certain physical traits that as a result have “restricted” the genetic makeup of that breed.  This is why it’s always important understand what medical conditions you need to be on the lookout for, for each individual breed and always work with a reputable breeder when choosing your puppy.

Now in the case…

Of the English Toy Spaniel, you’ll want to be sure to ask you breeder about the following medical conditions so that you can get a better idea about the potential future health of your puppy.

  • Entropion,
  • Mitral valve disease,
  • Patellar luxation,
  • Patent ductus arteriosus.

And while…

Some of these “conditions” may not be life threatening, they can all be quite expensive if you need to pay for the full cost of treatment out of pocket.

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet always advise any new pet owner to take a moment and see what it might cost to purchase a pet insurance policy on their new loved one.  This way if they ever do become sick or injured in the future, you won’t be on the “hook” for 100% of the cost of treatment.

For more information on who we “feel” currently offers some of the “best” pet insurance policies on the market right now, be sure to check out our Top 10 Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

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